Home' Greymouth Star : March 24th 2017 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Friday, March 24, 2017
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uLetters to the editor
1603 - Q ueen Elizabeth I dies after ruling
England for more than 40 years; James VI of
Scotland succeeds her as James I, uniting the
thrones of Scotland and England.
1882 - German bacteriologist
Robert Koch announces isolation of
1905 - Death of French novelist
1934 - US President Franklin D
Roosevelt signs a bill granting future
independence to the Philippines.
1953 - Death of Queen Mary,
widow of King George V; Resident of 10
Rillington Place, London, discovers a body
in a cupboard; it leads to the arrest of mass
murderer John Christie.
1958 - Elvis Presley is inducted into the US
army for two years.
1972 - Britain takes over direct control of
Northern Ireland in effort to restore peace.
1976 - The president of Argentina, Isabel
Peron, is deposed in a bloodless military coup.
World War Two British Field Marshal Bernard
1989 - America’s worst oil spill occurs as
supertanker Exxon Valdez runs aground on a
reef in Alaska’s Prince William Sound.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
William Morris, British poet, artist, designer
and socialist pioneer (1834-1896); Harry
Houdini, US magician and escape artist
(1874-1926); Steve McQ ueen, US
actor (1930-1980); Tommy Hilfige r,
American fashion designer (1951-);
Robert Carradine, US actor (1954-);
Kelly LeBrock, US actor (1960-);
Dean Jones, Australian cricketer
(1961-); Lara Flynn Boyle, US actor
(1970-); Darren L ockyer, Australian
rugby league player (1977); Jessica
Chastain, American actress (1977-);
Keisha Castle-Hughes, New Zealand actress
“ Time wounds all heels.” — Jane Ace, US
radio disc jockey (1905-1974).
“All the prophets testify about Him that
everyone who believes in Him receives
forgiveness of sins through His name.”
— (Acts 10:43).
uFood for thought
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ast week a detailed report
revealed exactly what will
happen when the Q ueen
dies, the Guardian reported,
including the use of a secret
code to prevent news leaking
out before officials have been notified.
From there a plan will kick off to alert
the world that the longest-serving head of
state has died.
But when the time comes, is the world
ready for Charles to take the throne, and
for Camilla to be by his side as Q ueen?
Contrary to popular opinion, Charles —
the world’s most patient trainee with the
hardest act on the planet to follow — will
Just as Q ueen Elizabeth became the new
monarch upon the death of her father,
King George VI — on February 6, 1952,
while she was on tour in Kenya — Charles
will be King from the moment the Q ueen
Australian Monarchist League
succession expert James Ellis said any
romantic notion of skipping over Charles
to bestow the monarchy on his popular
son Prince William was fanciful.
“It ’s not a popularity contest,” Ellis said.
“The heir to the throne does not renounce
their right to succession.
“Charles will be king.”
Ellis said the idea of Charles renouncing
his right to the throne may have its roots
in the abdication of the Q ueen’s uncle
Edward VIII, which left his brother — the
Queen’s father — to be king.
The event took place in 1936, and was a
“constitutional crisis” for the monarchy.
But Ellis said Edward VIII was a
“reluctant ” vacated of his rightful
inheritance and that times had changed
since an English king had to abdicate
before marrying a twice divorced woman
such as Wallis Simpson.
“It was an issue then because the king is
also the head of the Church of England,”
Majesty Magazine’s editor-in-chief
Ingrid Seward agreed notions of the crown
skipping over Charles to land on William
“ Being the heir to the throne is not a
job,” she said.
“ It is a heredity thing and whether you
like it or not you are next in line, i.e.,
Charles and then William.
“So of course Charles will become King .
. . u nless he dies before his mother.”
When the Queen does pass away the
succession will happen quickly and
according to a very specific plan.
“The day after the Queen’s death, the
flags will go back up, and at 11am, Charles
will be proclaimed king,” the Guardian
reported in its widely read “London Bridge
is down” — the secret plan for the days
after the Q ueen’s death.
Inside St James Palace before Britain’s
Accession Council, Richard Tillbrook,
clerk of Britain’s Privy Council will read
out the proclamation of the new king.
