Page:The Irish in Australia.djvu/127

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113
A FEW IRISH CENTRES.

his own immediate and pressing wants to his friends at home, to enable them to join him in the land of promise. "In the early, or pastoral days of the colony, Scotchmen vastly predominated over all others in the aggregate, while the Irish counted a miserable minority; but now the tables are turned, and the Irish, as far as numbers go, are in the ascendant beyond any other distinct race, notwithstanding their original poverty and the expense of the voyage, and without seeking an explanation in any excess of partiality in the selections of free emigration. In fact and truth it was and is altogether owing to the national characteristic alluded to above; and in the instance of Kilmore, Carty informed me such was the case, in confirmation of which he ran over a list of late remittances within his own knowledge, the magnitude of which completely surprised me, and satisfactorily accounted for the great and growing increase of the Irish family in Victoria."

Kilmore occupies the south-eastern corner of the county of Dalhousie, but the south-western section of the same county, surrounding the substantial town of Kyneton, is also largely peopled by settlers of Irish birth or parentage. Kyneton is beautifully situated on the River Campaspie, is connected by railway with the metropolis, and is the centre of a far-famed flourishing community of cultivators. Its agricultural show-day is only exceeded in splendour and popularity by the bright moving spectacle seen at its annual race-meeting on each, St. Patrick's Day. On both these festive occasions Kyneton becomes crowded with visitors from far and near—friendly gatherings of the Irish clans, well-fed, well-dressed, and well-behaved. Kyneton's prosperity, it has been well said, "rests upon the firm foundation of a rich soil and a good climate," and no inland town of Victoria