Home' Greymouth Star : February 25th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Tuesday, February 24, 2015
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uLetters to the editor
1771 - Encyclopaedia Britannica first
1875 - 102 die when steamer Gotenburg
hits a reef south of Townsville, North
1887 - Paris and Brussels become the first
two capital cities to be linked by telephone.
1905 - Death of French novelist Jules Verne.
1920 - Nazi Party is organised in Germany.
1946 - Juan Peron is elected for first of three
presidential terms in Argentina.
1968 - Australian Prime Minister
John Gorton wins House of
Representatives seat of Higgins
vacated after predecessor Harold
Holt disappeared in surf two months
1981 - Buckingham Palace
announces engagement of Prince Charles and
Lady Diana Spencer.
1989 - Cargo door of a United Airlines
jumbo jet blows out on a flight from Los
Angeles to Sydney; nine passengers are killed.
1991 - Hours after last-minute Soviet
diplomatic efforts fail, allied forces launch a
ground offensive against Iraqi forces in Kuwait
2013 - Pope Benedict XVI bestows his
final Sunday blessing of his pontificate on a
cheering crowd in St Peter’s Square.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Charles V, Holy Roman emperor, king of
Spain and archduke of Austria (1500-1558);
Wilhelm Grimm, German author (1786-1859);
George Augustus Moore, English novelist
(1852-1933); Chester Nimitz, US admiral
and commander of the Pacific Fleet
during World War Two (1885-1966);
Bettino Craxi, first Socialist prime
minister of Italy (1934-2000); David
Williamson, Australian playwright
(1942-); Joe Lieberman, US politician
(1942-); Alain Prost, French race car
driver (1955-); Steve Jobs, American
computer pioneer (1955-2011); Todd Field,
US actor-director (1964-);Floyd Mayweather,
US boxer (1977-); Lleyton Hewitt, Australian
tennis player (1981-) .
“Great events make me quiet and calm; it is
only trifles that irritate my ner ves.”
— Queen Victoria, British monarch (1819-
“ Beloved, do not grumble against one
another, so that you may not be judged. See,
the Judge is standing at the doors!”
— James 5.9
Two and a half
months ago, Bill Cate,
a young 24-year-old
entertainer who keeps
teenagers throughout Australasia rocking and
twisting, scored the greatest hit of his life — he
Although Just Married was not among the
songs that kept teenagers at the Runanga
Miners’ Hall twisting, stomping and screaming
throughout Sunday night, Bill Cate who
partners Boyd Robertson, as Bill and Boyd, was
an outstanding success.
Although he has travelled throughout New
Zealand and Australia, Bill did not meet his
wife Gail while on tour. In fact you might say
he married the girl next door. The couple have
been ‘going steady’ since secondary school in
In spite of efforts to resuscitate him, a man is
believed to have died instantly from an electric
shock while painting his house at Dunollie on
Sunday. He was Mr Jethro Sowerby, 43, the
father of three children, of 30 Herd Street,
An ambulance from Greymouth rushed to
Dunollie after the accident was reported, but
Mr Sowerby was found to be dead on arrival
at the hospital. The actual cause of the accident
is not definitely known. It is believed he came
into contact with the power lines leading into
his home when he was painting his house.
Originally from the North Island, Mr
Sowerby moved to the West Coast and took up
mining with Spark and Party on the Rewanui
line. In recent years he had been working as a
storeman for Griffen and Smith in Greymouth.
He leaves his wife Elsie (nee Brown) and
three children, Brian, Sandra and Carol.
uFood for thought
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f you had told the teenaged Aeliya
Hayat that by the time she was in
her 30s she would be a full-time
mum and devout Muslim, she
would never have believed it.
Originally from Kazakhstan,
she was known as Yuliya when she was
sent by her employer to Dubai. Then 20,
religion was the last thing on her mind as
she found her way in a culture of shopping
and flash cars, working in sales for a
“It was a selfish kind of life. I had my
own principles but I was like the person
who has no ground beneath their feet. I
had no sound foundation.”
