Home' Greymouth Star : September 16th 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Tuesday, September 16, 2014
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uLetters to the editor
1498 - Death of Tomas de Torquemada, first
Grand Inquisitor of Spain.
1736 - Death of Gabriel Daniel Fahrenheit,
German physicist. He was the inventor of the
alcohol and mercury thermometers and his
name is commemorated by the thermometric
1857 - The song Jingle Bells is copyrighted by
Jane Pierpont of Boston.
1945 - Japan surrenders Hong
Kong at the end of World War Two.
1974 - US President Gerald Ford
announces a conditional amnesty
programme for Vietnam war
deserters and draft-evaders.
1975 - Papua New Guinea gains
full independence from Australia.
1977 - Death in Paris of Maria Callas, the
American-born prima donna famed for her lyric
soprano and fiery temperament. She was 53.
1978 - In Iran, 25,000 people are killed by an
earthquake which measures between 7.5 and
7.9 on the Richter scale. Nicaragua’s National
Guard says it has retaken Leon, nation’s second
largest city, from guerrillas.
1996 - Romania and Hungary sign a treaty
to end a centuries-old rift between the two
neighbours and help them join NATO and the
2001 - Iran reports that Tehran’s Mayor
Morteza Alviri has sent a message of
condolence over the September 11 attacks to
New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani in the
first official public contact between the two
countries since the 1979 Islamic revolution.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
John Gay, English poet (1685-1732); Janis
Paige, US actress (1922-); Lee Kuan Yew, ex
prime minister of Singapore (1923-); Lauren
Bacall, US actress (1924-2014); BB King,
US blues musician (1925-); Peter
Falk, US actor (1927-2011); Ed
Begley Jnr, US actor (1949-); David
Bellamy, US country singer (1950-);
Mickey Rourke, US actor (1956-);
David Copperfield, US magician
(1956-); Mary Coustas, Australian
comedian (1964-); Marc Anthony,
American singer (1968-); Shannon Noll,
Australian singer (1975-); Madeline Zima, US
actress (The Nanny) (1985-); Nick Jonas, US
singer, one of The Jonas Brothers (1992-).
“ He who loves himself best need fear no
rival.” — Latin proverb.
“ For darkness shall cover the earth and thick
darkness the peoples; but the Lord will arise
upon you, and His glory will appear over you. ”
— Isaiah 60:2
The threat of closure
which has hung over
Blackball mine for
several years now may
not be staved off much longer. The colliery has
now lost one of its major remaining customers
in New Zealand.
From the end of last week, Blackball coal
orders for the Hillside railway workshops in
Dunedin were stopped. This big plant took
up to 50 tons of the Coast product a week for
many years. The loss of the Hillside workshops
order could mean the miners will drop two
days work a week.
Alcohol causes more disruptions to home
life in Greymouth than in any other town in
New Zealand. This is the view of a current
visitor to Greymouth Mr T J Young, general
superintendent of the NZ Alliance, the main
aim of which is to counsel people on the
dangers of alcohol.
He said today that three ministers felt
alcohol had a more disturbing influence on
Greymouth home life than in any other centre
in New Zealand. Mr Young said he was an
advocate of the current licensing laws and
strongly opposed any extension of them.
This is where he doesn’t agree with Mr
Blanchfield who recently sought to have the
liquor hours extended to 10 o’clock.
The Greymouth High School cadet unit is
to be disbanded. The board of governors took
this step at last night’s annual meeting on the
advice of the school principal Mr J S Thomson.
“The conditions which have to be met in
the organisation of school cadets under new
government regulations are such that I cannot
favour the continuation of cadets at Greymouth
High after this year,” Mr Thomson said.
uFood for thought
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rince Harry is the party
prince who matured into
a military pilot, charity
fundraiser and charming royal
The fourth in line to the
throne, who turned 30 yesterday, is proving
himself to be an asset to the monarchy. On
his successful tour to Brazil and Chile in
June, he demonstrated his ability to step
up to the task, whether meeting crack
addicts in Sao Paulo or dancing with
children at a daycare centre in Santiago.
But if his past scrapes are anything to
go by, the D uke of Cambridge’s impulsive
younger brother is unlikely to lead a quiet
When Harry headed overseas to Jamaica
in 2012 to mark his grandmother’s
diamond jubilee, he showed himself a
perfect statesman for modern royalty.
