The Witness - Friday, 4 January 1917

Random Readings.


In an account of the fossils of giant animals of Argentina to be seen in the Museum of La Plata, Rev. J. A. Zahm, author of "Through South America's Southland," calls special attention to the mylodon, a ground sloth as large as a rhinoceros and related to the megatherium that flourished thousands of years ago. The mylodon may have lived within comparatively recent times. Only a few years ago Nordenskjold discovered in a cave in southwestern Patagonia a large piece of well-preserved skin, covered with greenish-brown hair, and small bony knobs, that was recognised as the skin of the mylodon. There is good reason to believe that the mylodon was still browsing in the forests of Patagonia as late as fifty years ago. Indeed there are naturalists who contend that it is still living in some of the caves of southern Chile. So strong was the conviction that, as late as 1902 an expedition started from England, the chief object of which was to search for a living mylodon; and although it failed to find one, there are men of science who continue to believe that a living mylodon will yet be found somewhere in the forest depths of southern Chile or Argentina.


While the Waimangu Geyser in New Zealand lasted it was the largest in the world. Its name, "black water," in the Maori tongue, came from the dark column of water and debris that it threw up at every eruption. Stones and boiling water, accompanied by vast clouds of steam, rose nine hundred to fifteen hundred feet at irregular intervals, twenty or twenty-two times a month. At ether times the water of the Waimangu lay in a cup-shaped depression about twenty feet deep, two hundred and forty-nine feet wide, and four hundred and two feet long. Several hours before each eruption the lake would begin to boil violently and to send off dense clouds of steam; loud subterranean rumblings were heard. When the final explosion came, the whole lake, mingled with material from below, rose bodily; its torrential fall was destructive to a large area round about, and the slopes near by are still furrowed by the rivers of water that coursed down them. The column of water was thrown up about four times as high as the Giant Geyser, now the largest in the Yellowstone Park, throws its water, and the area of its base was about two and a half acres, in comparison with the few square rods of the American geyser. Close by the geyser is a hill surmounted by an iron hut, about four hundred and fifty feet above the pool, where observers took refuge during eruptions. One day in August, 1903, a party was on the slope below this building watching the boiiing pool. As the approach of the explosion became more imminent the guide warned them back, and all except four obeyed. The mother of one of the young ladies called to her; but she wanted to take another photograph, and answered, "Just a moment, mother." During that moment the eruption occurred, and the disobedient young lady and her three companions were swept to a tragic death.


The most valuable trees ever discovered by man are some that have recently been discovered among the carnotite radium beds in Montrose County, Western Colorado. Carnotite ore is found in Western Colorado and Eastern Utah, along a belt at the foot of the La Sal Mountains. It is productive of radium, and is sometimes found in the form of petrified trees incased in beds of sandstone. Sometimes the trees are within a foot of the surface; in other cases they are buried thirty feet deep. Walking over the sandstone you would never guess that a treasure lay beneath your feet. The first evidence that carnotite is locked in the sandstone comes from the discolouration of the upper rock by the uranium ore with which carnotite is almost always associated. The tree formations are the richest of any of the forms in which radium-bearing carnotite is found. One of the biggest trees produced nine thousand sacks of high grade ore, or three hundred and seventy-five tons. In some cases the ore is worth ten thousand dollars a ton, but that is only near the heart of the tree. The trees are wonderfully preserved; the limbs, roots, knots, bark, and even the grain of the wood can be distinguished. The trees all lie in the same direction, with the roots facing the south. It is thought that they floated in from the north when this region was a great sea, and that they were caught in the sand and debris along the shore. Then, there came a great geological upheaval, and at the time of this eruption the peculiar substance called carnotite was produced. The trees, which are porous, absorbed the carnotite; elsewhere it found lodgment in pockets, "bug holes" and blanket formations of an inch or two in thickness. Just how or when those processes occurred no one can tell. The carnotite region lies one hundred miles from a railway. Water is scarce and has to be packed in on burros. It is very expensive to mine in such a land. Millions have been spent in pioneer work, and the total cost of getting the ore out is heavy. There is no exorbitant profit in digging out carnotite trees, for they are scarce, and in order to dig one out hundreds of tons of low-grade ore and rock have to be moved out of the way.



A Minister's Appreciation.

