Home' Greymouth Star : April 10th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Friday, April 10, 2015
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uLetters to the editor
1814 - Napoleon’s army is defeated by the
British and Spanish at the Battle of Toulouse,
leading to his abdication and exile to Elba the
1854 - The constitution of the Orange Free
State in south Africa is proclaimed.
1912 - Luxury liner RMS Titanic sails from
Southampton, England, on its ill-fated maiden
1925 - The Great Gatsby, by F Scott
Fitzgerald, is first published.
1932 - Paul von Hindenburg is re-elected
German president, with Adolf Hitler second.
1941 - Siege of Tobruk begins in World War
1944 - British midget submarine secretly
enters Bergen harbour in Nor way and sinks
German merchant ship Barenfels.
1959 - Crown Prince Akihito of
Japan marries a commoner, Michiko
1961 - Former Nazi Adolf
Eichmann is put on trial as a war
criminal in an Israeli court in
1968 - The Wahine ferry sinks in
severe weather in Wellington harbour
killing 51 people.
1973 - In Switzerland, 108 people die when a
plane crashes while attempting to land at Basel.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
William Hazlitt, English essayist (1778-1830);
Lewis Wallace, US novelist (Ben Hur), soldier
and diplomat (1827-1905); William Booth,
English founder of Salvation Army (1829-
1912); Joseph Pulitzer, US journalist
(1847-1911); Liz Sheridan, US actress
of Seinfeld fame (1929-); Max von
Sydow, Swedish actor (1929-); Omar
Sharif, Egyptian actor (1932-); Dr
Peter Hollingworth, former Australian
governor-general (1935-); Bunny
Wailer, Jamaican musician (1947-);
Steven Seagal, US actor (1952-); Sophie Ellis-
Bextor, British singer (1979-); Mandy Moore,
US singer-actor (1984-); Haley Joel Osment,
US actor (1988-) .
“ Take from me the hope that I can change
the future, and you will send me mad.” — Israel
Zangwill, English dramatist (1864-1926).
“ I fear that when I come again, my God may
humble me before you, and that I may have
to mourn over many who previously sinned
and have not repented of the impurity, sexual
immorality, and licentiousness that they have
— 2 Corinthians 12.21
Take a log of wood,
preferably rimu, peel
it like an apple, cut
the peel into lengths,
put some scraps in between and glue the lot
together. The result? — plywood. Put that
way it sounds easy but it has taken years of
planning, negotiation and building — and
much money to establish an industry on the
West Coast to do just that.
Resting on 75,000 square feet of Gladstone
land the Fletcher plywood factory is poised for
an influx of VIPs this month for the official
opening. It is a measure of the vitality of this
new and most important adjunct to the West
Coast economy that it has not waited on
officialdom or even the completion of its giant
buildings before it swung into production.
The plant itself stands a giant example
of man’s ingenuity with machinery and
contemporary materials. Automation is
everywhere. Sited on a spot which some 18
months ago was inhabited by a few sheep. the
£60,000 plant is believed to be the biggest of
its kind in the Southern Hemisphere.
“ I read it, then thew it away!” What petite
19-year-old Colleen Beadle read this morning
was a mystery envelope voucher. What she had
thrown away was a return air trip for one to
It was not until others at Lane, Walker,
Rudkin Ltd, where Colleen works, picked
up the ticket that the full meaning of her
behaviour was realised. Colleen was still
recovering from the shock.
The lucky voucher was one of nearly 100
bought by Mrs A Watkins with money from
Lane, Walker, Rudkin’s social fund. Each
member of staff received a voucher.
uFood for thought
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Taranaki iwi in
I take umbrage at Colin Townsend’s
statement (Greymouth Star, April 7) that
the “Maori prisoners were not treated
cruelly at Hokitika”.
Those Taranaki Maori men were
incarcerated for about two years without
trial, which was cruelty in itself.
