Alexandra Times at KellyGang 14/7/1871

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(full text transcription)


(From a Correspondent)

Who was the godfather and who was the, the godmother of Doon. I have failed to discover, but that it was begot of coaches I assert, as the earliest indication of its existence is contained in and ancient map having a square dot labelled “stable hut," which hut (slightly grown) still exists. Passengers by early coaches being of a refreshment-requiring class, suggested the idea to a speculatively inclined mind that it was the duty of a fellow creature to provide for his travelling neighbour, and so in, course of time a place of accommodation arose, where grog afforded warmth, and bullock sustenance to the weary wayfarer. Horses requiring shoes and coaches repairs begot a blacksmith's shop, other requirements begot a store on a small scale, and development begot a township. Government sent a policeman, and Doon asserted its right to a Post-Office, and Doon got it, and Doon thinks no small beer of itself, and: Doon is right.

Are there not two lordly townships using three journalistic influences, and spending any amount of money in deputations, and saying any amount of nasty things against each other in claiming their relationship to our baby Doon? Does not Mansfield declare it is of her loins, and Alexandra claim it as her bantling? But baby Doon is beginning to feel her feet, and severely to demand the privilege of choosing her own patron. She relies upon her own judgment, and the blandishments of Alexandra's empty promises or Mansfield's grandiloquent professions avail not while her roads remain unrepaired, her bridge a use less and doubtful ornament, and her rates a profit to any but herself, in fact she is contrary to her notions of equilibrium, placed between two deceiving stools, and the result of such a position she had already realised. She is as yet but a weak at anger, and they are both anxious to take her in, and do (nothing) for her.

Nature has garmented her in its choicest gifts, and there is no lack of "tucker." Her creek is free from such rancid impurities as Mansfield sickens upon, and she is grateful for her gifts, and by no means curious. Doon's metropolitan . peculiarity of feature in .the shape of tall white chimneys, may strike an approaching stranger on a frosty morning as somewhat indicative of chilliness, but a more intimate acquaintance will thaw the idea, and teach a lesson that apparent coldness of exterior may conceal a warmth of interior remunerative to the patient investigator. That Doon, though small, is believed in by its original possessors is patent, through its increasing dimensions. A. new licensed house and store has just been erected by Mr Cox, and promises a paying business. Jones, of old reputation, has vacated his former habitation, but is hatching another, which will soon be fledged. Mr Beard is the occupant of the original Jones, and does not seem to doubt- support. Young, in selling. liquors, shoeing horses, and generally aiding; broken-down vehicles,. &c., seems to satisfy. himself and his customers, especially the latter, so it may naturally be supposed that Doon thriveth, but I expect the how it thriveth depends upon its surroundings, and this brings me to another part of my subject.

The features of the country for in stance (I mean that portion of country of which Doon is the head-centre) are simply and placidly beautiful. Its meek face is encircled by a verdant necktie of undulating hills, and is now beginning to be gemmed by emerald patches, the result of agricultural industry, and these agricultural perseveres contribute largely to the progress of the district. As yet those burly intruders who turn up the soil for gold only, have not been tempted to disturb the reign of crops, but at no distant day their coming will, be hailed with pleasure, and their efforts. I trust, crowned with success, for I am greatly inclined to think this district jealously conceals gold, and that its hills will eventually pour it down in rich showers.

Farmers somehow or other get children, and do not seem to be limited in the supply of such encumbrances, and, strange to say, they do not seem to regard them in that light, but. recognise any such addition as a gift much to be rejoiced at, and in order that such gifts may become more valuable, they have provided a schoolhouse which does credit to their liberality and prescience, and a schoolmaster, who may or may not do credit to their choice, but he has this advantage, which I hope he will long maintain and enjoy, that is the non-interference of parents in the legitimate duties of the master, duties which a competent master knows how to perform, and interfering parents only mar. "Try another," is a simple remedy for supposed incapables in the schooling line of business and much to be recommended.

I regret that my long absence from the Big River precludes me from the pleasure of enlarging upon the great progress of that hitherto much neglected district ; but I am pleased to learn that the golden sun shine still warms Warner's Creek, and that my old friend. Ben has been induced to veil his modesty, and lend the benefit of his experience to the improvement of that hidden haven of which Enoch's Point is the capital. May his shadow never grow less, and. may increase not extend gloom, but induce prosperity to the valley of Big River, which, though an old child, is, through its natural seclusion, in actual infancy.

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