Home' Greymouth Star : October 31st 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Saturday, October 31, 2015
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welcome your opinion and suggestions.
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uLetters to the editor
1618 - Sir Walter Raleigh is executed.
1814 - The Demologos, the first steam-
powered warship, launched in New York City.
1901 - Leon Czolgosz is electrocuted for
the assassination of US President
1929 - Black Tuesday-the most
catastrophic day in stock market
history, the herald of the Great
Depression. 16 million shares were
sold at declining prices. By mid-
November $30 billion of the $80
billion worth of stocks listed in September will
have been wiped out.
1945 - The first ball-point pen goes is sold by
Gimbell’s department store for a price of $12.
1969 - First computer-to-computer link;
the link is accomplished through ARPANET,
forerunner of the Internet.
1998 - John Glenn, at age 77, becomes the
oldest person to go into outer space. He is
part of the crew of Space Shuttle Discovery.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
1891- Fanny Brice, comedian, singer and
actress; 1897 - Joseph G. Gobbels, German
Nazi Propaganda Minister; 1905 - Henry
Green, novelist; 1943 - Don Simpson, film
producer, screenwriter, actor; 1945
- Melba Moore, disco and R&B
singer, actress; 1946 - Peter Green,
guitarist, songwriter, founder of
the band Fleetwood Mac; 1947 -
Richard Dreyfuss, actor (American
Graffiti, Jaws; 1948 - Kate Jackson,
actress); 1954 - Lee Child, author;
creator of the Jack Reacher novel series; 1958
- David Remnick, journals, author, magazine
editor; 1971 - Winona Ryder, actress.
“ To conquer without risk is to triumph
without glory.” - - Pierre Corneille, French
“Jesus said to him, ‘Feed My sheep’.”
( John 21:17
A large handsome
silver cup is to
be presented at a
special dinner on
November 27 to the West Coast Sportsman
or Sportswoman of the Year. The choice is
the public’s and nominations close with the
Greymouth Evening Star on November 24.
After an enthusiastic start, few nominations
were received this week. Altogether 30 names
have been submitted.
The trophy will be awarded at a dinner on
Saturday evening, November 27, at which will
be leading national sportsmen in many spheres.
Organiser of the Sportsman of the Year dinner,
Mr A B Kennedy said the trophy will be
Greymouth’s platinum-blonde, blue eyed
Miss Jacquelyn Mundy has been chosen as
a candidate in the Tussy Girl beauty and
personality contest sponsored by an Auckland
cosmetic firm. For the winner it will mean a
14-day trip to Italy and a screen test in Rome.
To her surprise, Miss Mundy received a
telephone call from one of the judges in
Wellington, to determine her ability to answer
questions spontaneously, and to judge the
quality of her voice. Depending on her voice
rating, the next step for Miss Mundy could be
a sitting for a professional photographer at the
Queen Carnivals are great money spinners.
Greymouth has had two in the past 13 years,
both to raise funds for civic projects, and
the public’s response to each has been worth
Back in 1953, a carnival to raise money for
the conversion of a rough paddock into what
is now known as Anzac Park, aimed at £5000,
actually netted £7200.
uFood for thought
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“ I can’t stand him.
He’s a liar,” then-
told United States
Obama four years ago,
in a conversation about
Israeli Prime Minister
Obama replied: “ You’re
fed up with him? I
have to deal with him every day.” It was a
private conversation, but we know about
it because it was accidentally broadcast to
Politicians may deliberately mislead
people, omit vital facts, spin the truth
a dozen different ways to ser ve their
purposes of the moment, but they
usually avoid outright lies. It is just too
embarrassing to be caught in a lie. Other
politicians generally accept that some
of their colleagues shade the truth to fit
their own agenda as one of the regrettable
realities of their trade. They all swim in the
What drove Sarkozy and Obama to talk
about Netanyahu like that was the sheer
brazen effrontery of his lies — and he was
at it again last week. In public, this time.
Speaking to the 37th World Zionist
Congress in Jerusalem, Netanyahu
declared that Hitler decided to
exterminate the Jews on the advice of a
Palestinian, Haj Amin al-Husseini, the
grand mufti (senior Islamic cleric) of
Jerusalem. Husseini met Hitler in Berlin
in November 1941, he said (although
there is no record of the meeting), and
that was why the Holocaust happened.
