Home' Greymouth Star : September 4th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Friday, September 4, 2015
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uLetters to the editor
1669 - Venetians surrender Crete to Turks
after one of the longest sieges in history, begun
1781 - Los Angeles is founded by Spanish
settlers and named El Pueblo de Nuestra
Senora La Reina de Los Angeles (The Town of
Our Lady the Q ueen of the Angels).
1839 - The seaport which was to become
Dar win in 1911 is first sur veyed by a
commander aboard the HMS Beagle.
1886 - At Skeleton Canyon in Arizona,
Geronimo, Apache chief and leader of the last
great Red Indian rebellion, finally surrenders to
General Nelson Miles.
1929 - German dirigible Graf Zeppelin
completes round the world trip.
1942 - Japanese troops evacuate Milne Bay,
New Guinea — the first defeat of a Japanese
amphibious landing in World War Two.
1944 - Brussels and Antwerp in
Belgium are liberated by British and
Canadian troops in World War Two.
1964 - British Commonwealth
troops move against Indonesian
guerillas in Malaya.
1970 - In Chile, Salvador Allende
becomes the first Mar xist freely
elected president in the Western Hemisphere.
1972 - US swimmer Mark Spitz wins his
seventh Olympic gold medal, a record for a
1977 - Q ueensland premier Joh Bjelke-
Petersen removes the right to appeal a ban on
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Francois Chateaubriand, French author
(1768-1848); Anton Bruckner, Austrian
composer (1824-1896); Darius Milhaud,
French composer (1892-1974); Leo Castelli,
famous modern art dealer (1907-1999);
Mitzi Gaynor, US actress (1931-);
Dawn Fraser, Australian Olympic
swimming champion (1937-);
Darryl Cotton, Australian pop
singer (1949-2012) Damon Wayans,
US actor-comedian (1960-);
Noah Taylor, Australian actor
(1969-); Deni Hines, Australian
singer-songwriter (1970-); Beyonce Knowles,
US singer (Destiny ’s Child) (1981-); Hamish
McIntosh, Australian football player (1984-).
“ Labour is the great producer of wealth; it
moves all other causes. ” — Daniel Webster,
American statesman (1782-1852).
“God is love, and those who abide in love
abide in God, and God abides in them.”
— 1 John 4:16
born sisters, both
nuns, who had
worked for many
years for the Convent of Mercy in the South
Island, have died within a week of each other.
Sister Mary Vincent McDonald died at
Wellington after ser ving for many years at
Westport and Blenheim, and her sister, Sister
Mary Rose McDonald died at Westport.
They were among a group of young
Australian women who helped to develop their
order in the Buller and Inangahua districts
about 60 years ago. Both were gifted musicians
and over the years many talented pupils passed
through their hands.
In recent years Sister Mary Vincent had been
teaching at Blenheim. Her sister spent most
of 61 years in New Zealand at Westport and
A well known man in the Inangahua district,
Mr George Gregory Lockington died on
Monday in Reefton. Born at Ross 79 years
ago, he transferred to Reefton as a child. He
had been in ill health for only a short time.
In his youth he was a prominent athlete. At
one meeting in Cronadun he won all events in
running, cycling and chopping.
Mr Lockington was for some years president
of the Reefton Trotting Club and he also
officiated as the club’s starter for a long period.
He was engaged in the sawmilling and farming
industries all his life and retired five years ago.
His wife predeceased him four years ago.
He is sur vived by three sons, Bill, Jack and
George (all of Reefton) and one daughter
Marie (Mrs Parry, Christchurch). There are 10
uFood for thought
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Dreams of home on dangerous road
o sur vive days on
end of walking and
in harsh weather, they
must concentrate on
essentials: pain medicine,
foot powder and first aid,
food and personal hygiene items.
The savviest have smartphones with
back-up battery power and SIM cards
that work in the countries they are
passing through. Other wise, they can end
up walking in circles without satellite
navigation, particularly at night, when
many travel to avoid police.
The tens of thousands of migrants
who spend weeks on foot, vehicle and
boat travelling to Europe to escape war,
persecution and poverty must weigh
carefully what they carry with them in
their backpacks. Men typically carry the
tents and sleeping bags, while women hold
infants in slings or carriers.
Although most have left personal effects
behind with relatives and hope to retrieve
them later, some also manage to bring a
bit of themselves on the road.
