The gallant men who so nobly exerted themselves in saving the survivors of the wreck of the Admella, were suitably awarded for their bravery on Monday last by the distribution amongst them of gold and silver medals and money. His Excellency the Governor distributed the medals, and acknowledged personally the assistance which the brave fellows had rendered to the cause of humanity. Great interest was manifested in the ceremony, which took place in the Exhibition Building before a large assemblage of ladies and gentlemen. The dreadful catastrophe, of which this was commemorative, is too deeply engraved on the memories of those who were in Melbourne at the time of its occurrence for it to be otherwise than that the most lively interest should be evinced, and the most sincere feelings of gratitude tacitly awarded to those who, in the hour of need placed themselves in jeopardy for the sake of their fellow creatures. It is proposed to erect a tablet in the Custom House commemorative of the event.
The camels intended for the projected exploration of the interior, were safely landed on the 14 ult. from the ship Chinsurah, which arrived from India a few days previously. The animals are in good condition, considering the voyage they have made. One or two of them were ailing on the passage but owing to the good arrangements that were made for their transport by Mr. Landells, who is in charge, they have all been safely landed on Victorian soil. They have at present been lodged in the Parliamentary stables, but they are to be removed shortly to the Royal Park, or some other suitable place, where they will be able to obtain exercise.
Mr. Burke has been appointed to the command of the expedition, and, now that the camels have arrived, no doubt steps will soon be taken to organise a party to open up the unknown interior of the Australian continent.
On the 22nd His Excellency the Governor was present at the opening of the new rolling mills belonging to Enoch Hughes Esq., in Dudley Street. The operation of rolling the iron was gone through, and appeared to excite some attention. The mills are now permanently opened.
An attempt was made to introduce salmon ova by the ship S. Carling but is has proved unsuccessful, as, owing to the deficiency of ice, they were deprived of vitality before they reached Melbourne.
One of our most popular colonial lecturers, Mr. Michie, delivered a lecture at the Melbourne Mechanics Institute some ten days ago, on the "Philosophy of Ghosts and Witchcraft." The lecturer was highly applauded.
A discovery of an interesting nature has recently been made at Newstead. In an excavation of some five or six feet in depth, a piece of rudely carved sculpture,in heavy sandstone, was found, apparently of considerable antiquity. It is described as representing the head of an aboriginal, about half the natural size. The eyes and mouth are rather delicately chiselled. The nose has suffered from the damp, the moustache is complete, but the beard and chin are injured as if from the blow of a pick. The head is covered with something representing a Grecian helmet. It is rudely broken at the neck, as though it once formed part of a full figure." It is an interesting subject for conjecture what this specimen of native sculpture as no doubt it is, represents. It will be recollected that Sir George Grey, in his account of his travels in Western Australia, mentions his discovery of some fragments of sculpture on the sea coast, and which he conjectured to be the work of some unfortunate survivor of a shipwreck. This hypothesis however, cannot of course be entertained with respect to this discovery.
The anniversary of American Independence is to be celebrated by the usual public dinner and oration.
Special Sunday services for the non-church or chapel-going portion of the community have been held in the Theatre Royal. One each occasion the attendance was very large, there being about from 3000 to 4000 persons present; but it is generally thought that they were not of the class for which these religious services were designed, the majority of them being, apparently, regular visitants at church or chapel.
A Sabbath Observance Association has recently been established in Melbourne. Lectures have been delivered on the subject by the Rev. Dr. Cairns, the Bishop and the Dean of Melbourne, and the Rev. Mr. Campbell. The lectures have been well attended. They are only the commencement of a series, which is to be delivered with the view of putting a stop to Sunday traffic.
The Collingwood Gas Company have succeeded in passing their Bill through both houses of Legislature, notwithstanding the opposition which
was shown to it by the Melbourne Company. This competition will have a very beneficial effect in lowering the price of gas.
At the half-yearly meeting of the Melbourne and Hobson's Bay Railway Company, a dividend of 10 per cent, per annum, with a bonus of 2½ per cent added, was declared. The dividend in future is to be fixed at 10 per cent, and the surplus profits will be divided in a bonus. This is with a view of giving a fixed value to the stock of the Company.
The Registrar General of Victoria has put himself in communication with the authorities in the neighboring colonies, suggesting the desirability of taking the census
in every part of Australia on the same day. The 31st March, 1861 has been selected by the British Government, and it is considered desirable that the census of the British people at the antipodes should take place on the same day.
