Home' Greymouth Star : May 26th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Tuesday, May 26, 2015
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uLetters to the editor
1521 - Martin Luther is banned by Edict of
Worms for his religious beliefs.
1853 - Last convict ship to Van Diemen’s
land, the St Vincent, arrives in Hobart.
1865 - Surrender of last Confederate
(Southern) army at Shreveport,
Louisiana, ends US Civil War.
1923 - The first Le Mans 24-hour
motor race is run.
1924 - US President Calvin
Coolidge signs bill limiting
immigration into United States and
completely excluding Japanese.
1940 - Evacuation of British troops from
France in the face of a German invasion begins
1954 - Funeral ship of Pharaoh Cheops is
discovered in Egypt.
1964 - China rejects appeal by Britain to help
halt fighting in Laos.
1991 - Austrian airliner bound for Vienna
explodes and crashes into the jungle in
Thailand, killing all 223 people on board.
1994 - Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Sir William Petty, English economist
(1623-1687); John Churchill, 1st Duke of
Marlborough, English general
(1650-1722); Alexander Pushkin,
Russian writer (1799-1837);
Al Jolson, US singer and actor
(1886-1950); John Wayne, US
actor (1907-1979); Stevie Nicks,
American singer (1948-); Hank
Williams Jnr, US country singer
(1949-); Lenny Kravitz, US singer (1964-);
Helena Bonham Carter, UK actress (1966-);
Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark (1968-).
“Nothing is really work unless you would
rather be doing something else.” — Sir James
Barrie, Scottish dramatist (1860-1937).
“ Be on your guard! If another disciple sins,
you must rebuke the offender, and if there is
repentance, you must forgive.” — (Luke 17.3).
A five-year-old pupil
of the Blaketown
primary school was
rushed to hospital
shortly after noon today suffering from
injuries he received when he ran into the
back of a passing truck. He is Murray Arthur
Leach, son of Mr and Mrs H Leach of Blake
Street, Blaketwon. He is suffering from scalp
lacerations and concussion and his condition at
2.30pm was fair.
The driver of the truck, Mr Edward
McDonald Cowie, of Blake Street, was driving
slowly past the school when he heard a thud.
Looking back he saw the boy lying on the road.
He had evidently run out between two cars
which were parked on the roadside and into
the tray of the truck.
The accident happened on the narrow section
of road near the school. Previous complaints
have been made about it to the Transport
Department and the borough council.
Main concern has been expressed about the
pohutukawa trees which grow on the grass
verge in front of the school.
Three days before the Haast Pass opens, the
first conducted bus tour through the pass will
leave Christchurch. This will be the first of 56
similar tours planned by Newman Bros. At
present under construction, a fleet of luxury
buses is to be used on the round-the-island
The tours will last 11 and 12 days and patrons
will see all tourist attractions in the many
resorts included in the itinerary. One of the
optional extras on the tours will be an aerial
trip over the Southern Alps. Other features
will include guided sightseeing on glaciers and
a visit to the Benmore hydro project.
uFood for thought
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Christopher and Robert are on the brink of
extinction as children’s names.
But other old standards such as Brian, Kevin,
Peter, Paul and Stephen are even rarer, having all
but died out since last century.
The Weekend Herald looked at the top 10 most
popular names in 1954 and tracked them over the
ensuing 60 years through Department of Internal
Affairs files to see which remained popular.
John was top in 1954 — when John Wayne was
a major moviestar and 1389 babies were given
the name. Although only 51 children joined
them last year, it still made the top 100, at 86th
place. David was the second most common name
in 1954, and remained popular last year, when
given to 67 children. But the third most popular
50 years ago, Peter, has not featured in the top
100 since 2007. The fourth, Michael, remained a
hit last year, when 70 babies received the name.
But the next six on the 1954 list — Robert,
Paul, Stephen, Kevin, Christopher and Brian —
were nowhere in last year’s top 100. Robert and
Christopher have fallen out of favour only since
But Robert peaked in popularity in 1961,
meaning the largest group of men of that name
are likely to be aged 54.
Christopher was at the height of favour in 1996.
Labour MP Chris Hipkins, 36, said “fads come
and go” and believed his name would come back.
“People were also confidently predicting gingers
would die out some time ago, but we’re getting
stronger by the day.”
Waterfront Auckland chairman Sir Bob Harvey
said “thank God for that ” when told his name
had gone out of fashion. Other previously popular
names fell off the top 100 list years ago — Brian
after 1989, Stephen after 1997, Paul after 1998,
and Kevin after 1999.
As for the top 10 girls’ names in 1954, Elizabeth
was sole survivor in last year’s top 100.
