Home' Greymouth Star : May 18th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Monday, May 18, 2015
We appreciate the value of the Letters to the Editor
column as a public forum for West Coasters and
welcome your opinion and suggestions.
Letters may be submitted by post, fax or e-mail and
must include your name, address, phone number
and — except for e-mails — your signature. Noms
de plume are not accepted.
Please keep your letters honest, respectful and
within 300 words. Letter writers will generally not
be published more often than weekly. The Editor
reserves the right to edit or not publish letters,
especially those that are offensive or too long.
Post to PO Box 3, Greymouth, fax to 768 6205 or
e-mail to email@example.com
uLetters to the editor
1830 - Edwin Budding of England signs an
agreement for manufacture of his invention,
1860 - Abraham Lincoln is nominated for
1897 - A public reading of Bram Stoker’s
new novel, Dracula, or The Undead,
is staged in London.
1944 - The Monte Cassino
Benedictine monastery in Italy is
taken from German forces after
1953 - Jacqueline Cochran
becomes the first woman to break
the sound barrier.
1966 - Koroki Te Rata Mahuta Tawhiao
Potatau Te Wherowhero, the fifth Maori king,
dies at Ngaruawahia.
1980 - Mt St Helens volcano in Washington
state explodes, taking 400m off its top and
leaving 57 people dead.
2005- US actor and master impressionist
Frank Gorshin, best known for his maniacally
menacing turn as the Riddler in the 1960s
television series Batman, dies aged 72.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Nicholas II, last tsar of Russia (1868â€o1918);
Frank Capra, US movie director (1897-
1991); Tom Heeney (The Hard Rock from
Down Under), New Zealand boxer and world
heavyweight challenger in 1928
(1898-1984); Perry Como, US
singer (1912-2001); Dame Margot
Fonteyn, English ballerina (1919-
1991); John Paul II (Karol Wojtyla),
Polish pope (1920-2005); Pernell
Roberts, US actor (1928-2010);
Robert Morse, US actor (1931-
2010); Chow Yun-Fat, Hong Kong actor
“ Even if you are on the right track, you’ll get
run over if you just sit there.” — Will Rogers,
US humorist, actor and writer (1879-1935).
“ For if you forgive men when they sin against
you, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you.
But if you do not forgive men their sins, your
Father will not forgive your sins.”
Miss Noelene East
is having one of the
most enjoyable times
she has ever had
touring around from night to night with the
1965 Miss New Zealand show. Parading every
night before packed houses she is leading the
life of a film star being carried along in an
endless succession of shows, said her mother
Mrs D East today.
Noelene expresses her feelings about the
show in such words as ‘terrific’, ‘wonderful’
and ‘having a whale of a time’. S he is enjoying
every aspect of the tour, the company of the
other girls, the entertainers travelling with the
show and the many people she has met during
the course of her journey.
Noelene, the West Coast representative, won
her title as Miss West Coast earlier this year.
Judges at the Cage Bird Club’s show staged
here at the weekend stated that the St
Columba Hall was one of the best in which
they had ever officiated. The natural light, they
said, was perfect for show purposes.
There was plenty of colour at the show,
ranging in plumage from white to yellow,
greens and all the blues. With the birds in full
cry the club did not require any identification
signs outside the hall. Some 2350 people
attended over two days.
Mrs F Bourke, of Whall Street, produced the
winning exhibit — a red canary. Runner-up
was Mr Ron Thompson, of Kells Hotel, with a
fine pair of white fantail pigeons. The biggest
exhibit was the kea of Mr J Finlay, of Cobden.
Best foreign finch was exhibited by Yvonne
Smithson, of Dunollie. Best junior budgie,
Kerry Marshall, of Cobden.
uFood for thought
Printed and published by the
Greymouth Evening Star Co Limited
3 Werita Street, PO Box 3, Greymouth
03 769 7900 (office)
769 7913 (editorial)
768 6205 (fax)
03 769 7913
03 755 8422
Sonya Baumstein lay in bed one sleepless
night and wept softly as she pondered
her upcoming attempt to cross the Pacific
Ocean alone in a rowboat.
“I was just thinking about the fact that
I’m going to be leaving everything that I
love for a really long time,” Baumstein said
of her planned 9600km odyssey. “And I
don’t know the consequences.”