“ Hitler didn’t want to exterminate the
Jews at the time, he wanted to expel the
Jews. And Haj Amin al-Husseini went to
Hitler and said: ‘If you expel them, they ’ll
all come here (to Palestine)’. ” According
to Netanyahu, Hitler then asked: “ What
should I do with them?” and the mufti
replied: “Burn them. ”
So, you see, it was the Palestinians,
driven by a vicious and unreasoning hatred
of the Jews, who really thought up the
Holocaust, and Adolf Hitler was merely
a tool in their hands. Historians instantly
denounced this travesty of the historical
record, and the greatest outrage was
expressed by Jews who felt that Netanyahu
had given a great gift to the Holocaust
Germany ’s Chancellor Angela Merkel
was so appalled that she effectively called
Netanyahu a liar to his face. Standing
beside him in Berlin, she said: “ We don’t
see any reason to change our view of
history, particularly on this issue. We abide
by our responsibility, in Germany, for the
Holocaust. ” Yet Netanyahu continued
to insist that it was Husseini who first
suggested genocide to Hitler.
Experienced journalists know that the
most useful question to ask yourself when
confronted with an implausible story is
not: “Is this b— lying to me?” It is: “Why
is this b— lying to me?” So why did
Netanyahu say that? In particular, why
Because he needs to show that his
policy of creating and expanding Jewish
settlements in the West Bank, the one-
sixth of former Palestine that still has a
Palestinian majority, is not responsible for
the recent rash of violent attacks on Israeli
Jews by young Palestinians.
It is getting quite serious, though it is not
yet a “third intifada”. Ten Jews have been
murdered in the streets by Palestinians
in the past month. About 50 Palestinians
have been killed, including most of the
killers and would-be killers. The fear and
suspicion have grown so intense that in
two cases of mistaken identity Jews have
killed or wounded other Jews.
There appears to be no central direction
behind the attacks. Most obser vers believe
that the phenomenon is mainly driven
by the despair of young Palestinians who
see their land slipping away and do not
believe that Netanyahu will ever let the
Palestinians have their own state in the
That would put the blame for the
outbreak squarely on Netanyahu’s policies,
which he cannot accept. So he is trying to
prove that Palestinians just naturally hate
Jews: “My intention was . . . to show that
the forefathers of the Palestinian nation
— without a country and without the
so-called ‘occupation,’ without land and
without settlements — even then aspired
to systematic incitement to exterminate
That is Netanyahu’s explanation for the
current attacks: incitement by Palestinian
leader Mahmoud Abbas, whom he
blames for the rumours about Israel’s
intention to expand Jewish access to
the Haram al-Sharif, the area around
Jerusalem’s al Aqsa mosque. It is Islam’s
third most sacred site, but it is also
sacred to Jews as Temple Mount, and
these rumours certainly played a role in
stimulating the attacks.
There is no evidence that Abbas was
behind the rumours, however, and it is
unlikely that he would have encouraged
them. What these attacks are actually
showing is his own people’s loss of faith
in his ability to get a Palestinian state.
Nor is Saturday ’s agreement in Amman
between US Secretary of State John
Kerry, Mahmoud Abbas and Jordan’s
King Abdullah to guarantee the current
rules for access to the holy site likely to
quell the violence.
The rumours were a trigger for the
violence, but the gun is always loaded.
The Palestinian revolts in 1929 and 1936,
which were indeed incited by Grand
Mufti Husseini, were already about the
Jewish colonisation of Palestine. It was
always about the land, and it still is today.
Netanyahu knows that very well. It is
the real motive behind his own policies.
He just cannot afford to admit it.
Gwynne Dyer is an independent
journalist whose articles are published in
PICTURE: Getty Images
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, left, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel attend a press conference in Berlin.
WORLD IN FOCUS
with Gwynne Dyer
Netanyahu and the truth
Do Christians steal? No! But they are
into conversion. By that I mean that over
the years Christians have spread the news
of Jesus to places where Christianity was
In those places there were all sorts
of pagan festivals to which the locals
eagerly looked for ward. How do you let
the festivals sort of continue when the
people have become converted and are
now practising Christians? That has been
a challenge over the centuries.
A prime example would be Christmas.
Saturnalia originated as a farmers’ festival
on December 25 and commemorated
the dedication of the temple of Saturn,
the Roman god of agriculture and the
har vest. Roman Christians wanted to
turn the festivities of merrymaking and
joy into a Christian festival, and did so by
making that day, December 25, a day to
celebrate the birth of Jesus.
That tradition has carried on through
the ages, except it has been more recently
converted by the secular world into a
time of giving presents and having fun,
without any connection to Jesus.
