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A branch of the Q.N. Bank is now open at Howard. The B.I.S.N. Company's steamer Roma, from Brisbane, left Suez on Monday for London.

A Bundaberg paper states that Mr. W. B. O'Connell is to be invited to stand for Mus grave at the approaching eleotion. Numerous burglaries have been committed in Townsville lately, and the looal ironmongers are said to be doing a brisk business in looks, bolts, and bars. Tenders are invited by the Under Secretary for Works and Mines for the erection of • Post and Telegraph Office at Baroaldine, and for new police quarters at Blackall. It is the intention of Sir Anthony Musgrave to visit Sydney at the time of the celebration of the centenary of the British occupation of Aus tralia, and it is understood that he will be the guest of Lord Carrington. The Railway Department have reoeivod in formation that a quantity of ballast has been fonnd upon the railway line at the five-mile peg from Cairns, evidently placed there with the object of causing an accident. The following persons died in the Benevolent Asylum, Dunwich, during the week ending 10th December:—Alfred King, labourer, native of London, England; Job Dawes, labourer, native of Gloucester, England. The were 471 inmates in the Asylum at dato of last report. Tho following is a copy of a telegram dated 19th instant, from Aramac, to the Under Secretary for Public Lands:—" Ninety-nine thousand acres oppliod for here. You will have seen splendid supply of water struck at Barcaldine bore. (Signed) R. F. Lewis, Aoting Land Commissioner." The contract with Messrs. Springall and Frost, North Ipswich, for the construction of twenty-five mixed locomotives, at the prioes and under the conditions accepted by tho suooessful tenderers for fifty locomotives—Messrs. Evans, Anderson, Phelan, and Co.—has boen approved of. The estimated cost is £57,170. The Ezeoutive Commissioners for the Mel bourne Centennial International Exhibition desire to reoeive on or before the Ist February, 1888, original poems of about fifty lines, suitable as an opening cantata. Honorariums of fifty and twenty guineas respectively will be given to the authors of the first and second selected. Tho poems will become the property of the commissioners. The following persons have been adjudioated insolvent dnring the week: —James Stewart Qcekie, bootmaker, of Bulimba; Clark Bros, and Rook*, squatters, of Brisbane; Meredith Lipfloombe, produce merchant, Charters Towers; Alfred Modiui, carpenter, South Brisbane; Charles Rudolph Lou, bootmaker, South Brisbane; Thomas Townsend, bootmaker, Logan-road; Christian Johansen, green grocer, of South Brisbane. Subdivision No. 2 is to be excised from the Bulimba Division, and constituted a separate division to be called Kianawah, with a board of six members. The remaining two subdivisions of Bulimba are to have six members each. This separation has taken place in response to a petition to the Governnent. Then is another petition from residents in the division praying that No. 1 subdivision may be constituted a ■hire oouncil. Any counter • petition to this petition cannot be pat in later than 16th February. The following lands will he open for selection on and after 6th February, 1888:—In the Ipswich land agent's district: 394 acres and 22J acres, parish of Goolman, asunsurveyed lands for agricultural farms. IntheCharle ville land agent's district, under the 44th section of the Land Act of 1884 : Two portions of 20,000 acres each from Oakwood run re sumption for grazing farms; also four portions (surveyed) from 14,460 mores up to 20,000 acres each from Oakwood run. In the Cunnamulla land agent's district: Four portions (surveyed) for grazing farms from Noorama run resump tion, 18,600 to 20,000 acres each. A special meeting of the Cleveland Divi visional Board was held at the board's office on Saturday last for the purpose of opening tenders for twenty-six chains (more or less) of clearing, forming, filling, gravelling, and putting in one culvert and one box drain in Shore-street. The members present were: Messrs. W. Ross (chairman), W. R. Kefford, and P. Horisk. The following tenders were received, namely:—J. TVillard, £91 9s. 6d., twelve weeks ; W. Helmholtz, £85 145., twelve weeks; C. Cross well, £83, twelvo weeks; Langdon and Pitt, £73, ten weeks. On the motion of Mr. Horisk, seconded by Mr. Kef ford, it was agreed that Messrs. Langdon and Pitt's tender be accepted. Mr. J. W. Tighe, the blind teacher, arrived in Brisbane on the loth instant hale and hearty, from his annual Northern trip. Ho has been absent from Brisbane about fifteen week*, during which time he has visited almost all the towns and centres of population as far north as Cooktown, and to a considerable distance Inland. Ho has been received with great kindness, and after paying his travelling ex penses has banked about £240 to the mainte nance fund of the school. He has visited the blind as far as possible, exchanging books, and otherwise giving them instruction and en couragement. During his absence the school has been carried on by his brother, assisted by Mr. Stewart, the hon. secretary. Patrick O'Rourke, a drover, was charged at the Police Court on Tuesday with neglecting to have a horse properly described in his way bill. It was explained by the police that defendant had travelled from Casino to Bris bane with the horse, but he said as he was " packing "it he did not think it necessary to include it in the way-bill. Mr. Day askel why the error had not been discovered at Beaudesert or Veresdale. Defendant said he hod reported himself there. Mr. Day then :said the polico mast have been guilty of neglect not to notice the omission. Sub inspector Graham said inquiries had been made about the hone, and it was found to be ■defendant's property. There was nothing suspicious about it. Fined 20s. t and 3s. Cd. .costs of court.

