Private Dent writes on his way to the war

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LETTERS from the Front. The following letter has been received by Miss W. Scarborough from Pte Dent:–

Just a line to let you know how I am getting on. We had a good trip over, the water being like a piece of glass all the way.

–– is a pretty place. The scenery is beautiful, far better that Australia. The people gave us a grand reception, giving us free meals and free tram rides all the time we were there. I can tell you we did it in great.

At the next port of call, the people were altogether different to what they were in ––

We had nothing free. All we got there we had to pay for.

Our next port was another pretty place. It has only a small harbour. We could not get off the boat and had to stay there another three days till we coaled up, and then we made our way to where we are now.

We had to wear life belts day and night while on the boat. It is very cold here being their winter. It is far colder than Australia.

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SKATING was held in the Somerville Hall on Saturday night, last and there was a splendid attendance.

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A MEETING of the Frankston branch of the National Federation will be held in the Mechanics’ on Monday evening next, at 8 o’clock sharp.

A good attendance of members is requested.

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Mr S. S. Gault, of Somerville, having secured an auctioneer’s licence, will hold his first sale at Somerville on Thursday next, when he will offer pigs, poultry, cattle, horses, and sundries.  Further entries invited.

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IN reporting the celebration of Anzac Day at the Somerville State School, the name, of Mr Geo. Shepherd was accidentally left out.

Mr Geo. Shepherd showed the scholars a lot of war mementoes, which were sent to him by his son, Frank, when on active service on Gallipoli.

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IN our report of the Church of England Floral Fete last week we omitted to mention the Produce stall among the list, which was under the supervision of Mrs J. Wells, and also Miss Ruby Barclay’s name was inadverdently left out as assistant at the Refreshment stall.

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WOODS’ Great Peppermint Cure. For Coughs and Colds, never fails, 1s 6d.

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A EUCHRE party and dance was held in the Hall, on Thursday evening and proved highly successfull.

Cards were commenced at 8.30 and continued till 10.30, when it was found that the same number of points were held by several parties.

In the final play off Miss W. Rogers secured first lady’s prize, and Private Pentland first for gentlemen.

The booby prizes were won by Miss Francis, and Mr McSweeney.

Hot coffee and cakes were provided and very much appreciated.

Dancing was continued till 2 o’clock and a thoroughly enjoyable time spent.

Mr Brierley supplied the music in a satisfactory manner.

The “Wattle” Club purposes holding a continuous euchre tournament throughout the winter months, commencing the week after next.

Mrs Deane and Mrs Moloney are donating the prizes for this tournament which will be well worth winning.

As the object is a good one–for funds to continue the entertainments for returned soldiers–and a good evening’s enjoyment is provided for a very humble sum, the members hope to see a full house on the next occasion when all will get a fair start to gain the coveted prize.

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Our Letter Box.

FORESHORE PRIVILEGES

TO THE EDITOR.

Sir.–Though not in the least desirous of entering into a newspaper controversy I crave space in your valuable journal in order to allay any misapprehension that may have been caused by Mr Utber’s letter on this subject, dated 3rd inst.

First, Sir, permit me to say that I feel sure Mr Utber believes he is acting in the interests of the residents, and he deserves credit for his public spirit in endeavouring to redress a wrong (even though it is, as I contend, only imaginary.)

In criticising Mr G. E. Thomas’s boat house, in which he occasionally housed his motor car overnight, as reported by me to the Council.

Mr Utber is very frank in informing your readers that “on the seaward side the only means of ingress is a small door only 2 feet wide which no boat could pass, and that the floor level is 3 feet above the sand level.”

He thus seeks to prove that the building could not be used as a boat house.

He omits to state that there are two large doors at the other end of the building sufficiently wide to admit either a motor car or a boat and that the floor at this end is at ground level.

If Mr Thomas cares to put a boat in through the landward end of the building whose business is it but his own?

It certainly is no one else’s.

I am at a loss to understand Mr Utber’s contention that, if people are allowed the privelege of housing their motor cars in well built boxes or houses on the foreshore, at places selected by the council “the beauty of the foreshore would be a thing of the past etc.”

Seeing that there are already, on the foreshore, scores of ramshakle buildings, which no respectable hen would own for a shelter, but, because they are dignified by the appellation of ‘bathing boxes” Mr Utber has no objection to them.

The criticism of Mr Anderson’s boat houses and bathing box under Oliver’s Hill is still more unreasonable. In the first portion of his letter the writer fears for the beauty of the foreshore; in the next breath he emphasizes the fact that “the building is well lighted and finished, with a nice little tank attached and with seats and a movable table inside”, as if this constituted the building’s gravest offence.

What harm is the nice little tank doing?

Apparently it has never occurred to the writer that some people, after sea bathing, have a desire for a fresh water shower, or that after handling dirty boats, fish etc, they would like to wash their hands.

That being so, the only way by which they can obtain fresh water (unless they carry it about with them) is by having a tank attached to their boat house.

And why on earth should these unfortunate people not have seats and a table in their bathing box if they see fit to do so?

What crime do they commit by partaking of cakes and tea, either hot or cold therein ?

I have always endeavoured to carry out the duties of my numerous offices in a fair and impartial manner and to interfere with respectable citizens as little as possible.

It would be gross impertenance on my part were I to endeavour to prevent persons from drinking afternoon tea in their boat houses or bathing boxes, and I feel sure that any fair-minded resident will agree with me.

There is no law to prevent them doing so, and Mr Utber, as a lawyer, must know it as well as I do.

Yours faithfully,

EDWIN C RYAN

Shire Inspector, May 8th, 1917.

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From the pages of the Mornington Standard, 12 May 1917

First published in the Mornington News – 9 May 2017

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