Home' Greymouth Star : December 28th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Monday, December 28, 2015
This can be a crazy time of the year,
with lots and lots to do and a lot of things
happening at once. We can get so caught
up in the hustle and the bustle of the
season that we forget to just take a minute
to slow down. This time of the year it can
feel as if our lives are much like a spin
on a merry-go-round; everything is just
going faster and faster.
Maybe — just maybe — this is the time
for us to slow down and take a deep breath,
reflect on the year, go for a walk, sing a
song, dance to music, have a good laugh
or you can just choose to sit at the feet
of God taking in the moment. He never
intended for us to take on the world alone,
or to become so busy. It is His desire for us
to slow down once in a while and rest.
In Matthew 11:28-30 it says “Come to
Me, all you who are weary and burdened,
and I will give you rest. Take My yoke
upon you and learn from Me, for I am
gentle and humble in heart, and you will
find rest for your souls, for My yoke is
easy and My burden light.”
In this season learn to slow down and
rest in the One who says He will give
Merry Christmas, remember to take
time out, be blessed and may the Peace of
God be with you.
Pastor Glaudie Lawrence
Time to slow down
Evacuation campaign high point
ombat on Gallipoli could
be astonishingly intimate.
In some locations, New
Zealand and Australian
trenches were within
metres of Turkish lines,
easy bomb and insult throwing distance.
Almost every part of the Anzac enclave
was visible from Turkish-held heights.
So the successful evacuation of all
troops under the noses of Turkish forces
approaches the miraculous.
From 41,000 soldiers across the 160ha
Anzac sector, numbers were progressively
thinned so that just 1500 held front-line
positions on the night of December 19,
In the early morning darkness of
December 20, small groups of soldiers
dashed to the beach, fearing pursuing
Turks would be upon them at any
moment. The last boat carrying the last
soldiers departed Anzac Cove soon after
Eight kilometres north, the last of
38,000 mostly British troops departed
Suvla Bay about 4.30am.
Despite dire predictions of up to
40% losses in a panicked and chaotic
withdrawal, casualties attributed to
Turkish action were just two wounded.
Not for nothing has the evacuation been
termed the most successful aspect of the
whole blighted enterprise.
This was the result of careful planning,
clever ruses, good luck and Turkish
After weeks of intense vacillation,
London finally gave the go-ahead
for evacuation on December 8. But
commanders on Gallipoli anticipated
inevitable withdrawal and had prudently
started planning a fortnight earlier.
That fell to two exceptional officers
— Australian Brigadier-General Cyril
Brudenell White at Anzac and British 9
Corps chief of staff General Hamilton
Reed, VC, at Suvla.
Both worked with able staffs and their
plans were similar. The British official
historian described these as models of
precision and clear thinking.
This all required maintenance of an
appearance of normality.
Initially, troop numbers were thinned
out, with sick and superfluous soldiers
withdrawn by night, along with some of
the vast piles of stores and equipment
accumulated during the campaign.
Along the lines, troops conducted the
so-called “silent stunts”. Not a shot would
be fired for hours.
Early on, Turkish troops who crept
over to see what was going on quickly
discovered the lines were still fully
manned. Their sur viving comrades speedily
learned not to bother.
There was much more. Troops moved
openly on the shores during daylight.
On December 17, troops on the beaches
ostentatiously played a game of cricket.
Supply parties moved noisily up to the
trenches, then departed silently with extra
troops, their feet wrapped in blankets to
muffle the sound.
As the final withdrawal approached, it
was envisaged that there might need to
be a fighting retreat, with small parties
delaying advancing Turks — and probably
not sur viving — while their comrades
escaped. It never came to that.
As the last boats departed, occasional
shots continued to ring out, thanks
to clever inventions such as the drip
rifle, where water slowly dripped into a
pannikin, eventually pulling a rifle trigger.
All along the lines, troops had tunnelled
out under Turkish positions, emplacing
large quantities of explosive. Only at The
Nek did those departing fire their mines,
killing some 70 Turkish soldiers.
As the sun rose, Turkish patrols slowly
probed the Anzac and Suvla lines and
discovered everyone had gone. They
encountered occasional booby traps found,
meals left for them and in one dugout, a
note saying: “ You didn’t push us off Jacko,
we just left.”
But were the Turks truly deceived?
There is plenty of evidence they were
not. Turkish reconnaissance flights surely
noticed the diminishing piles of stores
along the beachfront.
Historian Robin Prior said it suited
the Allies to play up the cunning of their
deception plan as a counterpoint to the
total failure of the overall plan.
Australian War Memorial senior
historian Ashley Ekins said Turkish
commanders faced difficult choices in
responding to evacuation.
They could attack too soon and incur
heavy casualties, as occurred with their
offensive in May. Or they could attack too
late and face criticism that they let their
enemy get away.
Or they could plead ignorance. Ekins
said those Turkish commanders who wrote
accounts of the campaign praised the
Allies for their cleverness in evacuating
right under their noses.
