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LAUNCH OF TEE GOVERNMENT

DREDGE.

Yesterday the Governor and Lady Broome, accompanied by the Private Secretary, the Director of Public Works, Mr. Sholl, M L C, Mr. Poole, of the Public Works Department, and others, proceeded to Fremantle by the 2 p.m. train, for the parpóse of assisting at the launoh of the Government dredge, which has been undergoing repairs and alterations on the stocks at Narth Fremantle. The scene of the launch was reached about 2.30 p.m., and the Governor and Lady Broome, who were met by Mr. Congdon, M.L C. (mayor of Fremantle), Captain Russell (chief Harbor Master), Mr. L. Worsely Clifton (Collector of Customs), Mr. R. Fairbairn, R.M., Mr. Marmion, M.L C, and others, proceeded to the covered platform, which, gaily deoorated with flags and evergreens, had been erected at the bow of'the vessel Here a' bottle ef champagne was suspended from the bow, which the Director'of Publio Works re- quested Lady Broome to break, and to christen the vessel " The Black Swan." Un-' fortunately the bottle proved to be of a less brittle quality than is usual with glass, and although Lady Broome ¿ave it a good knock against tho bow of the dredge, it refused to break. Thereupon the Governor assayed the task with no better result, and at last, after two attempts, Master Broome stepped forward, and succeeded where his seniors had failed. As soon as the bottle had been broken the wedges were knocked away, and after a short pause, the dredge commenced to move slowly down the slips. As she glided along a few cheers were raised by the assembled spectators, but these soon ceased, when it was noticod that she bad come to a dead stop just on the very brink of the' river. With much diffi- culty and after considerable delay she was moved by means of sorew-jacks, levers, and ropes, a few inches at a time, until getting further into the water, she was finally suc- cessfully floated at about a quarter past four. His Excellenoy and Lady Broome watched the operations for some considerable time, but as it seemed improbable that the launoh would take place before half past four, they left shortly before fonr o'olook, and walked in to Fremantle, whioh they left again by the

4 30 train on their return to Perth. Al-

though Mr. Passmore and those concerned with him in the launching arrangement were much disappointed at the hitch which aconr red, it is only fair to say that if any blame is due, it should rest rather on the primitive appli- ances available,' than on those responsible for seeing the work carried out. Except, however, for the delay, the launch was suc- cessfully performed. The screw propeller, with which the dredge has been fitted, was found to perform its work satisfactorily, and there is every reason to believe that the utility of the dredge has been very much in- creased.

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