Through the death of the above-named gentleman, which took place last week, the congregation of Trinity Church, Bailieborough, has lost one of its oldest and most respected members. At the service, held in that congregation on the morning of last Lord's day, its minister, the Rev. T. S. Killen, made the following reference to him:-- Since we met here last Sabbath one of our oldest and most respected members passed away. I need scarcely say that I refer to Mr. Robt. Williamson. I dare say this congregation has never had a more faithful or more useful member than he was. The services which he rendered to it could not easily be exaggerated, and they were most ungrudgingly given. He took a very deep interest in its well-being, and that interest was maintained to the end. At a time now long past he led the congregation in its service of praise. For many years he was its very efficient Sustentation Fund treasurer. He was for a very long period a most useful member of its session. He was particularly interested in the young people of the congregation, and, for longer than I can tell, he was our Sabbath-school superintendent. Though he lived on the outskirts of the congregation, he was, so long as strength was spared to him, a most regular attendant at our church services. We might say, in fact, that, through a period stretching over many years, he was never absent from his pew on the Lord's day except for some good cause. The successive ministers of the congregation have owed much to him for his unfailing kindness and consideration, and for his loyal support and wise counsel. What I personally have owed to him I could not attempt to express. I shall only say that a more considerate and kindly elder no minister need wish for. It should also be said of him that he was characterised by the grace of Christian liberality. At the time when our present church building was erected he was one of the largest contributors and he was, year after year, a generous supporter of our ordinary church funds. I should like to mention specially that the cause of Foreign Missions lay very near his heart. Great as was the interest taken by him in the prosperity of this congregation, his interest in the progress of the Gospel in heathen lands was, perhaps, greater still. It is something of a coincidence that on the same day on which I am speaking to you about the loss which we have sustained by his removal, I should also have, to announce our annual United Missions Collection. Quite recently he spoke to me about that collection, and about the contribution which he hoped to make to it. There is just one thing more which I would like to say to you about the late Mr. Williamson to-day. It is that the Gospel of Christ which he had learned to prize in years of health and strength continued to yield him support and consolation when he felt that death was drawing near. To him the Divine promise was fulfilled -- "Even to your old age I am He, and even to hoar hairs will I carry you."

At the conclusion of the service the session and committee of the congregation met and adopted a minute expressive of their regret at Mr. Williamson's death, their sympathy with his relatives, and their appreciation of his personal worth and the many services rendered by him to his church.


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The Witness - Friday, 11 January 1918


CHARLTON--SHIELDS -- December 26, at Railway Street Presbyterian Church, Lisburn, by Captain Rev. A. Gibson, B.A., B.D., Clement John Charlton, of Market Street, Lurgan, to Sarah Elinor (Sadie), elder daughter of the late Wm. Shields and Mrs. Shields, Lurgan.

DALE--M'ILROY -- January 3, at Castleton Presbyterian Church, Belfast, by the Rev. H. C. Wilson, assisted by the Rev. A. P. Black, Edward Dale, B.A., Inspector of National Schools, Killarney, son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Dale, Castledawson, to Esther M'Ilroy, M.A., daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John M'Ilroy, Tullynamullen, Ballymena.

M'IVOR--SURGENOR -- January 3, at Third Presbyterian Church, Portglenone, by the Rev. W. F. Shepherd, B.A., B.D., George Weightfield, third son of Mr. Thomas M'Ivor, Gortagowan, Co. Tyrone, to Mary Jane, youngest daughter of the late James Surgenor, Killycoogan, Co. Antrim.

M'NUTT--CAMPBELL -- January 1, 1918, at Ballygilbert Presbyterian Church, by Rev. W. J. M'Farland, B.A., assisted by Rev. John Heney, B.D., and Rev. W. J. Hanson, the Rev. William M'Nutt, Hillhall Manse, Lisburn, Chaplain to the Forces, to Louise, elder daughter of the late William Campbell and Mrs. Campbell, Sibmister, Castletown, Caithness.


DICKSON -- January 3, 1918, at her residence, "The Kennels," Ballymiscaw, Dundonald, Maggie Dickson, eldest daughter of the late William Benaugh Dickson, formerly of Ballygowan, Rathfriland. Interred in the City Cemetery, Saturday, January 5, 1918. "Forever with the Lord."

M'DOWELL -- January 9, 1918, at his residence, Hopefield, Carrickfergus, William J. M'Dowell, late Agent Carrickfergus Station, M.R., N.C.C. His remains will be removed from his late residence for interment in St. Nicholas' Churchyard, Carrickfergus, on to-day (Friday), at three o'clock, p.m.
    "What though in lonely grief I sigh
     For friends beloved no longer nigh,
     Submissive still would I reply,
     'Father, Thy will be done.'"
Ellen M'Dowell.

ABRAHAM -- January at his residence, Ashfield, Ardmore, Lurgan, Henry Abraham.

BARNETT -- January 9, at his late residence, Ballydonaghy, Crumlin, Robert Barnett.

BARR -- January 6, at Purdysburn, Matthew Barr, only son of the late William Barr, Ballykine.

