Home' Greymouth Star : February 16th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Monday, February 16, 2015
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uLetters to the editor
1754 - Richard Mead, physician to King
George II of England and promoter of
smallpox inoculations, dies.
1918 - England’s port of Dover is bombarded
by a German submarine in World War One.
1937 - Wallace H Carothers, a
research chemist for Du Pont who
invented nylon, receives a patent for
the synthetic fibre.
1940 - Boarding party from HMS
Cossack rescues more than 300
British prisoners from the German
supply ship Altmark in Nor wegian
1942 - Banka Island massacre — 22 members
of the Australian Army Nursing Ser vice and
other sur vivors of the sinking of the SS Vyner
Brooke massacred on Banka Island. The only
sur vivor from this party of Australian nurses
was Sister Vivian Bullwinkel.
1959 - Fidel Castro is sworn in as prime
minister of Cuba after leading a guerrilla
campaign that ousted right-wing dictator
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
G M Trevelyan, British historian (1876-1962);
Sonny Bono, US congressman and singer
(1935-1998); Kim Jong Il, North Korean leader
(1941-2011); James Ingram, US
singer (1956-); Ice-T, US actor-
rapper (1958-); John McEnroe, US
tennis player (1959-); Andy Taylor,
British rock musician of D uran
Duran fame (1961-); Valentino
Rossi, Italian motorcyclist (1979-
); Agyness Deyn, British model
(1983-); The Weeknd, Canadian
singer-songwriter and producer (1990- ) .
“One does evil enough when one does
nothing good. ” — German proverb.
“ For the invisible things of Him from the
creation of the world are clearly seen, being
understood by the things that are made, even
His eternal power and Godhead; so that they
are without excuse.” — (Romans 1:20).
Party leader Mr
will visit the West
Coast next month to address public meetings
at Greymouth and Hokitika. This is part
of a series of ‘meet the people’ visits to key
Mr Cracknell’s first engagement on his Coast
visit will be at a Rotary meeting at Hokitika
on Monday, March 8. The same evening he
will meet members of the party in Greymouth.
Following a southern tour next day, he will
speak at a public meeting in Hokitika in
Wednesday and will have a similar engagement
in Greymouth after a Rotary address here on
The personal visits are part of the league’s
new campaign to capture at least one seat in
Parliament at the 1966 general election.
A Christchurch man, Anthony Albert
Sebastian Fabian, was killed but a passenger,
Allan Edward Hunter, escaped serious injury
on Saturday night, when a light car struck the
side of the Kamaka bridge north of Stillwater.
Mr Fabian, who was driving the small
modern car, died almost immediately
following the injuries he received when the car
apparently got out of control and struck the
right-hand side of the concrete bridge.
A Greymouth man, Anthony Stanley Major
was fortunate to escape injury, as were his
three passengers, when the car he was driving
struck a cow on the Hokitika highway late on
Mr Major was driving towards Greymouth
at 11.20pm when his car struck the cow. The
cow was killed and the car fairly extensively
uFood for thought
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he turned into Karamea
Crescent. Her daughter
Christine lived at number
30, and Helen visited every
Wednesday for lunch.
Christine would probably just
throw something together. She left the
cooking to Mark.
Lunch was only an excuse to visit.
Actually, they saw each other most days.
Helen often popped in for a chat. It was
easier for her to get in the car and drive
over, because Christine was kept busy
managing the accounts for the kitchen-
sink business she and Mark ran from their
Christine also had to prepare GST
accounts that week for Glenn. Her
younger brother had been calling to find
out when she would finish.
Mark was away on business. He had left
on Tuesday morning. Before he drove to
Wellington, Mark went with Christine to
Lighting Direct in downtown Palmerston
North and bought a lampshade for the
spare bedroom he had been painting. Then
he kissed her goodbye, and got into his
blue Ford Fairmont.
He made it to Wellington that afternoon
and booked a room at the Foreshore
Motel on the waterfront in Petone. He
had stayed there quite a few times, and
often chatted with the owner.
Everyone in the kitchen trade in the
lower North Island knew Mark. He was
fat and cheerful. He usually just called into
their showrooms and factories without
phoning ahead. But he did not do the hard
sell. He was professional, and made good
on his promises.
He and Christine had a lot of friends.
They often hosted dinners, soirees, get-
togethers. In the weekend just gone, Mark
lit the barbecue on Saturday night even
though it was winter, and they played
cards with the D urhams, who stayed until
Some friends worried about their scheme
to invest in a Hawke’s Bay vineyard. The
interest was about $600 a day, according to
But they were a close, affectionate
couple. Mark’s father, Bill, said, “Mark and
Christine live for each other.” And then
there was Amber, seven years old, their
only child, who they loved more than life
itself. She was a good girl. Helen would
say “she’s the easiest child to babysit”.
