Home' Greymouth Star : November 17th 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Monday, November 17, 2014
We appreciate the value of the Letters to the Editor
column as a public forum for West Coasters and
welcome your opinion and suggestions.
Letters may be submitted by post, fax or e-mail and
must include your name, address, phone number
and - except for e-mails - your signature. Noms de
plume are not accepted.
Please keep your letters honest, respectful and
within 300 words. Letter writers will generally not
be published more often than weekly. The Editor
reserves the right to edit or not publish letters,
especially those that are offensive or too long.
Post to PO Box 3, Greymouth, fax to 768 6205 or
email to email@example.com
uLetters to the editor
1558 - Elizabeth I becomes Q ueen of England
on death of Mary I.
1604 - Sir Walter Raleigh is tried for treason
and is imprisoned in England.
1796 - Death of Catherine II the
Great, German-born empress of
1800 - The US Congress meets
for the first time in the new capital,
1869 - Suez Canal opens in Egypt,
linking Mediterranean and Red Seas.
1913 - First vessels pass through Panama
1972 - Former Argentine dictator Juan D
Peron returns to his homeland after 17 years.
1977 - Egypt ’s President Anwar Sadat
formally accepts invitation to visit Israel.
2003 - John Allen Muhammad, one of two
suspects in a series of deadly October 2002
sniper shootings in the Washington, DC area,
is found guilty in the murder of 53-year-old
Dean Meyers at a petrol station near Manassas,
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Rock Hudson, US actor (1925-1985); Sir
Charles Mackerras, Australian conductor
(1925-2010); Peter Cook, English actor-
comedian (1937-1996); Gordon
Lightfoot, Canadian singer
(1938-); Martin Scorsese, US film
director (1942-); Lauren Hutton,
US actress-model (1943-); Danny
DeVito, US actor (1944-); Michael
Wenden, Australian Olympic
swimming champion (1949-); Mark
“Chopper” Read, Australian criminal, artist and
“The mind will ever be unstable that has only
prejudices to rest on, and the current will run
with destructive fury when there are no barriers
to break its force.” — Mary Wollstonecraft
“ For it has been granted to you on behalf of
Christ not only to believe in Him, but also to
suffer for Him.” — Philippians 1:29
Recreation Hotel is
shortly to change. The
current proprietor Mr H Morgan announced
today that he had sold his business to brothers
Messrs R, J and L Forrest. He said the
transaction had been made at an “undisclosed
The new owners will take over the High
Street hotel on December 14. They have also
purchased the two storeyed residence adjoining
the hotel, which has been the home of Mr
Morgan and his family for a number of years.
The new owners have plans for erecting public
accommodation on the site.
The liquor business will be no new venture
for the Forrest brothers. Until recently they
owned the Greymouth firm of Grogan and
Blackmore, manufacturing cordials and
wholesale spirits, while earlier they were
associated with the Club Hotel.
Members of the Runanga State Miners’
Union went off work today as a mark of respect
to one of their members who died suddenly at
the weekend. He was 49-year-old Mr Philip
Gerald Crowley, of Inverness Street, D unollie.
He collapsed while working with a repair
gang in the idled Liverpool No 3 colliery on
Born in Australia, he came to the West
Coast as a young man, joining the coalmining
industry and working mainly at the Liverpool
mine. He was a keen follower of sport,
particularly rugby league for which he was a
schoolboy representative selector.
Mr Crowley is sur vived by his wife Marcia, a
member of the Heslin family, two sons, Terence
and John, and two daughters, Anne and Clare
(all of D unollie).
uFood for thought
Printed and published by the
Greymouth Evening Star Co Limited
3 Werita Street, PO Box 3, Greymouth
03 769 7900 (office)
769 7913 (editorial)
768 6205 (fax)
03 769 7913
03 755 8422
Watch out, come December 1, when the
lower legal drink-drive limit begins. That is
the message from a test run by a panel this
week that saw the two women in the group
go over the legal limit after two glasses of
We tested the practical effect of next
month’s change to the legal limit for
drivers aged 20 and over, which falls from
400 micrograms of alcohol per litre of
breath to 250mcg, and from 80mg to 50mg
of alcohol per 100ml of blood. For drivers
under 20, the limit stays at zero.
