The way we were: dogs, fish and beer


Oh for the sim­pler, safer days of the 1950s.

Crime, as re­ported in the newly es­tab­lished Kapi-Mana News, was quite dif­fer­ent back then as we found when we looked for the darker sto­ries from the com­mu­nity.

In 1951, the ed­i­tor had re­ceived a num­ber of com­plaints ‘‘re­gard­ing the con­duct of a cer­tain class of per­sons un­der the in­flu­ence of liquor’’ who trav­elled on the Welling­ton trains.

A Welling­ton of­fi­cial had ad­mit­ted the prob­lem was of great con­cern and the ed­i­tor hoped the men con­cerned would amend their be­hav­iour once they saw it re­ported in the broad­sheets.

There was chaos in Ti­tahi Bay, which was plagued by res­i­dents’ un­ruly dogs.

The smaller ones were ‘‘squeez­ing them­selves into shops’’ while the larger hounds were killing sheep, the pa­per re­ported.

It wasn’t just rogue dogs - a Plim­mer­ton res­i­dent bat­tled ‘‘a master rat who was de­fy­ing all meth­ods to catch and kill it’’.

Mr O J Begg, rec­tor of Palmer­ston North, gave an end of year speech about dis­ci­plinary in­flu­ence on stu­dents.

‘‘Boys with money to spend are a men­ace both to them­selves and to the whole school with which they as­so­ciate.’’

The Rail­way Depart­ment were fed up with pas­sen­gers light­ing up in the non-smok­ing car­riages and cau­tioned to pay strict ob­ser­vance to the rule.

De­spite a bot­tle ban, a Welling­ton rugby park was lit­tered with hun­dreds and hun­dreds of beer bot­tles left be­hind af­ter a game.

The mess ‘‘could hardly be de­scribed,’’ the pa­per re­ported.

The 1952 coun­cil were con­cerned by the in­dis­crim­i­nate dis­charge of shot­guns at Pau­ata­hanui In­let and sought sup­port to de­clare the area a gun­free sanc­tu­ary.

Un­for­tu­nately, for a broad­bill sword­fish, the sanc­tu­ary wasn’t in place when it swam into the in­let and fright­ened swim­mers.

The fish was shot twice by Mr Jim Gray, it was thought to have been only the third of its kind cap­tured in New Zealand wa­ters.

In news from the emer­gency ser­vices, the pa­per re­ported the Plim­mer­ton fire alarm had burnt out dur­ing a test and was promptly re­placed by a new one.

How­ever, the new alarm, which cost £38, wasn’t loud enough.

‘‘New equip­ment, which would give a sat­is­fac­tory warn­ing, would cost £140 which the brigade can’t af­ford so mem­bers are at­tempt­ing to make their own.’’

‘‘The most pop­u­lar of ales.’’

Porirua Hospi­tal, circa 1950.

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