Blackberries: As ruthless as a German – news from March, 1915
Shire-wide news extracts from the Moruya Examiner of this time in 1915, provided by the Moruya & District Historical Society:
HOTEL LICENSE – Last Monday, the Licensing Bench visited Coxon’s Hotel, and , after inspecting the building, decided unanimously that the house was beyond repair, and that if a renewal of the license were desired, it would be necessary to build a new brick building. 27/3/1915
WAR HORSES – Mr. McNamara, of Bega, passed through Moruya for Nowra on Wednesday with 30 odd horses purchased in the Bega district, mostly, for the War Officials. There were some very nice animals in the mob, mostly on the heavy side. Mr. McNamara found it absolutely imperative to have a number of them shod in Moruya, as they were very lame through travelling so far without shoes. 27/3/1915
A GOOD SUGGESTION – Speaking at the official opening of the show, Mr. Austin Chapman M.H.R. said: “The rabbit had been the greatest curse and heaviest tax on the landholder.” He urged that the Government might well come to the rescue by helping to establish chilling depots in all small country centres and when the necessary machinery was available, giving a bonus on all rabbits caught, and organising for transport from the chilling depots, to central freezing works at seaports so that the consignments might be frozen there and consigned to the Belgians and others. It would be national work, helping the farmer, giving employment and relieving great distress, especially when the price of meat was becoming almost prohibitive. 27/3/1915
NOXIOUS WEEDS – The Eurobodalla Shire Council has been calling tenders for an Inspector of Noxious weeds etc. etc., during the past few weeks. If we recollect rightly the Council had a special Inspector going through the whole of the Shire Ridings something like 3 years ago, but what good was done in return for the money expended has in no way been made manifest.
The worst enemy the man on the land has to contend with is the blackberry; and from all appearances this hateful shrub is going just as strong as ever in and around Moruya; in fact it has taken possession of some of our streets and public roads and enjoys a most luxuriant growth in no less a public position than our Court House. According to a writer in the “Bulletin” who signs himself “Rimu,” the blackberry is something like the Germans, it won’t be knocked out without a stubborn fight. He says:
“As a firm believer in evolution I cannot help seeing that the lord and master of this planet is likely to be the blackberry bramble. True, it is only a vegetable, but it has an astonishing grip on the principles of living. It is as fierce as a Montenegrin, and as ruthless as a German; it multiplies by seeds, by suckers, and by cuttings; it is as intelligent as anything its own weight and size, and for dogged obstinacy, enduring pluck and low cunning it beats the bulldog, foxterrier, dingo and all other dogs. I recently wrestled in prayer, backed by a mattock and otherwise, with a patch of the herb, and was knocked out in the third round. I grubbed it out and burned every fragment I could find, after digging the ground over and raking it for particles of roots. After the first warm rain I counted and destroyed 78 blackberry plants and once more dug and raked the ground. After the second warm rain the plants numbered 215, and there are now about 2578, and the fruit crop promises to be very good, thank you”
Rimu . 27/3/1915
Seventeen 100 Years Ago booklets containing articles for the years 1899 to 1914 are available ($5 ea) from the Society’s rooms. Copies of local newspapers from the 1860s to date can be viewed at the Society’s Family History Research Centre (Ph 4474 3224) situated at the rear of the Pioneer Museum in Campbell St. Moruya (mdhs.org.au).
Our latest publication entitled Kiora Kith and Kin, by Shirley Jurmann is also now available from the Society for $20.