Home' Greymouth Star : December 16th 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Monday, December 15, 2014
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uLetters to the editor
1791 - Sweden’s King Gustavus III offers to
head the crusade against France.
1939 - The film Gone With The Wind
premieres in the US city of Atlanta.
1944 - The plane carrying American band
leader Glenn Miller, a US Army Major,
disappears over the English Channel, probably
the victim of bombs jettisoned from British
bombers returning from an unsuccessful raid.
1978 - US President Jimmy Carter
announces he would grant diplomatic
recognition to Communist China on New
Year’s Day and sever official
relations with Taiwan.
1986 - Rival ethnic groups battle
in Karachi and set hundreds of
homes and shops ablaze in the
city’s worst rioting since Pakistan’s
independence 39 years earlier.
1989 - Manuel Noriega is named
head of government and declares Panama in “a
state of war” with the United States; a popular
uprising begins, resulting in the downfall of
Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu.
1990 - Cattle rancher Darly Alves da Silva
and his son Darci Alves Pereira are convicted
of murdering Brazilian rain forest defender
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Nero, Roman emperor (AD 37- AD 68);
Henri Becquerel, French chemist (1852-1908);
Gustave Eiffel, French engineer
(1832-1923); Maxwell Anderson,
US playwright (1888-1959); J. Paul
Getty, US oil tycoon (1892-1976);
Tim Conway, US comedian/actor
(1933-); Don Johnson, US actor
(1949-); Julie Taymor, US director
(1952-); Adam Brody, American
actor (1979-); Michelle Dockery, British
actress (1981-) .
History is the record of an encounter
between character and circumstances. —
Donald Creighton, Canadian historian
Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the
Lord; let it be with me according to Your
word. ” — (Luke 1:38)
Athletic Club’s new
pavilion was opened
on Saturday by foundation member Mr Stan
McDonnell. Prior to calling on Mr McDonnell
to open the building, the club’s president Mr
Arthur Fong expressed thanks to all who had
contributed to the erection of the structure.
He made special mention of the grand
work done by Messrs McDonnell, J O’Brien
(secretary), R Fitzgerald (treasurer) and R
Greymouth recorded its hottest day of the
summer on Saturday when thermometers
leapt to an uncomfortable 73.7 degrees (23.16
celsius) after weeks of the upper 50s.
A late-model car was extensively damaged
and a passenger taken to hospital after the car
had ploughed into a stationary logging truck
in Ross on Friday night. The injured man is
Mr Leo Williams of 168 Fitzherbert Street,
Hokitika. The Westland Hospital reported this
morning that his condition is satisfactory.
The driver of the car, Raymond John Grant
of Pukekura, escaped from the wreckage with
a cut lip.
Local residents who visited the Hokitika tv
headquarters on Friday night to view television
saw something of topical interest. An excellent
reception was obtained of a film made by a
tv camera unit of a visit to the greenstone
factory in Hokitika; an inter view with Mr E G
McMurtrie, and whitebaiting at the north tip
where local fishermen were inter viewed.
Roberts. - On December 12, 1964, at
McBrearty Annexe, to Ryaio and Ruth (nee
Frewin) — a son; both well. Grateful thanks to
McBrearty staff and Dr Ray.
uFood for thought
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n the Connecticut village of Sandy
Hook, a New England community
of picture-postcard beauty,
preparations are in full swing for
But in the household of Nicole
and Ian Hockley, the signs of the festive
season are limited to the bedroom of their
10-year-old son Jake.
“It ’s just too soon for us to be
celebrating,” Nicole Hockley said.
“Maybe next year we’ ll be ready, maybe
that will be another step for us. Jake
wanted a tree so we’ve let him decorate his
room, but Ian and I are not at that stage
Today is the second anniversary of
six-year-old Dylan’s death — one of 20
children and six teaching staff murdered by
deranged gunman Adam Lanza at Sandy
Hook primary school in Newtown.
His parents described how they have
devoted their lives to causes inspired by
their son since his death.
Nicole Hockley, who is American, is
campaigning to change her homeland’s
Her husband, from Cambridgeshire,
Britain, works full-time for the foundation
set up in Dylan’s honour to help children
with autism, the condition with which his
“ We do want something positive and
formative to come out of this tragedy,”
Nicole Hockley said.
“But some days it all seems so hollow, no
matter how many other children we are
trying to help and protect, it still doesn’t
bring Dylan back.”
