Alexandra Times at KellyGang 12/8/1876 (3)

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Albury is well laid out, with all the streets at right angles, about two chains wide and crowned in the centre, with good broad foot-paths; but I was surprised to find so much dust, although near winter. I was informed that in summer during the wool season the dust is something fearful. The streets are not metalled, which seems strange in a town of such importance, so the dust is easily accounted for. the State is not so liberal to local governing bodies as in Victoria. Albury, for example, is formed into a borough with nine members, who are styled aldermen, and the only revenue it has is about £900 rates, out of which £300 is required to pay salaries. &c; leaving only £600 to make all the improvements in this large town, as all the licenses, police lines, &c., go to the consolidated revenue of the colony, and no return is received in the shape of subsidy, endowment, or grants. The only work the Government acknowledges is to keep the Sydney road which runs through the centre of the town in good repair, but even this is not always done.

However the Government had promised to do a deal of metalling, and a great number of stonebreakers were at work. Of course Government undertakes the cost and erection of all public buildings, and these are very creditable indeed, but it would be much better if, as in Victoria, local bodies were assisted by endowment on rates, and special grants, and allowed to manage their own public works. This would relieve Parliament of a great responsibility, and give general satisfaction to this large community, settled so far from the seat of government.

The township of Albury is situated on a beautiful flat, as level as a bowling green; indeed it seems as if the surrounding hills, which enclose it like an amphitheatre, had each supplied its share of material to make room for the thousands of yeomanry that must ere long settle in and around this important town. One would think the low-lying mountains had forced the old Murray River out to its present position in a half circle, so the town in bordered on one side by the river and on the other with fine rising ground reaching for several miles, rind richly ornamented with splendid extensive vineyards and, substantial private residences.

The principal thoroughfares where trade is transacted are Townsend, Dean, and Kiewa streets. The inhabitants seem to be of all nationalities, each being well represented, but I think our German fellow-colonists claim the majority. The whole community seem to attend well to their religious duties, an they have some of the best churches and chapels I have seen out of Melbourne. The first I noticed was the English Church, a beautiful specimen of architecture, built of stone quarried a few miles from Albury. It is, however, easy to understand how such expensive works are accomplished when, as 1 am informed, Mr T H Mute, an Albury merchant, headed the list with a donation of £1000 to the building fund,

The next was the Catholic Chapel, a fine substantial stone building of great extent, attached to which is a large convent, of magnificent design, and an establishment for the clergy. I was informed that a rich squatter, a member of this church, gave as a free gilt to the building fund a piece of land near the centre of the town, and the committee sold part of it for several thousands, of pounds, and paid off the debt due in connection with the church. The Presbyterians have an elegant church and parsonage, with a very pretty garden, nicely enclosed. The Wesleyans are not behind; for they have had an expensive chapel erected on a good site with school accommodation for the young.

The first public building I noticed was the courthouse, a large stone structure. There seems 'to be a large amount of law business done here, and it being the principal court for a large district, it is common for 30 or 40 cases to be disposed of in one day. I may mention that our late legal representative, Mr A H Emerson, has settled, in Albury, and is doing a fist-class business. He asked me to call and see him at his office, which I did, and. he kindly informed me of several business places he thought would suit me, and said he should be gratified to do anything for me that he possibly could. I thanked him for his good offer, which I trust to be able to take advantage of on some future occasion. (To be concluded)


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