The 30-year-old from Port Townsend,
Washington, has undertaken endurance
feats in the past but her journey from Japan
to San Francisco, expected to start this
week, is her most daunting adventure yet.
The four- to six-month trip is
an endeavour no woman has ever
Despite 16 attempts to row solo across
the Pacific, only two men have successfully
completed the journey — Frenchmen
Gerard d’Aboville in 1991 and Emmanuel
Coindre in 2005, according to Ocean
Rowing Society records.
“Once she leaves Japan, the next person
she will see will be in San Francisco,” said
Andrew Cull, the journey ’s operation
manager. “Unless maybe someone in a
fishing vessel stops by to say ‘Hi’ in the
middle of the ocean.”
Baumstein will take off on her custom-
made 7 m, 350kg boat with 544kg of
freeze-dried food, 180 high-carbohydrate
drink supplements and a cache of olive oil
that she will consume in hopes of retaining
as much weight as possible.
The carbon and kevlar boat weighs in at
a 300kg and will have on board an electric
water maker that desalinates seawater for
Baumstein, who was recruited as a rower
by the University of Wisconsin-Madison
before a car accident derailed her collegiate
athletic career, expects to burn to up 10,000
calories a day and has gained 18kg for
the trip. Her bathroom on board will be a
She has a team that will aid her from land
via satellite phone, she will be tracked by
GPS, and will have an emergency beacon in
case of trouble, but there will be no support
vessel. She will be rowing up to 16 hours a
day in a boat without a motor or sail.
“Sonya’s not crazy,” said Cull. “She’s
driven. Maybe a little bit bull headed.
She gets an idea in her head and will do
anything necessary to get it done.”
Baumstein has a master’s degree in
non-profit management, yet Cull said she
has spent three years doing nothing but
preparing for the trip, which is funded
largely by commercial sponsors.
The only other woman to attempt to row
from Japan to San Francisco was a Briton
named Sarah Outen. But she was blown
northward and after 149 days ended her
2013 journey in the Aleutian Islands.
That was her second attempt. A tropical
storm damaged her boat so severely during
her first try a year earlier that she had to
abandon the trek.
“It ’s so tough,” Outen said. “ You go to
sleep and get blown in the wrong direction.
The weather systems are relentless.”
The exact date of the start of Baumstein’s
expedition depends on the weather, but she
is expecting to push off from Choshi, Japan,
on or around May 18.
Despite the risks, Baumstein says she is
more anxious than scared.
But the same cannot be said about her
“I’m completely fearful and I think it ’s
kind of ridiculous,” Baumstein’s father,
Darryl, said of his daughter’s upcoming trip.
“But it ’s her goal. Everything in life is about
“If she didn’t try it, for the rest of her life
she’d regret it,” he said.
Baumstein was the only woman on a
four-person team that rowed from Spain’s
Canary Islands to Barbados in 2011. The
following year, she biked from Mexico to
Seattle and kayaked from Seattle to Juneau,
Alaska. In 2013, she crossed the Bering
Strait on a stand-up paddleboard.
She is making no predictions on reaching
San Francisco because “I only have 50%
control over what goes on out there.”
“I’ve learned from rowing over the years
not to think too far ahead,” Baumstein said.
“That ’s because I know there’s going to be
some pain followed by some more pain.
I’m just hoping there’s going to be some
happiness at the end of it.” — Reuters
Sonya prepares for Pacific Ocean rowing attempt
Sonya Baumstein sits in her 7.01m carbon and kevlar solo rowboat.
ne of the world’s oldest
religions is facing
extinction, and will be
fighting for its sur vival in
founded about 3500 years ago and
considered to be among the world’s oldest
monotheistic religions, has a tiny number
of followers here.
But that number is also shrinking,
dropping from 1071 in 2006 to just 972 at
the last Census.
In India, where most Zoroastrians live,
the numbers have halved since 1940 to
They believe in one god, Ahura Mazda,
and follow the teachings of ancient
Prophet Zoroaster. They worship in fire
temples, believing fire to be a symbol of
The religion has its roots in Persia and
adherents are also known as Parsis.
The community will be organising a
world youth congress in December, to be
held in Auckland, in a bid to get followers
to marry within the faith.
