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THE NEW YEAR. At midnight on New Year's Eve the Volunteer band promenaded the streets, and in very good music assisted in giving the New Year a right royal welcome. Our church bells are not remarkable for their lively notes; but on that night they too sounded almost joyous. Celebrations in honor of New Year's Day took the form for the most part of picnics, we never knew of so many picnics before on one day. The Baptist Sunday school children held theirs in the police paddock; the teachers of the Roman Catholic school went in search of pleasure to Heywood then some pupils were regaled in Mr . Blair's paddock, South Portland, and Mr Henty's paddock was occupied by ano- ther large party. At Narrawong and Bridgewater the mania was equally strong, most of the young people and many of their elders dined that day al fresco. The weather was delightful, just a little showery in the morning, but not enough to damp the spirits of the pleasure seekers, as from reports from many sources the next day, we heard that all enjoyed themselves.