Home' Greymouth Star : September 9th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Wednesday, September 9, 2015
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uLetters to the editor
1087 - Death of Norman King William I
(William the Conqueror).
1513 - Scotland ’s King James IV is killed in
Battle of Flodden with the English.
1776 - Second Continental Congress in
Philadelphia changes the name United Colonies
to United States.
1888 - Chile annexes Easter Island
in South Pacific.
1901 - Death of Henri de
Toulouse-Lautrec, the French painter
and lithographer who recorded and
drew with great insight characters
from Parisian cabaret and nightlife.
1914 - The first Battle of the Marne
ends with the Germans halting their push
1976 - Death of communist Chinese leader
Mao Tse-tung in Beijing at age 82.
1993 - Former Philippine President Ferdinand
Marcos is buried in his homeland,.
1997 - Sinn Fein, political ally of the IRA,
formally renounces violence and enters talks on
the future of Northern Ireland.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Cardinal Richelieu, French churchman-
statesman (1585-1642); Cornelius van Tromp,
Dutch admiral (1629-1691); William Bligh,
mariner and governor of NSW (1754-1817);
Leo (Lev) Nikolayevich Tolstoy,
Russian author (1828-1910); John
Grey Gorton, former Australian
prime minister (1911-2002);
Sylvia Miles, US actress (1932-);
Dave Stewart, musician-producer
(Eurythmics) (1952-); Hugh
Grant, British actor (1960-); Adam
Sandler, US actor-comedian (1966-); Michael
Buble, Canadian singer (1975-); Michelle
Williams, US actress (1980-).
“Think wrongly if you please, but in all cases,
think for yourself.” — Gotthold Lessing,
German dramatist-critic (1729-1781).
“Pay attention to what you hear; the measure
you give will be the measure you get, and still
more will be given you.” — (Mark 4:24).
Next Sunday after
Evensong, the Holy
Men’s Fellowship will
be addressed in the vicarage by the Rev Father
Kevin O’Reilly DD, assistant priest at
St Patrick’s parish, Greymouth. Dr O’Reilly
will speak on the Vatican Council, and it is
believed that this will be the first time in
Greymouth that a Catholic priest has been a
guest speaker at any Anglican gathering.
“ We are looking for ward to this event with
very keen anticipation,” said the Vicar of
Greymouth, Canon Aubrey, this morning.
“Apart from our natural and hopeful interest in
the deliberations and outcomes of the Vatican
Council, we welcome very sincerely this further
and practical evidence of the growing together
in fellowship and brotherly understanding
between two historic Christian communities.”
A summer spent canoeing along West Coast
lakes and rivers is a treat for which both
Cobden and Greymouth Venturer Scouts are
currently preparing. Apart from the normal
badge work, which is carried out at the group’s
weekly meetings, members are spending a
considerable portion of their time in woodcraft
— building canoes.
Scoutmaster of the Cobden group, Mr Ralph
Munn said his unit was building two canoes
and intended building two more later. Mr
Munn said he intended that the boys — who
are aged 15 to 18 years — first learn to handle
the crafts on Lake Brunner before trying their
skill on rivers such as the Big Grey, Arnold and
“ When they become proficient we will have
overnight camping expeditions,” he said.
uFood for thought
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Elizabeth came to
the British throne
more than six
decades ago, her
first prime minister
was Winston Churchill, a man who had
served in the army of her great-great-
grandmother, Queen Victoria.
By the time the current holder of that
job, David Cameron, was born in 1966,
she had already been monarch for 14
“The first time she saw Cameron he was
playing a rabbit in a school production in
which her son Prince Edward was taking
part,” royal historian Hugo Vickers said.
“He is the man from whom she now
takes formal advice.”
The contrast between those two
politicians epitomises the huge change
that the monarchy and the country have
undergone during Elizabeth’s reign,
which becomes the longest in British
history tonight when she overtakes
Victoria’s 63-year stint.
Elizabeth, now 89, ascended to the
throne in 1952 at the twilight of British
empire, with Britain slowly emerging
from the ravages of World War Two.
The monarchy was a distant institution
that presided over a country where food
rationing was still in place and social
classes clearly distinct.
Over the next few decades, the Royal
Family went from being something the
public would only glimpse in newsreels
and at official occasions to releasing
family photos on Twitter, and even
“photobombing” other people’s “selfies”.
“ You would never have guessed at the
beginning of the reign the Queen would
take part in a stunt in which she appeared
to jump out of a helicopter with James
Bond,” said Royal biographer Robert
Lacey, referring to her performance at the
opening ceremony of the 2012 London
The changes have been more evolution
than revolution, but they were not always
A 1969 fly-on -the-wall tv documentary
Royal Family was viewed by
commentators at the time as damaging to
the monarchy’s mystique, and the Queen’s
daughter, Princess Anne, later said it was
a “rotten idea”.
But another innovation the following
year, the royal “walkabout ” with the
crowds, became a regular occurrence.