Amber would tell her, “It’s bedtime,
Nana. ” She’d read in bed, and sometimes
listen to music as she drifted off to sleep.
The hallway light was kept on.
Christine picked her up from Roslyn
Primary School on Tuesday afternoon, and
took her to her dance class run by Dean
McKerras at Rocket Studios. A show was
coming up, and the girls had costume
Dean had had Amber as a student since
she was three.
Christine always waited in the same
seat at every session. Amber was in her
favourite dance outfit — a pink and
orange leotard, with blue tights.
The class finished about 4.30pm. Dean
was one of the last people to ever see them
alive. Their friends were all about to form
sentences that ended, “and that was the
last time I saw them”.
Caroline D urham said that in the High
Court at Wellington this week, and a
lawyer found it necessary to add, “Alive?”
Caroline said, “ The last time I saw them,
The last person to see them alive in
daylight was probably Jonathan Ferguson-
Pye, who ser ved them at the McDonald’s
drive-through on Rangitikei Street at
5.38pm on Tuesday.
A lawyer produced the receipt, and said,
“ What does ‘9 X NUG’ mean?”
Ferguson-Pye said, “It’s a while since I
worked there but I think it ’s nine nuggets.”
“ What about, ‘1 X CHICK’?”
This time the witness did not hesitate.
He said, “One chicken burger.”
The meal cost $18.60. Mark ordered a
prostitute to visit him that night in his
room at the Foreshore Motel, and she cost
She gave her name as Danielle. She
arrived not long before midnight. He wore
a pair of green trackpants. He had rum
on his breath — there was a bottle in the
room, three-quarters empty — but he did
not appear drunk. She thought he was
very pleasant. They made conversation.
He said, “I sell kitchen sinks.”
She said, “Really.”
He said, “I fax the orders to my wife,
and she does all the paper work. ” She said,
She left about 12.40am. A driver from
the Quarry Inn agency came to pick her
In the morning, Helen turned into
Karamea Crescent to have lunch with
Christine, but was stopped by two police
officers. Number 30 was taped off. She
said, “ That ’s my daughter’s house. What ’s
They would not give her a straight
answer, but Helen said, “ You may as well
One of the officers said, “ There’s a body
in the house.”
Helen said, “ What about Amber?”
The officer said, “She’s dead, too.”
Everything from this account of suburbia
and death — well, apart from guessing
the kind of responses “Danielle” gave that
night at the Foreshore Motel — is taken
from the opening week of Mark Lundy’s
trial for the murder of his wife Christine
and daughter Amber, killed on the night
of August 29, 2000.
First week, second trial: he was found
guilty in 2002, but the conviction was
thrown out by the Privy Council in 2013.
Lundy’s retrial, in the High Court at
Wellington, is set down for a further seven
or eight weeks.
Progress has been fast. The prosecution
has already called more than 40 witnesses,
including statements given by people who
have died since the murders, such as Helen
Weggery, Christine’s mother.
A story is taking shape, slowly. The order
of witnesses, and the evidence they give,
forms a narrative.
“Things will unfold,” Justice Simon
France told the jury, when everyone first
assembled in the ground-floor courtroom,
with its colour scheme of dark chocolate
and creamy vanilla wood panelling. The
walls are yet to close in. These are early
days. Everyone is getting to know each
There are the media, who sit in the
same places every day. One reporter feels
the heat of these beautiful summer days,
and mops her face. It is easy to identify
the girls from tv news shows. They wear
jackets in green and purple. Dizzying to
imagine the riot of primary colours in the
wardrobes of TVNZ and TV3.
There are the two rows of lawyers. It
took four days before Crown co-counsel
Ben Vanderkolk said a peep. He broke
his silence when he was given the task
of questioning parking officers. For the
defence, Julie-Ann Kincaid brings the
pleasing vowels of Belfast into the room
whenever she speaks. It even enlivens the
questioning of parking officers.
There are the jury. “ You are anonymous,”
said the judge. They elected their
forewoman on Thursday. She smokes with
her left hand, and holds the cigarette out
at arm’s length. There is a man with a
limp, and a man who wears very talkative
And there is Mark Lundy. Mark
Lundy sits in the dock at the back of the
courtroom. He wears a dark suit. It is kind
of slimming. Crown prosecutor Philip
Morgan outlined the case against him
on Monday. He, too, began his account
with 30 Karamea Crescent. “ It was,” he
said, “a modest little home in a blue-collar
It was where Christine and Amber were
killed with something like an axe. Morgan:
“ Both would have died immediately. ”
Immediately, after Christine raised
her hands above her head and face, and
received defensive wounds; immediately,
after Amber tried to run away. Christine
was killed in bed. Amber was killed in the
Morgan has not wished to dwell on the
deaths and several times assured witnesses
to relax, that he would not be showing
them crime-scene photographs. The worst
it got was when he provided a photo of
the hallway of 30 Karamea Crescent. It
was taken after the bodies were removed.