Hayat had not embraced her family’s
“I started from a zero level in religion
overall, not just Islam. But in a Muslim
country I was exposed to the culture. My
colleagues at work were Muslim so it was
an opportunity to inquire and I started
obser ving. Then I met my husband-to-be
and he paved the way towards Islam for
“I had lots of questions. I used to argue
about everything and question everything
and it took time to understand.”
It was in 2001, about a year after she met
her husband, Kashif, that she made her
decision. “I started to accept Islam and
started changing my lifestyle. Once I was
100% convinced it was the path to follow I
said to him, ‘Okay, I’ll convert ’.
“I didn’t convert because I fell in love,
but the relationship helped a lot. He was
such an example to me. At the same time,
I had to use my intellect and logic. It was
not forced on me.”
But the change was not easy. She gave up
alcohol and changed her wardrobe — no
more tight-fitting clothes or elaborate
make-up. “I was a typical western girl, the
same as the girls you see in New Zealand,
the same way of living and dressing. Life
took me 180 degrees and I had my ups
and downs. From time to time I was
thinking ‘What am I doing?’ Then I would
do more learning about it and found
peace. It took time but it was quite a bit of
Now, she says covering up makes her feel
safe and secure. Islam comes with rules for
everything from how to go to the toilet
to how to fulfil your purpose. “ I thought,
‘Isn’t it a bit much? Where’s the freedom?’
Then I realised this is the way, if you want
to be human and not an animal, you have
to follow certain rules.”
She moved to New Zealand in 2011
and lives with her family in Flat Bush,
“I used to have a motto of just enjoy life.
Friends knew me as such an outgoing girl
with a career.
“Now it has turned upside down. I
married at 21, have four children and now
I’m a nice mother and housewife. It ’s such
a drastic change, you wonder how is that
possible? But it ’s possible if you take small
steps one at a time, it becomes your nature,
it becomes you. ”
New New Zealand believers ‘didn’t take
Hemi Taka was cooking breakfast after
a night out at an Auckland club, when
the television programme Voice of Islam
caught his attention.
It was 2006 and the 26-year-old roof
tiler had been looking for more out of
life. He had visited churches and studied
Buddhism and Hinduism but nothing felt
like a good fit.
“I started watching, then a verse from the
Koran came up and I thought, ‘ What are
these powerful words?’.”
He began watching the show each week
and studying the Koran. After two years,
as his fifth child was about to be born,
Taka decided to make the leap.
“I went into a local mosque but no
went home and asked God to send me a
Muslim brother to help me. ”
Mr Taka discovered his car mechanic
was Muslim. “He was so excited and said,
‘Go home, shower, I’ll come and take you
to the mosque’, ” Mr Taka said.
The transition was not easy. Friends
thought Mr Taka was joking or going
through a phase. “ They ’d call me a suicide
bomber but I brushed it off. My wife used
to laugh because I had to recite prayers
in Arabic, she’d tease me when I was
His wife, Debbie, eventually converted
and his family came to terms with the
change. Giving up drinking was a big deal
for a guy used to socialising. “I finally gave
up drinking in my second year of being a
Muslim and I’ve only slipped up a couple
“I was so upset when I found out I
couldn’t eat pork but after watching
a few documentaries on pork and the
health issues with it, I didn’t take much
Many of the Islamic rules are basic
common sense, Mr Taka reckoned. He
says he is a better husband, healthier and
keen to spread the message about Islam.
He hands out brochures at weekend
“ I’m still a normal Kiwi. I take the kids
to the beach, eat ice-cream, go to the
pools, but I pray five times a day and fast.
It’s made us better people with better
As for Debbie, she was first exposed to
the religion when Mr Taka converted.
“ I kept thinking, ‘ Oh, he’ll get over this
one.’ When he became Muslim I thought,
‘He’s really lost the plot this time. ’
“ It took eight months after Hemi
converted to realise he’s not drinking any
more, he’s spending all night talking to the
brothers and getting to know more about
“ He’s still never here — but he’s not
coming home drunk and wasting money. ”
Hemi organised for Debbie to meet
other converts. “It’s the biggest eye and
heart opener. It ’s made life seem so pure
and easy to understand. ”
Despite her passion for the Islamic
faith, putting on the hijab was another
“It took me about six months. I’m the
chairwoman of the board of trustees at
the kids’ school, the school netball coach,
the SKIDS (out-of-school care) worker,
the parent help. What would people say?
