Home' Greymouth Star : January 5th 2017 Contents Greymouth Star
ith more than
17,000 people aged
100 or over, Spain
is the country
with the greatest
after Japan, OECD data and the latest
population census shows.
Over a year, Reuters photographer
Andrea Comas inter viewed and
photographed Spaniards aged 100 or more
across the country from the green-hilled
northern region of Asturias to the island of
Average life expectancy at birth in Spain
is 83.2, according to the latest OECD
statistics made available in 2013, just a
shade below the 83.4 years on average a
Japanese newborn can expect to live.
Most of the men and women Comas
inter viewed showed a zest for life and
an interest in pastimes from amateur
dramatics to playing the piano. Many also
continued to carry out daily duties from
farm work to caring for a disabled child.
Pedro Rodriguez, 106, plays the piano
every day in the living room of his flat
in Asturias, northern Spain, where he
lives with his wife who is nearly 20 years
younger than him. Their daughters visit
“The nuns taught me how to play the
piano as a child,” he said after giving a
rendition of a Spanish waltz.
The majority of these elderly people were
surrounded by family or had loved ones
calling in on them daily showing how
Spain continues to be a closely-knit society,
where family ties are paramount.
Francisco Nunez, 112, is the oldest
person Comas inter viewed. He lives with
his octogenarian daughter in his house in
Badajoz, south-western Spain. He says he
does not like the pensioners’ daycare centre
because it ’s full of old people.
“He hasn’t had to leave his home. I’m
single and I live here with him,” says
daughter Maria Antonia Nunez, 81, as she
adjusts his beret.
When questioned about their most vivid
memories, many recall Spain’s 1936 to
1939 civil war which set neighbour against
neighbour and resulted in hundreds of
thousands of deaths followed by the 36-
year dictatorship of Francisco Franco.
Pilar Fernandez, 101, suffered hunger and
hardship during the war years alongside
her nine brothers and sisters. To avoid
history repeating, she limited herself to one
“From pure fear, I didn’t have any more,”
says the sprightly woman who lives with
her daughter’s family in Asturias and tends
livestock and a vegetable garden.
Tips for long life ranged from a spoonful
of honey a day to regular intake of
gazpacho, a traditional cold Spanish soup
made from tomatoes and cucumbers.
Gumersindo Cubo, 101, from Avila, puts
his longevity down to a childhood spent
in a house in the woods with his eight
siblings, where his father was a park ranger.
“It’s from inhaling the pine resin from
the woods where I lived as a child,” he says,
telling of how his mother would put a jar
of the resin under the bed of the sick.
Phillip Melzer was once a household
name in West Coast aviation, a respected
character of the skies and an exceptional
helicopter pilot who made his mark
in the early days of the deer recovery
American-born Mr Melzer started
his working life in the United States
Army artillery and then the air force.
He was stationed in the Pacific for a
period during World War Two and flew
helicopters for the J Force in Japan at the
end of the war.
During the Cold War he served in
Germany, and was also a chopper pilot in
both the Korean and Vietnam wars. He
held the office of a lieutenant-colonel at
the time of his retirement and could have
gone on to even higher promotion, but he
would have had to give up flying.
Instead, he ended up on the West Coast,
where he joined World Wide Helicopters
and was hired to fly for Westland Frozen
Products in Hokitika, before returning to
the United States for a time as a test pilot
for Hughes Helicopters.
In 1972 Mr Melzer teamed up with
Mick Rosanowski, Ivan Wilson and John
Singer, setting up a West Coast venison
recovery and hunting operation called
He was a man of seasons and would
commute between America and the West
Coast during the winter months, later
setting up Air West Helicopters.
When the deer recovery industry went
into decline in the 1980s Mr Melzer left
Reefton and moved to Nelson to live. He
continued to fly, working for Helicopter
NZ flying nationally and in New Guinea
servicing the oil rigs, while in later years
he was a pilot instructor for Motueka
Reefton helicopter pilot Alan
Rosanowski says Phillip Melzer was
a great friend of the family and an
“He just liked flying and was very
good at it. The training he had in the
military ensured he could fly any type of
helicopter,” Mr Rosanowski said.
“He taught me to fly and finished
training my son Scott. Phillip was easy to
get along with and if he said something
he meant it.”
by Paul McBride
4 - Thursday, January 5, 2017
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
be published more often than weekly. The Editor
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 email@example.com
uLetters to the editor
1871 - Group of Chinese find a nugget at
Dunolly, Victoria, called The Precious, which
yields 50.418kg of pure gold.