Wafaa Bukai, 25, student
Bukai carries sentimental objects and
images from her past in Damascus,
Syria. She explains that she left virtually
everything behind with relatives, but
requires a few emotional touchstones to
keep memories alive.
“My homeland is destroyed and not
safe,” Bukai says. “ I left everything: my
home, my clothes, my friends, my family. ”
Unlike many, who carry precious photos
only electronically on a phone, Bukai
thumbs through her album of childhood
images, including herself in school
uniform and trips with family to the
beach. Perhaps her most prized trinket,
of no monetary value, is a simple cowrie
shell, purchased as a youth in the market
beside the medieval Citadel of Damascus.
“I remember Damascus everywhere,
every town I go to.”
Mohammed al-Abdallah, 36,
“I would never go anywhere without my
Koran,” says the Baghdad resident, who
has spent three weeks travelling with his
17-year-old son, Bashar, from Iraq to the
Hungary border via Turkey, Greece and
the Balkans. “ I pray five times every day. I
read by the moonlight.”
His palm-sized edition of the Muslim
holy book has a frayed cover and it is
wrinkled from water damage. Some pages
stick together and threaten to tear, but
al-Abdallah opens the book gingerly and
recites a favourite passage to his son.
Bashar tells his father that is too slow.
He pulls out his smartphone, launches
his Koran app, and finds the same
passage in seconds. “My pages never
tear,” he says.
Mekdad Marey, 25, computer graphics
The native of Damascus has spent two
weeks travelling from a refugee camp
in Turkey to the border of Hungary in
hopes of making it to Germany where
he thinks his health challenges might be
In his small bag, he carries a wide
range of painkillers and a neck brace. He
attributes his chronic back pain, including
a slipped disc, to long hours at a desk
while studying in Egypt and working in
“ Turkey is good, but the money is
little, and I need more money to fix my
problems,” he says.
Hussein al-Shamali, 20, student
The university student from the northern
Syrian city of Idlib carries what he hopes
is the key to his future: the records of his
learning, his old school ID, his academic
transcript and the second-level certificate
he earned in science. He hopes that the
German university system will recognise
his three years’ study of civil engineering
and permit him to pursue a postgraduate
degree in medicine.
“ I hope it will be enough,” he says.
Behat Yasin, 45, shepherd
The Kurd, who has lived in Syria and
Iraq, says he was fortunate to flee west
ahead of the threat from Isis (Islamic
“ Many of my friends, I am sure, are
dead,” says Yasin, who has his shepherd’s
tool with him: a long cane that he once
used to tap the rear ends of his sheep. Now
he uses it simply to keep himself upright,
seven hours into his walk across the border
from Serbia to Hungary.
“ Now I am the sheep. I just follow the
others. ” he says
Mohammad Zamani, 26, high school
Zamani had a bag full of belongings
when he left his home in Shiraz, Iran,
nearly a month ago: clothes, toiletries, a
gold chain, a watch.
The bag is gone now. While being
smuggled with about 40 others by
vehicle through Turkey, he says the driver
suddenly stopped when confronted by
police and ordered everyone out. He then
drove off with many of his clients’ bags,
“ I’ve had only these same clothes
for three weeks. It’s terrible,” Zamani
says, wearing a collared blue shirt, and
stonewashed blue jeans.
He still has his most prized possession,
on his finger: a ring of silver and black
stone that his older brother gave him for
his 25th birthday. — AP
Kumara calls for
It was reported in the Hokitika
Guardian under the banner ‘Kumara vote
suggested’ (August 25), and subsequently
in the Greymouth Star, that the Westland
District Council proposed a sur vey by
mail drop of Kumara residents to test the
level of support for releasing $500,000
of endowment funds ‘coveted’ for the
proposed Chinese gardens. Fair enough.
However, three days later the Guardian
ran a new headline, ‘Kumara Chinese
gardens inch closer’. The opening
paragraph read, ‘Planned Chinese
memorial gardens in Kumara have
again secured $398 000 from the town’s
It transpires that the proposed mailout
sur vey to every Kumara household, put
to the vote at the council meeting on
August 27, lost by one. So over 100 years
of endowment comes down to one vote
by councillors with little empathy with or
connection to, Kumara.
The Kumara Residents Trust (KRT)
secretary, invited to the meeting (!) assured
the councillors that their group did not
see the need for further consultation. No
opinion was sought from, or invitation
extended to, a spokesman for the opposing
view representing the previously silent
residents of Kumara. Is this democracy?