“The walkabout ... in a way symbolised
not only classlessness and informality
but a sense of public affection for
the institution,” professor Philip
Murphy, director of the Institute of
“They certainly quickly stepped back
from the fly-on-the-wall ‘we’re just an
ordinary family’ way of presenting the
The celebration of her silver jubilee in
1977 and the national joy at the wedding
of son and heir Prince Charles to Diana
Spencer, and the birth of their children
in the 1980s, gave way to tribulations in
the 1990s, when “the firm”, as the royal
family is nicknamed, was at its lowest
The marriages of three of her four
children collapsed, most notably that
of Charles and Diana, in the full glare
of Britain’s tabloid media, prompting
changes aimed at showing the public
that the Royals were more than just a
privileged, dysfunctional family.
They agreed to start paying taxes on
their income and in 1997 Elizabeth bade
farewell to her much-loved royal yacht,
Britannia, and the newly-elected Labour
government refused to sanction paying
for a replacement. She cried, the only
time she has shed tears in public.
Just a few months later, Elizabeth faced
the greatest crisis of her reign when
the hugely popular Princess Diana was
killed in a car crash in Paris, after which
the media criticised her for staying at
her Balmoral home in Scotland in the
Among the flowers left for Diana,
one bore the message: “ You were a rose
among a family of thorns”.
“The only time as far as I know when
the Queen’s hand was forced was when
she came to London a day earlier than
she intended to,” Vickers said.
The 1997 upheavals and questions
about the monarchy’s future coincided
with a landslide election victory by Tony
Blair’s Labour Party and a period of new
confidence in the country which earned
the moniker “Cool Britannia”.
Blair, the youngest prime minister of
the 20th century, chimed with the public
mood over Diana, famously describing
her as the “the people’s princess”.
“The death of the Princess of Wales was
a most extraordinary period in British
national life,” said Simon Lewis, who
became the Queen’s communications
secretary in 1998 when the royals
were still bruised from the fallout over
Lewis, who left the Queen’s ser vice in
2000, said the Windsors had understood
they always had to adapt.
“ What struck me was that essential
view that the institution was as solid as a
rock but it needed to evolve,” he said.
Buckingham Palace has been opened to
visitors, some two million have attended
garden parties hosted by the Q ueen there,
and there is greater visibility around
financing and what the public pays for.
Those around the Queen have changed
too, exemplified by Lewis himself,
educated at a north London State school
and with a background in the private
“I think these have been really quite
significant changes that we now accept
but at the time they were quite significant
leaps,” said Lewis.
While the monarchy worked hard
to repair its image, the British public
was falling out of love with Blair and
elected politicians. As disillusionment
grew and lawmakers were embroiled in a
scandal about their expenses, the Queen’s
slowness to change morphed from being
a weakness into a strength.
“ Whatever the Queen’s personal rating
it ’s better than the ... political leaders’,”
professor Murphy said.
“ When you get past trauma of Diana’s
death into the last 10, 15 years or so, in a
way there’s a new kind of creeping respect
for the way she’s stayed the same, always
done her duty, still keeping the show on
For those looking for modernity, the
Queen’s photogenic and charismatic
grandsons William and Harry look like
princes at ease with ordinary Britons.
“The institution has redeemed itself
successfully by an expensive but clever
use of PR,” said lawmaker Paul Flynn,
one of the few self-professed republicans
“They are symbolic, there is a great
wave of popularity for the younger royals
and clearly the institution is secure for
the immediate future but it is very much
thanks to the personality of the Q ueen
and her reluctance to get involved in
matters that do not concern her.”
Biographer Lacey said the Queen’s
great skill in changing the monarchy was
knowing when to make concessions.
“Even tragedies and mistakes like Diana
have been turned to the advantage of the
monarchy,” he said.
“Monarchy is only ever as good as the
people doing the job. None of the family
did the job very well as recently as the
1990s. Look at the depths to which it
sank and the price they had to pay in
terms of paying tax, getting rid of the
royal yacht, eating humble pie.
“But they did it.” — Reuters
Long lives the Queen
In an age of 24-hour news in which
people are exposed to more footage from
world trouble spots than ever before, the
image of one dead Syrian toddler washed
up on a Turkish beach demonstrates
the enduring power of the still news
The photo of three-year-old Aylan Kurdi,
now the instantly recognisable symbol of
the refugee crisis engulfing Europe, joins
iconic images of past tragedies from Biafra
to Vietnam that remain seared in people’s
In terms of impact on public opinion and
even political fallout, Turkish photographer
Nilufer Demir’s image of Aylan, face-down
by the water’s edge in a red t-shirt and
shorts, may be unprecedented.
Demir, who works for the Dogan agency,
said: “ When I realised there was nothing
to do to bring that boy back to life I
thought I had to take his picture ... to show
“I hope the impact this photo has created
will help bring a solution,” she said.
The image of Aylan spread across
continents via Twitter before appearing
on the front pages of newspapers around
the world, prompting a huge public
outpouring of emotion and piling pressure
on European governments to act.
