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SOUVENIR-CHARTERS TOWERS, 1872 TO JULY, 1950                      Page 21

The "Eagle," 23/9/1899.


Municipal Muddledom seems to be the only term that will adequately fit the ability of the Charters Towers Municipal Council. The aldermen who take their seats in the Towers Halls of Wisdom do not seem to have brains enough to be able to incubate a single idea into anything approaching action. The Towers Water Supply is an instance of this. Here is a large and important Municipality-one of the most important in the colony-and yet the water supply is wretchedly inadequate to the wants, of the people. In most of the suburban portions of the town several houses are supplied by a narrow one inch main. Now in the first place this service is discomforting, alld in the second place it is highly dangerous. There are four houses, A, B, C, and D, all supplied by the one inch main. A has the first tap and D the last. D wishes to have a shower bath; he turns the water on and soaps himself. Just as he has completed soaping himself, A, B, and C start washing too. D has then either to sit down and solace himself with a swear or two until the other three have finished, or else he has to employ a neighbour to come in and scrape the soap off. The danger of such a narrow supply lies in the fact that all these suburban tenements are of wood; and if one of them caught fire what chance would there be of extinguishing the flames with a one inch main even if they had the sole use of the flow. The place would simply have to burn and the poor unfortunate miner or tradesman would have to borrow a tin whistle and enjoy himseuf playing it while the flames were wrecking his home.

Chinese Gardens 1900's

THERE were a number of Chinese gardens. on the diggings, and in melon time, it was the delight' of our hearts to have a bit of sport with the "Johnnies," Every dinner hour at school, we would. invade the gardens over the ridge for melons, not so much for the fruit, but for the fun to be derived from the chase to be got out of it. It was most exciting at times, and far away ahead of the game, of fox and hounds, which was then a popular game and good exercise, The gardens were fenced, with stakes about 5 feet high and close together, so it was an easy matter to get down along the bed of the gullies at the rear, and creep up, pull the stakes out and get to the melons. Once inside no time was lost in securing one, and it was passed out to the lad fleetest of foot. for the dogs on the chains would soon give the show away. The Chows would rush out and get hold of a hoe or a long handled shovel, and give chase. The lads would start off by taking matters comparatively easy for the first, as their pursuers would be standing them up a good start, and with their loose-fitting pants and their implement, the matter of handicap was considered even, and they were allowed to run themselves out from the kick-off. But the joke would not always come off in accordance with anticipations, and. the leaders would have to streak it out earlier than they had counted on. Very often John would reach to within striking distance, and the chase would become exciting, but the lads would always run in groups, and split up in different directions, so that there would be only one Johnny to each group in case of emergency, and the Chinaman would give the game up sooner than run the risk of falling into the trap. Sometimes the melons would not be ripe, but that would not matter. It was no great disappointment; we had our fun. It was good sport, and we thoroughly enjoyed it. For many years afterwards, and even up to the present, these incidents were means of recalling many happy hours spent in Charters Towers, when old friends would greet old friends with "Remember when we used to shake the watermelons."

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