Home' Greymouth Star : February 4th 2017 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Saturday, February 4, 2017
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uLetters to the editor
1783 - Hostilities end between United States
1789 - Electors unanimously choose George
Washington to be the first US president.
1861 - Delegates from six Southern states
meet in Montgomery, Alabama,
to form the Confederate States of
1927 - British driver Malcolm
Campbell breaks the world land
speed record in his car Bluebird,
driving at about 280kph.
1971 - British carmaker Rolls-
Royce declares itself bankrupt.
1974 - Patricia Hearst, granddaughter of the
late William Randolph Hearst, is kidnapped by
the Symbionese Liberation Army.
1983 - US singer Karen Carpenter dies of
anorexia ner vosa, aged 32.
1987 - Stars and Stripes 87, skippered by
Dennis Connor, wins back the America’s
Cup for the US, after defeating Australia’s
Kookaburra III; Death of US pianist Liberace.
1997 - Sixteen months after being cleared of
murder charges, a civil trial jury blames
O J Simpson for the killings of his ex-wife and
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Tadeusz Kosciuszko, Polish and American
independence fighter (1746-1817); Fernand
Leger, French painter (1881-1955);
Charles Lindbergh, US aviation
pioneer (1902-1974); Betty Friedan,
US feminist author (1921-1985);
Dan Quayle, former US Vice-
President (1947-); Alice Cooper, US
rock singer (1948-); Lisa Eichorn,
US actress (1952-); Gabrielle
Anwar, British-US actress (1970-); Oscar De
La Hoya, US boxer (1973-); Natalie Imbruglia,
Australian singer (1975-).
“ No human creature can give orders to love.”
— George Sand, French author (1804-1876).
“ We have found the Messiah.”— ( John 1:41).
At the end of last
month, former West
Coaster Rev Father
became a parish assistant in the Vicariate
Apostolic of Wewak, New Guinea. Unlike his
contemporaries, he will travel thousands of feet
above the ground, running a missionary air taxi.
Father Zampese is probably the most
qualified priest available for this job. Until
the start of the decade he had spent a lifetime
in and out of aircraft of all types from flying
airliners through Europe, particulary Ireland,
to making 100 landings a day as a topdressing
pilot in Nelson and Marlborough.
After a late vocation to the priesthood, Father
Zampese was ordained on April 25,1962 in the
village church in Conco, Italy, where he was
born. He came to the Coast with his parents
at the age of three. He has just completed four
years as an assistant priest at New Plymouth.
The world’s smallest breed of dog, a
chihuahua (pronounced shiwawa) arrived
in Greymouth last week from its Auckland
kennel. The chihuahua is the long-haired
variety and very valuable.
Mrs V D Rollerson, of Byron Street, has been
waiting for two years to take delivery of the
dog and was very thrilled when she heard news
of its arrival. She intends to show it at West
Coast Kennel Club parades.
The Commercial Hotel in Mawhera Q uay
will be changing hands shortly. Mr and Mrs H
C Coleman, of Murray Street have purchased
the hotel for an undisclosed price from the
present licensee Mrs E C Haussmann.
Mr Coleman was a part-owner of Kiwi
uFood for thought
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Like Mexico, Canada is
in the North American
Free Trade Agreement,
which Donald Trump has
described as “the worst trade
deal . . . ever signed in this
country”. Unlike Mexico,
Canada thinks that Trump
is not planning to hurt it.
But no good deed goes
unpunished, so Canada’s
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau should be
Canadians felt good when Trudeau
responded to Trump’s ban on Syrian
refugees by tweeting: “ To those fleeing
persecution, terror and war, Canadians
will welcome you, regardless of your
faith. Diversity is our strength. Welcome
to Canada.” Feeling morally superior to
Americans is one of Canadians’ favourite
pastimes, and in this case it is self-
The United States took in 12,587 Syrian
refugees last year; Canada, with one-ninth
of America’s population, accepted almost
40,000. Yet there have been only two
“ lone wolf ” Islamist attacks in Canada in
this century, each killing one person and
neither carried out by an immigrant. A
non-Muslim crazy has just murdered six
Canadian Muslims in Q uebec City, but
Muslim immigrants pose no appreciable
danger to their fellow Canadians.