What is going on here?
Comments made by the Mayor Mike
Havill are resounding in their disrespect
for the people of Kumara. ‘Before the
Kumara Residents Trust came along,
Kumara looked like a one-horse town
where the horse had long bolted’.
Well, not everyone in Kumara agrees that
the current monopoly being supported by
the council is in the best interests of all
The cycle trail has brought opportunities
to the West Coast, including to Kumara.
The cycle trail was the catalyst for change
— not the KRT.
The Westland District Council needs to
better ser ve all ratepayers in Kumara, not
just a vocal few.
Time for DWC
Development West Coast expenses really
do need a review.
Annual operating expenses of $2.1
million are exorbitant to manage our
West Coast native timber industry lock-
up package of money. Then there is also
a $1.1m share of the loss in associate
expenses. How many jobs has Cranley
Farms created, in return for the jobs lost
from milling and forestry? Why is this
farm being written down by half, while
DWC continues to finance it further? All
other West Coast farms have to endure
their own costs and worry.
It is far overdue for a check of the
management system for our DWC
monies, especially at the costs showing.
I would recommend it be managed
similar to the West Coast Community
Trust, whose trustee fees and expenses,
investment, audit and administration costs
equate to nearly $86,000.
I am sure we can do better, for what it is
costing to run Development West Coast,
I read with some amount of interest
and curiosity the article on September 1
entitled ‘No money for mining’ on page 2
of that edition.
It is hardly surprising that the 260
delegates who attended the 49th
conference of the Institute of Mining
came to that conclusion, given the very
recent events that have seen so many
miners put on to the industrial scrapheap
because of poor international commodity
prices - at least, that is the spin that
the majority of corporate management
regurgitate to the press.
Needless to say, the commodity prices
were only part - and a very small part - of
the demise of one particular coal producer,
in my view.
However, Alan Broone posed a question
towards the end of the article, that needs
some sort of an answer from him, or
explanation. For the benefit of the readers,
Mr Broone asks, ‘There needs to be a big
rethink to attract capital to rejuvenate the
mining sector with smarter mining’. He
neglects to give us an insight in how he
envisages this could be done; but maybe,
just maybe his thoughts would run down
the line of bio-diesel, self-regulation,
unachievable production forecasts or
simply 24-7 operations. After all, Mr
Broone spent eight years as a director on
Solid Energy under Dr Elder’s reign so
one can only assume he supported those
Perhaps he could share with us what is
Coast All Black
Your article in the West Coast
Messenger of August 26 on the West
Coast Rugby Union missed one former
Coaster who wore the silver fern while
playing for another province.
Pat Vincent, born in Whataroa, was the
captain of the All Blacks (player No 576)
for two tests in 1956. He was proud of his
West Coast background and Whataroa is
equally proud of him, as I am proud, too,
of my Uncle Pat.
Usur y and the new
While Greece’s economy and, indeed,
its entire social structure, is wrecked by
bankers and other pestilential life forms, I
am reminded of two comments by Russel
Norman, the then co-leader of the Green
Party, in his 2013 reply to the budget. Mr
Norman said, ‘ We also have to address
monetary reform if we want to deal with
the housing bubble’, and, ‘the private
banks are allowed to create money for
private profit. I don’t see why the central
bank shouldn’t create money for public
Wow. For a fleeting moment a New
Zealand MP challenged the deceit which
New Zealand politicians have practised
upon the public for the many decades
since the Labour Party abandoned the
Michael Savage/John A Lee-inspired
policies, whereby essential public works
were carried out with minimal-cost loans
from the Reser ve Bank instead of the
ongoing worldwide swindle whereby such
finance is created on paper by commercial
banks and then provided at usurious
interest rates borne by the taxpayer.
Perhaps Mr Norman’s subsequent
departure from the political scene was
caused at least in part by his espousing
such sensible views on finance?
So what has this to do with West
Coasters? Well, according to the ‘business
case’ loan arrangements for the new
Greymouth Hospital, when the interest
is added it is going to cost the taxpayer
at least double the sum specified to build
it. More likely the financial mire into
which successive governments and their
corporate management health bureaucrats
have trapped the public health system
means the loans can never be paid off. S o
will the politicians and bankers impose a
Under existing legislation the Minister
of Health could act to have the loans
provided by the Reser ve Bank at mere
management costs, thereby saving the
taxpayer upwards of $70 million.