After two years, the tears well less often
as they talk, but the looks of anguish
“A t fi rst, the pain was so great that it felt
like we could not get through it,” Nicole
“It felt all-consuming, like you could
The Hockleys did not only have to handle
their own grief, but also Jake’s torment.
He lost the brother on whom he doted and
suffered the terror of the lockdown when
Lanza stalked the corridors.
“He’s had a tough time, but he’s been
through a lot of therapy, his anxieties are
lessening and he’s learning to be a kid and
have fun again,” Nicole Hockley said.
Jake was initially so devastated that he
could not even bear to hear his brother’s
name. It is a sign of progress that he has
allowed his parents to put up pictures of
him with Dylan in his bedroom.
Nicole Hockley’s mission involves
tackling the country’s lethal love affair with
There have been nearly 100 shootings at
schools and colleges since Sandy Hook,
yet any prospect of legislation at federal
level has been blocked by the powerful gun
Sandy Hook Promise, the grassroots
alliance she helped form and lead, is
looking to change America’s gun culture
from the ground up. That includes
legislation in state governments —
Washington state recently passed
background checks for which she
campaigned, and similar laws may be
approved in Nevada and Ohio. Their
greatest energy, however, is focused on
changing attitudes and behaviour in local
“Most Americans are simply not engaged
because they think nothing will ever
change,” Nicole Hockley said.
Repeated warning signs about Adam
Lanza were either missed or ignored.
Changes in Newtown
Memorial planning: A town panel
has gathered input from more than 350
people including sur vivors, first responders
and others touched by the tragedy on
the search for a permanent memorial to
honour the victims. So far, 18 of the 26
victims’ families are involved.
Counselling ser vices: The town is
still seeing high demand for counselling
ser vices — made available through millions
in grants and donations — for those
dealing with the effects of the tragedy.
Agencies have been working to set up a
support system for the next 12 to 15 years.
Town acquires Lanza home:
This month Newtown took possession of
the house where Adam Lanza lived with
his mother, Nancy.
The bank that transferred ownership,
at no cost to the town, first removed and
burned all of the personal effects remaining
The town now must decide what to do
with the building.
Investigations: A report released
last month by Connecticut ’s Office of
the Child Advocate found that Lanza’s
parents, education team and others missed
signs of how deeply troubled he was and
opportunities to steer him towards more
Possible lawsuits: Parents of more
than half the children killed have filed
papers that lay the groundwork for
possible wrongful death lawsuits, but the
documents do not indicate who would be
No public commemorations: As
was the case on the first anniversary of the
shooting, Newtown was not holding any
public commemoration ceremonies today.
Christmas is more about the month of
December than just Christmas Day. It ’s
my favourite month and I start super-early
with the tree, carols, decorations, advent
calendar, Christmas in the Park, the works.
This year, my two-year-old is aware of
the Christmas build-up for the first time,
so we’ve been doing lots of baking and
writing lists for Santa, and we’ ll make sure
we all watch the movie Home Alone on
We usually spend Christmas Day at my
parents’ farm in Taranaki. The day starts
with waffles and fresh berries we always
get from Piopio with lashings of cream.
Because of the excitement, the present
opening happens before any eating, which
is really saying something given our love
When it comes to the presents, there’s
usually one “main” gift and a few little
ones. We like to make the quest for the big
present an adventure, a treasure hunt, or
you might have to be blindfolded before
seeing the box.
The big meal of the day is a roast lunch
with extended family. We’ll have a glazed
ham and roast turkey with roasted veggies,
lashings of homemade gravy and bubbles.
Dessert is always pavlova and steamed
pudding. My mum makes us all wear some
form of headwear at the table — last year
we had a choice of reindeer antlers, Santa
hats or an angel halo.
There’s grazing on chocolates from the
stockings throughout the afternoon, a
wee nap and if we’re not too bloated a bit
of backyard cricket, then back into it all
for dinner again, usually with a meat we
haven’t eaten for lunch.
Each year we say we’ve always got way
too much food but I’m super into canapes
this year, so I’m going to try to squeeze
them in somewhere. As I’m pregnant I
can’t drink the bubbles so have decided
that ’s my prerogative.
Anthony Hoy Fong
New York-based celebrity chef who has
cooked for Barack Obama
Since moving to the US 10 years ago,
I typically celebrate Christmas with my
wife’s family in Michigan. It’s a classic,
all-American, snowy, white Christmas
affair — a complete 180 from the summer
barbies, touch rugby games and beach
trips I grew up with in Auckland.