CHESNEY -- January 5, at the Cottage Hospital, Ballymena, Annie M., only and dearly-beloved daughter of David Chesney, Kilcurry.

CLARKE -- January 8, at the residence of her grandfather, John M'Kee, 12, Thomas Street, Armagh, Frances Henrietta, younger daughter of the late Francis Henry Clarke.

CLELAND -- January 8, at her residence, Downpatrick Street, Crossgar, Mary Jane Cleland, relict of the late William Cleland.

COOPER -- January 7, at her residence, 73, Dufferin Avenue, Bangor, Jane Corry Cooper, the dearly-beloved wife of Patrick Cooper.

DUNCAN -- January 8, at his residence, 7, Toronto Terrace, Belfast, George Alexander Duncan (late of Lisburn).

EWART -- January 8, at his father's residence, Stranmore Road, Gilford, Frederick (Fred), third surviving son of Robert and Mary Ewart.

HAMILTON -- January 8, at Liverpool, Captain John G. Hamilton, second surviving son of John Hamilton, Church Avenue, Holywood.

HAMMOND -- January 9, at 34, Princetown Road, Bangor, William E. Cooper, youngest son of Warrant-Officer George Hammond, A.O.C.

M'CLELLAND -- January 6, at his residence, The Glebe, Annahilt, Hillsborough, Joseph, youngest and dearly-beloved son of John M'Clelland.

M'CLUAN -- January 5, at her father's residence, Drumlough, Hillsborough, Caroline Millar, elder daughter of Andrew M'Cluan.

M'KEE -- January 4, at Whitehall, Drumawhey, Newtownards, Hugh M'Kee.

NESBITT -- January 5, at Fernhurst, Randalstown, Ethel, the dearly-beloved wife of C. V. H. Nesbitt, M.D.

REA -- January 4, at Rathbeg, Dunadry, Mary Anne, widow of the late James Rea.

RENTON -- January 8, at his father's residence, High Street, Antrim, George, youngest and beloved son of Robert and Ellen Renton.

STEWART -- January 8, at Moneydarragh, Annalong, James Stewart.

TODD -- January 5, at her residence, Moss Road, Ballyclare, Sarah Todd.

TWIGG -- January 3, at Northland Row, Dungannon, Jane, widow of the late William Twigg, M.B.

WATSON -- January 3, at her residence, Killinchy Woods, Crossgar, Mary, widow of the late William Watson.



Death of Mrs. M. M'C. Wallace,

On Sabbath morning Rev. Wm. Smyth referred in touching language to the great loss sustained by the church and the community in the lamented and early decease of this truly pious and public-spirited lady, wife of Dr. Samuel Wallace, Coroner, Lisbane, Co. Down. Mrs. Wallace was the second surviving daughter of the late Rev. Alexander M'Creery, D.D., the well known minister for over fifty years of the Second Presbyterian Church of Killyleagh. In her youth Mrs. Wallace was her father's right hand in every good work in his church. Her influence was specially seen in the flourishing Y.W.C.A., which she carried on in her father's congregation. After her marriage, on coming to reside in the Killinchy neighbourhood, she entered whole-heartedly the life and activities of her church. When money was required for improvement of the church property and the local school she gave herself unweariedly to the task of raising funds, and her success was very marked indeed. When the leadership of the Y.W.C.A. fell vacant, at the unanimous request of the members, who knew well her qualification for the position, she undertook the arduous work of carrying on this helpful association. For many years the society has prospered exceedingly under her wise guidance. The sense of loss amongst the members is now very great, and they feel how much they owe to her self-denying labours. The Church has lost a loyal and devoted member, and her association a gifted spiritual guide and friend. But the greatest loss has fallen upon the bereaved home. To Dr. Wallace, his three children, and Mrs. J. H. Dickson, Ballygowan (her only surviving sister), the deepest sympathy of the whole neighbourhood is evoked.


County Derry Minister's Marriage.

An interesting ceremony took place on Wednesday morning in Clifton Street Presbyterian Church, Belfast, when the Rev. Samuel Thompson, M.A., united in matrimony Rev. Matthew Majury, B.A., B.D., First Garvagh Presbyterian Church, and late assistant to the Rev. Samuel Lindsay, B.A., Crescent Church, and Miss Florence Stuart, younger daughter of Mr. James Stuart and Mrs. Stuart, Armagh. The bride, who was given away by her father, was unattended. She wore a coat frock of nigger gabardine, with skunk furs -- the present of the bridegroom -- and an elephant grey velvet hat, trimmed with fur. The groomsman was Mr. Thos. Montgomery, B.A., medical student at the Queen's University, Belfast. Mr. and Mrs. Majury are both well known and esteemed in the city, and their friends wish them every j- happiness.