Further, to classify these men as
prisoners is a grave injustice and modern
writers today refer to them as ‘detainees of
James Mason Russell
Myself, along with many others, are not
pleased about losing the best radio station
we have ever had, The Sound.
I cannot listen to the other three music
stations to choose from; they all seem
to play the same type of music that suits
The 1960s and 1970s are still regarded by
many to be the greatest era of music ever
produced. My 14-year-old son is of the
I am left with no option but to load up
my work van with CDs of Led Zeppelin,
The Who, Pink Floyd, Hendrix, Clapton,
The Beatles and the like.
Missing The Sound
I am with Paul Buchanan (Greymouth
Star, April 7). Who wants to hear radio
hosts talking about nothing and laughing
I am for The Sound to come back, and
for some good music not the host listening
to their own voice and liking it.
Bring back The Sound.
When is a detour no longer a detour? I
refer to the Reefton Saddle, which has had
detour signs up for many years and with
no sign that things are likely to change in
the near future.
It is about time that the road was
realigned or signs removed. I guess things
are not done in a hurry on the Coast and
refer you to your Way We Were column
1965, that all the road-rail bridges would
be removed/replaced within five years.
Now they are saying the Taramakau
Bridge will be removed in four years,
so what is another 44 years? Good luck
Northland with your new bridges, but
don’t hold your breath because it will not
be habit forming.
Paying for the new
I am concerned about the to-ing and
fro-ing and general uncertainty about
what the end result of our hospital will be.
It seems to be getting scaled down, from
what I can work out to date.
What is going on behind the scenes is
not a good thing for the West Coast — far
from it. Why the secrecy?
Under the guise of a rebuild is a loss of
ser vices and something far less than we
have now, even if modernised. What is
worse is the Government thinks we should
be thankful for this, and to that I say —
First of all, the finance is a loan, not a
gift, and worst of all at market rates when
we could borrow off our own Reser ve
Bank at mere loan management costs and
What ’s more, the West Coast had more
than paid its own way given the pillaging
and plundering of our resources. Also,
as the Government might gift money to
Team New Zealand and waste about $76
million on a flag referendum really says
how little they care about the West Coast.
We should be provided the money for
the hospital and a lot more than is on offer
at the moment.
When I was on an advisory committee
for the DHB we were told a rebuild
should cost us between $120m and $180m
to do the job properly. I would rather us
borrow the money off Development West
Coast, if all else fails.
A letter to the newspaper The Australian
highlights the boorish behaviour of the
Australian cricket team.
What is it about Australian cricket that
they cannot even win graciously? Brad
Haddin’s attempted justification for the
ill-mannered ‘send-offs’ during the World
Cup final that, ‘They deserved it . . . They
were that nice to us in New Zealand’
would be laughable were it not so utterly
stupid. And why is it that while most
bowlers express delight on dismissing
batsmen, most of Australia’s bowlers react
with expressions of rage?
I suspect from media reports from New
Zealand that despite losing the final,
Kiwis derived more pleasure from the
World Cup than was experienced on this
side of the ditch, due in no small part to
the sporting manner in which their team
Another Health and Disability
Commissioner investigation reported in
the media suggests that the role played by
the commissioner may be different from
the public expectations.
In this case, a patient had been started
on the blood thinning drug Warfarin
in hospital, following cardiac surgery.
The patient ’s GP, who was unsure of the
reason, had discontinued the drug after
The patient later had a stroke and died in
A recommendation was made for the
GP to undergo a one-year education
The cause or the circumstances of death
or adequacy of follow-up after surgery
were not reported. In the past, the nature
and circumstances of harm were identified
before making recommendations. The
commissioner had stated that it was not
his role to comment on the cause of death.
In an unexpected hospital death of
another patient, circumstances leading to
death remain unreported five years later,
with similar claims.