This year, we’re celebrating in New York
as we’re expecting our first baby. My mum
and dad have arrived from New Zealand
and it’s been fun starting a new set of
holiday traditions, like picking out a live
tree from the corner stand and dragging
it up the street in the snow back to the
This year we are hosting Christmas
Eve dinner. Since we’ ll have a newborn,
I’m keeping it simple, doing less, better
and focusing on a few key dishes that
anchor the menu and feed a lot of people:
a brown sugar and apricot glazed leg of
ham; a creamy potato gratin with nutmeg,
garlic and Gruyere cheese; a roasted acorn
squash and rocket salad with shaved
pecorino and candied walnuts.
We’ ll chocolate-dip strawberries,
blueberries and dried fruit for dessert, one
of my favorite family traditions as we do it
In the morning, we’ ll go pretty low-
key with pan-fried leftover ham, soft
scrambled eggs, and banana brioche
Then we’ll bake and decorate shortbread
to take to dinner at my brother-in-law ’s.
My wife lovingly refers to how we do
pressies in my family as the “Hoy Fong
Her family opens gifts ceremoniously,
one person at a time, but we divvy up
all the gifts then we all just go for it,
simultaneously. It’s a lot of excitement and
shouting out all at once.
Christmas is undoubtedly my favourite
time of the year. My friends and family
all groan when it rolls around, because I
start celebrating in September, playing
Christmas carols on repeat. There’s just
something about a time of year that
is unashamedly about joy, giving and
celebration that really does it for me. I’m
told I’m insufferable.
I usually head back to my family home
in Rotorua around December 20 as the
annual Mar velly Christmas party takes
place the weekend before Christmas. It’s
quite a gathering of friends, family and
We open the doors in the mid-afternoon
and generally the last stragglers stagger
out somewhere around midnight.
Christmas Day usually starts with
breakfast at home with my parents (I’m an
only child) then a hilarious day of mother-
daughter bonding in the kitchen over
many glasses of wine.
As my parents are hoteliers, business
doesn’t stop for Christmas Day, so dad
usually spends the morning setting up
Christmas lunch for the guests. We’re all
together in the afternoon though, and the
rest of the family will join us for dinner
this year, which will be a traditional affair
because I’m such an annoying purist.
My family has revolted this year though
and demanded pavlova rather than trifle,
so I’m outnumbered.
To be honest, I’m not so fussed about
I love giving them, love wrapping them,
all that jazz, but Christmas just makes me
generally happy. This is going to sound
sickening, but that ’s enough of a present
Christmas Day is big, really big, for us,
especially with 11 siblings. I’m not sure
how many people we have together at
once but there are plenty. Apart from my
mum and dad plus my immediate family
and their partners there are my nieces,
nephews and cousins as well as other
family. It’s always a cool day.
On the food side, the tradition is for
everyone to bring a plate. We usually have
a Christmas Day barbecue with a pig on
the spit. When it ’s ready, we say a prayer
then everyone is into the food. Sometimes
it might be lunch, sometimes dinner. It
depends on whether some of the partners
have other places to go to as well. It’s a
majority vote on when we have it.
It’s good having all the family together.
It’s not the time to be talking football,
though. Rugby league runs in the family
but we try to avoid discussing it on this
one day of the year. There’s a lot more to
The best part is presents time, of course.
It’s crazy with so many people together
at the same time and so many presents to
One of my brothers will play Santa and
have one of my cousins as his elf. They’ll
call out people’s names one by one to get
their presents. We play a song as they get
their presents, a Christmas song which
might be Maori, Samoan, Tongan or
There’s a bit of dancing as well. It ’s so
cool seeing the kids’ faces as they open
After wards it’s a real mess with all the
wrapping paper lying around everywhere
but everyone has had a great day.
For us Christmas is an occasion to get
the family together and Bronagh and I
are looking for ward to spending some
time with Max and Stephie. The best
Christmases are the ones with the kids,
especially so when they were younger,
because children are just so in love with
the day and everything it entails and
seeing their faces on Christmas Day is
something all parents treasure.
I’ve told them all I want from them this
year is a bit more respect, but I’m not
holding my breath!
Before I became prime minister we
always used to go to Christchurch where
my sisters live to have a big family
Christmas. All of our various family
members would come and we would have
turkey and crayfish. In recent years we’ve
travelled overseas for Christmas so that
hasn’t been possible.
