Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Excessive Dancing a peril at Onehunga, 1875

(From Auckland Star, 9 April 1875)

 Death at Onehunga from Excessive Dancing

There is no doubt but that the penalties which follow almost every kind of pleasure proceed from the immoderate use of such pleasure, and frequently lead to fatal results, and an inordinate love of dancing is no exception to the universal rule as the death of the young lady, Miss Nixon, of Onehunga, testifies, and which may serve as a homily for the study of young persons generally.

Catherine Matilda Nixon was the eldest daughter of Mr James Nixon, an old and respected inhabitant of Onehunga. Being of a cheerful disposition she was excessively fond of dancing, and rarely missed an opportunity of mingling with the gay and giddy throng. Some weeks ago, her health was impaired by the influences of the ball-room and the night air, and she was prostrated in consequence.

The Hibernian Ball at the Onehunga Hall was announced for Monday the 22nd, and although she had not sufficiently recovered, the old love awoke within her, and she injudiciously attended the ball, and danced through the hours of the night until nature gave way, and she sank completely exhausted. She was conveyed to the residence of her parents, where, in her critical state, she received every attention and the best medical advice that could be procured.

She gradually got worse, and on Wednesday evening died at the early age of nineteen. Her dying wish was that the members of the Hibernian Society, with whom she had spent so many hours, might follow her remains to their last resting place. In accordance with that wish the members of that Society from Auckland and the Thames will assemble (at a place to be named) in full regalia on Sunday next to attend the funeral, the time and place of meeting to be announced by advertisement so soon as the committee have arranged in respect either of the railway or other conveyances.

We may mention the fact, which has come within our own knowledge, that, however advantageous dancing may be in moderation to the physical system, several young ladies in, Auckland have had a narrow escape of their lives through over-indulgence in this otherwise healthful exercise.

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