Pitaworth is appointed a place at which petty sessions may be held. Bush fires have been raging in various dis tricts in Tasmania, doing considerable damage to fonoing and crops. The contract for the iron and Bteel work for the bridges on tho Mungarr-Gayndah line hau beenaccepted by Tooth and Co. of Marybo rough. It is reported that Mr. C. B. Dutton will seek re-election for the Leiohhardt, and that he will probably be opposed by Mr. Boer, of Ronndstone. George Derrick, chief footman at the Govern ment House, Southport, was drowned whilst bathing in the vicinity of the house on Monday morning. Thomas Champion, a labourer, and sergeant in the Defence Foroe, oommitted suicide on Monday evening at Cooktown by shooting him self through the head witha Martini-Henry rifle. The officer in charge of Border Customs stationed at Boeloota telegraphed to the Col lector of Customs on Monday that Sin. of rain had fallen there since the Ist of November, and there was an appearanoe of a flood. Warden Haldane telegraphed on the 16th in stant from Georgetown to the Under Seoretary for Mines that the previous evening a miner named Charles M. Jones was killed in the Dur ham mine by the fall of a buoket, owing to the snapping of the steel rope close to the shoe pieoe. R. J. (Herberton) writes as follows:—" Insert a line to say that the lady who sent to Mr. Roach the poem by Adam Lindsay Gordon, published in your issue of 2Gth November, is mistaken in supposing that the poem had never appeared in print before, for I remember read ing it in one of the numbers of Temple Bar in the beginning of 1884." The following loans to looal authorities have been approved by the Government:— £2000 to the Toowoomba Municipal Council for the purchase of the site and building of the old School of Arts; £1360 to the Beenleigh Divisional Board towards its share of the cost of rebuilding the bridge over the Albert at Yatala, and £450 to the Waterford Divisional Board for the same purpose. It will be seen from our telegraphic columns that Mr. A. J. Boyd, of Eton School, Nundah, has been appointed head master of the Too- woomba Grammar School. Mr. Boyd has been for many years engaged in the work of teaching in Queensland, having at one time served under the old Board of Education. He will no doubt be popular with the Toowoomba boys, having always been particularly successful in gaining the confidence of his pupils. Telegrams from our special reporter state that the Liunnda arrived at Cardwell at uoon on Wednesday. None of the Ministerial party landed. All were well. Mourilyan was reached at 4 p.m. The visitors landed, and were conveyed through tho sugar plantations on the Johnston River by tramway, and were accompanied by Mr. Nash, proprietor, and Mr. Levinge, the manager of the sugar company. The party returned by the same means, after a very brief visit. The Luoinda arrived at Cooktown on Thursday afternoon, and was to leave again at midnight yesterday (Friday) for Port Douglas and Cairns. The offioers of the Central Telegraph Office, Melbourne, have issued their " Christinas eleotrio greetings" to their friends in the form of a beautifully-designed card. The face bears small landscapes sketched on the globes of ordinary white insulators, and roufld this oharming collection are the names of the officers all legibly printed. The baok bears sketches of Collins-street in 1839 and 1887 ; %fae timiU addressed envelope, with a sketch of the manager (Mr. T. R. James), the Centennial Exhibition building, Sir Redmond Barry's monument, and a pretty little rural bit. The whole affair is in the best possible taste, and is a thoroughly artistic production. Our Stonehenge correspondent, writing on the 2nd instant, says:—" Seven hundred and sixty mixed stores from Savannah Downs passed hereon 26th November, bound for Dubbo for sale, owners De Balis and Smith, Mr. Frunni fleld in charge ; agents, Wheeler, Clarke, and Co. The weather has been showery, and looks rather anpropitious at