The vital statistics of Melbourne and its suburbs have recently been published in the Government Gazette. The population was 117,213, and the average mortality 10.71 per diem, the total number of deaths being 314. Of these, 161 were males and 150 females. The number of children under five years of age who died during the month of April was 191, and of persons above that age, 123. The mean temperature of the month was 58.8, the warmest day being the 3rd April when the mean was 75.2; and the coldest the 12th, when it sank to 52.9 [?] , the total [?] per cent. of the whole number of deaths arose from zymotic diseases.
On the 22nd alt., a deputation from [indecipherable] Association had an interview with His Excellency the Governor, for the purpose of seeking for an extension of their political rights. They were received graciously by His Excellency, who concurred in the reasonableness of the privileges which they sought to be extended to them.
Meetings have been held by the operative workers of Melbourne and the suburbs, for the purpose of inducing their employers to extend the eight hour movement to their trade, and to abolish Sunday labour. Many of the master bakers sympathise with the operative and doubtless the movement will be attended with a successful result.
The Hawthorne extension of the Melbourne and Suburbs Railway has been completed, and a trial train has run as far as the banks of the Yarra. The line will be opened to Hawthorne as soon as the iron bridge has arrived from England: pending this, passengers will have to stop on the Richmond side of the river. The total length of the line is 3½ miles.
THE LABOR AND PRODUCE MARKET
Immigration from Europe has almost ceased, although our population received constant additions from the adjoining colonies. There is no alteration in wages, though the tendency is downward. Rents have fallen very materially, and houses fit for the occupation of artizans [artisans] are to be procured in the suburbs at from 8s. to 10s. per week, and genteel looking residences are to be obtained at rates varying from 18s. to 30s. A similar reduction has taken place in stores, shops, & e., and it is impossible to build at the present rate of wages, so as to get interest for the capital invested.
The disputes between Messrs. Cornish and Bruce and the Government have resulted in the latter refusing to pay the contractors, who, in their turn, refuse to pay their workmen, and the matter in dispute is settled. Meanwhile the railway works on the Melbourne and Mount Alexander line are at a stand still.
The following is the latest market report:
There is no improvement what ever in the market, which remains extremely dull. Females plentiful, the demand fair; there is no difference in their wages.
WITH RATIONS. Married couples for home station and farm service per annum £60 to £65; for hotels, £70 without incumbrance; do., with families, £50 to £55, ploughmen, 20s. per week,; farm labourers, 15s. to 18s., potato digger, 17s.6d. per week; bullock drivers, 20s; gardeners, from £52 to £60 per annum; shepherds, from £30 to £35 per annum; hut keepers, £26 per annum; blacksmiths, for stations, 35s. per week; carpenters 25s. to 30s. do; rough carpenters, 20s. to 25s. do.; wheelwrights, 40s.; trussers, 5s. per ton, or 25s. to 30s. per week; lads, to drive bullocks, from 10s. to 14s. per week; carters from 20s. per week; farming men for Tasmania, £40 per annum.
WITHOUT RATIONS - Carpenters, from 10s. to 12s. per day; masons, from 14s.; plasterers and bricklayers, 12s.; quarrymen 8s. to 10s. per day; blacksmiths, 10s. to 12s.; able pick and shovel men, 8s.; fencers, three rails, 2s. to 2s.6d. per rod, according to the ground; wire fencers, with rails, ws.6d. to 2s. per rod; splitters of posts and rails, 20s. per 100 according to the timber; stone breakers, from 5s. per cubic yard, and according to the gauge required. Wood cutters, 5s. per ton.
FEMALE SERVANTS. - Cooks and laundresses, £35 to £40 per annum, for hotels, restaurants, etc., etc.; housemaids, £26 to £30; thorough competent women for general housework, 30 to £35, upper class nursemaids, £26 to £28 per annum; nurse girls, from £14 to £20; needlewoman £26 to £30; if they are dressmakers, £35 per annum.
The following rates are current at present in Melbourne, for provisions and garden produce:-
Bread, 4lb, loaf...........1s. Eggs, per dozen.........2s.
Apples, per lb.............4d. Geese, per pair ..... 16s.
Meat...................... to 7d. Hens, per pair........... 7s.
Onions, dry, per cwt. 20s Rabbits
per brace 4s.to 5s.
bunches.............1s. Turkeys, per pair... 18s. to 20s.
Potatoes, per cwt........8s. Beer,..... 6d. per glass,
Sugar, per lb....4d. to 6d. Do. bottled .11s. per dozen
Tea.............. .2s. to 3s.6d. Gas......17s.6d. per thousand feet
Coffee.................1s.6d. Wood....15s.to 20s.per load.
Butter, per lb,fresh 2s.6d; Coals English.£2 to £2 5s.
Ducks per pair............7s. Do.Colonial
l£1 16s. to £1 18s
Printed for the Proprietors at the[?] Office, Bourke Street, Melbourne.