In reality, there is no significant danger
from Muslim immigrants to America
either. Most of the 28 major massacres
in the US since 9/11 were carried out by
white right-wing extremists, and those
that did involve Muslims were almost all
committed by native-born Americans.
But Trump’s “executive orders” are not
just driven by ignorance and panic. He is
consciously manipulating public opinion,
and Canada’s response to his ban on
Muslim immigrants undermines the script
he is working from.
If Trump’s domestic opponents use the
Canadian example to discredit Trump’s
story about the mortal danger posed by
Muslim immigrants, the man might claim
that lax Canadian immigration policy is
a threat to the US and apply “extreme
vetting” measures to Muslim Canadians
who want to cross the border.
He might even ban Muslim Canadians
from the US entirely, or require visas for
all Canadians. That would impose huge
inconvenience and cost on Canadians, but
Trump can basically do whatever he wants
to his next-door neighbours. So Trudeau
would be wiser to do good by stealth and
not attract too much attention in the US.
Mexico’s President Enrique Pena Nieto
has a much bigger problem. He was well
aware of Trump’s campaign promise to
build an “ impenetrable, physical, tall,
powerful, beautiful, southern border wall”
to keep out illegal Mexican immigrants,
and to make Mexico pay for it. But like
most people, he could not believe that
Trump meant it literally.
After all, who in their right mind would
want to build a 10m-high concrete
wall, also extending a couple of metres
underground, along more than half of the
3100km US-Mexican border? (The rest
is mountains and rivers). It would cost
between $10 billion (Trump’s estimate)
and $30 billion plus (construction
consultancy Gleeds Worldwide).
Building the wall is not going to stop
the estimated 45% of illegal Mexican
immigrants who arrive quite legally by
car, bus or plane, but overstay their visas.
It is not exactly urgent either, given that
the net flow is now southward; since 2014
more Mexicans have been going home
each year than arriving in the US.
The wall is really just symbolic, a
demonstration of political will, but Trump
has promised to build it and he will. Can
he also make Mexico pay for it? Actually,
he probably can.
Last Thursday Mexican officials were
in Washington preparing for President
Pena Nieto’s visit when Trump suddenly
tweeted: “If Mexico is unwilling to pay for
the badly needed wall, then it would be
better to cancel the upcoming meeting.”
Pena Nieto, deeply humiliated, did cancel
the meeting. He had no choice.
But on Friday, the two presidents had
an hour-long phone call that the joint
statement described as “productive and
constructive”. There were no details, but
they did discuss “the current trade deficit
the United States has with Mexico,”
among other things. “Fixing” that trade
deficit is probably how the circle will
ultimately be squared.
Mexico’s exports to the US were $271
billion last year; its imports were only
$213 billion. Trump wants to change
that, and Pena Nieto has no option but to
submit. Somewhere in the deal that there
will probably be a clause that lets Trump
claim Mexico is paying for the wall while
Mexico can still deny it.
Canada-US trade is roughly in balance,
so Canadians will probably not suffer
severe pressure unless Trudeau really
irritates ‘ The Man’. The total volume of
US-China trade is about the same, but
China sells the US four times more than it
buys from it.
That cannot be “fixed”, and Trump
cannot be persuaded to let it ride. There
will be tears before bedtime.
Gwynne Dyer is an independent
journalist whose articles are published in
Trump and trade — tears before bedtime
WORLD IN FOCUS
with Gwynne Dyer
spiral stair no wider
than your shoulders. A
whispering gallery. A raven
by Norman stone. When
we are very young, we
buildings in random ways. Details, more
than information, hold our attention, as do
sounds, touch and smell. On first encounter,
the sheer enormity of St Paul’s Cathedral
or the beguiling variety of the Tower of
London are all too much to make sense of
in anything like coherent fashion.