Professor Edwina Pio, an AUT
University professor of diversity, said the
number of Zoroastrians was dropping
because people could not be converted to
“If a Parsi woman marries a non-Parsi
man, her children are not considered Parsi,
thus reducing the number of potential
Parsis globally,” she said.
A child would be accepted as a
Zoroastrian if a Parsi man married a non-
Professor Pio, who researched
Zoroastrians for her book Work and
Worship, said they were well received in
“D ue to their command of the English
language, appearance, light-coloured skin,
mode of dressing ... they have a high
acceptance and many happy experiences in
New Zealand,” she said.
“However, their names are reminiscent
of Iran and thus a number of people in
New Zealand think they are Muslim and
thus may be equated with negative aspects
linked to Islam.”
Massey University religion expert Peter
Lineham said because of the restrictions
imposed by the religion, he did not see the
faith growing in New Zealand.
“The literature suggests that rules against
proselytising and recognising inter-faith
marriages means that many who marry
out of the faith get cast out,” he said.
In India, Zoroastrians dispose of their
dead by laying bodies out for vultures to
It is their belief that fire and earth are
sacred, and would be contaminated by
corpses if dead bodies were buried or
Tinaz Karbhari, 25, chair woman of the
Sixth World Zoroastrian Youth Congress,
said the event would present a platform to
discuss the threat to their existence.
“ It is quite a sad thing that our numbers
are dropping, but we realise that it is now
up to youths like us to keep it going,” she
Ms Karbhari said another key objective
of the congress was to pair up young Parsi
“ Events like these indirectly encourage
youth to marry within the faith as those
who attend need to be Zoroastrian,” Ms
“ For many individuals, these congresses
are where they find their life-long spouse
who happens to live on the other side of
Schemes overseas to pair young
Zoroastrian couples include speed-dating,
Parsi pin-up calendars and other social
Other less known faiths have had mixed
fortunes since 2006. Animism, which
believes that all living things such as rivers
and mountains have a soul, saw an increase
in following to 243 people.
Others on the rise include
Rastafarianism, whose believers worship
a 20th century Ethiopian emperor and
smoke cannabis for its spiritual qualities,
and Hauhau, a 19th-century Maori
movement that follows prophet Te Ua
But the number of Satan worshippers
and followers of Wiccan, a modern pagan
witchcraft religion, declined.
Like many single young women her age,
24-year-old Sanaya Master is looking for a
But her search is made that much
more difficult because the rules of her
Zoroastrian religion mean she cannot date
people outside of her faith.
“ I have never dated someone who
is not a Zoroastrian, because it’s just
something we don’t do,” said Miss Master,
a marketing assistant.
If she married someone who was not
of the faith, her children would not be
considered Zoroastrian and would not
be allowed into the temple. To be a
Zoroastrian, or a Parsi, one has to be born
into the faith.
“The rules are a little patriarchal, I know,
but I still feel that it is a privilege for me
to be born into the religion,” Miss Master
“ I guess because our community is so
small in New Zealand, we all tend to hang
out together, so I do get to meet other
Parsi guys. ”
She felt it was harder for women to find
a mate because Parsi men could marry a
non-Zoroastrian and remain part of the
Miss Master said she was looking
for ward to the World Zoroastrian Youth
Congress, where she hopes to expand her
network of Parsi friends.
There are fewer than 980 Zoroastrians in
New Zealand and about 200 are between
the ages of 15 and 29.
Kainaz Jasmasbnejad, 30, a childhood
education manager, is married to a
Zoroastrian from Iran.
The mother-of-two said she considered
passing the ancient practices of the faith
to her children as her most important role
as a mother.
“It is very important that I pass on to my
children our beliefs, and make sure they
can follow it through their lives,” she said.
“ We bring them to pray (at the temple)
every Sunday, it’s a pattern, they need to
learn about our religion. ”
A Victoria University 2012 report, The
Parsi Dilemma: A NZ perspective, found
most were fairly positive and confident
the Parsi identity would sur vive in New
Zealand, in India and worldwide.
‘It’s all about me’ — individualism
blamed for drop in believers
The Catholic Church says the “cult of
individualism” has resulted in the decline
of Christian believers in New Zealand.
The number of people affiliated with a
Christian religion fell from 55.6% of the
population in 2006 to 48.9% at the last
Catholicism was now the largest
denomination, with 492,105 adherents,
overtaking Anglicans in 2013.