One Turkish account describes thick
fog for the final five nights. An Australian
account describes clear moonlit nights where
any movement could be seen at half a mile.
While Anzac and Suvla evacuated in
December, the British enclave at Cape
Helles remained, with some 40,000 British
and French troops, initially with some
vague idea this could ser ve as a naval base.
That speedily faded.
After what occurred at Anzac and Suvla,
the Turks surely realised Helles would
likely also be evacuated, and soon.
So it was on the night of January 8-9
with the last 17,000 troops departing with
minimal Turkish interference.
When correspondent Charles Bean
returned to Gallipoli in 1919, he spoke at
length with Turkish officer Zeki Bey who
told him: “No one regretted that we hadn’t
known of your intention to withdraw.”
Ekins says the unstated message was:
“We were gladto see yougo.” — AAP
Stores burn on the beach at Anzac Cove during the evacuation.
No sign of peace in Turkey
The shepherd’s widow no longer asks
God for peace.
Like many Kurds in Turkey ’s south-
east, Sevgi Gezici, 22, believed President
Tayyip Erdogan would relent in a violent
clampdown against Kurdish militants
after his party won back its majority in an
election in November.
Three days after the vote, her husband,
just back from seven months tending
sheep, was shot dead in the street, caught
in the crossfire as he ventured out of
their house to find help for their children
during a curfew, she said. His aunt was
fatally shot minutes later after rushing to
“I used to pray for peace, for God to help
Turks and Kurds,” Gezici said, cradling
their two-year-old daughter beneath her
husband’s portrait, which was covered in a
“After this, I have no hope. God can do
what He wants. We are forsaken,” she
Before the November 1 vote, the view
among Turkey ’s Kurds was that Erdogan
had engineered a new conflict with the
Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) to win
over Turkish nationalist voters and help
the AK Party he founded return to the
single party rule it had lost in an earlier
vote in June. Erdogan rejects such a plot.
But nearly two months after the second
election achieved a stronger-than-expected
single party majority for the AKP, swathes
of Turkey ’s mainly Kurdish south-east are
still under curfew. Battles once fought in
the countryside are now waged in densely
populated urban areas.
Instead of relaxing the crackdown,
Erdogan vowed last week security forces
would “annihilate” militants in their
“ houses. ”
Armoured police vehicles guard the
entrance to Tekel, the Gezicis’ working-
class neighbourhood in the town of Silvan.
Facades of apartment blocks are riddled
with bullet holes, and interiors are charred
black from fire.
Graffiti legible beneath whitewash reads:
“The wolf ’s teeth have tasted blood. Be
Residents say the threat was written by
More than 130 civilians have been
killed in the south-east since the PKK
abandoned a two-year ceasefire in
July, according to the Human Rights
Association (IHD). The government has
not given a civilian death toll, but says
3000 rebels have been “neutralised” in
Turkey and rebel camps in northern Iraq.
Raci Bilici, head of the IHD in
Diyarbakir, the south-east ’s largest city,
said that rather than use the power gained
from its election victory to restart the
peace process, the government took it as a
mandate to crack down harder.
“ Voters said: ‘Fight.’ The election
showed the government has support for
its crackdown, so why relent?” he said.
“But with violence spreading to cities, the
fear is we may cross the threshold of civil
As he spoke, gunfire could be heard
ringing out from Sur, a district of the city
that has been under curfew for two weeks.
While the lockdown made it impossible
to enter Sur, the view from a police barrier
on the edge showed garbage piled up in
the street and businesses shuttered.
Police in fatigues and masks carried
assault rifles, prowling past Diyarbakir’s
massive 4th century Roman walled
fortress, part of a UNESCO World
Heritage site whose monuments are
now badly damaged. Last month, lawyer
Tahir Elci was gunned down at a historic
mosque in the district.
The conflict in Turkey has complicated
the international campaign against
Islamic State fighters in neighbouring
Turkey ’s 15 million Kurds identify
closely with their Syrian Kurdish kin, who
have proven the most capable allies on the
ground of the United States-led bombing
campaign against Islamic State. Turkey is
a member of the coalition against Islamic
State, but hostile to the Syrian Kurds,
believing they inspire separatism at home.
The spasm of violence wrecked peace
talks once touted by the AKP as the best
chance yet to end one of Europe’s longest-
running insurgencies. Some 40,000 people
have died since the autonomy-seeking
PKK took up arms against the state in
This time, the PKK has largely
abandoned its traditional rural
battleground to take the fight to the city,
recruiting a new generation of militants
who dig trenches and use heavy weapons
in populated areas to keep police at bay.
If the PKK’s shift to urban warfare
sought to force a return to talks, it has
so far failed. Authorities have imposed
curfews and cut power, water and phone
coverage to root out militants.
On his way to Brussels this week,
Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu
vowed to pursue the PKK until the area
is “cleansed”. Turkey aspires to join the
“Gross human rights violations are
happening on both sides,” said Kati
Piri, European Parliament rapporteur
on Turkey after a visit last week. She
called the building of barricades by the
PKK “unacceptable” and the response
“ It seems like mass punishment. The
danger is it will only radicalise more
people,” she said.