He sprinted with Olympic 100m
champion Usain Bolt, danced to Bob
Marley in Kingston and displayed a
natural talent for endearing diplomacy
by hugging and holding hands with the
Jamaican prime minister Portia Simpson
Miller just hours after she repeated her
intention to hold a referendum to remove
the Queen as head of State.
Commentators declared that whereas
once he was a potential liability, now
Harry had found his feet as a senior royal.
At the closing ceremony of the London
Olympics, it was Harry who took on
an important role, standing in for the
monarch, representing her as the Games
came to an end.
But just a week later, a raucous road
trip to Vegas, prior to a tour of duty to
Afghanistan, ended with photos being
printed around the world of the naked
prince frolicking with a woman in his
hotel room during a game of strip billiards.
As a younger man he brawled with a
paparazzi photographer, dabbled with
cannabis and sparked worldwide outrage
by dressing up as a Nazi for a fancy dress
In more recent years, his military career
has been his focus. He attended Sandhurst
and joined the Household Cavalry’s Blues
and Royals in 2006 to train as a troop
leader of an armoured reconnaissance unit.
In 2007 and 2008, he achieved his dream
of seeing front-line action, spending 10
weeks in Afghanistan as a for ward air
controller, co-ordinating air strikes on
His posting was abruptly ended, however,
when foreign websites broke a media
blackout on reporting details of his ser vice.
With a burning desire to return to
Afghanistan, Harry retrained and qualified
as an Apache helicopter pilot after 18
months of rigorous training in Britain and
In September 2012, he made it back
to Afghanistan for a second tour. The
20-week stint gave him the chance to use
his Apache flying skills and head out on
operations in his role as co-pilot gunner.
But he was criticised on his return to the
United Kingdom for frank comments that
he took the enemy “out of the game”, and
soldiers “take a life to save a life”.
The prince admitted at the time that
he was more comfortable being Captain
Wales than Prince Harry.
“I ’ve always been like that. My father’s
always trying to remind me about who I
am and stuff like that,” he said. “ But it’s
very easy to forget about who I am when I
am in the army.”
An army desk job, announced in January
2014, has enabled him to focus on his
Invictus Games — a paralympic-style
competition for injured ser vicemen and
women — similar to the Warrior Games
in the United States.
The games, designed to highlight the
sacrifices made by those who have fought
for their country, took place in London
last week in the run-up to the prince’s
Writing in The Sunday Times ahead of
the event, Harry recalled the horrendous
images he saw during two tours of
Afghanistan when he encountered
children who had died from roadside
bombs and soldiers lying on the battlefield.
“I had never seen it first-hand,” he wrote
in the newspaper of flying home to Britain
with injured soldiers. “By ‘it’ I mean the
injuries that were being sustained largely
due to improvised explosive devices
“Loss of life is as tragic and devastating
as it gets, but to see young lads — much
younger than me — wrapped in plastic
and missing limbs, with hundreds of tubes
coming out of them, was something I
never prepared myself for.”
The second son of the Prince and
Princess of Wales, Prince Henry Charles
Albert David was born at 4.20pm,
weighing 6lb 14oz, on September 15,
Palace officials announced he was to
be known as “Harry” and his father later
declared this was always the case unless he
had been “very, very naughty”.
The young Prince was, unlike William,
free from the responsibility of one day
having to be king. He went to Eton after
private nursery, pre-prep and prep school
and grew up to have a daredevil approach
to sport and life in general.
Harry and William saw their parents go
though a difficult divorce amid the scandal
Then, in 1997, Diana was tragically killed
in a car crash in Paris when Harry was just
Etched in the public’s memory is the
harrowing image of the young prince,
dwarfed in size by his brother, father, uncle
and grandfather, walking bravely behind
the horse-drawn gun carriage transporting
his mother’s body through the streets
packed with mourners.
In 2006, the prince founded his charity
Sentebale in honour of Diana to help
disadvantaged children in the southern
African kingdom of Lesotho. He has
encountered real poverty, abuse and
deprivation during frequent visits to the
nation as he has watched the organisation
He spoke movingly about his mother
in a television inter view in 2010 during
a joint tour of southern Africa with
“Every day, I know I do and I’m sure
William does as well, whatever we do,
wherever we are and whoever we’re with
I particularly always wonder what she’d
think, what she’d be doing if she was with
us now,” the prince said.
He travelled to Angola in August 2013
to see land mine clearance work by a
charity championed by Diana just months
before she died.
Harry is also a passionate supporter
of Walking with the Wounded, which
funds the retraining and re-education of
wounded ser vicemen and women.