It showed the door way to Christine’s
bedroom. There was a “dark patch”.
The man who stands accused of it has
said two words, twice: “Not guilty.”
Lundy was given a lovely, warm smile by
a witness on Thursday. Bronwyn Neal had
known the Lundys for a long time. She
said she worked as a graphic designer, and
Lundy paid her $3500 to design brochures
for his wine venture. She also designed
an advertisement he wanted to place in a
police magazine. They talked about it on
the phone on the morning of the day that
the bodies of Christine and Amber were
discovered. “ He said that his
target audience included retired policemen
Brent Potter, who also gave evidence,
said he invited Lundy for morning tea in
his Lower Hutt joinery business on the
day the bodies were found. When he left
the courtroom, the two men gave each
other the familiar New Zealand male
greeting of raising their eyebrows at each
“ I bought a sink tap off of him that day,”
he remembered. “It was an impulse buy.”
He said Lundy and his staff sat down
for smoko. “He was cheerful, the same as
Smiling, laughing; the smoko room,
the buying of a tap; a chat about placing
an advertisement in the police gazette ...
All while Christine and Amber lay dead
in their home, blood all over the walls
— “ brains” as one witness said — with
the ranchslider open and the curtains
c losed and the phone ringing, and Helen
Weggery, Christine’s mother, about to
drive over for lunch.
— New Zealand Herald
PICTURE: Getty Images
Mark Lundy arrives at court.
John Martin was born by the sea,
worked on the water around New Zealand
and finally surrendered to the ocean when
he went to serve.
Born in the Hokianga, Martin followed
his father George into a maritime career,
ser ving as the local harbour master.
He initially enlisted with the army and
sailed with New Zealand Expeditionary
Force (NZEF) reinforcements for Britain
in October 1917.
He left from Wellington, leaving behind
wife Margaret and one-year-old daughter
Soon after the troop ship Arawa arrived
in the United Kingdom, Martin left
the NZEF and joined the Royal Naval
Reserve, a contingent of skilled seamen
drawn from those ser ving on merchant
ships and fishing boats. His first posting
was to the armed merchant cruiser HMS
Celtic, operating in the Irish Sea.
He transferred to HMS Brighton, a
steamship used for carrying troops and
as a hospital, then was given command
of HMS L obster, one of 200 specially
ordered “X craft ”.
Designed as landing vessels, the small
craft were built at shipyards in north-east
England and Scotland. The 33m boats
had a spoon-shaped, drop-down bow
designed for running up steeply sloping
beaches. The unarmed 120-tonne craft
puttered along at 5-7 knots.
Martin’s boat, launched as X-42, was
refitted as a fuel tanker, renamed Lobster
and assigned to support the North
The campaign, from May 1918 to
October 1919, was an allied inter vention
which followed the withdrawal of Russia
from the war after the Bolsheviks seized
power in October 1917.
Fearful that the collapse of the Russian
Government meant Germany could draft
large numbers of troops to the Western
Front and lay claim to huge stockpiles of
arms and munitions in the northern ports
of Murmansk and Archangel, an allied
force was organised to resist the Red
A key figure in the campaign was
Lieutenant-Colonel Edmund Ironside,
known as Tiny because of his immense
size. He wrote of his final instructions
from Whitehall: “Your business in North
Russia is to hold the fort until the local
Russians can take the field. You are to
prepare for a winter campaign. No joke
War Secretary Winston Churchill
claimed the aim was “to strangle at birth
the Bolshevik State” but the mission
became increasingly unpopular in Britain.
In January 1919 the Daily Express said,
“the frozen plains of Eastern Europe are
not worth the bones of a single grenadier”.
That same year Martin’s vessel was
towed to the White Sea and Murmansk
from the Shetland Islands. Allied forces
were in retreat and the Murmansk fleet
was supporting the withdrawal.
The Admiralty told Lieutenant Martin’s
wife in November that he was missing,
presumed drowned, confirmed a short
time later when it emerged that the
32-year-old New Zealander had slipped
on the deck of his craft and fallen into
the freezing Murmansk waters, the fourth
crewman to have slipped off Lobster and
died in just four months.
John Martin is remembered in Britain
on the Chatham Naval Memorial and,
near his birthplace, on the Hokianga Arch
— New Zealand Herald
PICTURE: New Zealand Herald
Allied war ships doing the run to Murmansk battled terrible conditions.
Freezing Arctic grave for New Zealand seaman
STEVE BRAUNIUS follows the strange case of Mark Lundy’s retrial for the
murder of his wife and daughter
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