Home' Greymouth Star : September 22nd 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Monday, September 22, 2014
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uLetters to the editor
1735 - Sir Robert Walpole becomes the first
British prime minister to occupy 10
Downing Street in London.
1776 - Nathan Hale, American
patriot, is hanged in New York by the
British for being a spy during the
1862 - US President Abraham
Lincoln declares all slaves in
rebellious states will be free from January 1,
1934 - The worst pit disaster in Britain for
21 years kills more than 260 miners in an
explosion and fire at the Gresford Mine in
1940 - In World War Two, the French
surrender to Japanese demands by allowing it
to station aircraft in Tongking, thus giving the
Japanese strategic entry into French Indochina.
1955 - Commercial television begins
in Britain in opposition to the British
Broadcasting Corporation. The first
advertisement screened is for toothpaste.
1980 - The Gulf War breaks out when Iraq
invades Iran in an attempt to control the Shatt
al-Arab water way.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Anne of Cleves, queen consort
of King Henry VIII (1515-1557);
Louis Botha, South African
Ben Chifley, former Austral-
ian prime minister (1885-1951);
Arthur Lowe, British actor (1915-
1982); Fay Weldon, British author
(1931-); Kerri-Anne Kennerley, Australian
television personality (1949-); Shari Belafonte,
US actress (1954-); Debby Boone, US singer
(1956-); Nick Cave, Australian musician-actor-
author (1957-); Joan Jett, US singer-musician
(1958-); Kim Watkins, Australian television
host (1967-) .
“The autumn always gets me badly, as it
breaks into colours. I want to go south, where
there is no autumn, where the cold doesn’t
crouch over one like a snow-leopard waiting to
pounce” — D H Lawrence, English author
“ Nations shall come to Your light, and kings
to the brightness of Your dawn. ”
Thirty years’ ser vice
to the Plunket
Society was recently
recognised by the
presentation to two Stillwater women of long-
ser vice certificates. The presentation was made
at the opening of new rooms of the Brunner
sub-branch by the president of the Greymouth
society, Mrs D Parfitt.
The two women honoured were Mrs D H
Banks and Mrs C L Moffitt, who have given
18 years’ ser vice each to the society. During this
period of ser vice both have travelled first to
Taylor ville and in the latter years to Dobson.
The death occurred at Reefton on Saturday
of Mr Daniel Collins. He was in his 87th
year. Mr Collins, who was born at Reefton,
began work at an early age at the Keep It Dark
quartz mine at Crushington. He later became
a teamster with a six-horse wagon carting coal
and mining timber to the Globe mine. He was
a keen sportsman and had a long association
with rugby union and trotting in Reefton.
Mr Collins was the oldest ex-member of the
Reefton Fire Brigade and oldest member of
the Reefton Druids Lodge.
Mr Collins is sur vived by his wife Elsie, a
member of the Kearns family, one son Ossie
(Christchurch) and two daughters, Phyllis
(Mrs GJ Murtha, Reefton) and Mrs Elsie
Barrow. - On September 18, 1964, at
McBrearty Annexe, to Loris and Jim — a
daughter; both well.
Dowell. - On September, 1964, at McBrearty
Annexe, Greymouth, to Anne (nee Cornish)
and Jules — a son, Paul Gerard; both well.
Special thanks to the sisters and nursing staff
of McBrearty Annexe. Deo gratias.
uFood for thought
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Margot Woelk was one of 15 young
women forced to work at Adolf Hitler’s
Wolf ’s Lair headquarters as a food taster.
Now in her 90s, Margot Woelk has
finally spoken of her distasteful war role.
Every meal could have been her last.
When they had finished eating the
vegetarian dishes, 25-year-old Woelk
and her colleagues would burst into tears
because they were grateful to be alive.
Woelk was no Nazi, but she was
employed at the Fuhrer’s heavily guarded
Prussian headquarters during World War
II. She was the only one to sur vive. All her
colleagues were shot by the advancing Red
Army in January 1945.
Now a frail 96-year old widow, Woelk
has overcome feelings of shame and
broken decades of silence to tell her story
to German television.
“There were constant rumours that the
British were out to poison Hitler,” she told
Berlin’s RBB television channel. “ He never
ate meat. We were given rice, noodles,
peppers, peas and cauliflower,” she recalled.
Woelk, the daughter of a German
railway employee, enjoyed a carefree
youth until the Nazis came to power in
1933. She was bombed out of her Berlin
apartment in 1941 and her husband
Karl drafted into the army, so she sought
sanctuary in the East Prussian town of
Partsch, which is now Parcz, Poland.
