Electric light battle rages in Frankston

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JOHN Ditchburn, managing director Frankston and District Gas and Electric Company, acknowledging receipt of Council’s letter of 6th October in regard to electrification of public lamps in Frankston, pointing out there is no obligation on his company to supply current except under the terms of the agreement between the parties. 

His company was quite prepared to undertake this work as soon as they have an agreement with the Council for a period of years. 

It would be necessary to provide a separate current for the public lamps, and this would involve an outlay of at least. £100. 

He had already suggested that a sub-committee of the Council be appointed to deal with this matter to discuss details. 

He also pointed out that electric lighting companies need not supply current to a lamp which is situated more than 75 yards from the distributing main, except under special arrangement. 

The location of present lamps and their proximity to mains, and of any, could not well be discussed by letter. 

In regard to the immediate extension of the electric lighting system to Somerville and Hastings, his company was not prepared to undertake the work owing to the increase in the present estimate in carrying out the work, as against earlier estimates, made at the time these towns were included in the Order-in-Council.

They were, however, prepared to consider a proposal for the excision from the Order of the area comprising these towns in favour of the Council. 

Also a supply by the company of electric current in bulk should the Council be disposed to undertake the work itself. 

In regard to continuance of the present gas lighting system, owing to the high cost of renewals due to the condition of the lanterns, the company could not see its way to accept a rate of £4 per lamp per annum until the new electric lighting contract can be arranged.

The secretary said the Order in-Council was dated April, 1916, and was to continue in force for a period of thirty years.

Cr. Oates: After ten years the Council has the right to purchase at a valuation.

Cr. Mason moved that the whole of the Council, together with the engineer and the shire solicitor, be a committee to go into the lighting question at an early date to be arranged with Mr. Ditchburn.

Cr. Howell thought the Council should meet the shire solicitor first to see how they stood. The company had already been advised that the penalties would be enforced if the agreement was not carried out by 1st January, 1920. 

The company had advised the Seaford Progress Association that it held the sole rights over Seaford, and that no other company could come in. 

Yet they proposed to abandon their agreement as regards Somerville and Hastings. They wanted all the fat, and none of the lean.

Cr. Armstrong supported the motion to go into the matter at once and get a definite, understanding.

Cr. Latham thought it important that the Council should confer with its solicitor. If there was a proper agreement, why not bind the company to it? If the company agreed to do certain things, it should be compelled to carry them out.

Cr. Griffeth said the Order-in-Council could be revoked. The legal aspect had to be ascertained.

Cr. Mason agreed to amend the resolution in the direction indicated by Cr. Howell, and the motion was carried

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A DANCE under the auspices of the Frankston branch of the Returned Soldiers Association will be held on Saturday night, 20th December.

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NEXT Sunday afternoon the Frankston Brass Band will play outside, opposite the Pier Tea House from 3 o’clock till 4 30.

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XMAS Treat – In response to an invitation from the Frankston School Committee the mothers of the children attended a meeting on Thursday afternoon, for the purpose of taking steps to give the youngsters a Christmas treat before break-up of the school.

The following ladies were elected a Committee – Mesdames Johns, (chair) Purdy, (secretary) Whitehead, Arthur, Wells, Norris, Croskell, Scarborough, and Misses Tulloch, McHugh, Gale and McFarlane. 

Mr Mark Brody outlined the intentions of the school committee and the head master supplied details. 

It was decided that a grand Christmas Tree be loaded with 240 presents, and that the children be regaled with cakes and good things.

Mrs Purdy generously accepted the arduous position of purchaser of the presents, and the ladies of the Committee, the task of collecting. 

Mr Brody was enthusiastically elected to act an ancient and generous part on the occasion which will be held at 3 o’clock at the school on Thursday 18th December.

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MEMBERS of the Frankston Show committee are requested to attend a meeting at the Mechanics’ Hall next Tuesday night at 8 o‘clock.

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FRANKSTON sports – A meeting of the committee was held on Wednesday evening, (Mr T. J. McMurtrie in the chair). 

There was a large attendance and details in connection with New Years Day Sports received attention

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A MEETING of the tennis club’s supporters was held in Mechanic’s Institute, Frankston, on Wednesday, 10th inst. 

There was a fair attendance, and plenty of enthusiasm was shown in the desire to reorganise the club. 

Officers were elected, and steps taken to put the courts in order. 

A credit balance is in hand, and when the membership roll is an accomplished fact, there will be as good a club as ever. 

Intending members are asked to enroll with the honorary secretary, Mrs C. Dalman, Bay Street. 

Subscriptions are due on 1st January, and payable not later than 31st, for yearly subscribers. 

Visitors fees are payable in advance.

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DENTISTRY – Mr F. N. Fairs, wishes to thank his many patients for their support during the last seven years, and wishes to intimate that he has sold his Somerville connection to Mr A. Lisle, who will visit Somerville every Tuesday.

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A PLEASING function took place at Osborne House on Monday evening when members of the Frankston Presbyterian Church met to say farewell to Mrs Cowan, Miss Cowan and Mr. Cowan. 

Miss Cowan, who has officiated as organist for some time was presented by the Minister, Mr Brodie, on behalf of the congregation, with a handsome suit case (inscribed) and handbag. 

He referred to the valuable services rendered by her in church work and particularly as organist. 

The departure from the district of the guests would be greatly regretted. 

A splendid programme was submitted, the following contributing to the harmony of the evening.

Miss McCelland, Miss Bradbury, Miss Tulloch and Miss Feltman, Messrs Thomas, Carrol, Cowan Mellor, Norris and Brodie.

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CORONER’S Enquiry – The enquiry into the circumstances attending the recent motor fatality at Frankston has been adjourned owing to the illness of a witness.

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FROM the pages of the Mornington Standard, 12 December 1919

First published in the Frankston Times – 9 December 2019

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