A junior doctor documented the
contribution of inappropriate intravenous
fluid administration to one of the causes
of death (heart failure) but denied any
personal responsibility. However, the drug
chart shows the same junior doctor had
prescribed the first dose of intravenous
fluids several days earlier, when harm was
the only possible outcome.
Others repeated the prescription without
looking at the consequences.
At that time, some junior doctors were
receiving incentive payments and were
working without appropriate medical
In my view, many were responsible for
the consequences but none was made
Why the Health and Disability
Commissioner did not refer the matter
back to the police was not explained.
Such investigational standards cause
progressive deterioration in quality and
contribute to escalating health care costs.
Should NZ apologise for Great War campaign?
o understand Gallipoli is to
delve into history. Turkey
never wanted a war. By
the turn of last century,
the once great Ottoman
Empire was on the decline,
while Britain was an aggressive imperial
force still staking out claims.
While Britain, France and the Ottoman
Empire were allies in the Crimean War
of 1853-56 against Russia, Britain had
already taken control of Egypt and Cyprus
from the Turks in the late 19th century.
The British then set their sights on
the oilfields in the Persian Gulf and had
ambitions in the general Mesopotamian
area, according to English historian Peter
Hart, author of Gallipoli.
In 1911, knowing they had to bolster
their military capabilities, the Turkish
Admiralty placed contracts with
Armstrong Vickers at Newcastle-on -Tyne
for two battleships for delivery in 1914.
which time Turkey remained neutral —
First Lord of the Admiralty, Winston
Churchill, confiscated the battleships.
The act of British “treachery” helped
sway the Turkish people in favour of
siding with Germany when war broke out
in early August 1914.
It signed a treaty of alliance with
Germany, and formally entered the
conflict on October 28, 1914, with the
bombing of Russian Black Sea ports.
The Triple Entente, or Allied Powers,
declared war on the Ottoman Empire on
With a stalemate on the Western
Front already, Churchill convinced his
government of the merit of an assault
up the stretch of water known as the
Dardanelles to Constantinople and
the Black Sea. He said it would knock
Turkey out of the war, removing one of
the countries propping up Germany, and
providing a “back door” attack route from
The Dardanelles strait has been of
strategic importance for centuries. The site
of Troy on the Asian side, which looks
across at Cape Helles on the peninsula,
dominates the cultural history of the
Churchill’s plan was “ lunacy from the
start”, Mr Hart believes.
“(It) never had the chance to succeed;
an idiocy generated by the muddled
thinking of ‘Easterners’ such as Churchill.
By attacking the Turks, the British merely
allowed them the opportunity to kill and
maim British (and Allied) soldiers.”
After a naval attack on the strait failed,
the British Empire, comprising the United
Kingdom, New Zealand, Australia, India
and Newfoundland, with help from
France, invaded Turkey at an Aegean Sea
beach now known as Anzac Cove on April
However, the Turks had plenty of time
to dig in and were well prepared for the
During the landings, the Allies suffered
heavy casualties but the military top brass
were desperate to push on. O ver the
next eight months, there were 141,547
casualties with 44,150 dead.
Robust Turkish record-keeping dispels
the myth the Turks did not suffer as much
as the Allies.There were 251,309 Turkish
casualties, with 86,692 dead.
Nejat Kavvas, a Turkey-born artist and
former diplomat who lives in Auckland,
is critical that some Anzac historians
have failed to give a balanced view of the
“History is a positive science, like physics
or chemistry, it is not gobbledegook. Like
all positive sciences, you look at all angles,
and make a positive deduction from it.
“But it hasn’t always happened that way
and that is one of the main reasons that
New Zealanders have never really found
out what happened at Gallipoli,” he says.
After emigrating to New Zealand in the
late 1970s from the country he is at pains
to tell people is not Turkey, but Trkiye
(pronounced tukia), he settled in quickly.