Charles will then introduce his wife as
Trumpeters will blow their horns from
the palace balcony, ritual proclamations
will begin and then King Charles II and
Queen Camilla will step out to greet the
It may not be for another year that
Charles’s coronation ceremony is held, but
Australians for Constitutional Monarchy’s
national convener, Professor David Flint,
said that “sacred” moment will be so
unusual and special, it may even captivate
“ It is the last true coronation in the
world, a mystical and religious ceremony
that sur vives today,” he said.
“The Archbishop (of Canterbury) is
actually crowning the king, anointing him
with holy oil. It goes back to the kings of
“At the Queen’s coronation they televised
everything else, but there was still a
canopy over the Queen, so sacred was that
While no-one is ushering out the Queen
just yet, understandably there is speculation
about what will happen next, especially
given a couple of recent bouts of ill health.
This Christmas-New Year season, the
Queen’s heavy cold meant she missed a
series of public engagements and went
unseen, sparking rumour she was seriously
Now she is well again, the Q ueen —
even at 90 — appears robust and the
notion of her death comfortably distant.
Charles’s time as monarch — even if like
his parents he lives into his 90s — may at
best span 25 years.
“ Because of his age when he ascends to
the throne — well into his 70s — Charles
will be seen as a transitory monarch,
compared with the Queen,” said Ellis.
“ Next in line is William, and then
George, and there will be a series of titles
bestowed on William and Harry after
Charles is king.
“ We will see three generations of kings
which is what society was used to in the
English monarch before Elizabeth II. ”
Ellis said because Q ueen Elizabeth had
reigned for 60 years people had come
to associate the word Queen with the
sovereign. Therefore it may be difficult for
her subjects to think of Queen Camilla.
While Camilla will be by her husband’s
side as he takes the throne she will not
have any ruling power.
“S he will be Q ueen consort, with no
ruling power whatsoever,” Ellis said.
The Guardian predicted a “huge and very
genuine outpouring of deep emotion” in
the wake of the Q ueen’s death to tide over
the “awkward facts of succession”.
Ellis said people will remember the
Queen as “a stabilising force in a rapidly
changing world” and may have to adjust to
Charles as her successor.
“ When you think of the Queen’s reign,
from just seven years after the end of
World War Two, there isn’t a single global
event in recent history she hasn’t been
witness to,” he said.
“She’s been an anchoring point and will
be missed. But Charles will know what to
“It’s been the longest apprenticeship and
may at first seem like being the warm up
act after the main event.
“One of the first things he will do is tour
the Commonwealth and I believe he will
be well received. ”
Prof Flint said Charles “will be the sort
of king you want: he will be dignified, he
is a man of good will, interest in ser vice
and has a good sense of humour.”
“There is an opinion poll that says his
son is more popular, but I think Charles
will be accepted,” he said.
“People are already warming to him, as
interesting a man as he is.
“He may upset some people with his
personal opinions about architecture and
global warming, but I think he won’t
continue to express those opinions as
Throughout the Commonwealth,
opinions rage about the next monarch’s
capacity to rule.
Is he fit for the job? Is he a doddering
old greenie who talks to plants and
who married the woman with whom he
cheated on poor Diana?
There will also be some reflection on how
different it would have been with Queen
Diana, even 20 years after her death.
But Ellis said that as time has passed and
Charles’ image has “mellowed”, Camilla
has also been accepted, and her genuine
work for a list of worthy causes recognised.
Revelations in a new book, Prince
Charles: The Passions and Paradoxes of an
Improbable Life say Prince Philip bullied
Charles into marrying Diana because his
true love, Camilla, was not a virgin, as was
customary for the bride of the future king.
She had married Andrew Parker Bowles
in 1973, but it has been speculated she
rekindled her earlier romance with Prince
Charles by the late 1970s.
What later emerged did not endear her
to Charles’ future subjects, particularly
after Diana’s tragic death in a 1997 car
Their relationship, which became public
after he and Diana divorced, attracted
international scrutiny until their 2005
wedding, after which many “forgave”
Sam Knight says in London Bridge is
down, “Camilla’s accession as queen will
test how far [her quiet success] ... has
But Ellis believes Camilla might be a
quiet achiever as consort to her king.