Rev. A. Wylie Blue's Bereavement

Deep and widespread sympathy will be felt for Rev. A. Wylie Blue, minister of May Street Presbyterian Church, on the death of his mother, the widow of the late Mr. Wm. Blue, of Campbeltown, which has taken place at the residence of her son at 38, Wellington Park. Mrs. Blue was a lady of gracious charm and personality, beloved of all who came within the circle of her acquaintances for her many gifts and graces. Her death will occasion feelings of the deepest sorrow, and the respectful condolences of his great host of admirers will go out to the May Street pastor. The remains were removed yesterday afternoon for interment in Scotland, the funeral from Wellington Park to the Midland Railway being very largely attended.


Death of Mr. Wm. J. M'Dowell, Carrickfergus.

The death occurred on Wednesday evening of Mr. William J. M'Dowell, late station agent at Carrickfergus. The late Mr. M'Dowell was for almost forty years station-master at Carrickfergus, where he succeeded the late Mr. William Getty. He was a faithful and conscientious official, and highly respected in the service. He retired a few years ago, and latterly resided at Hopefield. He was a member of the Carrickfergus Urban District Council, and also of the Larne Board of Guardians, and was a regular attender at the meetings. A member of the First Presbyterian Church, he took an active interest in the work of the congregation, and was particularly identified with the Sustentation Fund. He was predeceased several years ago, by his wife, and leaves no family, a sister and niece being left to mourn his loss.


Random Readings.


Miss Jane Morgan, daughter of Mr. J. Pierpont Morgan, who has just been married, is in her twenty-fifth year. She will inherit a large share of the 40,000,000 left to her father by the late Mr. Pierpont Morgan, with whom she was always a great favourite. Some time ago an American astrologer was asked to cast her horoscope, and he declared that an extraordinary destiny was in store for her. Since then Miss Morgan has been guarded as jealously as any Royal princess, and prior to the outbreak of war spent most of her time at sea on the Corsair, one of the largest private yachts in the world.


In the training of young American officers at a special camp in France (says a correspondent) each company is split into two classes of about seventy-five men each, and to facilitate identification in instruction, every man wears a broad band ribbon around his service hat, these ribbons denoting the particular branch of warfare in which he is specialising -- for there are special as well as general classes. Machine-gun-to-be-specialists wear a yellow ribbon, hand-grenade mem an orange, rifle-grenade men a red, bayonet experts a white, liquid-fire men a blue, and so on; while the good, old-fashioned, tried, and true American riflemen have a band of green.


These small rodents are very troublesome. In old houses they are especially so. Mice dis-like the smell of camphor, and if lumps of it are placed in of near their haunts they will depart. Camphor water also may be used with advantage: but no food should be placed where camphor is for the odour will be communicated. Newly-ground red pepper may be put into the holes and near the places frequented by mice. The pepper burns the feet and noses of the pests, and they wisely withdraw. This method should be tried in larders. Both rats and mice detest the odour of tar, but this remedy is too drastic to bo used indiscriminately near inhabited rooms, for the smell of tar is very penetrating, and not soon dispersed. It has been suggested that bird-lime would make a good trap for mice if spread on boards and placed near their runs. It is illegal to catch birds by this means, but mice are lawful prey. Bird-lime is quite innocuous, being made of linseed oil boiled down until sufficiently adhesive for the purpose indicated. All food is precious, and must be protected from the creatures which either eat it or spoil it for our own consumption. Some years ago, when living in Devonshire, we were much plagued by rats. They did incalculable mischief, and we were advised to trap a rat alive, smear it with gas tar, and then release it. It proved a most effective remedy, and for a considerable time afterwards not a rat was seen nor even heard.


