Home' Greymouth Star : January 27th 2017 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Friday, January 27, 2017
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uLetters to the editor
1340 - Edward III of England declares
himself king of France, a claim that leads to
the Hundred Years’ War.
1731 - Death of Bartolomeo Cristofori,
Italian harpsichord manufacturer generally
credited with the invention of the
1880 - American inventor
Thomas Edison receives a patent
for his electric incandescent lamp.
1901 - Death of Giuseppe Verdi,
Italian composer of operas such as
Rigoletto, La Traviata and Aida.
1945 - Soviet troops liberate the Nazi
concentration camps Auschwitz and Birkenau
1951 - Era of atomic testing in the Nevada
desert begins as a US Air Force plane drops a
one-kiloton bomb on Frenchman Flats.
1967 - US astronauts Virgil “Gus”
Grissom, Edward White and Roger Chaffee
die in a flash fire during a test aboard their
Apollo spacecraft at Cape Kennedy,
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Austrian
composer (1756-1791); Lewis Carroll, real
name Charles Dodgson, English writer and
mathematician (1832-1898); Kaiser
Wilhelm II, German emperor
(1859-1941); James Cromwell, US
actor (1940-); Nick Mason, British
Pink Floyd musician (1944-);
Mikhail Baryshnikov, Russian ballet
dancer (1948-); Bridget Fonda, US
actress (1964-); Mike Patton, US
singer of Faith No More fame (1968-); Adam
Brand, Australian country singer (1970-);
Rosamund Pike, British actress (1979-).
“As men we are all equal in the presence of
death.” — Publilius Syrus, Roman mimographer.
“ When words are many, transgression is
not lacking, but the prudent are restrained in
speech.” — (Proverbs 10:19).
There was little
cheer about Dunollie
on Thursday, January
19, but it did have its
brighter moments. A thin bedraggled german
shepherd dog limped painfully into Dunollie,
was recognised by a local resident and taken in.
Kim had come home.
Kim is a four-year-old dog belonging to Mr
Hugh Cate, who with his two sons was forced
to spend the night on Mt Davy last Saturday
week. During their escape from the bush they
were forced to abandon the dog who could not
climb a steep bluff. Subsequent searches for the
dog proved fruitless but while Mr Cate was
involved in rescue operations at the Strongman
mine, Kim limped home.
Apart from loss of weight and general
footsoreness, the dog was uninjured.
Geoffrey King, 19-year-old son of Mr and
Mrs Ron King of Greymouth, has been
awarded the D uke of Edinburgh Gold Medal
for all-round achievement. Geoffrey is the first
West Coast boy to win the award. A silver
medal winner in 1965, he joins the small but
distinguished band of gold medallists in New
Passes in four exacting tests are required to
win the medal. These include knowledge of
country and ability to do detailed mapping, a
high standard of physical fitness, projects in
meteorology, and a pass in a senior St John
first aid course. In addition candidates must
perform some sort of community ser vice.
Gibson. — On January 26, 1967, at St
Helen’s Hospital, Christchurch, to Mary (nee
Butcher) and Grant Gibson — a daughter;
uFood for thought
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s the Turkish soldier lay
dying, his friend from
a neighbouring village,
Murat Ali sat to comfort
him in his final moments.
Ali dabbed the blood on
Yusuf ’s face with a handkerchief, taken as
a trophy of the “Canakkale War” just days
For a century, the bloodied handkerchief
— tenderly embroidered and stitched
in a strange hand — has been a
treasured heirloom of the Oz family in
Hacipehlivan, a rural village near Biga,
Over a sugary black tea, Yusuf Oz
showed it to visitors. Just before he died in
2014, he passed it to his son, Nazmi.
“ We have had this handkerchief for 100
years,” Nazmi Oz said.
“It’s a relic with martyr blood. We didn’t
know the words on it. ”
That all changed last year, when a local
amateur historian paid them a visit.
Canakkale school administrator Omer
Arslan was in Hacipehlivan to inter view
war veterans and their families.
The Oz family told them about the
handkerchief. Arslan asked to see it and
was able to read some English writing on
it — George Thomas Uren.