And, if as children, we are lucky to be
taken to see such famous sights as the
Eiffel Tower, the Taj Mahal or the Empire
State Building, how much more there
is for our developing senses to take in.
Pretty soon, though, we begin to put such
overwhelming buildings into some kind
of perspective and proportion. We like
to know how tall they are, which is the
biggest, how many London buses long they
are and how many football pitches would
fit into the base of the Great Pyramid
of Cheops. (Answer: At least seven Old
Tr a ff ords).
More or less accurate dates follow,
and then the names of particular styles
of architecture: all those perplexing
labels like Early English, Decorated and
Perpendicular Gothic. Or Mannerism,
Baroque and Rococo. And, whether
such encounters were force-fed through
school textbooks, or learned through
personal interest, we meet the architects
who designed the world’s most famous
Many of us knew Christopher Wren
from an early age, an English gentleman
as likely to appear on postage stamps, bank
notes and Latin inscriptions (Lector, si
monumentum requiris, circumspice) as he
was in clerihews: Sir Christopher Wren
said, “I am going to dine with some men.
If anyone calls say I am designing St Paul’s.”
Much later, we might well have heard
of Antoni Gauda (Sagrada Familia) or
even Jarn Utzon (Sydney Opera House).
On the way to meeting these legendary
Catalonian and Danish talents, we may
have encountered John Vanbrugh, Nicholas
Hawksmoor, Robert Adam and that litany
of Renaissance men — Brunelleschi,
Bernini, Borromini — so hard, at first, to
disentangle from one another even though
their works are as different from one
another as gesso is from formaggio.
Even then, there has always been so
much more to learn. Who commissioned
Salisbury Cathedral, the Pantheon and
Blenheim Palace? How much did such
ambitious buildings cost? To what extent
did contemporary culture affect their design
or were they radical and even revolutionary
buildings in their day? How and why
have they sur vived when so much else has
vanished? Why do we place such value on
them, and will we continue to do so?
These many personal discoveries and
questions point to the fact that, as we grow
up, the world’s most compelling buildings
stay with us, shadowing us with their
permanent presence. Whether toddlers,
school children, students or adults, we find
ourselves returning to the world’s greatest
buildings whether these are a bus ride or
a long-haul flight away. As we mature, so
they offer us ever more at each visit.
Some might argue that many of the
world’s most famous and most visited
buildings are popular simply because they
are sold to us as part and parcel of package
holidays. It is hard to find a holiday
brochure, website or travel article in a
newspaper that does not associate a trip
to India with the Taj Mahal. By the same
token Egypt equals the pyramids, Sydney
its Opera House and, from its infamous
opening in 1997 when ETA terrorists came
close to killing King Juan Carlos, Frank
Gehry’s joyously outlandish Guggenheim is
synonymous with Bilbao.
Even without the advertising and
marketing, however, the most dramatic and
history-laden buildings would still draw
crowds. Their fame, after all, is way beyond
anything today ’s disposable celebrities
might begin to dream of. The Great
Pyramid of Cheops, for example, was one
of the Seven Wonders of the World listed
by, among others, the historian Herodotus
in the 5th century BC. It was a famous
ancient monument, some 2500-years-old,
in the early days of the Roman Empire,
some while before the advent of package
holidays and tourist brochures.
Equally, the Roman Pantheon, rebuilt
by the Emperor Hadrian around 125AD,
is not only a magnificent building by any
standards, but it has been in continuous
use as a place of worship, and wonder, since
its dedication as a temple to all the gods.
Today, especially in an era of psychopathic
terrorist cults bent on global domination
and the imposition of singular religious
creeds involving the wanton and puerile
destruction of revered ancient buildings,
the Pantheon reminds us of how great
architecture has had the power to stop past
invaders in their iconoclastic tracks.