We do still always have a big Christmas
lunch and we’re inevitably forced to go
for a waddle after wards to burn some of
it off. We always sit around and open our
presents together. This year we’re spending
Christmas at home before heading to Los
Angeles and Hawaii after what has been a
very busy year.
Sir Peter Leitch
The Mad Butcher
For me, Christmas is a special time.
I was one of seven children raised in
Wellington’s Newtown and, while we
didn’t have much, we did have a house full
of love. So Christmas remains a time of
family. I love having my daughters and a
house full of grandchildren.
There is a magic you don’t experience
at any other time of the year, the looks of
delight when they open their presents and
the excitement in their eyes when they
give you gifts, often things they have made
at school and they are desperate for you
Making gifts is special, because when I
was a boy, my father made me a toy rifle. I
was so proud of that rifle, and that my dad
had made it just for me, so even now it is
the gift I am taken back to. I remember
myself getting that hand-made toy, the
joy I felt, and the look of satisfaction and
pride on my dad’s face.
Nowadays, of course, it is more about
computer games than using your
imagination to round up runaway baddies
in the green belt that surrounded the
houses around Newtown.
This year we will be having a Waiheke
Island Christmas and we’ll tuck into a
ham on the bone. Lady Janice is a dab
hand in the roasting department and there
is always the full Kiwi experience, with
succulent lamb, a bit of turkey, lashings of
roast veg with gravy — superb.
I also take the time to think of my
friends and family who have passed on,
plus I ring someone, often someone I
have not spoken to in a while and who is
perhaps not as fortunate as me. It reminds
me that it’s easy to include someone in
your thoughts and take the time to ring
them on this special day.
If you’re a Grinchy, non-Christmas
person you’d best not read on, because I’m
a walking-talking version of Christmas
cheer. I love it. Christmas trees twinkling
with festive glory over piles of gifts.
Champagne and juicy strawberries on
Christmas morning. Christmas carols
— I start singing them loudly from late
November, much to my husband’s dismay.
And yes, crackers. It does not matter if
they are the lavishly expensive kind or the
dirt-cheap ones from the supermarket
filled with tiny and useless plastic choking
hazards because it ’s the terrible, so-bad-
they ’re-good jokes lurking within that
make my Christmas bright — along with
the party hats which I force everyone to
“The present game” is meant to be a
friendly sort of lark but really it’s a brutal
affair where invariably, one disgruntled
loser cops the booby prize — a lone potato
in a box was one of the more memorable
Then, of course, there’s the food.
Homemade brioche for breakfast then
free-range ham smothered in my maple
and cranberry glaze.
Crunchy duck fat potatoes are a must.
A few salads and either salmon, lamb or
turkey. For dessert I’m making the fail-
proof pavlova from my new cookbook
Everyday Delicious, loaded with cream
and fresh berries. Then we all eat too
much, lie around like slugs and chatter
away, while the kids test out their
But really, the most important part of
Christmas is having my family together.
This year we’re at dad’s at Mt Maunganui,
and the next two years will be mum’s
in Cambridge and Mike’s parents in
We have a rota system so everyone gets
a turn, because zig-zagging across the
country on Christmas Day seems silly. I
much prefer to settle in with a glass of
bubbles, a massive plate of food, people I
love and listen to Fairytale of New York
on the stereo. Merry Christmas, everyone.
From the time I was two, my parents
have gone to Her vey Bay, about three
hours by road north of Brisbane, where
we set up camp on the water’s edge. The
coastline is sheltered by Fraser Island,
making it ideal for children to swim unless
a northerly happens to come through;
then you have the chance to get the body
Seafood is our staple diet. Along with
the fish we catch, dad will put the crab
pots in and he usually catches a couple
each trip to keep mum happy.
At the same time mum goes crazy with
the baking and she’ ll have ice cream
containers full of jam drop biscuits,
Anzac biscuits, Christmas pudding and
my favourite trifle. As I reached my 20s,
presents became a little too hard to buy. I
guess I had everything I required so Mum
would give me PJs without fail.
Obviously Christmas takes on a totally
new perspective when you have your own
kids. Each passing year Kelly and I have
more fun watching our boys Oliver and
Axel enjoying what it’s all about. It ’s the
special part of being parents.
Last year we broke with our usual
tradition by having Christmas in New
Zealand. We loved it but going to Her vey
Bay is the way I always remember this
time of the year. — New Zealand Herald
School shooting pain
Christmas with NZ celebrities
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