Home' Greymouth Star : January 21st 2019 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Monday, January 21, 2019
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TODAY IN HISTORY GEORGE ORWELL
TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS GEENA DAVIS
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the
strength of His might.” — Ephesians 6:10.
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“Common sense is the collection of prejudices
acquired by age 18.” — Albert Einstein, German-
born physicist (1879-1955).
Leo Delibes, French composer
(1836-1891); Christian Dior, French
fashion designer (1905-1957); Telly
Savalas, US actor (1924-1994);
Benny Hill, English comedian (1925-
1992); Jack Nicklaus, US golfer
(1940-); Placido Domingo, Spanish
tenor (1941-); Geena Davis, US actress (1956-);
DJ Jam Master Jay, US rapper of Run-DMC fame
(1965-2002); Cat Power, US musician (1972-) .
1643 - Dutch mariner Abel
Tasman arrives at Tonga.
1793 - France’s King Louis XVI is
1901 - Death of Elisha Gray, US
inventor who contested the first
patent for the telephone with
Alexander Graham Bell.
1919 - Sinn Fein Congress in Dublin, Ireland,
adopts Declaration of Independence.
1924 - Russian revolutionary Vladimir Ilyich
Lenin dies at age 54.
1936 - Edward VIII is proclaimed Britain’s king
following the death of his father, George V.
1950 - Death of George Orwell (Eric Arthur
Blair), British author who wrote Animal Farm and
1977 - US President Jimmy Carter pardons
almost all Vietnam War draft evaders.
1994 - A US court finds Lorena Bobbitt innocent
by reason of insanity of feloniously cutting off
her husband’s penis.
1997 - Death of “Colonel” Tom Parker, the
manager who guided Elvis Presley from young
hopeful to King of Rock and Roll.
WEST COAST YESTERYEAR
The old West Coast goldrush days have inspired
a Greymouth jeweller to launch a rather novel
This not only gives publicity to the history of
the Coast, but also gives tourists the opportunity
of obtaining small samples of both greenstone
and white quartz.
However, Mr Jim Lamont’s new venture is not
aimed directly at either of these advantages. His
samples are “Kelly’s Eye” lucky charms and consist
of a small piece of polished greenstone mounted
on a slightly larger piece of white quartz.
The claim is that back in 1867 an Irishman
named Kelly struck it rich in a place called
Auckland Beach, now known as Awatuna.
His luck was attributed to the many hundreds
of chippings carpeting the ground on which he
made his strike.
These lucky charms have proved very popular
among tourists visiting Greymouth, and the
West Coast Public Relations Officer, Mr David
Lydford, recently presented a “Kelly’s Eye” to the
Commissioner for the West Coast Mr D B Dallas.
It is contended that either the stones of their
namesake must have some sort of luck value.
An Auckland woman in Australia saw that a
Melbourne lottery valued at $60,000 went to a
syndicate called, “Kelly’s Eye”.
On arriving back in New Zealand the Auckland
woman immediately wrote requesting a “Kelly’s
A Runanga youth was admitted to Grey
Hospital last night with a severely fractured
right leg, cuts and abrasions, incurred when the
motor-cycle he was riding was involved in an
accident about 8pm.
He is Robert Francis Pinn, of Duncan Street,
Runanga, whose condition this morning was
reported as satisfactory.
The accident occurred when Pinn’s motor-cycle,
travelling south, was involved in a collision with
a north-bound car turning into motels just north
of Wingham Park, on the Greymouth-Runanga
The motor-cycle was extensively damaged.
Mr Ian Fleming, retired, of Wanganui, the driver
of the car, was uninjured.
ne graph is enough for
Dr Matthew Croucher to
get his point across.
It is an estimate of
the number of South
Islanders living with
dementia, and the arrow is not just
climbing — it is soaring towards the top of
the diagram at a rapid rate.
“It wakes you up, doesn’t it?’’ Dr
Croucher, clinical lead for the South Island
Dementia Initiative, said.
The number of South Islanders with
dementia will double — to more than
30,000 people — in the next 20 years, but
as things stand the south will not be able
to cope he says.
In 2018 an estimated 16,000 southerners
had dementia — about the population of
But by 2040 that will double to an
estimated 31,600 people — 2 .6% of the
total South Island population and about
the population of Timaru today.
“There needs to be some significant
changes in the way health and social
ser vices are organised if we hope to do
a good job for the thousands of New
Zealanders who will have dementia over
the next 20-30 years,’’ Dr Croucher said.
Asked if ser vices are able to manage so
many more patients with dementia, Dr
Croucher’s response is a guarded no.
Between 1988 and 2016 the number of
New Zealanders aged 65-plus doubled, to
That number is expected to double again,
and by 2046 Statistics NZ project a 90%
likelihood more than 1.3 million New
Zealanders will be aged over 65.
By 2050, a quarter of all New Zealanders
will be 65-plus.