But he always felt New Zealanders held
a lingering bitterness towards Turkey over
“I couldn’t understand how people could
hold a grudge that a Turk shot their
grandfather. The Turks were defending
themselves. Wouldn’t you do that if
someone attacked your country? We’re not
going to pick up flowers, we’re going to
shoot them. ”
Allied soldiers were told the Turks were
cannibals and would use poison gas in
the trenches. But as the bloody campaign
wore on, the two sides realised they were
both honourable fighters with much in
There is a famous Turkish tale that tells
the story of two New Zealanders taken
prisoner. They were asked where they were
from. On being informed, the Turks said:
“ Never heard of New Zealand.”
Some Germans who were eavesdropping
explained it was a country in the Pacific,
on the other side of the world.
The incredulous Turks then demanded
of their captives: “ Why are you here?The
prisoners said they thought it would be
like playing an away game of rugby.
Gallipoli campaign histories are full of
anecdotes of the respect that flourished
between the Anzacs and Turks, despite the
The Turks tossed tobacco across the lines
and Anzacs would return the favour with
beef bully or chocolate.
“ Turks realise that New Zealanders were
just innocent pawns and good people
dragged in to a very dirty game by the
British,” Mr Kavvas says.
While Turkey won the stand-off at
Gallipoli when the Allies withdrew in late
1915 and early 1916, it lost the war when
it surrendered on October 30, 1918.
The British returned to Gallipoli just
days later. All the potent symbols of heroic
Turkish resistance: Krithia, Achi Baba,
Chunuk Bair, the Kilid Bahr Plateau, the
Narrows forts and even Constantinople
itself, were all soon under the iron grip of
the Allies. No one put it more bluntly than
Mustafa Kemal — the founding father
of the Republic of Turkey who made
his name as an army officer at Gallipoli
— who said in 1927: “ The Ottoman
Army had been crushed on every
front.”However, history is a continuing
narrative. Kemal, later known as Ataturk,
used the fame he had gained at Gallipoli
to “position himself in the post-war power
struggles and was successful in building
a strong independent Turkey ”, Mr Hart
The dense history of Turkey is littered
with famous battles. Every March 18 it
celebrates the “Canakkale victory” which
signified the birth of a new nation from
the wreck of the Ottoman Empire.
However, Turkish military historian
and former infantry colonel Mesut Uyar
says until a few decades ago, the Gallipoli
campaign was not seen as an important
part of the Turkish Republic’s foundation.
“Although popular Turkish remembrance
and commemoration of the Gallipoli
campaign started with the war-period
propaganda and myth-making, the
Independence War proved to be more
important with its peculiar myths and
legends,” said Mr Uyar, whose new book,
The Ottoman Defence Against the Anzac
Landing is the first detailed account of the
landing from the Turkish perspective to be
published in English.
The construction of the Dardanelles
Martyrs’ Memorial in the early 1950s
and an official 1980s campaign to create
a more articulated Gallipoli history
supported with sites of remembrance
were instrumental in establishing an
“omnipresence of Gallipoli in Turkish
history”, Mr Uyar says.
Over the last 35 years, strong
relationships have also developed between
New Zealand and Turkey, Mr Kavvas, who
played a part in that as a diplomat, said.
He is proud that the two countries have
developed a better understanding and
respect for one another.
However, a century on from the
bloodshed, he believes it is time for the
New Zealand government to apologise for
its part in the invasion.
“ It would be a very humane and befitting
New Zealand gesture that Turks would
welcome greatly. From the depth of my
heart, I feel New Zealand is mature
enough to do that.”
How does one of the greatest debacles of World War One look from the Turkish
perspective? On the centenary of the conflict, should the Government apologise for its part
in an invasion that claimed 86,000 Ottoman Empire lives — almost twice the number of
Allied soldiers killed? KURT BAYER of NZME reports.
The Ottomans never wanted a war — and at Gallipoli they suffered twice the number of fatalities. The soldier in the white uniform is modern Turkey’s founder, Ataturk.
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