The wild gypsies of Galicia use cakes as love-letters. A coin is baked into the cake, which at the first opportunity is flung to the favoured object, The retention of this is looked upon as a virtual "acceptance;" its forcible return, an intimation that the "attentions" are undesired. Amongst an Indian tribe a rather pretty courtship custom obtains. At the annual "love-feast" a girl will hide a pitcher by the reed's near the river, and then, pointing towards the youth with whom she is in love, she will whisper, "Fair youth, find." If the maiden seems as fair to him as he to her, he searches, finds, and places the pitcher on her head, and the two are husband and wife. Among the semi-savage tribes in the Arabian desert, the lover tries to sieze the girl while she is pasturing her father's flocks. She pelts him with mud, sticks, and stones, and will be held in lifelong repute if she succeeds in wounding hom. Once driven into her father's tent, the lover is reckoned to have won her, and the betrothal is proclaimed. The Eskimo smitten one goes one bet.ter, inasmuch as he marches openly and without any beating about the bush to his loved one's abode, seizes her by her long, strong hair or her fur garments, and drags her to his lair of ice or tent of skin. The maiden of Burmah lights a "love-lamp" in her window when the desired one passes at night, and if he be willing, he speedily conveys the glad information to her. When the Sumatra girl has reached twenty-five -- and her life up to then has been passed in strict seclusion -- and no one has come to ask for her hand, she attends to the matter in her own way, dresses in red, and goes out twice a day, until successful, to find a husband. A remarkable custom prevails among the Dyaks of Borneo. When one of them would woo the maiden of his heart he chivalrously helps her in the hardest portion of her uneasy daily toil. If she smiles upon him, ever so sweetly, he does not immediately respond, but waits until the next dark night. Then he steals to her house, and lightly wakens her as she lies beside her sleeping parents. The parents, if they approve, make no sign, but sleep on -- or pretend to. If the girl accepts, she rises, and takes from her lover the betel and sweet meats he has brought her. That seals their betrothal, and he departs as he came, neither speaking nor being spoken to.


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The Witness - Friday, 18 January 1918


MAGILL -- January 12, at Corglass Manse, Bailieboro', the wife of the Rev. J. A. Magill, of a daughter.


COULTER--BERRY -- December 27, 1917, at Ballyshannon Presbyterian Church, by Rev. A. Maginnes, William J. Martin Coulter, Solicitor, Councillor Clontarf West, 200, Great Brunswick Street, Dublin, and 6, Fitzwilliam Terrace, Rathmines, to Meta, only daughter of Mr. and Mrs. A. W. Berry, Bundoran.

GRAHAM--HUNTER -- January 9, at Union Road Presbyterian Church, Magherafelt, by the Rev. W. J. Hanson, assisted by Rev. R. M'Cammon, Rev. James Graham, B.A., Corvalley, son of William Graham, Fruit Vale, Hillsborough, to Frances Mary Hunter, A.T.C.L., elder daughter of Dr. Hunter, Laurel Villa, Magherafelt. At Home, Corvalley Manse, February 8th.

MAJURY--STUART -- January 9, at Clifton Street Presbyterian Church, Belfast, by Rev. Samuel Thompson, M.A., Rev. Matthew Majury, B.A., B.D., First Garvagh, seventh son of James and Mrs. Majury, Tullynacree, Co. Down, to Florence, younger daughter of James and Mrs. Stuart, Armagh.


BALLANCE -- January 4, Susan, beloved sister of Jane and Sarah Ballance, 10, High Street, Lurgan. Interred in the family burying-ground, Tandragee. "Gone to be with Christ, which is far better."

ALLEN -- At San Francisco, California (the result of an accident), John, only and dearly- beloved son of Robert and Mary Allen, Bangor, late of Carnmoney.

BAIRD -- January 10, 1918, Mary Ann Baird, 124, Fitzroy Avenue, Belfast, widow of the late Robert Baird, Whitechurch, Ballywalter.

BARBER -- January 10, at Globe, Arizona, U.S.A., Grace, wife of the Rev. G. Sydney Barber, and fourth daughter of the late James Stewart, Moneydarragh, Annalong.

BEGGS -- January 10, at his residence, 40, Westmoreland Street, Andrew Beggs (formerly of Harryville, Ballymena).

BEST -- January 11, at Cushenard House, Richhill, Co. Armagh, Mary Florence Best, second daughter of the late Francis James Best, J.P., and Mrs. Best.

BLAIR -- January 5, at Calhame, Strabane, Margaret, third daughter of the late Alexander Blair. Deeply regretted.

BRADFORD -- January 11, at her residence, Craiganee, Magheramorne, Jenny Betty, relict of the late Brice Bradford.

CLAWSON -- January 12, at her residence, 61, Raby Street (late of Beechhill), Margaret, beloved wife of Robert Clawson.

FORSYTHE -- January 11 (suddenly), at his residence, Irishhill, Straid, Edward Forsythe.

HAMILTON -- January 14, at his residence, Tamlaghtmore, Stewartstown, Robert Hamilton, 79 years of age.

HENRY -- January 13, at her residence, 3, Mt. Delphi, Antrim Road (after, a short illness), Elizabeth J. Henry, eldest daughter of the late Isaac Henry, of Fedney, Banbridge.

KAMCKE -- January 13, at 33, High Street, Holywood, Louisa Parker Kamcke, aged 80 years, widow of Louis Alexander Kamcke, of Holywood, and eldest daughter of the late Captain John M'Cutcheon.