Some 1.3 million people in 17 towns and
cities have been affected by 52 curfews so
far, according to official figures.
Up to 200,000 people are displaced by
the fighting, the pro-Kurdish HDP party
says. In Silvan, 11,000 people fled, said
Mayor Kerem Canpolaten.
He took office after his predecessor
became one of two dozen mayors jailed for
“ undermining state unity” for backing calls
for Kurdish autonomy. The new mayor
himself spent a decade in jail, beginning
in 1992 at age 16, on terrorism charges
during an earlier phase of the insurgency.
“ Prison taught me the solution to the
Kurdish matter has to be political. This
war will only end in peace,” he said.
Silvan’s municipal government says
15 civilians aged nine to 75 died in six
separate curfews since August in the town
The last curfew began two days after the
election. Engin Gezici, 24, had returned
from pastures 100km north.
The couple spent a night sheltering their
three children in the kitchen as a firefight
raged outside. In the morning, Engin told
Sevgi he would find help. Minutes later, he
lay dead, and his aunt Ismet, 63, was also
hit. With roads shut, it was impossible to
reach a hospital.
“The children saw everything,” the
“They wake at night, screaming, ‘ They’re
coming through the walls’.” — Reuters
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
within 300 words. Letter writers will generally not
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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
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uLetters to the editor
1694 - Q ueen Mary II of England dies after
five years of joint rule with her husband, King
1869 - William E Semple of Mount Vernon,
Ohio, patents chewing gum.
1917 - Bessarabia proclaims independence as
1938 - Iraq severs relations with France.
1942 - Japanese planes bomb Calcutta, India,
in World War Two.
1948 - Premier Nokrashy Pasha of Egypt is
1950 - Chinese forces cross the 38th parallel
1966 - China detonates its fifth atomic bomb.
1968 - Israeli commandos raid
Beirut Airport, destroying 13
1973 - Alexander Solzhenitsyn
publishes “Gulag Archipelago,” an
expose of the Soviet prison system.
1974 - Leftist guerrillas in
Managua, Nicaragua, invade
a Christmas party for the US
ambassador, killing three guards and taking
several prominent Nicaraguans hostage.
1989 - Alexander Dubcek, the former
Czechoslovak Communist leader deposed in
a Soviet-led Warsaw Pact invasion in 1968, is
named chairman of the country’s parliament.
1990 - Indian government opens talks with
Sikh leaders on ending a seven-year-old
secessionist struggle in Punjab.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Juan Zorrilla de San Martin, Uruguayan poet
(1855-1931); Woodrow Wilson, US president
(1856-1924); Philip Wilson Steer, English
artist (1860-1942); Sir Arthur S Eddington,
English scientist (1882-1944); Earl
Hines, US jazz pianist (1905-1983);
Keith Floyd, British chef (1943-
2009); King Birendra of Nepal
(1945-2001); Denzel Washington,
US actor (1954-); Pat Rafter,
Australian tennis player (1972-);
Alex Dimitriades, Australian actor
(1973-); Seth Meyers, US television
personality (1973-); John Legend, US singer
(1978-); Noomi Rapace, Swedish actress
(1979-); Sienna Miller, British actress (1981-).
“ Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy,
like art . . . It has no survival value; rather it is
one of those things that give value to sur vival. ”
— C S Lewis, British author (1898-1963).
“ He will be great and will be called the Son
of the Most High. The Lord God will give
Him the throne of His father David, and He
will reign over the house of Jacob forever; His
kingdom will never end.” —Luke 1:32-33
It is now four years
since the Golden Kiwi
lottery was introduced
into New Zealand.
And in that period, West Coasters have parted
with more than a quarter of a million pounds
in an endeavour to ‘crack the jackpot ’. Few,
very few, have been successful in taking away
a major prize, £1000 or more, but in recent
months there has been quite a flow of prizes in
the £100 to £750 bracket.
Altogether there have been 230 Golden Kiwi
draws in addition to eight Mammoth lotteries,
and the total won by West Coast tickets is
£176,145 — £90,000 less than the £266,145
Although only 19, Murray Glen is well
acquainted with the ups and downs of cricket.
Two years ago, after playing only four games in
the senior grade, he was selected for the West
Coast team. He got ‘carted’ all around the field
and has never represented his province since.
Trouble upset his run-up for game after
game. But, with grim determination, he put
all these troubles behind him and this week
reached his personal zenith in the sport — his
selection in the Canterbury under-21 side to
tour northern New South Wales. This six-
foot plus hairdresser and United medium-fast
bowler said this week he was highly excited
over his selection in the touring team.
He is currently the secretary of the West
Coast Cricket Association, a job which takes
up a great deal of time and calls for a lot of
exacting work. Furthermore it is nothing for
him to get up before work and help his father
Mr A C Glen prepare the Recreation Ground
uFood for thought
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