Home' Greymouth Star : July 9th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
Tom O’Callaghan was born in Nelson and at a
young age moved with his family to Greymouth,
where he was raised in the family home, the BNZ
bank house in Cowper Street.
His entire education was at the Marist Brothers
School, from primary through to secondary, before
leaving to work in the petroleum industry. O ver time
he worked for both Shell and Mobil, and held the
distinction of being the youngest Mobil manager in
the South Island.
Tom later joined the West Coast contracting firms
of Fergusons and Beynons as office manager for both
companies in succession until his retirement.
He was an executive board member of the
Greymouth Evening Star Company for many years,
and also loved music and song, being a member of the
Greymouth Catholic choir for 40 years.
In his younger days Tom represented the West Coast
in both hockey and rugby, playing through the grades
for Marist, and was also a past secretary of the Marist
When Tom married his wife Janice they raised their
three children — Monica, Jennifer and James — at
their Boddytown homestead and 24ha property, where
he lived for the last 40 years of his life.
While his working life was in office administration,
Tom also hobby farmed pigs, turkeys and sheep on
the Boddytown farm and also had a love of nature and
“He was a fantastic guy and an absolute gentleman,”
long-time friend Noel McMillan said. “ He was always
there and was well respected — a true friend.”
Tom O’Callaghan is sur vived by his wife Janice and
three children Monica, Jennifer and James.
Newspaper manager and harness racing stalwart,
Tony Negri was an identity and elder statesman of the
He was born in Greymouth and raised in the family
home at Blaketown by his parents Antonio and Jessie,
along with his brothers Jim and Ronnie.
After attending Blaketown School and the
Greymouth Technical High School, Tony started his
working career as a young lad with the Bank of New
Zealand but did not stay long. In 1957 he joined the
staff of the Greymouth Evening Star working in the
clerical division of the paper, and five years later took
up the position of advertising manager. After 17 years
in the role he was appointed general manager in 1979,
and under his cautious and progressive leadership he
guided the daily newspaper until his retirement in
Tony married his sweetheart and late wife Faye and
together they raised their four children in the Negri
family home in Tasman Street.
A keen follower of rugby, he played first five-eighth
through the grades for Blaketown and West Coast,
establishing himself as competitive inside back for his
club and representative Coast teams.
Tony was for many years immersed in the sport of
harness racing and was a long-ser ving member of the
Greymouth Trotting Club and a foundation member
of the West Coast Harness O wners and Breeders
He assisted long-time friend Ross Steele with his
stable of horses at Victoria Park and the partnership
had great success as owners with horses the pair both
raced and trained.
Tony also had notable success in his own right as an
owner and trainer of horses in the harness code.
He was a keen fisherman and knew the Grey River
like the back of his hand, and his remarkable local
knowledge always paid dividends when whitebait
season came around. He continued his strike rate with
trout while fishing the Arnold River.
“ He was a talented footballer who always put
himself on the paddock in top condition,” Arthur
Dawson said. “ He played for Buller-West Coast
against the visiting Springboks and had a real top
game. He was a genuine type of fellow who enjoyed
life pretty well, a good family guy and an out and out
West Coaster. ”
Tony Negri is sur vived by his daughter Julie and
three sons, Geoffrey, Tony and Craig.
4 - Thursday, July 9, 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
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org
uLetters to the editor
1877 - First Wimbledon tennis
1893 - Black physician Daniel Hale Williams
performs the world’s first successful closure of a
heart wound in a Chicago hospital.
1932 - King Camp Gillette, US
inventor and manufacturer of the
safety razor, dies.
1947 - Engagement of England’s
Princess Elizabeth to Lieutenant
Philip Mountbatten is announced.
1963 - Agreement is signed to
create Federation of Malaysia, uniting Malaya,
Singapore, Sarawak and North Borneo.
1971 - Last US base guarding demilitarised
zone in Vietnam is turned over to South
1991 - The International Olympic Committee
re-admits South Africa to the Olympic Games
after three decades.
1993 - British scientists, using DNA genetic
fingerprinting tests, identify the bones of the
Russian Tsar Nicholas II and his family.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Elias Howe, US inventor of sewing machine
(1819-1867); Dame Barbara Cartland, British
writer (1901-2000); Sir Edward Heath, British
prime minister (1916-2005); Lee Hazlewood,
US singer (1929-2007); Donald Rumsfeld,
former US Secretary of Defence
(1932-); David Hockney, English
painter, draughtsman, printmaker,
stage designer and photographer
(1937-); Bon Scott, AC/DC
frontman (1946-1980); Orenthal
James (O J) Simpson, US footballer-
actor (1947-); Tom Hanks, US actor
(1956-); Marc Almond, British singer (1956-)
Courtney Love, US singer (1964-); Jack White,
US singer-songwriter (1975-).
“Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It ’s the
transition that ’s troublesome. ” — Isaac Asimov,
US writer (1920-1992).
“Do you not know that you are God’s temple
and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?”
— (1 Corinthians 3:16).
Her leg was not
being pulled, but
Mrs J Carson still
had her doubts at the end of a conversation
with a Greymouth Evening Star reporter who
informed her that her husband’s ticket in the
Golden Kiwi lottery, drawn in Wellington this
morning, had won the £1500 third prize.
Nom-de-plumed Kit Syndicate, the ticket
was purchased by Mr Carson, a Runanga
miner, from J Oakley’s Tainui Street.
hairdressing salon. While Mrs Carson was
murmuring disbelief, her husband was busy
underground, unaware of his lucky strike.
Coyly called “route 73”, one of the major
West Coast roading bones of contention, the
Otira Gorge route was a problem successfully
skirted by last night ’s meeting between
members of the National Roads Board and
representatives of local bodies.
The assistant director of roading said the
Roads Board “recognised the importance” of
the route but stressed the need for patience.
West Coast champion of improvements to the
route, Mr J W Greenhill made it very clear that
“ we don’t expect major reconstruction of route
73 but we would like a little more money spent
In Napier, a headmaster has ordered a
number of boys at his school to have haircuts.
When questioned here this morning, the
principal of the Greymouth High School, Mr
J S Thomson said that pupils were inclined
to copy fashions from the outside world. He
said the present trend seemed to be towards
copying hairstyles of pop singing groups.
“ We see that a reasonably short and tidy cut
is obser ved.”
uFood for thought
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3 Werita Street, PO Box 3, Greymouth
03 769 7900 (office)
769 7913 (editorial)
768 6205 (fax)
03 769 7913
03 755 8422
“We of the leftknow how to act
collectively with no care for the privileges
of office.” How long has it been since a
left-wing leader talked like that? Yanis
Varoufakis may have used a blogpost to
announce his resignation to the world,
but the sentiments he expressed were
straight out of Homer. Like the hero
of an ancient Greek legend, he showed
that he understood both the duty he was
bound to fulfil, and that he embraced it
with a glad heart.
The classical character of Varoufakis’s
A hero worthy of his Greek heritage
Ronald James (Ron) Hibbs QSM
ormer Grey district mayor Ron Hibbs,
QSM, was farewelled last week after
losing his battle with cancer.
The man with the infectious smile
and receptive personality always had his
community at heart and touched the
lives of so many in his capacity as mayor, sportsman,
community policeman, work colleague, friend and
Ron was the youngest son of Tom and Amy Hibbs
and was born and raised in Camerons. After leaving
Greymouth High School at the age of 15, he started
work at Ogilvie’s sawmill, teaming up with his father
and brothers Tom, Cliff and John.
After three years in the timber industry Ron joined
the police force and quickly stamped his mark as a man
of integrity. He earned respect from all quarters of the
communities he ser ved.
Ron was based in Ross as sole charge policeman for
a number of years before transferring to Reefton and
then returning to his hometown, where he spent the
majority of his police life.
He established the successful silent witness
programme and served as community constable, but he
was also involved with the armed offenders squad and
search and rescue, on top of his general policing duties.
Ron entered local politics and served on the new Grey
District Council from 1989 to 1998, initially serving
the Moana-Paroa ward. He was deputy mayor when Dr
Barry Dallas died in 1991 and then served as mayor in
his own right through to 1998, when he stepped down.
Sport played a leading role during his life and Ron
was competitive in all fields including tennis, cricket,
rugby and rugby league. He represented West Coast in
various sports and also represented the New Zealand
Police in both the rugby and rugby league codes.
He was a life member and former president of the
Paroa Tennis Club and a West Coast Tennis coach and
Ron founded the West Coast Sports Trust and led
the fundraisng trek from Haast to Karamea with fellow
police staff and personalities, raising $83,000 for the
In 1993 he was awarded the Q ueen’s Ser vice Medal
for his commitment, dedication and service to the West
Coast community. He was a Justice of the Peace and
took a keen interest in the welfare of youth.
“He was a genuine Coaster and a busy man who made
a great contribution to the West Coast community,”
John Sturgeon said. “All the region benefited from Ron
as a sportsman and as a policeman — he had our youth
at heart and was just one great guy.”
Ron is sur vived by his wife Alison, daughters Rhonye
and Raquel, and brothers Tom and John and sister
William (Bill) Cummings
William (Bill) Cummings was a legend of West Coast
harness racing and in his time established himself as a
permanent fixture at Victoria Park, training horses.