As that cohort aged, the numbers of
people with dementia could over whelm
the aged care resources and work force, Dr
“If the way we do things in the future
looks substantially like the way we do
things now, then we have already lost.’’
New Zealand lacked a national plan to
deal with dementia, although South Island
DHBs had grouped together to produce
a shared model of care for the
Dementia was now better recognised
and more readily diagnosed than a decade
ago, but service shortages and the growing
population meant the south was in a
significantly worse position than it was in
2009, Dr Croucher said.
“ We need more clarity, centrally ... we
have a little bit of time to make those
decisions, but we have to make them now.’’
The aged care sector will take much of
the burden — but it has to manage the
vast majority of the ageing population, not
just those with dementia.
Keeping people living in their homes for
as long as possible would help — not only
did studies show it was better for people,
but even a few months could make a
substantial difference, Dr Croucher said.
“ We need excellent dementia care
services to be built — they will be essential
— but what people with dementia want
more than anything is to live in their own
home as long as possible,’’ he said.
“If we could delay entry into residential
care by even six, or 12 months, it would
make an enormous difference to the
number of beds that are needed.’’
Alzheimer’s Otago secretary Julie Butler
agreed having people with dementia stay in
their homes was desirable.
“The expectation, and, in many cases, the
desire, is to support people to live well with
dementia at home,’’ she said.
“Something that can have a significant
impact on the ability for family to do
this long term is respite care — the lack
of respite beds at crucial times can effect
both the care partner and the person with
Eventually, the majority of people with
dementia did go into residential care, Ms
“This can be a traumatic experience for
all people concerned — letting the care
of someone you have supported and lived
with for many years be done by others is
not always easy.
“Added to that can be the stress of
someone being placed into care away from
their home town.
“This increases the financial cost to
family, exacerbates the guilt and stress
and impacts hugely on the quality of life
of the care partner and the person with
Dr Croucher said dementia care ser vices
now were of a high quality — “if I were to
go demented tomorrow I would far rather
do it here than in many other Western
countries’’ — but substantial work needed
to be done for the future.
Dementia: how do we cope?
The number of South Islanders with dementia will double within 20 years, but the country is far
from ready from being able to cope, MIKE HOULAHAN, of the Otago Daily Times finds.
There are twin armchairs in the Keene
family lounge, his and hers.
Tom Keene sits in his — Joan Keene’s
chair is empty.
“I’d be sitting watching television and
Joan would sit there and talk away to
me and then ask if I was listening, and I
would say no’,’’ Mr Keene says.
That cosy, familiar life began to change
a decade ago, after Mrs Keene fell and
suffered a brain injury.
Slowly, gradually, Mrs Keene’s memory
started to be affected.
While her long-term memory was
— a nd still is — reasonably sharp, Mrs
Keene’s short-term memory became
worse and worse, to the extent that
once simple household tasks became
Joan did not sit in the armchair any
Now she lay on the couch sleeping,
often for six hours or more at a stretch,
exhausted by the effort needed to simply
live life as usual.
“ You could get a vibe from her that
she was getting frustrated, and it would
sometimes drag you down too,’’ Mr
“S he fought it as much as she could,
she kept herself busy looking at puzzles
and things like that, but her ability to
concentrate on those has diminished . . .
but you can’t do anything about it, so you
have to get on with life.’’
Mr and Mrs Keene met in 1965 at one
of band leader Harry Strang’s fondly
remembered Saint Kilda dances.
She lived around the corner, they
walked home together, and eventually
they were married.
“ We are due to have our 50th
anniversary this year,’’ Mr Keene, 71,
“S he’s outgoing, very pragmatic, she
knows her own mind and argues her
The Keenes have a grandson and three
Mrs Keene, 70, worked for Presbyterian
Support, nursed her own mother, and
one of the girls has become a caregiver.
In the end, as Mrs Keene’s memory
deteriorated, Mr Keene — a retired meat
inspector — found himself beginning a
new career as a caregiver.
‘She had several falls, which didn’t
do her any good at all, and slowly her
mobility went down and her ability and
confidence to do things went down too,’’
Mr Keene said.
had to change the way we did things
and we had people come in to give her
showers and do the house for three days
a week, which was a big help but on the
other four days it was me.’’
Eighteen months ago Mrs Keene
started taking time out in respite care to
give both her and her husband a break.
“In October we were both getting a bit
tetchy and she said ‘what do you think?’
and I said ‘well, what do you think?’.’’
The unspoken question was whether
Mrs Keene needed full-time care.
The difficult decision was made, and
Mrs Keene moved permanently to
Highview Home and Hospital, in High
Mr Keene sees his wife regularly, six
days a week at least, and tries to arrange
one outing a week for the two of
He knows he should not, but he cannot
help feeling a little bit guilty.
However, he and Mrs Keene met
enough people through the Forget Me
Not group and through Alzheimer’s
Otago to know that the partner of
someone with dementia can be wrecked
themselves by the strain of caring for
their loved one.