Business reporter and former Scarfie
Holly Ryan, and subscriber marketing
and sales manager Justine Atkinson were
recorded by Sober Check respectively
at 270mcg and 260mcg after two white
wines. Both were surprised to have reached
the limit so quickly, even though the pour
at the bar we conducted the test at was one
and a half times the standard wine measure
After their second drink, the panel of
four had a range of snacks — fries, chicken
wings, garlic bread, prawns — that seemed
to reduce the rate of increase in the alcohol
reading of the men more than the
After three glasses of wine, Ryan’s reading
was 330mcg, at which time she said she
felt as though she would be fine driving.
She said the test confirmed her belief that
1.5 drinks was her limit when driving. A
lot of her friends abstained if they were
driving because they had no idea how
much they could safely drink, she said.
Ryan stopped after her fourth wine,
which at 410mcg tipped her over the
current limit. Though she did not feel
drunk, she said she was affected.
Both women, who at 67kg and 72kg are
under the average New Zealand female
weight (75kg), had a light lunch at least
five hours before drinking.
As a seasoned drinker — “ I drink almost
every night, but not a lot ” — with recent
form from having attended the Melbourne
Cup, a hens’ night and a wedding,
Atkinson said she was “disappointed” and
surprised to be over the limit after two
drinks. “I must have a small liver.”
After three wines — and nibbles — her
reading of 430mcg put her over the current
limit. “ I would definitely have driven after
that many. That means I drove home drunk
last week,” she said.
Atkinson had been more cautious during
a decade living in Australia, where the
limit was cut 30 years ago to the level New
Zealand is about to adopt. She thinks that
the higher limit here gave her a false sense
The men — canvas magazine writer Alan
Perrott, 93kg, and on-line journalist Robert
Smith, 110kg — were able to drink more
before going over the new limit — three to
four drinks for Perrott and seven for Smith.
Perrott blew 250mcg after three beers in
the first hour, dipped back to 240mcg after
four, presumably after food took effect, and
hit the current limit of 400mcg after five
wines and two beers.
Smith did not go over the 250mcg limit
until after his seventh drink — a mix of
wine, beer and spirits.
Perrott was glum about hitting the new
legal limit after three beers — “ I’ve barely
whet my whistle”. After reaching five, and
a reading of 290mcg, he said that while
his concentration seemed okay, “I wouldn’t
want to be driving my family”.
Smith, who had had a late lunch, said he
seemed to have a high tolerance for alcohol
but was surprised by how low his readings
were. Smith’s wife, Janie, noted that at six
drinks and 190mcg, “he’s not even doing
his drunk walk (big steps)”.
After his seventh and last drink and at
280mcg still currently legal, Smith ruled
out driving. “I wouldn’t trust myself behind
the wheel.” And off he went, taking rather
Weight and body composition are
factors in the big difference in readings
between the men and women in the panel.
“ Women have less body fluid to distribute
the alcohol and so get a higher blood-
alcohol concentration per dose of alcohol,”
professor Doug Sellman, director of the
National Addiction Centre, said.
He said lowering the legal limit
would save lives and millions of dollars.
“This is terrific because this is the first
proper alcohol reform we have had in a
generation and what is surprising is how
little the Government are congratulating
“This is one up for the public of New
Zealand,” Professor Sellman said. “It is
not so good for practising alcoholics or for
those with a vested interest in maintaining
a heavy drinking culture.”
