Home' Greymouth Star : February 12th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Thursday, February 12, 2015
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uLetters to the editor
1554 - Lady Jane Grey is executed for treason
1851 - Edward Hargraves discovers gold at
Summerhill Creek in NSW, triggering the
Australian gold rush.
1908 - First round-the-world car
race begins in New York.
1912 - Pu Yi, the last emperor of
China, abdicates, ending more than
2000 years of imperial rule.
1929 - Death of Lillie Langtry
(Emilie Charlotte Le Breton),
actress and King Edward VII’s mistress.
1973 - The first group of US prisoners of war
is freed from North Vietnam.
1986 - The Channel Tunnel treaty between
Britain and France is signed.
1993 - Two 10-year-old boys lure two-
year-old James Bulger from his mother at a
shopping mall in Liverpool, England and beat
him to death.
2000 - Peanuts creator Charles Schulz dies at
77 following a battle with colon cancer.
2002 - The Lord Of The Rings: The
Fellowship Of The Ring receives 13 Academy
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Charles Dar win, English scientist (1809-
1882); Abraham Lincoln, US president
(1809-1865); Franco Zeffirelli,
Italian director (1923-); Judy Blume,
author (1938-); Ray Manzarek,
rock musician of The Doors fame
(1939-2013); Joanna Kerns, US
actor (1953-); Sigrid Thornton,
Australian actress (1959-); Chynna
Phillips, US singer (1968-); Josh
Brolin, American actor (1968-); Jim Creeggan,
US rock musician of Barenaked Ladies fame
(1970-); Christina Ricci, US actress (1980-).
“ No man is good enough to govern another
man without that other’s consent.”
— Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865).
“ For if you forgive others their trespasses, your
Heavenly Father will also forgive you.”
— (Matthew 6.14).
One of the two
umpires who will
officiate at the third
cricket test between
Pakistan and New Zealand on Saturday,
is Greymouth-born Mr Fred Goddall. Mr
Goodall, who is now a member of the St
Andrew’s College teaching staff, was a keen
cricketer and umpire while on the West Coast
and performed with distinction in harriers.
Still in his 20s, Mr Goodall is believed to be
one of the youngest men ever to control an
international cricket test.
“This is your finest hour,” Mr W S Rennie
told Kopara residents when he officially opened
the £31,000 power extension to the district
yesterday afternoon. Mr Rennie, chairman of
the Electrical Supply Authorities Association,
paid tribute to Mr M E Lyons the man who
provided the idea of the Rural Reticulatioon
Council which susidises needs for outback
districts such as Kopara.
Mr Rennie said that throughout New Zealand
99% of the residents had power available to
them. He was impressed with the potential
production which could be obtained from the
Kopara-Bell Hill area.
Whisky is certainly the life of this man. He
is Mr Frank Friday who holds the intoxicating
position of Australasian general manager for the
gigantic whisky firm of John Dewar and Sons.
Mr Friday, who stayed overnight at the
Albion Hotel, Greymouth, said this morning
he is visiting distributors of his firm’s product
throughout New Zealand.
He confirmed the saying that good whisky
improves with age. “ That is, of course, if it is
kept in a cask. It remains unchanged in a
uFood for thought
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The rubble in Europe and Asia was
still smoking when representatives from
51 nations assembled in the undamaged
United States city of San Francisco in
June of 1945. Calling themselves the
‘United Nations’, they there inscribed
their collective determination, “to save
succeeding generations from the scourge
of war, which twice in our lifetime has
brought untold sorrow to mankind ”.
Sur veying the corpse-strewn landscape
which separates us from those hopeful
signatories of 1945, you would have to
say that Peace has failed. Over the past 70
years, barely a day has passed without the
scourge of war bringing untold sorrow
to at least one unfortunate member of
the family of nations somewhere in the
That the existence of the United
Nations has spared us all a third global
conflict is less a testimony to the wisdom
and forbearance of a chastened humanity,
than it is to the certainty that, being
waged with nuclear weapons,
World War Three would have had no
victors and no survivors.
Yet, in spite of the UN’s consistent
failure to save succeeding generations
from its effects, war continues to be both
rejected and condemned as an instrument
for the advancement of national policy.
Though member states of the United
Nations have regularly unleashed war
upon their fellow UN members for
precisely that purpose, the pious hopes
enshrined in the UN Charter remain the
official expression of what is — and is not
— a cc eptable international conduct.