“O ur society has become increasingly
secular along with the cult of
individualism; ‘it’s all about me’, ” said
Catholic Church spokeswoman Lyndsay
“I believe it ’s true to say that the faith
of today ’s Catholics is born from personal
conviction rather than, [as] in the past,
from family norms, expectations and
The overall proportion of Catholic
Asians had risen from 11.5% to 13%.
One in eight people affiliated with the
Catholic faith, or 61,242, were Asian. One
in 10 belonged to a Pacific ethnic group.
“Those of us who are Catholic, regardless
of our ethnicity, share a common faith and
its basic tenets and worship, even though
sometimes with a somewhat different way
of expressing it,” Ms Freer said.
She said it was simplistic to suggest a
correlation between wealth and a decline
in religious belief.
A former St Patrick’s Cathedral
parishioner, who left the Catholic Church
to become a born again Christian, said
churches should change their message to
target the rich.
But Dr Nick Thompson, lecturer in
theology at the University of Auckland,
believed it was a waste of time for a church
to focus its energies on being up to date.
“ Western Christianity has been trying to
update itself in one way or another since
the 19th century ... the problem is that
this strategy doesn’t seem to have worked
in the global west,” he said.
“The trendy vicar who tried to get
down with the kids in the 1960s has now
become a figure of fun. Most of the radical
thinkers in the mainstream churches are
now receiving pensions.”
Dr Thompson said even the Pentecostal
churches that deliberately used
contemporary forms of worship and
communication had very high turnovers.
“This means that their growth needs
to be treated with a certain amount of
Massey University religion expert
Peter Lineham said there was a trend for
Pentecostal and Catholic churches and
schools to appeal to the poor as a route
“For Christianity’s future, I am sure that
the Catholics and Pentecostals are giving
it a significant boost — but as a minority
— NZ ME -New Zealand Herald
PICTURE: New Zealand Herald
Zoroastrians Tinaz Karbhari , left, with Sanaya Master and Kainaz Jasmasbnejad.
Move over, mammals and birds, and
make room for a fish called the opah in the
Researchers said in the journal Science on
Thursday that this deepwater denizen is the
first fish known to be fully warm-blooded,
circulating heated blood throughout its
body, enabling it to be a vigorous predator
in frigid ocean depths.
Tuna and certain sharks can warm specific
regions of their body such as swimming
muscles, brain and eyes in order to forage in
chilly depths but must return to the surface
to protect vital organs such as the heart
from the effects of the cold.
The opah, also called the moonfish,
internally generates heat through constant
flapping of wing-like pectoral fins, with an
average muscle temperature about 4-5degC
above the surrounding water temperature
at the time.
The opah boasts a unique structure that
prevents this heat from being lost to the
Warm-blooded animals, such as birds
and mammals, and known as endotherms,
generate their own heat and maintain
a body temperature independent of the
environment. Cold-blooded animals,
known as ectotherms, include amphibians,
reptiles, invertebrates and most fish.
“ With a more whole-body form of
endothermy, opah don’t need to return to
surface waters to warm and can thus stay
deep near their food source continually,”
said fisheries biologist Nicholas Wegner of
the United States National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration’s National
Marine Fisheries Ser vice.
The opah is a rusty reddish color, has
white spots and bright red fins. It weighs
up to 90kg and is about the size of a car
tyre, with an oval body shape. Found in
oceans worldwide, it spends most of its
time at depths of 50-400m, hunting fish
A unique structure within its gills lets
warm blood that leaves the body core help
heat up cold blood returning from the gills’
respiratory surface, said fisheries biologist
Owyn Snodgrass of NOAA and Ocean
Being warm-blooded gives it distinct
advantages over its cold-bodied prey and
competitors including faster swimming
speeds and reaction times, better eye and
brain function and the ability to withstand
the effects of cold on vital organs.
Fish dwelling at such depths typically are
slow and sluggish, ambushing rather than
The researchers documented that opah
are warm-blooded by tagging and tracking
them off California’s coast, measuring their
body temperature, water temperature and
the depths at which they swam. — Reuters
Scientists marvel at predator of the deep
Links Archive May 16th 2015 May 19th 2015 Navigation Previous Page Next Page