LEDLIE -- January 13, at the residence of his nephew, F. B. Small, Island House, Poyntzpass, George Ledlie.

LEE -- January 13, at 79, Dufferin Avenue, Bangor, Co. Down, Mary Morrow, the dearly-beloved wife of James Lightbody.

LUNN -- January 11, at her residence, Ballymacateer, Lurgan, Helena, widow of the late James Lunn.

MALONE -- January 6, at 51, Thorndale Avenue, Lizzie, wife of W. B. Malone.

MATEER -- January 14, at Banoge, Donacloney, John Mateer.

MAWHINNEY -- January 10, at Ernest Terrace, Little Frances Street, Newtownards, James Mawhinney.

MURDOCH -- January 15, at her residence, Avonmore, Antrim Road, Lisburn, Isabella, last surviving daughter of the late William John Murdoch, Hillhall.

M'CULLOUGH -- December 24, at his residence, Main Street, Maguiresbridge, John, the youngest and only surviving son of the late John M'Cullough.

NIBLOCK -- January 11 (suddenly), at her father's residence, Bentra, Whitehead, Henrietta (Etta), youngest and much-loved daughter of Samuel Wilson and Lily Niblock.

In Memoriam

MARTIN -- In loving memory. At Edinburgh, on the 16th of January, 1908, Mary Batten Millar Martin, of Eglintoun, Tayport, Fife, widow of the Rev. James Martin, Belfast.
F. P. H.; J. C. M.

M'KELVEY -- In loving memory of Essie M'Kelvey, who departed this life, 17th January, 1917, and was interred in First Ballynahinch Burying-ground.
   "Only a step removed,
      We soon again shall meet
    Our own, our dearly-loved
      Around the Saviour's feet."
Inserted by her loving Parents, Brothers, and Sisters. Glassdrummond, Ballynahinch.


Mrs. WILLIAM BARR and Family desire to express their most sincere thanks to the many Friends who have sympathised with them m their recent sad bereavement. Ballykine, Ballynahinch.


Random Readings


An interesting feature of Chinese industry is the making of knives and razors from old horseshoes. The local blacksmiths in the cities and towns of the interior supply the great population of the Empire with knives, razors, and scissors of an inferior quality at a very small cost. This cutlery is chiefly made from old horseshoes imported from England and the Continent. A discarded steel shoe offers the best material for blades, but the blacksmiths prefer the old shoes of soft iron that come from Glasgow and Hamburg. One British firm at Tien-tsin brought over a cargo of old horseshoes from Australia some years ago, but could not dispose of them, as the native smiths said that the iron was too hard. They like the soft iron, because it can be more easily worked by their primitive methods. A razor commonly used by the poorer class, having a cutting edge of less than two inches, costs about 4½d in English currency. Sharpened upon a strop, the blade takes a fair cutting edge, but is too soft to hold it. A great number of strappings are necessary before the act of shaving can be completed. After the blades are forged they are merely case-hardened.


Japan is the only country which gives recognition to flowers in the issues of its postage stamps. These have been portrayed upon stamps by many countries, especially by those situated in the tropics, but it is only upon the stamps of Japan that a flower appears. The chrysanthemum, the national flower of Japan, is given a conspicuous place upon all the postage stamps issued by the Government. Japan, moreover, is the only country which has ever issued a "wedding postage stamp." Some seven or eight years ago, when the heir-apparent was married, a special stamp in honour of the event was issued by order of the Emperor. This stamp is nearly twice as large as that of the United States, and bright red in colour. Within a large oval is shown a table, at which sit the bride and bridegroom. On each corner of the table are branches of pine, the evergreen signifying the unchangeableness of wedded affection. Upon the table-cover are depicted several cranes, which are said to be typical of a thousand years of existence. This is one of the few stamps issued by the Japanese Government which do not have the denominations in both Japanese and English. These stamps are becoming scarce, as they are eagerly sought after by collectors.


Henry T. Finck, musical critic of the New York "Evening Post," not only knows good music, but is said also to understand thoroughly the delights of good cooking. Here is something from his pen:-- "A few weeks ago, in commenting on the superabundance of singers and players, I said that in most cases it does not pay to be a musical debutante, and asked -- 'Why not rather be something else -- a good fancy cook, for instance? In writing that, I knew very well that none of the thousands of girls and youths who are preparing to enter the musical arena would take my advice kindly. They all consider themselves far above the level of cooks, on whom they look down, as even many factory and shop girls do. As a matter of fact, it takes infinitely more brains, taste, and skill to be a good cook than a factory or shop girl -- or a musician like the average debutante that appears in our concert halls. Surely we have a good start toward making cooking as honourable an art as music. If nine-tenths of the musical debutantes gave up their hopeless ambitions and helped to improve the health and comfort of families that are eager to engage lady cooks, properly trained, they would greatly improve their own health and comfort, too. There is drudgery in cooking, to be sure, as in everything else but even dish-washing is a picnic compared with the awful bore of daily scale playing, to which even Paderewski has to submit to this day."