present. Our annual races are the principal topio at present, and they bid fair to be the best races held at Stone henge ; already there are several racehorses in training near the town, besides numerous horses of fair reputation in training at their owners' places of abode. The subscription list is augmented each day, and our energetic seore tary will have a large surplus on hand at the settling." The sales of Crown lands—town, suburban, and country—for the present month were considerably in excess of those of November, and we are informed that present indications are in favour of the increase being maintained. The sales were as follow:— Brisbane, £1079 25.; Bundaberg, £1316 ; Cook town, £1338; Gympie, £669 10s.; Herberton, £146 10s.; Baroaldine (the proposed terminus of the Central Railway at Longreach), £2474, making a total of £7012 12s. Tho terms were a fourth cash, and the balance at the end of six months, being the conditions under the Lands Amendment Act of 18S6, which gives the Minister for Lands power to extend the pay ment for lands over a period not exceeding twelve months. Thomas Henry. Boddington has been ap pointed Mining Registrar at Gympie in the room of A. H. Zillman, promoted. John Brady has been appointed machinist to the Government Printing Office in theroom of J. Cross, resigned. Senior-constable James Rafter is to be ap pointed aoting registrar of births, deaths, and marriages at Thargomindah, in the room of R. A. Kondrick, transferred. Constable B. Conway and J. Cronan are to be ap pointed inspectors of slaughter-house*, toe former at Rishton, and the latter at Mackay. Constable J. W. Evans is to be an inspector of slaughter-houses at Pentland. Senior-con stable Thos. M'Bride will be acting clerk of petty seesions and inspector of slaughter houses at Ayr, in the room of Sergeant Cahill, transferred. Arthur Thompson is to be a Government agent on the supernumerary staff to accompany Padflo labour vetsali.

A branoh of the Royal Bank has been opened at Maryborough. Good progress is being made in harvesting operations around Warwiok, and muoh of the wheat is already stacked. Mr. Cullon, of tho Harbours and Rivers De partment, will shortly examine the Kolan River with a view to letting a oontraot for snagging. A man named Larry Pidgeon committed suicide at Croydon on Thursday week by shooting himself in the ohest with a revolver. He had been drinking heavily. We learn that if the contractors push for ward the works of the Howard-Bundaberg Railway as rapidly as they promise to do the line will be opened to the public by the middle or end of January. The Chief Inspector of Stock reoeived a tele gram on Monday announcing that the fatal horse disease which carried off so many horses at and around Birdsville two years ago has again broken out there with fatal effect. Mr. J. B. Henderson, hydraulic engineer of the Water Supply Department, was a passen ger on Tuesday afternoon by the Katoomba, en route for Baroaldine, whither he proceeds with a quantity of apparatus for the purpose of en deavouring to control the exoesaive flow of water at the Baroaldine bore. Warden Haldane telegraphed on the 14th in stant to the Under Sooretary for Mines, from Georgetown, informing him that he had on tho previous day despatched the gold escort from Georgetown with 12390z. of gold, and on the following morning from Cumberland with 693G0z. of gold, making a total from tho Etheridgo Goldfield of 71750z. Our readers will, we feel sure, abate our satisfaction in learning that our esteemed con tributor, Mrs. Julia Blitz, of Townsville, whose novelette "The Wurtamurtah Estate Prize" is now in course of publication in the Queens lander, is announced in Town and Country of 17th instant as having gained one of the prizes offered by that journal for her tale entitled " The Story of a Queensland Bank/note." The Hon. W. H. Groom, M.L.A., and Mrs. Groom, on Saturday hut presented the prizes won by the scholars of East Toowoomba State school. The