PARLIAMENTARY TRIP TO TEA TREE GULLY.
About a dozen members of Parliament visited Teatree Gully on Wednesday, August 6, at the invitation of Messrs. E. Ward and R. D. Ross, M.P.'s, for the purpose of inspecting a building
which has been recently purchased by the Government for conversion into a Post and Telegraph Office and Local Court. It had been urged by some members that the building was totally unsuitable and was in a very rlcketty tumble-down condition, and whispers that a job had been perpetrated were circulated freely amongst those disaffected towards the Government. Two traps conveyed the party to Teatree Gully, starting from Parliament House shortly after 11 o'clock. The morning was bright and enjoyable, while the air was keen and bracing. Teatree Gully was reached before 1 o'clock, and an immediate push was made for the building. The party, which consisted of Messrs. Ward, Mortlock, Furner, Hare, West- Erskine. Darling, Bean, Henning, and Parsons, M .P.'s.and Mr. G. Boothby, C.M.G., were here met by Messrs. Ross and Haines, M.P.'s. The building, which was formerly known as the Highercombe Hotel, stands in a commanding position on the rise of a hill, facing the East Torrens-road and a little way back from the main road. It presents a substantial appearance when viewed on the outside, being built almost entirely of stone. Its erection originally cost some three or four thousands of pounds, and it has now been sold, together with an acre and a half of land, to the Government for £600. Mr. G. Farr, who was the vendor, recently bought it from Mr. Haines, M.P., for £550. Enquiries were made for the key of the building, and most of the party felt nonplussed when it was found that that very necessary article was in the keep ing of Mr. G. Farr, in Adelaide. The irrepres- sible leader of the party was not easily daunted, however, and disappearing round an angle of the wall soon beamed upon his anxious friends from the open doorway, having burglariously entered the premises in a manner which still remains a dark mystery to the remainder of the party. The gates being thus opened, the little band of invaders mean- dered through the interior of the building, whose walls were found to be in a damp un- wholesome state of decay. There are seven downstairs and six upstairs rooms, out of which it was stated the Government intended to ac- commodate Teatree Gully with a Local Court,a Post and Telegraph Office, and quarters for a post mistress and a State school teacher. The Govern- ment also propose to expend £200 in the rehabili- tation of the building, and to an unprofessional eye it certainly looks as if twice that money would not restore it to its pristine wholesome- ness. The damp has apparently taken up a permanent abode in the walls, a sort of high tidal mark being visible all round them at a height of about three feet from the ground, and the flooring and woodwork is more or less ant- eaten, while the plaster and cement shows huge fissures and other tokens of insta- bility. Still the site is a very good one. Teatree Gully may be considered a far more suitable place for the erection of a telegraph office than either Millford or Houghton, which places have been suggested by some hon. mem- bers, as it is about halfway between the Tele- graph Stations of Adelaide and Gumeracha, and is centrally situated as regards Hope Valley, Modbury, Golden Grove, and other town- ships. After the party had inspected the building Mr. Ward showed them out, and locking the doors from inside, made his egress as mysteriously as he had entered, not one of the party being able to discover how. An adjournment was then made to the Teatree Gully Hotel, where an excellent lunch was provided, and was done justice to. Mr. E. Ward occupied the chair and did the honours of host, Mr. R. D. Ross being in the vice-chair. After the usual loyal and patriotic toasts had been convivially responded to, the Chairman proposed 'Prosperity to the Gumeracha District.' He remarked that he 'Could not say that his name was Macgregor, but he could say that his foot was on his native heath, as he had been in the district of Gumeracha so long that use of it had become second nature to him. He hoped that the residents of Gumeracha would duly appreciate the presence in their midst of so many hon. members — who were there in the stern discharge of a public duty — (Mr. Hare — 'Hear, hear')— in spite of all the allurements of a public holiday. (Cheers and jingling of glasses.) He knew that the Gumeracha district would prosper, and although he might not see it he hoped some of his many sons, or at least of his grandsons, would live to see the day when from Adelaide to Gumeracha one might drive through beautiful streets of terraced houses in the same manner as a person now could in London, from Westminster to the Lord knows where (Cheers.) The toast was drunk with enthu- siasm. The Vice- Chairman then proposed ' The Members for the District,'' which was responded to by the Chairman. Mr. Haines also replied, and said that, although all was not gospel that the Chairman had stated, he believed in a glorious future for Gumeracha. (Cheers.) He believed, however, in local residential representatives, and wished that the Chairman would come down from the Para Wurlie heights and locate in Teatree Gully. The healths of 'The Founders of the Feast' were next drunk, to which the Vice-Chairman responded on the part of the Chairman and himself. The Vice-Chairman then proposed 'The Oldest inhabitant, Mr. Possingham.' That ancient
individual thanked the company, and said he wsg proud to have his health drunk by ' his superiors.' Mr. Ross then invited the party to visit his estate at Highercombe, which could be taken in on the return journey by going via the Anstey's Hill-road. The invitation was accepted, and a halt was made at Mr. Ross's establishment, where the party was very hospitably entertained for nearly an hour. Again taking to the road, town was reached just as the shades of evening fell over the city. Whether or not the object sought by the journey was gained, a very enjoyable day was spent.