“ We haven’t just abandoned each other,
but it is pretty tough . . . it’s quite surreal
at times,’’ Mr Keene said.
“It’s a bit like a death in the family but
different — you are still alone.
“ You cut the lawns, do the garden, go
fishing with my brothers, play a game of
bowls, but when you come home at night
there isn’t anyone else other than the cat
in the house.’’ — Otago Daily Times
Life alone ‘pretty tough’
PICTURE: Otago Daily Times
Home alone . . . Tom Keene, whose wife, Joan, is in care due to dementia. Mr Keene holds a picture of Joan photographed on
her 21st birthday.
five million) and
Republic of Congo
million) manage to
share their name
Russia and Belarus
(White Russia) do
not seem to mind
either. Sudan and South Sudan do not get
along at all, but their quarrel was never
about a mere name. Whereas Greece and
Macedonia . . .
After 28 years of argument and anger, the
two Balkan countries signed an agreement
last June that changed Macedonia’s name to
North Macedonia, because the Greeks said
they could not use the original one-word
title. Greece could and did blackball the
Macedonians, saying they could not join
the Nato alliance and the European Union
until they changed their name — and
eventually the Macedonians gave in.
The Macedonians jumped through a lot
of constitutional hoops to keep their end of
the bargain, and last Friday their parliament
officially changed the country’s name to
North Macedonia. So the Greeks got
what they wanted, and now it is the Greek
parliament’s turn to ratify the deal and lift
its ban on North Macedonia joining Nato
and the EU.
But no. A small ultra-nationalist party
called the Independent Greeks, whose
seven seats Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras
depended on for his majority in parliament,
walked out of the coalition on Sunday.
Tsipras has betrayed Greece, they say. No
foreigners should be allowed to use the
sacred Greek name of Macedonia, even in
the phrase North Macedonia, and what
those foreigners really secretly want is to
take over the whole of northern Greece.
So Tsipras now has to hold a vote of
confidence, and if he had lost it there would
have had to be an early election.
He was lucky not to lose it, because
most of the people in the main opposition
party, New Democracy, are also paranoid
nationalists. Or more precisely, they know
that paranoid nationalism is the way to
maximise the right-wing vote. Some of
them are privately quite reasonable men
and women, but they know what they have
to say to win, and they will say it.
How has this nonsense come to dominate
the politics of two entire countries for
more than two decades? When the old
Communist regime in Yugoslavia lost
power in 1991 and the six republics that
made it up became independent countries,
the southernmost one was called the
Republic of Macedonia.
It came by the name honestly. From
the Roman empire 2000 years ago down
to the Ottoman empire only a century
ago, its territory was always part of a
larger province called Macedonia. No
other country was using the name, so
independent Macedonia kept it.
There was, however, a region in northern
Greece that also used to be part of that
province, and also called itself Macedonia.
No harm in that: The people in the
Republic of Macedonia
were not claiming the
Greek region called
Macedonia belonged to
them. But the Greeks
insisted that they were,
and would not let them
join any organisation that
Greece belonged to.
So the Republic of
Macedonia was frozen
out of Nato and the
European Union (and
all the EU’s subsidies for
in eastern Europe). It
got a seat in the United
Nations only by agreeing
to call itself the Former
Yugoslav Republic of
for UN purposes. The
foolishness dragged on for
themselves — sorry, the
North Macedonians —
eventually developed their
crazies, who insisted that
they were the true heirs
of the Alexander the Great. Skopje, the
capital, is littered with monuments and
statues extolling him, put there by the
previous government basically to yank the
It is not clear why you would want to
claim descent from Alexander the Great,
whose main achievement was conquering
a lot of countries, killing a lot of people,
and dying at 30, but then the people of
Mongolia take pride in having Genghis
Khan as an ancestor. At any rate, the
Macedonians did what they did, and the
Greeks rose to the bait. It was really ugly
for a while.
Finally the wheel turned, and both
countries ended up with grown-ups in
charge at the same time: Alexis Tsipras in
Greece and Zoran Zaev in Macedonia.
Both are social democrats who have other
fish to fry, and just want to get rid of this
issue that the nationalist right exploits
endlessly. It has not been easy, but they are
Zaev had to hold a referendum on the
deal in Macedonia, and got 90% “yes” votes
— but the nationalists boycotted the ballot,
and so invalidated the outcome because
fewer than 50% of the potential voters
took part. That meant Zaev had to get a
two-thirds majority in parliament instead,
which required him to bribe some shady
members of parliament with amnesties for
their alleged crimes.
Tsipras has spent a lot of his political
capital in his struggle to rescue Greece
from its financial plight. But these two men
deserve to succeed. Maybe they will.
Gwynne Dyer is an independent
journalist whose articles are published in 45
Macedonia: what’s in a name?
WORLD IN FOCUS
with Gwynne Dyer
Protesters clash with police officers during a demonstration in Athens against the agreement
reached by Greece and Macedonia to resolve a dispute over the former Yugoslav republic’s name.
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