children were greatly delighted 'with the handsome and valuable toys which Mrs. Groom generously provided. Mr Groom gave two prizes, of the value of 215., to the best-behaved boy and the best behaved girl. Mr. J. G. Boyoe sent a hand some donation towards the prize fund According to the report of one of the Urge brandy shippers (Messrs. Ronyer, Guillet, and Co., of Cognac), this year's vintago in now oomplote, and the result in satisfactory. The wines are strong, and the quality is the boat made for many yearn. Tho vinos all over the Cognac district are fast recovering themselves from phylloxera, and presented this summer a most luxuriant appearance. In a few yean, at this rate, tho vintages will reach their former splendour, and Cognac brandy, which is always consumed to the fullest extent of supplies, will be plentiful. The Illustrated Sydney Newt has just pub lished an attractive Christmas number. The issue is printed on special paper, and the engravings, which are unusually numerous, are inooloured ink. The principal feature of the Christmas supplement is a ohromo lithographed sheet, depicting the postmen of New South Wales as represented by a footman with scarlet ooat, white helmet, ana heavily-laden satchel, and the post office messenger on horseback, forming together a very lifelike group. There is also a large engraving of the picture " Twixt Life and Death," a mountain voene of great interest, and in which (lie engraver has been very successful in copying the painter's work. The offloer in charge of Border Customs stationed at Hungerford reports to the Collector of Custom*, under date 2nd Deoember, as fol lows:—The state of the country in this neighbourhood is good, and the weather has been very mild. Rain fell on four days, (riving a total of 2-80 in. The roads are in fair oondition, traffic is fair, and feed for stock is good. There has been a slight rise in the Paroo. 'One thousand three hundred and sixty.five fat cattle and eighty horses entered outwards for the Southern markets during the month. Tho collections for the month amounted to £853 Ids. 9d., being a decrease of £76 Is. Id. on the corresponding month of last year. He patrolled fifty miles during the month, while the seoond officer travelled 110 miles on pstro duty. After the breaking up for the midsummer holidays of the State school at Bulimba last week the scholars, who during the last few months have attended the Rev. Mr. Bannister's morning class for religious instruction, assembled at the church house to witness the distribution of prizes generously provided by local residents for the most deserving pupils. Besides the natural gratification of the fortunate recipients of the prizes, much pleasure was ex pressed by the visitors at the successful issue of tho experiment, the school having now been opened for four months from 8.45 to 9.15 a.m. on every State school day, and been attended on an average by fifty State school scholars, or a third of the number attending the State school, who have been instructed by the Rev. Mr. Bannister himself, in the Old and New Testament and in Church doctrine. At a meeting of the Rooklea Jockey Club, held at the Crown Hotel, Rockies, on Saturday evening, the race meeting which was to have been held on the 31st instant was un avoidably postponed, as the clearing of the course and other minor improve ments cannot possibly be effected in tune to hold races on that date. The club, however, confidently hope to hold their firot meeting early next year, when a substantial prize list will be issued. The members have been singularly fortunate in securing a good course on Cooper's Plains. It contains an area of 228 acres, with an undulation that is scarcely perceptible, allowing a perfectly level straight of nearly two furlongs. The view from the site chosen for the grand stand will be re markably fino, and each race can be kept well in sight from start to finish. The distance from Brisbane by the main Ipswich-road is about sue miles.