“ We don’t have a clear-cut example
of a single photograph having so much
influence overnight,” said Stuart Franklin,
a Magnum photographer who shot the
image of a Chinese man standing in front
of a tank in Tiananmen Square in 1989.
Social media played a crucial part not
only in disseminating the photo but in
engaging people’s emotions, said Jenny
Matthews, a photographer who has
worked around the world for media and
“People felt that they could be involved
with the picture by saying how sad they
felt,” she said.
In Canada, the fate of Aylan and his
family became a political issue after it
emerged they had been trying to emigrate
there. Britain’s Prime Minister David
Cameron bowed to public pressure to take
in more Syrian refugees.
Charity Save the Children said it had
seen a rise in donations to its Syria appeal
since the photo appeared.
“Here we have a boy who is not
malnourished, who is wearing
contemporary clothing, he’s got his new
trainers on, he looks like he’s out for a
day out at the beach,” said Brett Rogers,
director of the Photographers’ Gallery in
“And to think that could have happened
on a beach where we could have been
sitting a couple of weeks ago is the other
thing that just strikes home.”
The harrowing image is already being
compared to three past landmarks in news
In 1969, Don McCullin’s images of
a skeletal Biafran woman trying to
breastfeed her starving baby and of
other children desperate for food in the
secessionist enclave blockaded by Nigerian
forces, raised consciousness of the war.
The photos were turned into posters
brandished by protesters who marched
against British support for Nigeria. Weeks
later, John Lennon cited the Biafran issue
as one reason for returning
In 1972, Nick Ut’s shot of a
naked and terrified nine-year-
old girl, Phan Thi Kim Phuc,
fleeing a napalm bombing in
Vietnam captured the horrors
of that war and appeared on
the front pages of American
newspapers despite the
nudity, a taboo at the time.
Such was the power of the
image that President Richard
Nixon wondered out loud,
captured on tape, if it had
been staged by the anti-
war camp for propaganda
purposes. Its authenticity has
been comprehensively proven.
In 1993, Kevin Carter’s
photo of a tiny, emaciated
Sudanese girl collapsed on the
ground with a vulture waiting
nearby caused widespread
shock and horror, with
hundreds of people calling
newspaper editors to ask what
had happened to her.
Carter was criticised for
taking the picture instead of
rescuing the girl. What was
not widely known at the time
was that he had arrived on a plane bringing
food and the girl’s parents had put her
down briefly to go and get some.
The photograph won the Pulitzer Prize
the following year, three months before
Carter killed himself.
Like the picture of the drowned Syrian
toddler, those images were examples of
how a still photograph can crystallise a
complex, intractable crisis into a powerful
symbol that anyone can understand.
“Photos are crude, they don’t give you
the whole reality. Putting over accurate
information can be really hard. People
half listen, they get confused. What ’s good
about the picture of Aylan that it’s clear.
It’s one truth,” said Matthews.
Europe’s migration crisis had been going
on all summer but endless news articles
and tv reports showing scenes of suffering
and desperation did not have the impact of
the photo of Aylan.
“Moving footage is over in an instant and
you don’t revisit it. You lose memory of it
much more quickly,” said Rogers.
“ With the still image it’s in front of
you, you can ponder it and it becomes a
metaphor for what ’s happening with the
refugee crisis.” — Reuters
The enduring power of the still news photograph
Kevin Carter’s photo of a tiny, emaciated Sudanese girl collapsed on the ground with a vulture
waiting nearby caused widespread shock and horror.
It is a victory for the lazy among us —
leaving your bed unmade is actually better
for you and makes for a cleaner, healthier
Why? Dust mites — or rather, reducing
their number in your bed.
It is estimated as many as 1.5 million
microscopic mites are crawling around in
the average bed, feeding off shed skin cells
on our sheets.
The poo they leave behind in the bed can
irritate dust allergies and cause illness such
as asthama when inhaled.
As we sweat and roll around during the
night, our skin is flaking off everywhere,
the sheets are dampening, and the mites
are having a feast.
In the morning, if we pull up the sheets
and make our beds immediately, all of the
skin scales, sweat and mites will be trapped
However, if the bed is left unmade, the
mites, the scales, the sweat, all of it, will be
exposed to fresh air and light.
“ We know that mites can only sur vive
by taking in water from the atmosphere
using small glands on the outside of their
body,” Dr Stephen Pretlove of Kingston
University’s School of Architecture said.
“Something as simple as leaving a bed
unmade during the day can remove
moisture from the sheets and mattress so
the mites will dehydrate and eventually
Experts recommend leaving your bed
unmade for the entire day — yes, the
entire day — instead making it when you
get home later on.
By that point, many of the mites will
have died an unceremonious death.
So hurrah for unmade beds and here
is hoping the science will be in soon on
the benefits of leaving the vacuuming for
another day. — New Zealand Herald
Why you should never make your bed . . .
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