Is humanity well-ser ved by this
When a prominent politician from
the United States — the nation which,
in complete contravention of the UN
Charter, launched a full-scale military
invasion of Iraq — shamelessly castigates
the Russian President, Vladimir Putin,
for “violating Ukraine’s national
sovereignty”, one struggles to muster
any kind of respect for the existing
Indeed, one wonders (heretically)
whether the world might not be better off
if the number of nation states belonging
to the United Nations (currently 193)
was significantly reduced. With the
benefit of hindsight, is it not at least
arguable that the much-vaunted principle
of “national self-determination”, far from
making the world a more peaceful place,
has actually increased the incidence of
In a similar vein, would not it be a lot
easier to respond to global crises, such
as anthropogenic global warming, if
humanity was aggregated into larger,
rather than smaller, political units? If
it is possible to construct banks and
corporations that are “too big to fail”,
might it not also be possible to create
states that are “too big to lose”?
Where nations are embroiled in bitter
conflict, as in the Middle East, should it
not be acknowledged, honestly, by nations
outside the region, that war may be the
only effective means of re-arranging the
pieces on the board?
Even more heretically, should we not
ask whether nation states are even the
most sensible solution to conflicts
whose origins lie not in ethnicity or
geography but in matters of religious
Certainly, it is the view of James Traub,
from the Centre for International
Co-Operation, that what we are
witnessing in the Middle East is not a
“clash of civilisations”, but clashes within
a civilisation. The war, argues Traub, is
“not between ‘us’ and ‘them’ but inside the
Would the planet be better or worse
off if the outcome of this war inside the
Islamic world was the emergence of a
political entity roughly akin to the open,
tolerant and inclusive Abassid Caliphate
that once stretched all the way from
Baghdad, in what is now Iraq, to Tunisia?
Such an outcome would have less to do
with redrawing national boundaries than
it would with redefining the way Muslims
express their religion.
The rules governing the relationships
between nation states, as elaborated by
we Europeans, are, in part, the product
of our own civilisation’s inability to
resolve religious schisms. But, whether
the conflicts currently tearing the Islamic
world apart can be resolved by the
principles enshrined the 1648 Treaty of
Westphalia, which ended the Thirty Years
War between Catholics and Protestants,
is highly debatable.
Beyond dispute, however, is the role
warfare has played throughout history in
reconciling the irreconcilable and solving
the insoluble. Sometimes, if peace is not
in prospect, it pays to give war a chance.
Alexander the Great did not unravel the
impossibly complex Gordian Knot with
his fingers. He used his sword.
Chris Trotter is an independent
Give war a chance
Fatos Bytyci and Marton Dunai
ajram Abazi has lost half
his workforce in little
over a month, claimed
by a sudden surge in
emigration from Kosovo.
“ I’ve already lost 11 and
now another worker has
told me he’s leaving tonight,” said Abazi,
owner of the Be Commerce biscuit
factory in the northern Kosovo town of
Vushtrri. “ It’s becoming the culture —
everyone else is going, so we should too.”
More than 15 years after Nato bombs
wrested Kosovo from Serbian strongman
Slobodan Milosevic, the young Balkan
country is witnessing a dramatic surge
in the number of its citizens smuggling
themselves across Serbia’s border into
Hungary to reach the European Union.
The vast majority are fleeing poverty,
unemployment or low-paid labour for
the more affluent countries of Western
Europe, a new wave following those who
ran from repression and war in the 1990s.
The average salary in the private sector is
230 euros ($261) per month. More than a
third of the workforce is unemployed.
Since September, more than 30,000
have been caught in Hungary, compared
with 6000 for the whole of 2013. Almost
all apply for asylum, and use the time it
takes to process their applications to give
overstretched immigration authorities the
slip and push westwards to the likes of
Germany and Switzerland through the
EU’s borderless Schengen zone.
Vushtrri faces being devastated. Its
population has shrunk 7% in the space of
a few months. More than 400 children
have been pulled from the town’s schools,
Aided by a relaxation of entry rules
to former master Serbia, families travel
by bus for 15 euros per person to the
Serbian capital, Belgrade, then again by
bus to the northern town of Subotica,
from where they take a taxi to the border
and walk across, through a water-filled
ditch and then kilometres of forest.
“This is the gateway to Europe,” said
Zoltan Salinger, a 23-year-old Hungarian
border ranger. “I spoke to old hands on
the border; they told me, in 1998, a total
of 34 migrants were caught. Now we get
500-600 every day.”
