Report from Yass
The Goulburn Herald and County of Argyle Advertiser
30 March 1850
The Races.- Hitherto we have refrained from following the beaten track of the "hirelings of the Press" in the neighbouring districts, by boasting of the "bone, blood and beauty," of our stock to be brought forward at the coming, "meet." But, we can say, our fund as stand as high, our horses as good and their backers as game as any we have yet heard of. No less than three of Mr. J. Roberts' "bits of blood" were stabled at Grovenor's, under the judicious care of "Old Jem Brown," on Sunday, on their way to Goulburn, which, on their return, will grace the Yass course.
The Race Course, under the superintendence of the Committee has been undergoing considerable improvements, and the arrangement of the Booths seems to have given universal satisfaction. Very great excitement exists here upon the occasion; for there is nothing else to which the inhabitants can look for an immediate prospect of existence, especially the publicans, the town being so extremely dull and money so scarce.
When the races have concluded - unless the "Bridge of Sighs and Groans" be again tendered for and recommenced, we anticipate, half the dealers and publicans may shut up shop. We beg, earnestly, to call the attention of our "absentee" Warden to this state of things, and to urge upon him the necessity of exertion at head-quarters, to accomplish "a consummation so devoutly to be wished."
The Church.-Tomorrow, being Easter Sunday, our new church, so long under operation, will be ready for divine service, the internal arrangements having been completed. It is expected that evening service will be shortly commenced there, and that a good choir will be formed from among the young ladies and gentlemen whose vocal powers are appreciated in profane melody.
The Hospital. - A meeting of the subscribers of the Yass Hospital was held at the Court House, pursuant to notice, on Monday the 25th inst., for the purpose of considering the propriety of raising the admission fee for patients outside the district of Yass, from which the institution did not receive an annual sum of £10 - and it was unanimously decided upon, that the sum of £5, instead of £2.10s., should be demanded from such patients.
This distinction has not given general satisfaction, many parties believing that the original fee of £2.10s. was too high. But the whole management of the office appears to be in the hands of two Medical J.P.'s, (who are on the Committee,) and to them their humbler fellow-townsmen appear to succumb. More of this anon.
The marriage alluded to in our last has been broken off.
Our New Constabulary Force,. - Like the omenous calm before a thunderstorm, the mild, placid, and unaffected behaviour of our new Chief Constable led us to believe that he was too easy and good a man for the office. But, under the experienced guidance of "Kerry Dick," his prime minister and secret counsellor, he appears to have improved wonderfully.
Before the arrival of Mr. M'Jennett, the town was a little paradise - music and harmonious concerts, without riot or debauchery, were nightly the theme. But now the scene is changed - the obnoxious Algerine Publican's Act is overhauled - its most oppressive and obsolete clauses conned over-tortured into mischievous constructions, and brought to bear upon the unfortunate publicans. On Thursday next, no less than three of these respectable and profitable (to the Govern- ment Revenue,) individuals are summoned for frivolous acts of individuals in the conduct of their houses - at the instance of Mr. M'Jennett - the mild, the unassuming, the innocent Mr. M'Jennett. To be serious, Mr. M'Jennett having no decisive judgment or discrimination of his own, has applied to his brother soldier, M'Alister, of Goulburn, and taken a leaf out of his book - stained as it is with informations against publicans! The consequence is, that the Police of Yass will soon assume the character of their brethren of Goulburn, and be held up to the execration of the colony.
This is, undoubtedly, strong language, but, when we see a languishing township - once a flourishing one - daily declining under the pressure of the times - when we see the " Bridge of Sighs" (enough of that) in "statu quo " - the Warden "reposing on a bed of roses" in Sydney, for months together, and the people of Yass starving for want of his advantageous aid - when we see the winter approaching; the public-houses - their tap-rooms re-echoing to the sounds of the solitary traveller, and not a solitary shilling in the till - when, we see these things, we say, it is high time to look about us, and not indulge in ambiguous phraseology. At such a juncture, then, how injudicious - how impolitic - how unjust is it to put in operation the obsolete - stupid and oppressive acts of the legislature.
The Female Orphans. - Since our last notice of these females, we are happy to say, that nothing has occurred to alter our opinion. Their conduct has been unexceptionable from first to last - and as some invidious correspondence took place lately about their country and religion, &c., we (of Yass) feel great pleasure in recording the fact that, although the women are Irish and Roman Catholic, and their Surgeon Superintendent an Englishmnan and Protestant - there is not one of them who hears his name mentioned without blessings and expressions of gratitude - which speaks volumes for the kindness, liberality and christian-like feeling of all.
At first, we thought, the number of 105 was too large for this district. But, we are happy to record the fact, that, at our present writing, only six remain - 47 having been taken to Gundagai. In conclusion, we (in Yass) have to express our regret that any reflections should have been made upon the capabilities and conduct of these young women - for howsoever much they may have given room for censure elsewhere - in this township and district they are highly appreciated and respected.
Thistle-Burr.-This destructive, prolific, and annoying shrub which grows luxuriantly in the town ship and vicinity of Yass, has long been a plague to the sheep-farmer, the burrs sticking into the fleeces of the sheep as they pass, being difficult of extraction and utterly deteriorating the value of the wool. Our motive for mentioning it is to stimulate other flockmasters or their overseers in the neighbourhood to emulate the laudable example of Mr. M'Meiken, Mrs. Barber's overseer, who has succeeded in destroying many acres o f this destructive weed.