“ I would wear it then get down the road
and think, ‘I can’t do it’ and take it off.”
A friend asked who she was trying to
please — other people or God. “ I thought,
‘That ’s it, I don’t care what anyone else
says, I’m not taking it off.’ This is me, if
you don’t like me for this you’ve got the
Now the 34-year-old mother of five says
she notices people treat her differently
when her head is covered.
“ I could go into the supermarket and
everyone would say, ‘Hi, how ’s your day?’
When I walk in with the scarf they look at
me like I can’t speak English. I say hi and
they ’re blown away. ”
Debbie and Hemi have four girls aged
11 to 18 and a seven-year-old boy. They
also have three teenage girls placed with
them by Child, Youth and Family.
Debbie worried how she would fit in
prayers five times a day — but jokes it
has become a welcome relief. “At those
five prescribed times, it’s like finally your
brain can have that five-minute chill out
Debbie says she felt a bit lost before she
“ It put things into perspective. I saw
massive changes in my husband, thought,
‘ Wow, this can only be good for the kids’. ”
Since she converted, Debbie says she
has met at least one New Zealander, often
Maori, a week who has also converted.
She says understanding is developing
slowly but surely.
“ It ’s the Kiwi way to shake hands with
men (which Islam does not permit).
“ I have to meet so many Ministry of
Education people at the school and it ’s
like they already know, they ’ll say, ‘Oh, we
know not to shake your hand. ’
“ I smile. I think people are becoming
more educated.” — New Zealand Herald
Road to Islam: Prayer, peace, prejudice
Aeliya Hayat converted to Islam after living and working in Dubai, where she met her Muslim husband.
Young Ghanaian entrepreneur Nana
Tamakloe could hardly have a simpler
business plan. When people order clothes
from his website, he buys the items from
stalls and shops in Accra, ships them with
DHL and gets paid on-line.
His suppliers love him as a regular
customer and do not care that he doubles
their prices to cover his costs.
“Most of the clothes sellers and
tailors don’t have a way to reach clients
abroad, so I was like: ‘Let ’s create an
e-commerce platform’,” Tamakloe, whose
www.fashionghana.com website ser ves
customers in the west and some in Africa,
Tamakloe’s business is small but he is
tapping into a market manufacturers and
internet companies say will be big: on-line
retail in Africa.
The backdrop is simple. The growth of
Africa’s middle class has created demand
for products that conventional retail
struggles to satisfy due to a shortage of
malls and grinding traffic in many cities
that deters shoppers.
At the same time, giants such as Amazon
and Chinese e-commerce firm Alibaba
are out of reach for most consumers. Step
for ward companies who tailor their ser vice
to African markets.
The sector is still in its infancy. The
internet ’s contribution to Africa’s gross
domestic product stood at 1.1% in 2013,
much lower than other emerging markets.
But this could rise to 10%, or $300
billion, by 2025, according to a report by
consultants McKinsey ’s and Company.
Even in South Africa, the market leader,
on-line retail sales are less than 1% of total
sales, Arthur Goldstuck of market research
firm World Wide Worx, said.
Last year, hedge fund Tiger Global
invested $100 million in South African
on-line shopping company Takealot.
The German firm Rocket Internet
also ploughed 120 million euros in
Nigeria-based on-line retailer Jumia in
Rocket, emerging markets telecoms
group Millicom and MTN own Africa
Internet Group (AIG), an e-commerce
company that operates in 27 countries and
has firms that include Jumia and Lamudi,
a site to trade real estate.
The newness of the sector creates a
scramble for dominance and consumer
choice. If a customer wants to trade
second hand goods then OLX, owned by
South African media and technology giant
Naspers, provides an ser vice on-line.
If it is western goods, then Mall of
Africa facilitates that on-line in Nigeria as
does e-commerce store Konga.
Inevitably, the sector is growing quickest
in sub-Saharan Africa’s sturdier economies
and fastest of all in South Africa, where
retail resembles that of South-east
Asian countries with its more developed
e-commerce sector, experts said.