It seemed nothing short of a miracle that accompanied the return of a family Bible that a Chicago mail order concern had shipped to a customer in West Africa, a year ago. Yet it arrived in the United States not so very long ago, and, though somewhat water-soaked, and otherwise showing the effects of its experiences, the treasured volume is now being exhibited in several cities in this country. A customer in Sierra Leone, West Africa, desired a family Bible. It made a package of eleven pounds, and was shipped by express to Liverpool, for subsequent shipment by a local agent, to Africa, by the English parcels post. Nothing was heard from it, until the Sierra Leone customer inquired about it three months later, saying it had not arrived. The Chicago mail order house at once sent another copy, explaining the sending of the first. They did not know what had happened to the original shipment, until it came back to Chicago, water-soaked, but still in readable condition. Then it was learned that the Bible had been put in a mail bag carried on the ill-fated steamer Falaba. When the ship was destroyed a few miles off the British coast, the mail bag was apparently torn open and the package thrown free of the wreckage. It is known that it floated to shore off the coast of Scotland and that a fisherman spied the strange object and picked it up. His search for marks of identification was not without result and as the wrapper bore the Liverpool agent's name and address, the Scotchman returned it to that office, and it was then sent back to America. The Bible is indeed a most impressive sight, and from its adventures many a lesson can be drawn. By a strange vagary of fate, the Sierra Leone customer never received even the second volume, for when it reached his address the customer had died.


Military Honours.

Captain Robert Alexander Tougher, Army Service Corps, son of the High Sheriff of Belfast, and Mrs. Tougher, Danesfort, Annadale Avenue, Belfast, is mentioned in despatches by General Sir Edmund Allenby for distinguished service in connection with the military operations in Palestine. Capt. Tougher was educated at the Royal Academical Institution and Queen's University of Belfast, where he graduated in 1914, and before the declaration of war he was studying for the Bar. He served in England with the 33rd Divisional Train, and in July, 1915, was sent to the Dardanelles, where he took part, in the memorable Suvla Bay landing and subsequent operations on the peninsula. He was invalided to Alexandria, and on recovery he joined the Egyptian Expeditionary Force, in which he commands a camel transport company.

Second-Lieutenant (T/Lt.) George Martin Lees, R.G.A. and R.F.C., the younger son of Mr. and Mrs. G. M. Lees, Rathgar, Dublin, has been awarded the Military Cross. From the "London Gazette" of January 8th, it is noted that the award is "for conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty on numerous occasions. His Work has been invaluable both when engaged in ranging batteries on hostile trenches and in making daring and valuable reconnaissances at low altitudes over the enemy's trenches. On at least two occasions while on photographic duty he was attacked by superior numbers of the enemy, one of whom he shot down and dispersed the remainder, returning from his flight with a number of successful exposures. All his work has been of this high order." Mr. G. Martin Lees was educated at St. Andrew's College, Dublin, whose roll of honour contains 604 names, and of these forty have won the Military Cross.


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The Witness - Friday, 25 January 1918


HOUSTON -- January 19, at Letterbratt House, Plumbridge, the wife of James Houston, Esq., Auctioneer -- a son.


STEVENSON--LOGAN -- January 15, 1918, at Shanghai, Rev. Owen Stevenson, China Inland Mission, to Mina Logan, M.A., Canadian Presbyterian Mission, Changtehfu, Honan, youngest daughter ot the late Rev. M. Logan, Gortin, Co. Tyrone, and of the late Mrs. Logan, 13, Dunluce Avenue; Belfast.


BERKELEY -- January 23, 1918, at her residence, Nurferyville, Comber, Margaret Berkeley. Funeral private.

FULTON -- January 23, at his residence, Lismore, Portadown, John Chisholm Fulton, J.P. Funeral to Lurgan Presbyterian Burying-ground to-morrow (Saturday), at eleven o'clock. No flowers, by request.

LEGG -- December, 17, 1917, Mary, wife of J. Archibald Legg, 79, Iona Road, Dublin, and only daughter of James McConnell, 203, North Circular Road, Dublin. Interred in St. George's Burial-ground, Dublin, January 23, 1918.

DALZELL -- January 18, at Cunningburn, Maggie, eldest surviving daughter of Andrew Dalzell.