“She’s not a Princess Diana or a
Kate Middleton, but she has made
achievements in her role and there is a
warmth about her,” he said.
The D uchess has been raising awareness
about rape and sexual abuse, talking with
victims in the UK and around the world.
A big reader, she is also an advocate for
literacy, once saying: “I firmly believe in
the importance of igniting a passion for
reading in the next generation”.
Her other causes include animal welfare,
poverty and homelessness.
James Ellis says the early days of the
new king will include Prince William
inheriting his father’s titles such as Duke
of Cornwall and Duke of Rothesey.
“Harry will also probably get a
dukedom,” Ellis said.
“ Whether William becomes Prince of
Wales is up to Charles, because it is an
invested title which has to be bestowed.
“But I would expect that would happen
in the first year or two.”
King Charles III and Queen Camilla’s
tour of the Commonwealth within the
first year of his reign would help to place
their stamp on the sovereignty.
Some countries might use the occasion
to usher in a republic, but would those
of us down under vote to end the British
monarch as head of state?
Prof Flint says support for an Australian
republic has declined since the 1999
referendum, and young people were more
wary of what he describes as a flawed
model of governance.
“Republicans will see it as the moment
to strike, but when Charles becomes king,
it will happen in the blink of an eye,” he
“There will be an enormous retrospective
over the Q ueen’s reign. That will dominate,
and then people will become fascinated
with the coronation.”
He said the royal family as a whole had
grown in appeal for their “sense of ser vice,
sense of grace” and that respect would
extend to the new king, who might see a
bounce in his personal polls.
Ellis was confident the people would
warm to Charles.
He said the crowds who come out
to greet the couple may not match the
throngs who cheered the new Q ueen
and her husband on the 1954 tour of the
During their 58 days in Australia, the
Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh visited
57 cities and towns.
An estimated 75 per cent of the
population turned out and the royal tour
was the biggest single event organised in
Australia before that date.
“People say Charles won’t draw those
sorts of crowds,” Ellis said.
“Again, it ’s a different era, when people
can watch a royal tour on their iPhones
rather than be there, but he will be a good
monarch. ” — news .com .au
Hail, King Charles ...
Thirty years ago most
of South-east Asia
was run by thuggish
dictatorships. Then the
Philippines showed the
rest of the world how to
get rid of the dictators
without violence, and
its non-violent example
was watched and copied
around the world. But
now the thugs are coming back where it
The democratic revolution in the
Philippines in 1986 was quickly followed
by the non-violent overthrow of the
generals in Thailand in 1988 (although
they continued to inter vene every few
years), and then by the fall of Suharto’s
30-year dictatorship in Indonesia in 1998.
By then the example had also spread
through the rest of Asia (democratic
revolutions in Taiwan and South Korea
and even an attempt at one in China).
The democratic wave swept across the
rest of the world too: Eastern Europe
and the former Soviet Union in 1989-91,
South Africa in 1994, a large number of
Latin American and African countries in
the past quarter-century, and even a brave
(but failed) attempt at democratisation
in several Arab countries. More people
now live in democratic countries than in
But in the cradle of the non-violent
revolutions, things are going backwards.
Rodrigo D uterte, president of the
Philippines, is a self-proclaimed murderer
who boasts about how many people his
death squads kill. “If you are corrupt,
I will fetch you using a helicopter to
Manila and I will throw you out,” he
declared in December. “I have done this
before, why would I not do it again?”
“Duterte Harry” (as he is called in
homage to Clint Eastwood ’s film
portrayal of lawless cop “Dirty Harry ”)
was elected to the presidency with a
massive majority last year, and he is still
hugely popular with ordinary Filipinos.
But this is not democracy; it is populist
demagoguery of the most extreme kind.
About 8000 suspected drug dealers
and users have been killed by police and
vigilantes, with Duterte’s warm approval
and encouragement, since he was elected
last June. The fate of Thai democracy
is equally disheartening, although the
strongmen there wear military uniforms.
