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G.P.O. Wellington N.Z

7th March 1905

Dear Harry

Just a line to let you know I am still alive. We are now quite settled down in our new place and like it fine. The houses here are all wood and painted various colours, the roofs are made of iron and are also painted. The insides are not plastered but the boards are covered with rough canvas called ‘scrim', this is simply stretched and tacked into position (not pasted) and then papered over, you may guess it is pretty awkward hanging paper on this stuff (enclosed is a piece of scrim) especially ceiling. There is no lime wash out here but when they want an embossed ceiling it is done with pressed metal and nailed up and afterwards painted, this makes a sound job. Another queer method they have is the way the stain and varnish woodwork. Nearly all the inside work is simply varnished the wood is called Remu and it is almost like satin walnut. When they begin to prepare doors etc, they first give them a coat of oil, next they are coated with thin knotting and then varnished and it makes a very good job. If you have any idea of coming out here get as much into paperhanging as you possibly can, all the ceilings are papered. I have only seen one whitened ceiling since I landed, so you see it is a good thing if you are ‘slinger'. How is trade at Leek? Very busy I hope for a change, I guess the weather are having is wretched, here it is glorious, today is the first day we have had rain for a month, so you see there is a difference. The wages here are 1/5 per hour 8 hours a day, board and lodging 18/- a week. Clothes are rather dear and if you know anyone that is thinking of coming our, tell them to bring plenty with them. Kindly remember me to old Tim, the one and only grand master of the ancient order of F.Bs also Lino and Savage Farm and all Leek Skibs. The work here is rather rough but you soon get used to that. All the others are doing well. Cliff is working at Blenheim (South Island) for a Wellington boss and is camping out. He will be there for about 3 months. Albert is at Patea, 200miles up country learning butchering, mutton sticking, he says it is very quiet but he will get used to it in time. Javier Heath came down from Auckland about a month ago and looks first rate, he went down to Nelson (S.Island) and sent for W. Heath who go a job there too, his father is working at the Botanical Gardens and doing fine. Allen Dale is working on the government Railway and getting quite fat. Tom Wood started working on a farm a day or so after he landed and is doing fine. Percy and myself are the only Moorlands left in Wellington. Dear Harry if you think of coming out collect as may Lion shillings as you possibly can I can do a good business with them here.

Kindly remember me to you father and mother and all the family and Jennie and in fact all the old friends to numerous to mention. Must close now hoping to hear from you soon

I remain your old pal

Ernest


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