He took part in a gruelling trek to the
South Pole in December 2013 in aid
of the charity, joining a team of injured
British ser vicemen and women in a race
against groups from the US and the
Their mission took them more than
320km across the bleak continent to the
geographic South Pole where the group
experienced freezing temperatures as low
as minus 45degC.
They faced such extreme weather
conditions that organisers had to call off
the competitive element. But working
as one unit, the teams made it to their
Harry has always been affected by press
intrusion — not least because his mother
died in a car crash while being pursued by
He has been vocal of his dislike of the
media. When he was spotted in Datchet,
Berkshire, helping the army shift sandbags
for the flood relief in February 2014,
Harry was asked by reporters if he was
enjoying helping out. “ Not really, with you
guys around,” he remarked bluntly.
But on his recent tour to Brazil and
Chile, he seemed happier around the press
— perhaps now realising that the media is
part of the deal if he wants to promote the
charities he is so passionate about.
He became a devoted uncle with the
arrival of Prince George of Cambridge in
As he turns 30, royal fans will be
wondering when this prince will settle
down with a family of his own. It had
been thought that an engagement might
be on the cards for Harry this year.
But in April, his two-year relationship
with Cressida Bonas ended amicably
despite many predicting the couple would
marry. The prince’s previous long-term
love was Zimbabwean-born Chelsy Davy,
whom he dated for about six years.
For now, Harry is channelling his energy
into his Invictus Games — an event which
could be the start of the prince’s very own
royal legacy. — PA
Party prince matures
PICTURE: Getty Images
Prince Harry watches the Invictus Games closing ceremony at Queen Elizabeth Park in London on Sunday.
Flying reptile like Avatar creature
Some of the most visually stunning
sequences from director James Cameron’s
blockbuster movie Avatar involved
graceful flying creatures that were
ridden by blue human-like beings facing
ecological destruction on a moon called
It turns out that an animal very similar
to those Avatar creatures, called Ikran,
actually did exist here on Earth long ago.
Scientists last week announced the
discovery of fossils in China of a new
species of flying reptile called a pterosaur
that lived 120 millions years ago and so
closely resembled the creatures from the
2009 film that they named it after them.
It is called Ikrandraci avatar, meaning
“ Ikran dragon” from Avatar. This pterosaur
is noteworthy for more than just its
resemblance to a movie creature.
The scientists said it appears that
Ikrandraci avatar had a throat pouch
similar to that of a pelican. It probably fed
on small fish from freshwater lakes, flying
low over the water and catching prey by
skimming its lower jaw into the water,
they said. It may have stored the fish in
the pouch, they added.
This Cretaceous Period pterosaur
boasted an unusual blade-like crest on
its lower jaw like the one on the movie
“The head structure is similar in this
pterosaur to the Ikran in Avatar,” one of
the researchers, paleontologist Xiaolin
Wang of the Institute of Vertebrate
Paleontology and Paleoanthropology,
Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing,
“Of course, nobody and nothing can ride
this pterosaur,” Wang added.
Another of the researchers,
paleontologist Alexander Kellner of
Brazil’s National Museum at the Federal
University of Rio de Janeiro, joked:
“ Please, (there were) no blue hominids
during the Cretaceous.”
Ikrandraci avatar, whose fossils were
unearthed in China’s Liaoning province,
boasted a wingspan of about 2.5m, Kellner
It did not have a crest on the top of its
elongated head as many other pterosaurs
Behind the lower jaw crest was a hook-
like structure that appears to have been the
anchor point for the throat pouch, Kellner
said. It had relatively small teeth good for
snaring small fish.
It lived in a warm region teeming with
life, with feathered dinosaurs, birds,
mammals, frogs, turtles and other animals
along with a variety of trees and other
plants, Wang said.
The researchers studied fossils of two
specimens of Ikrandraci avatar.
Pterosaurs were Earth’s first flying
vertebrates, with birds and bats making
their appearances later.
They thrived from about 220 million
years ago to 65 million years ago, when
they were wiped out by the asteroid that
also doomed the dinosaurs.
The study was published in the journal
Scientific Reports. — Reuters
The ecological reconstruction of Ikrandraco avatar is shown in this illustration courtesy of Chuang Zhao. Scientists last week announced the discovery of fossils in China of
a type of flying reptile called a pterosaur that lived 120 millions years ago and so closely resembled those creatures from the 2009 film, Avatar that they named it after them.
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