The same sort of thing happened
with Halloween. It was originally a
Celtic festival from sunset October 31
to sunset November 1, called Samhain
(pronounced SAH win). The Celts
believed that the spirits of those who had
died during the year all gathered together
to go to the next world as a group at that
time To avoid being recognised by some
of the spirits, folk used to wear masks and
When Ireland came under the influence
of the Christian faith, Christians thought
of a way of converting the festival into a
Christian celebration. Hence Christians
remember November 1 as All Saints
Day, and November 2 as All Souls Day,
remembering all those who have died
as believers in Jesus. It is a “hallowed
However, the associated original
festivities continued, without their
original significance. So, putting on
masks and dressing up was common the
night before. Hence the name “eve of
hallowed time” or Halloween for short.
When the Irish went to the United
States they took the custom and made it
into a children’s celebration. Of course we
often pick up American traditions here,
and that is one of them.
Here in Greymouth we long to
transform Halloween into a fun children’s
time, but without the ghoulish trappings.
The Baptist Church is running a
children’s party from 6pm tonight that
enjoys the best of the traditions. Parents
with their preschool and primary children
can enjoy a fun evening of bouncy castle
fun, games and lots of treats. Dress up is
encouraged, but not scary! A gold coin
Christians are still in the conversion
Archdeacon Robin Kingston
Greymouth and Kumara Anglican
t was the fastest, most luxurious
ocean liner of its day, and whisked
the likes of Marilyn Monroe, Coco
Chanel, Marlon Brando and four
United States presidents across the
But now the SS United States sits
derelict in a Philadelphia dock as a
conser vation group makes an urgent
appeal for funding to save it from the
scrapyard by the end of the month.
Moored on the Delaware River opposite
an Ikea store, its paintwork is peeling, its
funnels discoloured by the sun. Footsteps
echo in the cavernous interior, stripped
long ago of the vestiges of the vessel’s
On its maiden voyage on July 3, 1952,
the 301m ocean liner crossed the Atlantic
in a record three days, 10 hours and 40
minutes. The record still holds.
A mar vel in elegance and technology, it
was designed to be transformed rapidly —
if the Cold War escalated — into a troop
carrier and was therefore funded largely by
the US government.
Its naval architect, William Francis
Gibbs, also proclaimed it fire resistant
thanks to its heavy use of aluminium.
A million passengers, Hollywood stars,
politicians, industrialists and migrants
travelled the SS United States between
America and Europe.
On board were three orchestras, a
ballroom, two cinemas, 20 elevators and a
“Everybody that was a major contributor
in their field, they were here,” remembers
82-year-old Joe Rota, who went from
elevator operator to bellboy to on-board
“The technology, the comfort, the speed,
the food, everything was so perfect. We
never had a breakdown, we were never
late,” Rota said, recalling memories of
Prince Rainier, Brando, US President
Harry Truman and Spanish artist Salvador
The Mona Lisa was also a passenger,
coming home from an exhibition at the
National Gallery in Washington. She had
her own cabin, outside which were placed
size-15 shoes for polishing. The idea
apparently was to make people think the
painting was being protected by a very
large man also travelling inside the
But air travel quickly sounded the death
knell for ocean liners and the SS United
States was decommissioned on November
11, 1969 after 400 voyages. The ship,
which could carry 2000 passengers ser ved
by 1000 staff, was no longer cost effective.
It was bought several times with various
ideas of turning it into a casino, a cruise
liner or a hospital ship, but nothing came
of these proposals.
In 1984, its furniture and what remained
inside were sold at auction. Then in 2011
it was bought by the non-profit SS United
States Conser vancy, whose director Susan
Gibbs is the granddaughter of its architect.
The organisation is urgently appealing
for donors and investors in an effort to
give the ocean liner a future it deser ves
such as a hotel, floating apartments, office
space or a museum.
“ It ’s like a horizontal skyscraper.
It ’s exactly the height of the Chrysler
building,” Gibbs said.
She is making particular overtures to
technology companies in a nod to its past
as a mar vel of technology.
She emphasised the available floor space,
up to 46,000sqm and insists the ship is
structurally very sound.
Gibbs said discussions are under way
for what could be a “very innovative
contemporary use of the spaces” and
refers to the second life enjoyed by other
liners, such as the Q ueen Mary and the
“ It could be extraordinary. Fingers
crossed,” she says.
But while waiting for projects to come to
fruition, the association has to pay $60,000
a month to dock the ship.
Donations are coming in from all 50
states in America and from 36 countries,
but the cost is unsustainable.
“ We’ve never been closer to saving the
SS United States, and we’ve never been
closer to losing her,” Gibbs said.
The board of directors announced
recently their intention to sell the ship to
the scrapyard if no new investors or donors
come for ward by the end of October.
“ We need to have a game-changing
development,” Gibbs said. An appeal has
also been made to New York Mayor Bill
“It was the most beautiful ship in the
world,” said Rota, still believing it can be
rescued. “Such an American symbol. ”
SOS to rescue liner
The SS United States in its heyday.
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