Thai democracy, deeply polarised by a
long-running political battle between the
urban middle class and the rural poor,
fell to a military coup in 2014. Two years
later, the Thais ratified a constitution that
grants the army permanent power over
the political system, including the right
to appoint all 250 members of the Senate.
Even so the military have now postponed
the promised election from this year to
Indonesian democracy still sur vives,
and the latest president, Joko Widodo,
is a genuinely popular figure of
unimpeachable honesty. In the 2014
election he saw off his opponent, a former
general and ex-son-in-law of the old
dictator Suharto, with ease. But there are
signs of rising extremism in the world’s
biggest Muslim-majority country.
The hardline Islamic Defenders’ Front
(FPI), which demands a sharia state in
a country where 15% of the population
are not Muslim, has been leading violent
demonstrations against Basuki Purnama,
the ethnic-Chinese Christian governor
of Jakarta. He is facing spurious charges
of “insulting Islam”, but the FPI’s real
objection is that non-Muslims should
not hold positions of authority over
There is clearly support for this view
among some of the capital’s Muslims —
and to make matters worse many senior
military and police officers have had close
links with the extremist organisation.
Indonesian democracy is certainly the
healthiest in the region, but it faces
Then there is Burma, the latest convert
to democracy in South-east Asia. After
half a century of almost continuous
military rule Aung San Suu Kyi, the
Nobel Prize-winning leader of the
democratic opposition, is finally the
effective leader of an elected civilian
But she still operates under a military
veto, and she has to close her eyes to
the brutal attacks on the Rohingya, a
Muslim minority that the army and other
Burmese ultra-nationalists insist is not
really Burmese at all. The army is using
this conflict to burnish its own nationalist
credentials and undermine the fledgling
democratic government, and “The Lady”,
as she is universally called, dares not defy
There is no country in South-east
Asia where democracy is really secure,
and in most cases the main reason is
the overweening power of self-serving
military and police forces. Power
struggles between the old political
and economic elite and “new ”
politicians like Widodo in Indonesia
and the brother and sister Thaksin and
Yingluck Shinawatra in Thailand, both
overthrown by military coups, play a large
But there are many other new
democracies with over-mighty militaries
and privileged elites that do not want
to let go, and yet the failure rate is
significantly lower everywhere else except
the Middle East. There may be some
common cultural factor that unites the
South-east Asian countries, but it is
unlikely; they are variously Buddhist,
Christian, or Muslim-majority.
So what is the matter with them?
Maybe it is just bad luck. After all, they
are not actually a statistical sample.
Gwynne Dyer is an independent
journalist whose articles are published in
What ’s wrong with South-east Asia?
WORLD IN FOCUS
with Gwynne Dyer
senior traffic officer,
up his duties today,
replacing Mr J C Butterfield who has been
transferred to Petone. Mr Hood spent the past
five years as a traffic officer in Invercargill and
before that he was in Gore for six years. He has
been with the department for more than 12
Two nursing graduates of the Westland
Hospital were presented with their medals at a
formal function held in the Nurses’ Home on
Tuesday afternoon. The successful nurses were J
Muir and B Grenfell. The matron Miss N Pye
welcomed those present.
“ Westland Hospital has been a training
ground for many years,” said chairman of the
Westland Hospital Board Mr S J Roberts.
“Now we are combined with the Greymouth
Hospital in the West Coast School of Nursing,
but will still be training community nurses
What does Easter mean to Greymouth
people? To the majority, it would appear to
have no religious significance nowadays ... a
time for sport ... a lazy weekend, perhaps. To
some it means an annual duty visit to church,
but at any rate churchgoers are in the minority,
according to a snap sur vey by the Rev Gavin A
Smith of the opinions currently held by people
“Seemingly it matters little that Easter is the
season when we remember God’s love for men
and His offer of mercy and pardon through
faith in Jesus Christ. But from the Cross there
comes a prayer: ‘Father forgive them; they do
not know what they are doing’.
“ Did he have Greymouth in mind?”
King Charles III and Queen Camilla. Are you ready?
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