Go to National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa
Volume 6, 1873
– 416 –

The author said he thought that if his suggestion was acted on it would have a beneficial influence on the character and stamina of the future inhabitants of the colony. The village greens of England constitute a common property, on which squire and ploughboy meet on equal terms. It had been his good fortune to witness scenes of mirth and joyfulness on four or five village greens, which had conveyed to his mind the most perfect ideal of unalloyed happiness he had ever seen. Children play there with an independence which can only arise from the intuitive feeling in their minds that if they do not own their playground no one else does. He firmly believed that the agricultural labourer's pleasantest recollections were of the hours of his youth spent on the village green of his natal place; and that, when emigrating, such reminiscences went far to enhance his love for the land of his birth. The author then remarked that the wast lands of the colony were being sold without any commons being left, so that games of cricket, etc., are commonly advertized to be played in paddocks kindly lent for the purpose. Soon, in this Britain of the South, when villages are populous, there will be no playground for children but the long, straight, and dusty roads; and the love of country, which would have been engendered by playing on a common, will find no place in their hearts. There should be no walks or flower beds, as in city parks; no right to graze cattle; the green should be left in a state of nature, except that the village club might level a place for their games. Medical men could, doubtless, point out that reserves are necessary on sanitary grounds; that the free use of the muscles, and the joyous abandon of youthful games are conducive to the development of a perfect body and a virtuous mind. He would not venture to trench on the legal part of the question.

2. “Note on the Occurrence of Dermestes lardarius and Phoracantha recurva in Canterbury, New Zealand, by C. M. Wakefield. (Transactions, p. 153.)