An article in The Portland Guardian on September 16, 1904, made me smile. Today, when politicians of all levels of government are questioned about the frequency of their overseas trips or their questionable expenses, the concerns of the Guardian seem humble in comparison. Also, the tone of the article may have been different if an invitation had been offered to the Editor to take part in what was titled “The Riding Party”.
In an earlier edition of the Guardian, it had been reported that the local Councillors had set off on horseback and buggy that day, with the intent to inspect a road and also Grant Bay, not far south of the town. The Guardian found out later that the real reason for the outing was to hunt rabbits.
Another article that caught my eye was that of the “Sparrow Match”. The Narrawong Gun club had organised the match at the cricket ground and there was a large attendance.
A story on the Penshurst Gun Club by Phillip Doherty for the Mt Rouse & District Historical Society shed some light on this activity. Sparrow catchers collected the birds for the gun clubs and on the day, they were released and shot for sport. This was also done with starlings and pigeons. The introduced birds had become pests and this was seen as killing two birds with one stone, so
The sighting of a starling in the Portland area was also mentioned in the Guardian of September 16.