“Those two planks you see leading
across that ditch,” he said to a reporter,
“that ’s the Schengen border.”
At the border, men removed their shoes
and trousers to wade through a metre
of water in the ditch, carrying children.
The walk to the nearest town is 10km,
through forest and snow that began
falling on Friday afternoon.
A top ally to Hungarian Prime
Minister Viktor Orban said on Friday
that Hungary’s “gates must be shut ” to
Kosovo’s president went to Vushtrri the
same day to urge residents to stay.
“ You should not leave; you have to stay
with us here and find solutions,” Atifete
Jahjaga told a crowd of people.
One man yelled back, “I’ll go tonight
to Hungary.” Another said: “Madam
president! Find me a job and I won’t leave
The exodus is fuelled by widespread
poverty, high unemployment —
particularly among young people — and
stubborn corruption, seven years after
Kosovo seceded from Serbia. It has
coincided with a period of political
turbulence and unrest since an election
Authorities, however, are at a loss to
explain the sudden jump in numbers
since September. Migrants spoken to by
Reuters reporters suggest smugglers have
found safer routes across the border, and
word of mouth has triggered an
“One person goes, everyone thinks
there must be something there, and they
have to go too,” Vushtrri mayor Bajram
Mulaku told Reuters. He said 5000 of the
municipality ’s 70,000 people had left in a
matter of months, with the flow reaching
its peak in the past 20 days.
Gazmend Xhema, 28, said he, his wife
and three-year-old daughter had tickets
for Tuesday night on one of at least 10
packed buses leaving every night for
“I’ve decided to go now because they
say it’s much easier,” he said. Once in
Hungary, he said, “I’ll tell them: ‘Kill
me, just don’t turn me back to Kosovo,
because there’s nothing here’.”
Kosovars seek asylum
A Kosovar family warms up around an open fire after they illegally crossed the Hungarian-Serbian border near the village of Asotthalom.
As the celebrated children’s book
of Britain’s Victorian era turns
150, an exhibit in Texas traces
its history to show how “Alice’s
Adventures in Wonderland”
adapted and transformed
through now-familiar concepts
of merchandising and
The Lewis Carroll book swept
children’s literature when it was
published in 1865, and the popular
work was soon adapted for the
theatre, Alice-themed toys and
eventually films during the early
days of the industry.
“The book did not have a
conventional moral. Carroll
played with standard moral tales
of his day and turned them on
their heads,” said Danielle Brune
Sigler, the curator who helped put
together the exhibit that opened
this week at the University of
Texas in Austin.
The exhibit, at the Harry
Ransom Centre, a global leader in
its holdings of manuscripts and
original source materials, contains
more than 200 items, including
rare publications, drawings
and letters and photographs by
Carroll, the pen name for Charles
The exhibit shows how Dodgson,
the University of Oxford
mathematician who composed
the story for the daughters of his
Oxford dean, tried to balance his
life in academics with his alter ego
as the author of a widely popular
Dodgson was an avid amateur
photographer, when the
craft was in its infancy, who
also dabbled in drawing. The
mathematics professor also kept
up correspondence with children,
and the exhibit includes letters in
which he challenges them with
games, puzzles and codes.
His photographs, a few of which
will be on display, including one
of the story’s inspiration, Alice
Liddell and her sisters, were well
received. But Dodgson knew his
drawings for Alice’s Adventures
in Wonderland were not up
to snuff and turned to one of
the pre-eminent illustrators
of the day, John Tenniel,
The exhibit shows how both,
at times, grew weary of Alice
as its popularity grew. Dodgson
reportedly often would not answer
letters addressed to Lewis Carroll.
As for Tenniel, well, he was often
“I shrink at the mere mention
of Alice in Wonderland,” Tenniel
wrote to a friend in a letter on
display, referring to the book by its
commonly used name.
While Carroll may have grown
tired, he was also involved in
marketing his product, creating
an Alice-themed stamp case
for children and helping to
bring a production of Alice in
Wonderland to the stage.
Along with showing how the
book became a trailblazer for
children’s literature, the exhibit
also shows how Alice became a
theme for toys. They ranged from
the simple to the technologically
advanced for the day, such as 1933
Movie-Jecktor filmstrips — paper
strips about a metre long that
when run through a toy projector,
display a simple animation.
Carroll’s work was also recorded
as an early audio book. It was part
of a 1958 series of 16 rpm records.
Exhibit traces history of Alice in Wonderland
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