It was in 39th place, thanks to 79 babies given
Christine, the most popular girls’ name in
1954, has not featured in the top 100 since 1998.
The others that rounded out the top 10 were:
Susan, which slipped out of the top 100 in 1984,
Margaret (1984), Judith (1970), Jennifer (2003),
Mary (1991), Patricia (1978), Linda (1979) and
Barbara. Jennifer was the only name that featured
in the top 100 in the 2000s.
The most popular name last year was fit for a
princess — Charlotte — which was also the top
name in 2013, and what the D uke and D uchess
of Cambridge named their second child.
— New Zealand Herald
Some old favourite children’s names endangered
uth Inwood, an Inangahua
dairy farmer, recalled the
moment the Inangahua
earthquake struck at
5.24am on May 24, 1968.
“I thought it was the
end of the world. The noise was
“O ur fridge was flipped on its side, a
heavy three-seater sofa was thrown across
the lounge, ceilings were ripped open,
windows exploded out of their frames,
cupboards were completely emptied, and
broken ornaments and crockery littered
the floor,” she said.
“It was like an explosion underneath
us. The house was shunted up in the
air and then it shook violently. A lot
of houses were knocked clean off their
The quake was felt from D unedin to
Auckland, causing widespread damage
in Nelson, Greymouth and Westport.
Residents told of being tossed around
inside their bedrooms in pitch darkness
while children screamed and chimneys,
crockery and furniture tumbled. Many
people ran out of their homes, amid
falling chimneys and roof tiles.
The earthquake caused the deaths of
three people. At Whitecliffs, a limestone
bluff collapsed on to a farmhouse,
pushing it downhill, killing one woman
and fatally injuring her elderly mother.
Shortly after the earthquake, a man
died near Greymouth when his taxi hit
a section of road that had subsided at
the Camp bridge on the way to
There was huge damage in the
surrounding hills, with massive landslides.
As well as creating landslides and
buckling railway lines, the force of the
earthquake derailed a train, causing it to
topple over. All roads out of the area were
blocked and there was no telephone or
electricity. State highway 6, through the
upper and lower Buller Gorge, was closed
for many months.
Shortly after the earthquake, a relief
centre was set up in the Ministry of
Works yard in Inangahua.
People gathering there were concerned
to hear that radio broadcasts only
mentioned minor earthquake activity
— the rest of New Zealand seemed
unaware of what had happened to their
The people of Inangahua were cut off
and alone for several hours, until a driver
managed to contact Gisborne on his
truck radio. A group of about 50 people
started walking from Inangahua towards
Reefton, a walk of roughly seven hours.
By noon, commercial and air force
helicopters were sent to the disaster zone
with aid and to sur vey damage. Army
and commercial helicopters began flying
people to Rotokohu, where they could
board buses to Reefton. D ue to the
number of roads and bridges that had
collapsed or were blocked in the quake,
including the newly constructed Buller
Gorge highway, 235 people had to be
airlifted to safety.
Help was also needed in more isolated
areas with air force helicopter crews
checking outlying farmhouses.
Numerous aftershocks followed within
a month of the initial shock, including 15
that were magnitude 5 or greater.
Despite striking a sparsely populated
region, the Inangahua earthquake
generated 10,500 claims to the
government agency that is now known
as the Earthquake Commission (EQC)
— the largest number of damage claims
generated by a natural disaster until the
Natural disasters can strike at any time
— and often without warning. Essential
ser vices may be cut off and help may not
be able to reach isolated areas for some
time. It pays to be prepared.
Undertaking some simple earthquake
preparedness measures can save lives.
Fitting hot water cylinder restraints,
securing tall furniture to the wall,
stopping flat screen tvs toppling over and
putting blutak on the base of valuable
ornaments are just some of the things you
can do to reduce damage in the home in
the event of an earthquake.
To fi nd out more about ways to quake-
safe your home and how to prepare for
a natural disaster, see the EQC website:
One of New Zealand’s biggest natural disasters hit the West Coast on Sunday, 47 years ago. The
Inangahua earthquake struck in the early hours of May 24, 1968. The South Island was rocked by the
magnitude 7.1 earthquake centred near Inangahua Junction, a community of around 300 people, 46km
south-east of Westport. At 5.24am the violent shaking threw people out of their beds. The Earthquake
Commission reminds us of the day the earth shook the West Coast.
PICTURES: Lloyd Homer, GNS Science
Geologist John Foster stands at the destroyed road, State Highway 6 east of
The surface of this road gave way when the earthquake caused a mine drainage tunnel to collapse.
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