“I examined the handkerchief. It was
given to him by his mother on April 2,
1915 for his 28th birthday,” Arslan said.
Arslan did some further research and
found that Uren had been killed in action
at Gallipoli on May 2, 1915.
The diminutive sportsman, volunteer
fireman, bachelor, and professional printer
at the Dunstan Times in the Clyde office,
in Central Otago volunteered at the
outbreak of war.
Joining the Otago Infantry Battalion,
Uren left Port Chalmers, Dunedin on
October 16, 1914.
After a brief stop at Egypt, they sailed to
the Dardanelles, before landing at Anzac
Within days, he was involved in New
Zealand’s first “big push” of the World
War One — an assault on a small hill,
named Baby 700.
The attack, repelled by Ottoman
machine-guns and mortar fire, was a
disaster. Uren died, making him one of
400 men killed or injured.
Darilyn Uren-Perry grew up in D unedin
with a vague notion that a relative had
been “ lost in the Dardanelles”.
Many years later, a niece returned from a
trip to the Gallipoli peninsula with news
that a Uren featured on the memorial at
Ms Uren-Perry probed the link and
discovered the lost link was her granddad’s
On a family trip to the war memorial in
Clyde, they found it was incorrectly etched
with a ‘C Uren’.
Then, two years ago, her son Stephen
Potter’s Year 9 social studies teacher at
James Hargest College in Invercargill
challenged him to come up with a
project to “make a real difference in the
He researched his forgotten forebear
and worked with Central Otago District
Council to have the memorial updated to
Ms Uren-Perry was happy to have re-
established her family’s link to the past.
So when the Herald contacted her to ask
if she was related to George Thomas Uren,
because his Gallipoli handkerchief has
surfaced in a tiny Turkish village, she was
“stunned, excited and very emotional”.
“ You think these people are gone,
because you never met them. You never
think they will come back into your lives
like this,” she said.
There are now plans by a Turkish-New
Zealand friendship group to fly Ms
Uren-Perry to Turkey to meet the Oz
family this year, and be reunited with the
“The whanau has just increased. I don’t
know if they speak English or if we’d need
interpreters, but we’ve got things that go
beyond language. I see it as an almost
Maori sentiment of, this is whanau, and it
has linked the two families together,” she
It never crossed the mind of Nazmi Oz
that the artefact could have ever belonged
to anyone else.
However, he said his family would
welcome Uren’s family “with love and
respect ” if they came to visit.
“ We would love to hug them,” the
59-year-old grandfather said.
“I have never been to an Anzac ceremony
in Gallipoli. I have never met with Anzacs
or their families. It ’s a shame isn’t it?”
Asked if he would ever repatriate the
relic, Nazmi Oz was torn.
“I don’t want to return it, but there
should be some other ways. Maybe a
photo could be taken, I don’t know. It has
our grandfather’s blood on it. If we have it,
it would be better I think. I want to pass it
on to my kids.”
— NZ M E-New Zealand Herald
Gallipoli handkerchief found
Turkish man Nazmi Oz and his family.
The handkerchief given to George Uren by his mother. Inset: Lance corporal George Thomas Uren, of Otago.
This pair are proving that family does not
always end with blood.
Emerging actor Chris Salvatore, 31,
has invited his elderly neighbour Norma
Cook, 89, to live with him permanently in
an effort to cut her health costs. Cook is
The two have a lot of history; living
across the hall from someone for four years
will do that, but these two have formed
and inseparable bond.
Salvatore, who lives in Hollywood,
California, said he considers the “friendly
yet sassy” 89-year-old his grandmother.
And the feeling of a tight family bond is
He told USA Today: “She called me the
grandson she never had.”
In recent months, Cook’s health took a
turn for the worse. She was forced into
hospital for two months where she staved
off pneumonia and breathing problems.
“The nurses and doctors told her that it
would be a miracle if she lived past the
holidays, so the fact that she’s still thriving
is just a really great thing,” Salvatore said.
Despite the odds, Cook persevered, but
she was told by doctors she could not
return to her apartment without 24-hour
care — an expense her health insurance
would not cover.
Cook, who is childless, has no close
family in California and had lived in her
complex for 30 years.