Bill was born on the West Coast and from an early
age was drawn to the standardbred industry, moving
to Christchurch as a lad to join the powerful harness
stable of Colin Berkett. He returned to Greymouth
well versed in the art of preparing horses and began
training on his own account while also working in the
Bill had a respected success rate with his team as a
trainer and driver, and won numerous races including
Anahera, Lightning Lil, Aussie and Bobby’s Girl with
Del Nui, Western Light, Karanui, Dashing Del, Besta
Kara and Wilber Win stylish performers, all carrying
the familiar blue and white silks.
Bill completed the West Coast bonus at Victoria Park
in 1985 with Wilber Win and drove Doctor Barry
to win at Greymouth in the horse’s lead-up race to
winning the New Zealand Derby of 1964.
He was a hands-on man and a respected beef farmer
in his own right, and was also a tradesman mechanic.
In later years he and his late wife Fae lived at Acre
Creek, between Serpentine and Chesterfield, where he
continued to breed and train horses.
was a straight
very handy with
best and was
He had good
too. He bred and developed them, which says a lot
for a man who could take them right through to be
Bill Cummings is sur vived by his daughter Irene and
departure as Greece’s finance minister
was made even more poignant by the
fact that his own personal defeat was
announced amid the echoing tumult of
a victory that he, more than anyone, had
secured for his people.
Across the whole of Greece, from
Thrace in the north to Crete in the
south, the Greek people had delivered a
resounding “Oxi!” (No!) to the European
Union’s demands for never-ending
Beneath a frenzy of flailing flags, in
Athens’s Syntagma Square, tens of
thousands of supporters of the Syriza
Party-led coalition government shouted
their defiance of the hated “Troika” (the
European Commission, the European
Central Bank and the International
Monetary Fund). But, even as the Oxi
voters celebrated, Prime Minister Alexis
Tsipras was delivering the European
group’s lethal ultimatum to his finance
In Varoufakis’s own words: “Soon after
the announcement of the referendum
results, I was made aware of a certain
preference by some Euro group
participants, and assorted ‘partners’, for
my ... ‘absence’ from its meetings; an idea
that the Prime Minister judged to be
potentially helpful to him in reaching an
agreement. For this reason I am leaving
the Ministry of Finance today.”
If, as Troy burned, King Agamemnon
had asked Odysseus to appease its
tutelary deities by falling on his sword,
the shock of injustice and ingratitude
could hardly have been greater. But
Varoufakis did not demur. “ I consider it
my duty to help Alexis Tsipras exploit,
as he sees fit, the capital that the Greek
people granted us through yesterday ’s
Yet, even as he abandoned his portfolio
for the back-benches, Varoufakis could
not resist one final, parting shot at the
European hierarchs who, in their petulant
fury, had demanded his political head.
“And I shall wear the creditors’ loathing
This undisguised contempt for both the
intellect and the character of Greece’s
European creditors was, almost certainly,
Varoufakis’s hamartia (in Classical Greek
literary tradition, the fatal character
flaw that causes the hero’s downfall).
The son of a wealthy Greek industrialist,
Varoufakis was never for a moment
overawed by the European Union’s
political bureaucrats and bureaucratic
politicians. That he was, himself, an
accomplished academic economist and
author merely heightened his conviction
that he had nothing to fear, and even
less to learn, from the Eurogroup’s
“participants and assorted partners”.
That Varoufakis’s professional analysis
of Greece’s economic position was correct
(as confirmed by at least two Nobel
laureates — Stiglitz and Krugman —
and, more recently, by the IMF itself )
only made him more insufferable to the
likes of Germany ’s 72-year-old Finance
Minister, Wolfgang Schauble. The hard-
working German ant did not appreciate
being lectured at by some upstart Greek
grasshopper with a PhD — and no neck
Varoufakis’s sartorial insouciance was,
of course, as carefully calculated as his
economic analyses. His leather jackets
and brightly coloured shirts (all too often
unaccompanied by the required neck
tie) signalled his determination to carry
just a little Mediterranean sunshine and
machismo into the grey, staid and deeply
conventional world of European finance.
That these ageing Teutons in their dark
suits and sensible ties felt upstaged by
Varoufakis’s big fat Greek virility was as
obvious as it was disruptive. A rock star
at a Rotary meeting could not have been
more out of place.
But disruption and non-conformity
were essential ingredients of the
Varoufakis shtick. What better way to
demonstrate his radical new approach to
doing business with the “suits” than by
refusing to turn up in one? In a world
increasingly informed by images rather
than words, Varoufakis was signalling
that Neoliberalism is not the only game
in town: that economic alternatives do
His people got the message. Even if
he is not there to deliver it in person,
Varoufakis’s vision of a better world will
continue to dazzle the eyes of the “gods”
who demanded this Greek hero’s sacrifice.
Chris Trotter is a left-wing media
Anthony Walter (Tony) Negri
Thomas William (Tom) O’Callaghan
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