Pranks are a mindless way to start new year
January 4, 1919 New Year’s Eve Pranks People are more or less used to New Year’s Eve jokes, and when they are harmless, even though a little annoying to those whose expense they are practised, no very hard words are said. But a joke is a joke. When it comes to the destruction and disfigurement of property it passed beyond that stage. The thoughtless band of hoodlums who were guilty of such practices at Rochester on Tuesday deserve to be prosecuted and made to pay to the last penny the damage they caused. To daub multi-coloured paints on doors, windows, signs, showcases and etc is about the poorest and meanest class of joke possible. This was done in a wholesale manner on business places, banks, offices, and almost every building and several signs in the principal business streets. A dental showcase at Mr London’s pharmacy was smothered with paint, and windows, doors etc at numerous other places received the vandals’ disfiguring attention. The wooden sign and window sign at our office shared the fate of many others — being partially obliterated: ‘‘Parnaby and Fletcher,’’ for instance, was by obliterations converted into ‘‘ANA and FETHER’’ — a good joke, surely! The police patrolled the street until after one o’clock, but it is evident that the miscreants watched the guardians of the law go home before sneaking out with pot and brush. Early on New Year’s Day, the Senior Constable and his staff took the matter in hand, and their enquiries have borne fruit. They are to be thanked for letting all persons not resident on the premises disfigured know as soon as possible what had occurred. This gave some chance to clean off the paint before it was dry, but the work could not even then be done satisfactorily and without, in many cases, bad disfigurements. The police are on the track of the culprits; have found out that they broke open and purloined the paint from Mr. A. B. Humphris’ paint store room; and Senior Constable Lindsay is in the hope of getting sufficient evidence to bring the jokers to book.
This image is of flooding in Rochester in 1923/24 looking down Gillies St towards the water tower. Have a photo you’d like to share? Email edito[email protected]paspenews.com.au or bring it in on Wednesday between 10am and 2pm.