The hospitality industry is not expecting
to take a hit. “ We think that most of the
public think the limit has already been
dropped and have already adjusted,” Bruce
Robertson, head of Hospitality New
People tended more to nominate
dedicated drivers or switch to soft
Mr Robertson said the results appeared
to be in line with recommendations made
in Australia of two standard drinks in the
first hour and one for each subsequent
hour, whereas professor Sellman said
to be “pretty sure” women should only
have one drink in the first hour and men
What are the new drink-driving limits?
From December 1, 2014 the alcohol limit
for drivers aged 20 years and over lowers
from 400mcg of alcohol per litre of breath
to 250mcg. The blood alcohol limit lowers
from 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood,
(0.08), to 50mg (0.05).
For drivers under 20, the limit stays at
How much will I be able to drink and
It depends on many factors, including
gender, size and how much you have eaten.
Two drinks for men and one for women in
the first hour is recommended.
What happens if I’m caught over the
If you fail an evidential breath test
recording 251-400mcg of alcohol per litre
of breath you cannot elect an evidential
blood test and will be fined $200 and incur
50 demerit points. The licences of drivers
who accumulate 100 or more demerit
points within two years will be suspended
for three months.
If you fail an evidential breath test
recording over 400mcg (or a blood test
result of more than 80mg of alcohol per
100ml of blood) you will face criminal
If you show a blood test result of 51-
80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood you
will be fined up to $700 and incur 50
What is your drink-drive limit?
PICTURE: New Zealand Herald
Alan Perrott, Holly Ryan, Justine Atkinson and Robert Smith before the test..
udith Durham is momentarily
perplexed. No, it is not because
her memory is failing when it
comes to how The Seekers
changed and defined her life in
her early 20s. That was back when
the Australian folk-pop quartet
were, for a while, as big as The
She can remember all that.
It is just that I have asked about a certain
photo. The one of her in full flight, mouth
agape, on a shiny stage on my battered
cover of The Best of The Seekers.
She is wearing a luminous full-length
pink and white dress on the 1968 album.
She looks part angel, part flamingo. Her
fellow bloke Seekers are rendered almost
invisible by their black suits against the
I have known that record cover image
almost all my life, and the songs within.
That record seems to exist in every stack of
old vinyl in just about every second-hand
shop in this country.
But no, down the line from hometown
Melbourne the sunny, chirpy Durham
cannot picture that frock — though we
soon realise why. That particular Best
of The Seekers was the New Zealand
version of the compilation. She vaguely
remembers the frock — but it is not one
“I made all my own clothes in those
days and they are the clothes I am seen in
on all the covers of all the early albums.
They were clothes I made myself trying to
disguise my weight. Very unique pop star
in that way,” she chuckles.
There is footage of The Seekers playing
A World of Our Own at London’s
Wembley Arena in 1965, at a NME Poll-
Winners’ show. Also on the bill were The
Beatles and — another band celebrating
their 50-year anniversary by coming to
New Zealand this month — The Rolling
Stones. She remembers that frock okay.
“The dress I’m wearing in that footage is
one of the ones I made myself just before
I got the ner vous exhaustion. Sitting up all
hours of the night trying to finish a dress
so I could wear it on stage. If I ever have
to return to dressmaking I still have that
The Seekers arrived in Britain in 1964.
By the following year — on the strength
of songs like I’ll Never Find Another You,
The Carnival Is Over,Georgy Girl, they
were serious chart competition for the
locals. Not that these Ocker non-rockers
ever felt like they fitted in, in swingin’
“It was another world. It’s only in
hindsight that we can appreciate what we
actually did, that we were giving them a
run for their money — The Rolling Stones
and The Beatles and The Who.
“ We were keeping them off the top of
the charts where they were all wanting to
be. Even Tom Jones — he was following
us up the charts with his first record It’s
Not Unusual — we kept him off the top
place for those three weeks.
“So it’s very historic when you think
about it. I never felt like a pop star. I never
ever. I just worried about my weight.