But the potential in countries such as
Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory
Coast and Senegal is such that on-line
retailers say their main aim is not to beat
their competitors so much as to grab a
bigger slice of the overall retail market.
“ Becoming number one is not difficult.
The real objective is to be the leader across
on-line and off-line,” co-chief executive of
AIG, Jeremy Hodara, said.
Expansion requires attracting new
customers, allaying fears of fraud, building
trading platforms and mastering delivery
networks, all on a continent where few use
credit cards. African e-commerce firms
take cash payments on receipt of goods to
overcome this hurdle.
It also means persuading vendors that
online sales can boost trade.
That is why Justin Christianson’s job
as Uganda manager for on-line retailer
Kaymu involves wading through the dusty
maze of downtown Kampala to convince
wary shopkeepers that selling their wares
on-line can give them an edge.
Kaymu got off to a slow start in
Uganda but, by June, it was processing
transactions worth 43,000 euros a month
and that figure quadrupled by December,
Christianson said. Even so, many
Ugandans remain cautious.
“ I am reluctant to do any major on-line
purchases for fear that someone will just
take my money and disappear,” Ronald
Matsiko, a banker in Kampala, said.
Despite his scepticism, money is pouring
into the sector.
The example of China points the way for
Africa because of its use of cellphones as
a platform and its growth in rural areas as
well as cities, Charmaine Oak, author of
The Digital Money Game, said.
But it is hard for African firms to
replicate the success of the global giants
in mastering every aspect of e-commerce,
Maurizio Caio, founder of Tlcom venture
capital firm, said.
The African firms trying to do that
require heavy investment and there is an
opportunity for firms to ser ve a niche, such
as managing deliveries and even erecting
street signs in African cities to facilitate
deliveries, he said.
African firms are also hampered by the
continent ’s national boundaries, currencies
and regulatory systems and this could
make them vulnerable to acquisition by
Amazon and Alibaba once they turn their
attention to Africa’s market, experts said.
“ It ’s completely appropriate for (African)
companies to design and grow with the
perspective that they will be bought by a
global player with an Africa strategy,” Caio
said. — Reuters
Browse, click, pay
New scientific research suggests Hawke’s
Bay can expect up to a magnitude 6.9
earthquake every 57 years.
An international team of scientists has
analysed 7000 years’ worth of mud from
Lake Tutira to determine how often the
region might expect earthquakes of at
least moderate (ground-shaking intensity
modified Mercalli intensity 7) strength.
The 5.9 Hastings event in 2008, resulting
in the Earthquake Commission receiving
1380 claims for damage worth $5 million,
was an example of a moderate shake.
Modified Mercalli intensity measures
the intensity of an earthquake, while the
well-known Richter magnitude measures
the energy released.
The study, led by Dr Basil Gomez from
the University of Hawaii, suggests such
quakes might occur, on average, every 57
years. However, the results are slightly
greater than a previous estimate from the
national seismic hazard model for New
Zealand, which placed the inter val at 39
Niwa marine geologist and team
member Dr Alan Orpin said the time
inter vals between recent large earthquakes
in Hawke’s Bay can be estimated by using
historical and instrumental records kept
for the past century.
“ Lake sediments can function as natural
seismographs that can build a continuous
library through time of earthquakes,” he
“They are a largely unexplored repository
of region-scale information about
earthquake ground motions.”
Lake Tutira, about 25km north of
Napier, proved an ideal location for the
tests as the team sought an environment
where sediments — including deposits
created by ground shaking — accumulated
without any breaks. The scientists found
that coresamples extracted from the lake
bed revealed a clear record of sediment
disturbance over 7000 years.
Dr Orpin said a challenge for the team
was to distinguish deposit layers caused by
rainstorms from those triggered by seismic
“ We were able to do this by correlating
known storm and seismic events from
historical times with the physical and
chemical properties of corresponding
“The seismic record we have extracted
from Lake Tutira ranks among the most
detailed earthquake chronologies available
The team’s research is the subjects of a
pending article in the journal Geology,
produced by the Geological Society of
America. — NZ ME -Hawke’s Bay Today
Mud used to predict Hawke’s Bay quakes
African retailers turn to internet
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