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.