The Pantheon has sur vived the decline
and fall of the Roman Empire and the
onslaught of Gothic invaders. It has been,
in fact, a Roman Catholic church far
longer than it was a Roman temple. It has
even sur vived Adolf Hitler’s enthusiasm.
The German architect Hermann Giesler
recalled the Fuhrer telling him, “From the
time I experienced this building — no
description, picture or photograph did it
justice — I became interested in its history.
For a short while I stood in this space ... I
gazed at the large open oculus and saw the
universe and sensed what had given this
space the name Pantheon: God and the
world are one.” If only, as so many people
have said over the past 70 years, Hitler
had become an architect. He did, in fact,
draw up a design for a giant domed hall
in the mid-1920s. Albert Speer translated
this into plans for what would have been
perhaps the biggest building of all time.
Designed to last at least as long as the
Thousand Year Reich itself, its central
oculus would have been big enough to
swallow the dome of St Peter’s Rome
and the rotunda of Hadrian’s Pantheon.
Fortunately, the Third Reich missed its
goal by 988 years, and Hitler and Speer’s
pantheon was never built.
Truly great architecture, however, tends
to endure in both the imagination and
reality. The near destruction in 1687 of
the Parthenon, the apotheosis of Greek
architecture, by Francesco Morosoni — his
enemy, the Ottoman Turks, had been using
the temple as a gunpowder store — had
been, in Venetian eyes, a legitimate action,
yet no mortar shot could put an end to the
idea of this perfect Greek temple. Hugely
influential among architects from the late
18th Century, the shell of the Parthenon
remains one of the world’s greatest tourist
I have long been enchanted by a drawing
in red chalk and brown wash of 1780
depicting The Artist ’s Despair Before the
Grandeur of Ancient Ruins by the Swiss
painter Henry Fuseli. Here, the artist rests
tearfully on fragments — an enormous
foot beneath a giant hand — of what had
once been the Colossus of Constantine, a
seated figure from the early 4th Century
Rome. How, Fuseli seems to say, could such
wonders ever be revived?
This was a romantic Neo-Classicist ’s
perspective. In fact, while many great
Roman buildings and works of art
were indeed imposing things, later ages
and cultures have not despaired. From
Gothic Cathedrals through to American
skyscrapers, architects and those who have
commissioned them have created ambitious
monuments that attract us with a magnetic
Great buildings, ancient and modern, are
history, written on an imposing scale. They
can be read like giant books. They talk of
vanities and dynasties, of religion, love and
war, of commercial ambition and of our
collective ability to create structures that
lift us far beyond the everyday and into far
and unknown futures. They are there for us
to visit and gawp at, and there, too, to be
discussed, debated and even debunked.
There are those, for example, keeping
company with George Orwell and Ernest
Hemingway, who feign to despise the
Sagrada Familia (Salvador Dali would
have liked to have kept it under a glass
dome), as there are those who find
little grace and rather less beauty in the
structure of the Eiffel Tower.
The French writer Guy de Maupassant,
one of Eiffel’s fiercest critics took to
eating lunch in the restaurant at the base
of the tower, the only place in Paris, he
said where this abomination was invisible.
Maupassant wrote his own epitaph:
“ I have coveted everything and taken
pleasure in nothing.”
As for millions of the rest of us, we will
continue to clamber up the Eiffel Tower,
to take pleasure in views of Manhattan
from the viewing platform of the Empire
We will trek to the pyramids at Giza
even in uncertain times and perhaps, like
me, know that we will be old when we can
no longer run all the way up to the top of
St Paul’s Cathedral as I have done for as
long as I can remember. Great buildings
shadow and measure our lives as they have
done for generations before us, and will do
for generations to come. Visiting them is
one of the enduring pleasures of travel.
— New Zealand Herald
Buildings you must see
The Roman Pantheon
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