The 8.1.8. N. Company's B.M.S. Herkara, from Brisbane 29th November, left Batavia on Monday last for London. During the week ending 17th instant, 283 saloon and 107 steerage passengers arrived in Brisbane per Btearaers from the Southern colonies, and 264 saloon and 228 steerage pas songers loft for the South. Dr. Thomatis, an old Northern resident and an active worker in all Booial and political movements during the last seven years, informs us that he will at the forthcoming general election contest the seat for Cairns on the inde pendent ticket. Sub-inspector Brannelly reports from Nor manton by telegraph, under date of Wednesday, that Thomas Bishop, publican at Ifflay, about 100 miles from Normanton. had reported that the dead body of a man had been found at Ifflay with a bullet hole in his head; an empty Colt's revolver lying beside him. Dr. Dyson and a police constable have gone to inquire into the matter. Mestjrs.Charles JonoflandOo.,theQueen-stroet drapers, have sent uh some of their Christmas cards, which, in addition to the usual attractive floral and other designs on the right side, are further beautifi ;d by lithographed mono chroraos at the back, consisting of portraits of colonial oelobrities—Sir Thomas M'llwraith, Beach, Hanlan, and the head of the firm above mentioned. Particulars of Crown lands to be offered for sale at auction in Brisbane on 24th Jannary next are published in a supplement to tho " Government Gazette." Thoso include town lots in the parish of Enoggera and on the island of Cooohie Mudlo, and country lots near Caloundra and in the parishes of Connondale and Tabragalba. Sales will also be conducted on the same day at Ayr, Cairns, and Geraldton. During last week no less than six persons were admitted to the Brisbano hospital Buffering from fractured thighs sustained through accidents. Their names are as follow:—John Henebery, timbergetter, admitted from Cabooltnre; William Bruce, baker, Brisbane; Alfred Bidg way, labourer, Jfundah; William Laufer, store-man, Milton; John Huntley, timber getter, Woodford; and a sixth whose name has not been ascertained. Another bull from the dispersion sale of the Arundel herd has been received by Messrs. B. D. Morehead and Co. for Mr. De Burgh Perose, of Tabragalba. He is a young animal, very masouline in appearance, and although somewhat flat in the rib and faulty at the " set on" of the tail, he has all the appearanco of developing into a massive animal. Liko all the M'Dougall shorthorns, he is groat on the crops, and well filled behind the shoulder. The publishers of El Peru limtraifn for ward us a copy of their paper bearing date Ist October. Jil Peni in a little twelve-page weekly published in Lima (Peru), and the number which we have just received is well printed and is illustrated with very well executed lithographic portraits of various men of mark in South American politioal circles, and with other subjects. The proprietors allow their advertisers unusual advantages, offering to accept payment in goods for a year's adver tisement. Mr. J. W. Hayne caught what is sup posed to be a tea snake off the Sand gate Pier on Saturday. Mr. Hayne was fishing when the reptile made its appearance on the surface of the water, and by a little manoeuvring he managed to hook it. It is a peculiar looking reptile, for while resembling an ordinany snake tn the head and for half ita length, being only about l£in. in circumference, it thickens to 6Jin. at the tall, which portion of its body resembles a flsh. In colour it ia silvery-gray. Its length is sft. Bin., and Mr. Hayne intends forwarding his capture to the museum. Mr. Henry Hurst, geological oolleotor to the museum, has recently returned from the dis trict of Chinchilla, where he has been m^Vfrig a collection of fossil remains, chiefly the extinot bone relkw of marsupial mammals and reptiles, which are found abundantly distributed in the post pliocene drift beds of the Darling Downs, and which are extensively developed along tho banks of the Condamine River. The trip was on tile whole, successful, Mr. Hunt having obtained; during the ten weeks he was out, several thousand specimens of fossil bones, teeth, alligators' scutes, turtle shell, cera todus vertebrae and jaws, 4c. Among the number is one large skull belonging to the genus Nototherium, but the specimens have not yet been examined by the curator. The con clusions to be drawn from such discoveries are of much interest, as fossils of the kind obtained afford a great deal of evidonoe relative to the existence of a rich and varied fauna at a com paratively recent' (geological) period. During the Premier's voyage to Maryborough Captain South took the Luoinda through a new channel, which has opened out to the westward of the old one at the south spit of Wide Bay entrance, by which at least five miles are saved. A vessel going into port will have tho sea behind her, a great advantage in bad weather; and on coming out the sea will be stem on, whereas with the old channel it would be on the beam. Captain South received his instructions in regard to the channel from Captain Heath before he left Brisbane. The channel had, we are informed, been already used by the steamer Lady Musgrave, which' draws when loaded rather more water than the Lucinda. In navigating the new channel there are two email triangular beacons which have to be taken in line on a bearing north 52deg. west. During the passage of the Lucinda through the channel the lead was used, and three fathoms was the least water found.