Desperate not to lose his friend, Salvatore
turned to the internet for help. He started
a Gofundme page and within five hours
had raised enough money for Cook’s care.
After a month, he had raised $NZ68,000.
However, despite the generosity of
strangers, trialling caretakers proved
costly and the donated funds were quickly
depleted, so Salvatore invited Cook, and
her beloved pet cat Hermes, to live with
Cook said yes.
“She couldn’t be happier that I asked,”
he said. “I was over there visiting most
days anyway. The only other option was
for her to go into a facility. I just couldn’t
do that to someone who is like my own
“She’s doing great. If you could see her
right now, she looks so cute on the couch
with her feet propped up. She just hangs
out on my couch and watches tv.”
The two have quickly settled into a
routine, Cook told Today: “He cooks for
me. If he can’t make it as an actor, he can
make it as a chef,” she said.
“ We always watch the news,” she added.
“ We mostly talk and drink champagne and
Their fast friendship was forged with
After months of salutations through
their respective kitchen windows, Salvatore
knocked on Cook’s front door.
“She offered me a glass of champagne —
it ’s her favourite drink — and we just sat
down and talked,” he said.
“ We connected right away. Back when
she was a young adult, she had a lot of
friends who were gay, and I’m also gay, so I
think it made her feel safe at home and at
peace to sort of have that bond again.”
It is a bond that Salvatore is grateful for.
“My life has changed forever because of
Norma and what happened. It gave me
hope again. I’m forever grateful for Norma
because I feel like I’ll carry this with me
for the rest of my life,” he wrote on his
Faith in humanity restored.
Salvatore frequently posts photos of
their adventures on social media with the
— New Zealand Herld
Man takes in elderly neighbour to limit health costs
PICTURE: New Zealand Herald
Chris Salvatore with Norma Cook.
Scientists have unearthed
fossils of an intriguingly large
otter as big as a wolf that
frolicked in rivers and lakes in a
lush, warm and humid wetlands
region in south-western China
6.2 million years ago.
The outsized otter, called
Siamogale melilutra, weighed
about 50kg and measured up to
2m long, making it bigger than
any of its cousins alive today, the
“Siamogale melilutra reminds
us, I think, of the diversity of
life in the past and how many
more questions there are still
to answer. Who would have
imagined a wolf-size otter?” the
Cleveland Museum of Natural
History curator of paleobotany
and paleoecology, Denise Su,
It had enlarged cheek teeth
and strong jaws that appear to
have been used for crunching
hard objects, perhaps large
shellfish and freshwater
molluscs, and was capable of
swimming in shallow, swampy
“I think it used its powerful
jaws to crush hard clams for
food, somewhat like modern
sea otters, although the latter
use stone tools to smash shells,”
Xiaoming Wang, head of
vertebrate paleontology at the
Natural History Museum of Los
Angeles County, said.
“If Siamogale melilutra was
not smart enough to figure
out tools, perhaps the only
option left was to develop more
powerful jaws by increasing body
size,” Wang added.
The fossils, found at a site
in China’s Yunnan Province,
include a largely complete
cranium and lower jaw, various
teeth, and limb bones.
The skull was crushed eons
ago during the fossilisation
process. The researchers
used sophisticated scanning
to digitally reconstruct it,
discovering it boasted a mix of
otter-like and badger-like skull
and dental traits.
There was intense interest
in the fossil site because an
important prehistoric ape skull
previously had been unearthed
there. Others fossils found
include elephants, rhinos, tapirs,
deer, beavers, crocodiles and
water birds including ducks,
swans and cranes.
The largest otter alive today
is the South American giant
river otter, weighing up to about
Otters belong to a mammalian
family including the weasel,
badger, marten and mink.
The earliest-known otter lived
about 18 million years ago.
But otter evolution is not well
understood, with fossils rare and
scattered around the world.
Siamogale melilutra may not
be the largest otter to have lived,
with fossils of another one that
may be the biggest previously
found in Africa. — Reuters
Fossils of huge otters unearthed in China
Two Siamogale melilutra individuals, one feeding on a fresh water clam, are pictured in this artist ’s impression.
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