Worried about my appearance and
thought I was not pretty enough to be a
pop star. It was very very strange. ”
The young Judith Durham, a Melbourne
secretary who sang with jazz bands, had
met double-bassist Athol Guy when she
started work at an ad agency. He told
her about the group he had with some
old schoolmates, Keith Potger and Bruce
Woodley and invited her to join.
The quartet ’s debut single was Waltzing
Matilda. Their eventual debut album
Introducing The Seekers was released in
Australia in 1963. They got a gig on a
cruise ship, stopped off in England in early
1964 and by the end of the year had their
first of a string of United Kingdom hits
with Another You.
But by 1968, Durham had had enough
and told the others she was quitting.
“I gave the band six months notice and
we had all said if anyone wanted to leave
that is what they would do. So I thought
I would experiment and try singing other
sorts of music. At that time I thought The
Seekers music might have outlived itself
and people would move on and we would
be out of fashion.
“I also thought I was probably going to
get married and settle down. I was only 21
when I became a pop star so you wonder
what else is there to have?
“Back then I didn’t understand the
spiritual value of the songs we were
already singing — the hugely meaningful
and uplifting qualities of The Seekers’
songs. How on earth can you know that as
a 20 or 21-year-old?”
Durham is now 71. She returned to the
original Seekers line-up in the early 90s
after the rest had soldiered on in the 70s
That she is back on the road for the
group’s golden jubilee tour is not just
another final lap — for Durham it is a feat
She suffered a life-threatening brain
haemorrhage last year just as the tour
started in Melbourne.
“I am in pretty good nick now. I had to
learn to write again. That was a pretty big
“I didn’t realise I couldn’t write until
about a week after it happened and then I
tried to write a couple of letters and I just
couldn’t get anywhere with it. So there is
a lot of therapy I had to go through and I
was very lucky. ”
She is cautious not to overdo it these
days — not that The Seekers were ever
exactly the Stones for burning the candle
at both ends.
“I do need alot ofhelp.I am not shy
of saying to people I can’t manage this
because there is only so much brain energy
that you’ve got. So I have to ration out
what I decide to do.
“ But the thrill is we don’t stint on our
shows. We do the same two-hour concert,
the whole breadth of all the material we’ve
always done. ”
And it just goes to prove, once you’ve got
those Seekers melodies stuck in your head,
not even a brain haemorrhage is going to
get them out.
“That ’s a lovely compliment. Really it is.
“ Let ’s hope that the music never dies
because eventually one of us is going to
pop off but the thrill for any performer
would be that the music outlasts our own
lifetime. What more could you ask than
for the songs to still be alive today to the
level they are?”
Well those songs keep trickling on down.
Durham likes Nick Cave’s doomy version
of The Carnival is O ver — “ he’s a fantastic
performer. He’s just a treasure” — and
she laughs at having to explain to young
relatives that no, Morningtown Ride was
not always a Wiggles song.
So any thoughts about which Seekers
tune, if any, she would like played at her
“ Ha ha. That ’s a funny one actually. I
suppose you expect me to say The Carnival
is O ver. I think I’d like something like
This Little Light of Mine. One of those
cheerful ones because that is what our
music is all about. You want people to be
uplifted. I’d be quite happy to have that
one going down the aisle as far as I am
PHIL TAYLOR of the New Zealand Herald asked these four people to test how much
they could safely drink under the new drink-drive limit
The lead voice of The Seekers was almost silenced last year when she suffered a brain
haemorrhage. But Judith Durham is back with the band as it heads to New Zealand for its
50th Anniversary Tour. She talks to RUSSELL BAILLIE of the New Zealand Herald.
The Seekers in 1965, from left, Athol Guy, Bruce Woodley, Judith Durham and Keith Potger.
The carnival’s not over
The Seekers today, from left, Bruce Woodley, Keith Potger, Judith Durham and Athol Guy.
Links Archive November 15th 2014 November 18th 2014 Navigation Previous Page Next Page