1895 - French Captain Alfred Dreyfus,
convicted of treason, is publicly
stripped of his rank; he was
1922 - British Antarctic explorer
Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton dies in
the Falkland Islands as he attempted
a fourth expedition to Antarctica.
1928 - First state pensions awarded
to people over 65 in Britain.
1941 - Pioneer aviatrix Amy Johnson goes
missing while flying over the Thames. She is
1975: Hobart ’s Tasman Bridge partially
collapses into the Derwent River after being
struck by a bulk ore carrier, the Lake Illawarra.
Seven of the ship’s crew and five motorists die.
1981 - Truck driver Peter Sutcliffe, is arrested
over the Yorkshire Ripper murders of 13 women
makes his first appearance in court. He is later
convicted of the murders.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Shah Jahan, Mughal emperor who had Taj
Mahal built in India for his queen (1592-
1666); Zulfikar Ali Bhutto,
Pakistani prime minister (1928-
1979); Robert Duvall, US actor
(1931-); Raisa Gorbachev, wife of
ex-Russian leader (1932-1999);
King Juan Carlos I of Spain (1938-
); Athol Guy, Australian musician
of Seekers fame (1940-); Diane
Keaton, US actress (1946-); Marilyn Manson,
US rock singer (1969-) .
“ In ageing, one becomes more foolish
and more wise.” — Francois, Duc de La
Rochefoucauld, French author (1613-1680).
“ Your faith should not be in the wisdom of
men, but in the power of God.”
— (Corinthians 2:5).
The man who died
in an Auckland fire
yesterday was a West
Coaster — Mr Bill
Menzies, aged 34, son of Mr George Menzies
of Cadman Street, Runanga. Auckland police
reported that Mr Menzies appeared to have
suffocated in a wooden annexe of the Ponsonby
Men’s Hostel at about 7am yesterday. He had
been in Auckland only a few days and was
staying temporarily at the hostel. It appeared
that a cigarette had burned through the
mattress to the floor of his room.
Mr Menzies was born in Runanga and had
worked at the Liverpool State mine for many
years before his departure from the district two
Deceased is sur vived by his father George,
brothers John, Thomas and George and sisters
Jessie and Violet.
One of the very few west-east crossings of the
Southern Alps through the high Sealy Pass was
completed by two Greymouth men on Tuesday.
The crossing was made in excellent weather but
in “avalanch conditions” by Mr R McPherson
of the Geological Sur vey and Mr G Howitt, a
well-known photographer and tramper.
On Boxing Day they journeyed up the
Whataroa River and into the Sealy Pass which
rises to 6000 feet. It has been crossed many
times but is usually traversed from east to
west because of the sudden rise from the West
After 55 years, two brothers and their sister
were reunited in Hokitika on New Year’s
Eve. They were Jack and Bob Gugich who
left their native Yugoslavia in 1912 and 1914
respectively, to reside in New Zealand, and
their sister Lucia who travelled to Australia in
1964 to settle with her son.
uFood for thought
Printed and published by the
Greymouth Evening Star Co Limited
3 Werita Street, PO Box 3, Greymouth
03 769 7900 (office)
769 7913 (editorial)
768 6205 (fax)
03 769 7913
03 755 8422
After 15 years of development, an Israeli
tech firm is optimistic it will finally get
its 1500kg (1.5 tonne) passenger carrying
drone off the ground and into the market
The Cormorant, billed as a flying car, is
capable of transporting 500kg of weight
and travelling at 185kph. It completed its
first automated solo flight over terrain in
November. Its total price is estimated at $14
Developers Urban Aeronautics believe the
dark green drone, which uses internal rotors
rather than helicopter propellers, could
evacuate people from hostile environments
and/or allow military forces safe access.
“Just imagine a dirty bomb in a city and
chemical substance of something else
and this vehicle can come in robotically,
remotely piloted, come into a street and
decontaminate an area,” Urban Aeronautics
founder and chief executive Rafi Yoeli said.
Yoeli set up the company, based in a large
hanger in Yavne, central Israel, in 2001
to create the drone, which he says is safer
than a helicopter as it can fly in between
buildings and below power lines without the
risk of blade strikes.
There is still plenty of work required before
the autonomous vehicle hits the market.
The Cormorant, about the size of a
family car and previously called the ‘Air
Mule’, is yet to meet all Federal Aviation
Administration standards and a test in
November saw small issues with conflicting
data sent by on board sensors.
With 39 patents registered to create
the vehicle, Yoeli has little concern about
competitors usurping him.
