Page:The Irish in Australia.djvu/53

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39
GREATER BRITAIN'S METROPOLIS.

district for more than twenty years. Its splendid position, midway between the river and the sea, easily accessible from the city and standing on an elevated and health-giving site, must needs ensure the permanence and prosperity of Emerald Hill. The river banks which form its northern boundary are literally hives of industry, presenting as they do an uninterrupted vista of foundries, factories, and stores of all descriptions. In them hundreds of able-bodied Celts may be seen constantly at work, and as many more are engaged in loading and discharging the fleets of intercolonial steamers at the contiguous wharves. This river trade is rapidly developing to an enormous extent, and the steamers now regularly trading between Melbourne and Sydney, Newcastle, Brisbane, Maryborough, Adelaide, Hobart, Launceston, Auckland, Christchurch and Dunedin may be counted by the score. A considerable number of Irishmen are also in the employ of the Harbour Trust, a body of commissioners elected to supervise the harbour generally, carry out all necessary improvements that will facilitate trade and commerce, and expend the large revenue they derive from the collection of appointed fees in the best interests of the port. Emerald Hill possesses a noble charitable institution in St. Vincent de Paul's Orphanage, which is under the management of the Christian Brothers and the Sisters of Mercy. Here some hundreds of Catholic boys and girls, bereft of parental care and supervision, are fed, clothed, educated and trained in some industrial pursuit. It is in receipt of an annual Government grant, which is largely supplemented by voluntary contributions from all quarters.

Sandridge, or Port Melbourne, occupies the flat on the western side of Emerald Hill, and owes its name to the immense quantities of sand, the accumulations of ages, that