The town was next door to Hitler’s
Wolf ’s Lair HQ and the town’s mayor
forced Woelk to become a food taster.
Every day an SS guard picked up the girls
in a bus and took them to a school where
they had to taste the Nazi leader’s meals. “I
never saw Hitler in person. I only saw his
Alsatian dog, Blondi,” Woelk recalled.
Hitler’s fears were well founded. On July
20, 1944, a group of German army officers
tried to assassinate him by detonating a
bomb in the Wolf ’s Lair. “ We were sitting
on wooden benches, and suddenly we
heard and felt this incredible big bang. We
fell off the benches and I heard someone
shouting, ‘Hitler is dead!’ But of course he
Nearly 5000 Germans suspected of
involvement in the bomb plot were
executed and Woelk was forced to move
into Hitler’s heavily guarded building.
By late 1944, the Red Army was
advancing. An SS officer helped Woelk
escape. She fled to Berlin, where she was
raped by Russian soldiers. A British officer
called Norman helped her recover. When
he returned to Britain after the war he
asked her to join him. But Woelk wanted
to wait and find out if her husband Karl
was still alive.
In 1946, a weak and injured Karl was
released from a Soviet POW camp. The
couple tried to live a normal life. But the
war had taken a toll. They separated and
Karl died 24 years ago. Woelk has lived
The New Zealand Herald
Bitter memories linger of life as Hitler’s food taster
Onone hand, David Cunliffe
said too much. On the other, he
said too little. Sorry for being a
man, he told a Women’s Refuge
forum, because men are usually responsible
for violence against women and children.
The crowd approved, the public did not and
goodwill for Labour’s big funding promise
for victims’ support groups disappeared in
a wave of derision. Cunliffe then struggled
to give clear answers on the effect of his
party’s flagship capital gains tax on the
family home, scaring mums and dads into
believing a Labour headed government
could get a slice of what they saw as their
children’s birthright. But as the campaign
progressed Cunliffe’s standing grew,
including three strong performances in the
televised leadership debates.
Dirty Politics — the Nicky Hager-
authored book based on e-mails hacked
from Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater —
exploded into the headlines last month with
a startling array of revelations, among them
claiming one of the PM’s former staffers,
Jason Ede, worked with right-wing bloggers
on “attack politics”. Then-Justice Minister
Judith Collins nabbed a second final
warning from Prime Minister John Key
for leaking a public ser vant ’s details. More
embarrassing details landed on Twitter,
before a Slater e-mail passed to Key ’s office
implicated Collins in a plot to take out the
Serious Fraud Office boss while she was his
boss. Collins fell on her sword.
The Moment of Truth
Politics can create unlikely bedfellows
like a German tycoon and a feisty
Northland leader championing anti-
poverty. But it is a pragmatic business,
so the wealthy Internet Party and cash-
strapped Mana morphed into one. Kim
Dotcom has funded the movement to the
tune of $4 million. Dotcom promised an
election eve bombshell, but his Moment
of Truth failed to deliver a knockout
blow on allegations of mass Government
sur veillance and the presence of US spy
bases on Kiwi soil. A leaked “e-mail”
appearing to show Key was part of a plot
to lure Dotcom to New Zealand so he
could be passed to US authorities was
also labelled a fake by Key and the person
purported to have written it.
Dirty Politics II
While politicians of all stripes had their
billboards bashed and burned, Key proved
a particular magnet for the disenfranchised.
Dotcom inspired a crowd chant of “f**k
John Key ” at an Internet Party concert,
before musician Darren Watson landed
in trouble with the Electoral Commission
for his satirical song Planet Key. Ironically
named hip-hoppers @peace captured police
attention with their song threatening to kill
the Prime Minister and have sex with his
daughter. Key had problems of his own when
rapper Eminem took legal action against
National for allegedly breaching copyright by
using his song Lose Yourself in campaign ads.
Three months after millionaire Colin
Craig’s Conservative Party was founded
in August 2011, it received 2.65% of the
vote. Three years later, the party went into
Saturday ’s election with a fighting chance
of crossing the 5% threshold. Scandals
enveloping National and the decline of Act,
helped. But so too did the Conservatives’
hefty war chest. Craig has funnelled more
than $2.8m into party coffers since 2012,
and other supporters have also shown they
have deep pockets. No amount of money
though could dampen the PR nightmare 48
hours from polling day after the sudden and
messy resignation of Craig’s press secretary,
former tv reporter Rachel MacGregor.
Key election moments
From Planet Key, to Cunliffe’s gaffes, Dirty Politics, Conservatives’ PR nightmare and a
Moment of Truth that was not — it has been an interesting campaign.
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