One industry experts said the technology
could save lives.
“ It could revolutionise several aspects of
warfare, including medical evacuation of
soldiers on the battlefield,” said Tal Inbar,
head of the UAV research centre at Israel’s
Fisher Institute for Air and Space Strategic
Studies. — Reuters
From: Perdita Causa Public Relations
To : Hon Andrew Little, Leader of the
Re: Winning in 2017
Think of yourself, Andrew, as the captain
of a company pinned down by enemy fire
and fast running out of ammunition. In
this situation, you have three options. 1.
Put your faith in the Geneva Conventions
and surrender. 2 . Hope that reinforcements
arrive before your ammunition runs out.
3. Identify a weak spot in the enemy’s
defences and attack.
Option No 1 should be ruled out. The
Geneva Convention may still apply
in warfare, Andrew, but what we are
discussing here is politics. Clausewitz may
have said that “war is the continuation
of politics by other means”, but what
he neglected to say is that, of the two
forms of conflict, politics is by far the
more unforgiving. There are no Geneva
Conventions in politics, Andrew. If you
give up the fight, your reputation will be
Option No 2 is worth considering —
especially in light of your “Memorandum
of Understanding” with the Greens. O ur
problem with this option, however, is that
— so far — we are not convinced that the
Greens fully grasp what it means to be a
Yes, they stood aside for Michael Wood
in Mt Roskill — to excellent effect.
So, why are not they doing the same
in Mount Albert? Yes, National’s not
fielding a candidate, we get that. And, yes,
the Greens are keen to give Julie Anne
Genter more exposure, we get that too.
(She is impressive!) What nobody in the
Greens seems to get, however, is that all
Joe and Josephine Public will take from
the spectacle of Labour versus Greens in
Mount Albert is that these two parties are
not BFFs after all — they are rivals.
All of which, Andrew, leads us to wonder
whether relying on the Greens to hoist you
and Labour into power on their shoulders
is really such a good idea. Reinforcements
are not much use if your unit has been
over-run and slaughtered. About all they
are good for then is burying the dead.
Which (and we must apologise here for
expressing such a wicked thought) may
well have been their objective all along.
Which brings us to Option No 3
— finding a weak spot in the enemy’s
defences and attacking.
On the face of it, this would seem to
be the most unrealistic option of all.
National is bigger than Labour, richer than
Labour, and enjoys all the advantages of
Key may have gone, but Bill English
is well respected — and may soon be
well liked. So, if you were thinking about
targeting English as National’s weakest
link, then we would urge you to stop right
now. Playing the man rather than the ball
always makes those responsible look petty
No, if you want to discover National’s
weak spot, stop looking for a person and
start thinking about the spirit of the times.
Things are about to turn very nasty: not
just here, but everywhere.
The coming of Donald Trump is History’s
answer to Leonard Cohen’s last, chilling,
challenge/question: “You want it darker.”
Your winning strategy, Andrew, is to
answer that challenge/question.
Michelle Obama famously quipped:
“ When they go low, we go high.” Well,
Andrew, if the zeitgeist wants to make it
darker, then you and Labour must promise
to make it lighter. With tolerance and
decency shutting down all over the world,
you must make New Zealand a shining
refuge for both. With the state, everywhere,
assuming the role of overseer, jailer and spy,
Labour must speak out boldly for liberty,
dignity and the individual’s right to privacy.
Here is what we propose.
Labour announces a dramatic overhaul
of the freedom of information legislation.
State sector chief executives are warned
that, under a Labour Government, the
unjustified with-holding of information
will be a sacking offence.
The Ombudsman’s Office will receive a
massive boost in funding. Every cabinet
minister in a Labour-led government
will be required to make themselves
available for live media inter views. There
will be more money for news and current
affairs programming on public radio
and television, and a special fund for the
support of investigative print journalism.
The sur veillance powers of the SIS and the
GCSB will be curtailed.
Remind your colleagues, and the
electorate, Andrew, that Labour stands
for the freedom and dignity of every New
Chris Trotter is a left-wing
Time for Labour to take the offensive
Israel’s ‘f lying car’ passenger drone completes first f light
A man works on Israel’s new ‘flying car’ drone
Phillip Melzer, left, while flying and right, with a stag he had shot.
Pedro Rodriguez, 106, plays the piano at his home in Cangas de Onis, Asturias, in northern Spain.
Spanish live the longest
Links Archive January 4th 2017 January 6th 2017 Navigation Previous Page Next Page