HAGAN -- January 17, Mary Allen, beloved wife of George B. Hagan, Rathcoole, Monkstown.

HEMMINGTON -- January 17, at 39, Castle Street, Lisburn, Ann Hemmington, dearly-beloved sister of Mrs John Sinton, of Ravarnette, Lisburn.

HILL -- January 21 (suddenly), at his residence, St. Catherine's, Milbush, Carrickfergus, John Hill, late of Shannonstown.

HOLMES -- January 22, at her residence, Clonrole, Portadown, Letitia, second daughter of the late Thomas Holmes.

HOUSTON -- January 18, at her residence, 10, Ria Street, M. J. (Mamie), the beloved wife of John Houston. Deeply regretted by the members of the family and a very wide circle of friends. JOHN HOUSTON.

HYDE -- January 18, at her residence, Breagh, Birches, Porta-down, Margaret, relict of the late George Hyde.

LEEBURN -- December 20, 1917, at her residence, 1,255, M'Neilly Avenue, Pittsburg, Martha, the eldest and much-loved sister of Wm. C. Leeburn, Sandymount, Carnmoney. "To die is gain."

LITTLE -- January 19, at his residence, Castlelugge, Greenisland, Stuart S. Little.

M'CRACKEN -- January 17, at the residence of his son-in-law, Robert Holland, Innishargie, Kirkcubbin, Robert M'Cracken (formerly of' Dunover).

M'GIFFIN -- January 22, at Riverside, Holywood, Mary Johnstone, widow of the late John M'Giffin.

M'LEAN -- January 21, at 7, Mill Street, Newtownards, Eleanor (Ellie), youngest and dearly-loved daughter of Anne Jane M'Lean.

M'NEILL -- January 22, at his brother's residence, Carnamuck, Castlereagh, Robert S. T. (Bertie), second and dearly-loved son of Robert M'Neill.

NEILL -- January 18, at his residence, Curragh, Killinchy, James Neill.

REA -- January 17, at Lisowen House, Listooder, Crossgar, after a lingering illness borne with Christian fortitude, David Simpson, second son of David S and Sarah Rea.

REA -- January 18, at his residence, Belsize, Lisburn, John Rea.

ROSS -- January 18, at his residence, Springmount, Glarryford, Hamilton Ross, J.P.

RUSSELL -- December 5, 1917, at Portage La Prairie, Manitoba, Samuel Marcus Russell, Chinese Customs Service, late of Imperial College, Peking, and of Hendon, London, second son of the late Rev. W. A. Russell, Strabane, Co. Tyrone, Ireland. Foreign and Colonial papers please copy.

In Memoriam

MONTGOMERY -- In loving memory of the late Rev. Robert Montgomery, the founder of Great Victoria Street Presbyterian Church, manse, and schools, and for thirty-seven years the faithful and devoted minister of the congregation, who died on January 24th, 1897. M. MONTGOMERY.

REID -- In loving memory of our dear mother, Elizabeth Reid, who departed this life on January 25, 1916, and interred in the family burying-ground, Seaforde.
" 'Tis sweet to know we'll meet again,
     Where partings are no more,
  And that the one we dearly loved
     Has only gone before."
Ever remembered by her loving Sons and Daughters.


Lieutenant Hugh Bell Fisher, officially reported killed on 10th November last, has now written to his mother, Dr. Elizabeth Bell, at College Gardens, Belfast, from Limburg, under date 21st November, stating that he is wounded and a prisoner of war. Lieutenant Fisher is a native of Newry, and before the war was a student at the Queen's University, Belfast.


Military Honours for Tyrone family

Lieut.-Hugh Campbell Has been awarded the Military Cross for conspicuous bravery and skilful handling of his men, and for important work successfully performed in the operations at Cambrai. He had previously won the D.C.M. in April, 1916. Sapper James Campbell, R.E., was awarded the Military Medal for distinguished bravery and demotion to duty Under heavy fire in the Somme offensive. These young men held lucrative positions in a large shipyard in Newcastle, and both volunteered when the war broke out. Samuel Campbell, who has been serving for over a year with the Canadians, was wounded four times, and is at present in hospital in Oxford. Thos. Campbell, who volunteered at the outbreak of war, is in training with the Canadians. The oldest brother, Second-Lieutenant William Campbell, Middlesex Comp. Signal Officer, was killed while engaged signalling in operations at Passchendaele. He had seen active service throughout the greater part of the Boer war. He filled an important position in the Telegraph Engineering Department, London. These five young men are sons of Mr. John Campbell, Minaduff, Gortin, Co. Tyrone. Tyrone may well be proud of such loyal and heroic sons.


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