Come on Kevin Hague, as the Greens’
health spokesman, why don’t you take
up Russel Norman’s words and create
a sensation in New Zealand politics -
and become a nationwide hero into the
NZ Democrats for Social Credit
Future West Coast
After my letter was published
(Greymouth Star, August 31) a few
people stopped me in the street and
asked how one of my possible ideas of
expanding the Hokitika Airport might
help Greymouth and Westport. Would it
not be great if we could get flights directly
from Australia, or wherever? How about
flights from Greymouth to Westport as
well? Greymouth will not be left out as
we already have a good taxi ser vice from
Greymouth to Hokitika so would that not
be a win-win for us all?
I am in favour of anything that gets
more people to stay on the West Coast
and more so, for longer. We really do
need to plan and think ahead more so if
the Tranz Alpine train ser vice is put at
risk of becoming unsustainable owing to
the downturn in coal and cost of keeping
the railway link open. I am disappointed
every time I see people arrive on the train,
then spend an hour here and head back to
The longer these debates go on about
opening up roads, both kinds of ports,
the more it will cost as the greenies gain
more power to stop progress as they
have done so well at doing on the West
Coast, let alone issues with the Resource
Management Act, cost-benefit analysis
We now have two choices — either do
nothing, or try something — and I don’t
know about you but I would rather hope,
try and succeed, or fail trying. The only
failure is not to try something, in my view.
I am not talking about being reckless
either but with due diligence etc.
Re Parky’s Takeaways grand opening
last Sunday, I would like to thank
Ray Parkinson and family for a warm,
welcoming and hospitable fun day out for
families and their children. I attended with
a friend and her grandson and we really
Face painting, clowns, giveaways, free
chips, lollies, chocolate fish, fish bites,
ice blocks, drinks and the grand draw
with prizes. Great hostesses and Ray
Parkinson’s sense of humour made a great
day out for a Sunday — a dream party for
I wish Ray and his family all the best for
his future endeavours.
Paparoa Track — the
latest great walk?
We all want to see some good come out
of the Pike River Mine tragedy and one
of the ideas mooted was a great walk in
the Paparoa Range. I have not heard much
on this lately but personally from having
tramped all the South Island great walks
and a fair amount of the Paparoa Range, I
feel this is a winner.
The great walks are a recognised brand.
This one would promote itself. Imagine
the interest nationally and overseas in
what would be the 10th latest great walk.
Economically, accommodation, shuttle
ser vices, outdoor suppliers, food outlets
would all benefit. I know there is debate
over routes in what can be tough country
and constructing the track would be a
challenge but worth it long term.
From my perspective, I would start
at historic Blackball and travel up the
Croesus (already formed and of high
standard). Day two would sidle along the
tops, cross the Pike escarpment with views
down into White Knight stream and Pike
River to Mount Hawera. Day three would
continue along the tops, sidling east and
west of the peaks with great views to the
Tasman Sea and out east to the Southern
Alps to Mount Bovis. Day four would be
a trip down Mount Bovis, Bullock Creek
to the Pororari Rver and finishing at
Punakaiki. It would be a magnificent trip,
65km approximately in length, with three
nights in huts. So where are we at with
Civilisation — If you say it quick it
brings on the fuzzies, makes you feel
good and generally makes you feel
wanted. I am of the generation that has
felt the effects of the Great War, the
Second World War, the Vietnam War, the
Korean War the Cold War and the Far
As New Zealand bites the bullet on
job losses/job security, I think it would
be wise to notice that not only is the
climate changing but the lives of the
great civilisations around the world
are becoming forever altered. Lack
of water, lack of food and as they say,
‘ lack of opportunity’ etc. The thing
is, who fumbles along in the wake of
all this but poor little New Zealand,
which continues to follow these other
civilisations that have already made the
The Earth does not belong to mankind,
the fundamental truth is the population of
mankind on Earth has a natural level, no
different than grazing cattle in a restricted
area. Too many cattle and natural attrition
applies. There will be hunger, thirst, zero
vegetation protection from the elements,
the deaths will come, even where no
I ask, when are we going to work that
out? This is not rocket science. Mankind
has seen to the demise of not only other
species of animals but also plants and
insects and water quality, how far do we
have to go to learn our real place and lose
the wonderful place we were born to?
PICTURE: Getty Images
A young Syrian girl holds up a sign as migrants protest outside Keleti station in
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