Home' Greymouth Star : November 6th 2013 Contents Greymouth Star
Marshall Woolhouse was a true West
Coast character, a loyal friend and a
bad enemy who did not su er fools
lightly. He was a straight shooter but
also a proud family man.
Marshall led a colourful life, living
o the land and was respected for his
skills in operating heavy machinery,
whether it be welding, mechanics
or driving trucks, buses, taxis or
Marshall was born in Westport, one
of four children to Rita (nee Foreman)
and Edward Woolhouse, and was raised
at Ikamatua with brothers Russell and
Laurel, and his sister Jeanette.
He was educated at the Blackwater
School and later Reefton High School.
On leaving school at age 15 he worked
for the Grey River gold dredge as an
apprentice welder before moving to the
NZ Road Services, driving buses.
Driving was a passion of Marshall's
and he combined bus driving with taxis
and bulldozers, eventually going into
partnership as co-owner of the Moody
Marshall and his brother were the
bulldozer drivers who put the cut through
the Reefton Saddle and he was proud to
be the rst driver to take a load of Nolan's
cattle out of Haast on a truck and trailer
before the road had been completed.
He was respected on the sporting eld,
playing both rugby and league, but it was
as an axeman that he excelled, competing
with honours in the West Coast and
Doug Innes says Marshall was a
good friend who loved the West Coast
"Deadly with a ri e and extremely
competitive with an axe --- he loved
his shing and his darts. He was a very
strong man who couldn't stand idiots. If
you rubbed him up the wrong way, keep
at arm's length!"
4 - Wednesday, November 6, 2013
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uLetters to the editor
1429 - Henry VI is crowned king of England,
seven years after acceding to the throne at the
age of eight months.
1860 - Abraham Lincoln is elected president
of the United States.
1861 - Je erson Davis is elected
to a six-year term as president of
the US Confederacy.
1893 - Death of Russian
composer Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky.
1917 - In World War One, third
battle of Ypres ends after ve
months when Passchendaele is
taken. e advance was just 8km at
a cost of at least 240,000 men.
1928 - Jacob Schick obtains a patent for his
"shaving implement", the rst electric razor.
1936 - Siege of Madrid begins, and Spanish
government moves to Valencia in civil war.
1942 - Tidal wave kills 10,000 people in
1986 - Helicopter ferrying oil workers from
o shore rigs crashes in North Sea o Scotland;
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Adolphe Sax, Belgian inventor of the
saxophone (1814-1894); John Philip
Sousa, US composer (1854-1937); James A
Naismith, Canadian credited with inventing
basketball (1861-1939); John
Alcock, British aviator (1892-
1919); James Jones, US novelist
(1921-1977); Stonewall Jackson,
US country singer (1932-); Sally
Field, US actress (1946-); Glenn
Frey, founding member of e
Eagles (1948-); Maria Shriver, US
news correspondent (1955-); Ethan Hawke,
US actor (1970-).
"A diplomatic peace is not yet the real peace.
It is an essential step in the peace process
leading towards a real peace." --- Yitzhak
Rabin, Israeli Prime Minister.
"For 'In Him we live and move and have our
being'; as even some of your own poets have
said, 'For we too are His o spring'."
--- (Acts 17:28)
All four major
political parties have
candidates to contest
the November 30 general election in Westland.
Today the Social Credit candidate Mr Ian
McPherson Fraser, a district farmer, was
o cially nominated.
In the eld now are Mr Patrick Blanch eld
MP (Labour), Mr Winston Reynolds
(National), Hokitika, Mr Fraser, Mr Robert
Henry Mitchell (Communist), Blaketown.
Newcastle-born Mrs Mary Ann (Granny)
Smith who died in Christchurch yesterday, just
six months short of her 100th birthday, had a
long association with the West Coast and lived
to see ve generations of her o spring.
Mrs Smith, predeceased by her husband
Robert, lived the greater part of her life in
Brunner where she was resident at the time
of the Brunner mine explosion of March,
1896. She also lived for a time at Runanga and
Dunollie, but was living at Brunner until she
departed for Christchurch about 12 years ago.
Mrs Smith is survived by one daughter, Alice
(Mrs Troughcar, Huntly) and one son, Bob
Disappointment was the lot of most West
Coast children last evening. Rain, hail,
lightning and wind marred their Guy Fawkes
Day and the fun and frolic which generally
goes with this day of reworks was out for the
One or two braved the elements to explode
their devices but conditions would not permit
the lighting of bon res and the high winds
practically overcame skyrockets. It was in fact
nature which provided the reworks.
uToday s birthdays
uFood for thought
Printed and published by the
Greymouth Evening Star Co Limited
3 Werita Street, PO Box 3, Greymouth
03 769 7900 (o ce)
769 7913 (editorial)
768 6205 (fax)
Sports Editor Tui Bromley
Chief Reporter Laura Mills
03 769 7913
03 755 8422
Performances of the recent
play, e Judgment of
Ben Alder, were followed
by audience discussion
stimulated by events
portrayed in the play, but
also focusing on regional
economic development, that is, having
su cient, locally-controlled capital to
create a sustainable regional economy.
Each discussion was led by a local
leader: Colin Smith from Development
West Coast, Grey District Mayor Tony
Kokshoorn and ex-Spring Creek union
delegate Trevor Bolderson.
e rst point to be noted in
summarising the discussion is that the
topic of regional economic development
is not easily broached. In fact, economic
alternatives have been severely censored so
that to entertain anything other than the
neo-liberal, freemarket global model is to
risk scorn. Yet, in the 1970s governments
were transferring departmental head
o ces to the regions, import controls were
in place protecting local industry and the
exchange rate was controlled in order to
create a balanced economic spread.
e rst night's discussion, led by Colin
Smith, focused on how to make corporate
chief executives and boards accountable.
ey have, as it were, got o the leash.
e global economic recession, Pike River,
Spring Creek . . . have all been caused
by poor corporate management and
governance. On the Coast we su er not
only from this, but also from ' y in, y out'
managers of major enterprises.
Colin Smith was pleased that the board
will prefer that the new Development
West Coast chief executive live on the
Coast. As well, he welcomed the changes
in the trust deed that enables decisions
to be made locally rather than by city-
based advisers. He also urged greater local
input into the trust's operations, from
both individuals and organised sectors,
whether community, union or business.
e discussion concluded with a mulling
over the possibility of a more complex
model of decision making which involves
continuing input from the di erent sectors
along participatory democracy lines.
e second night's discussion, led by Mr
Kokshoorn, once again focused on the
lack of accountability of the big economic
players, but the presence of 'TINA' (there
is no alternative) was strongly felt. It
was acknowledged, for example, that the
arrival of the big shopping franchises
hurt local enterprises, but then, if they are
not here, people will go to Christchurch
And no matter what the ownership or
management structure, global commodity
prices will determine pro tability, so we
may as well accept the current structure.
Workers, as well as local politicians, buy
into this 'economic realism', with any
di erent line met by cynicism --- and the
greenies are a useful whipping boy (and
girl) to explain the failures of the model.
However, there was some willingness to
entertain the notion of increasing the local
population (a necessity for sustainability of
the service sector) by inviting refugees in
su cient numbers to come and establish
new communities here.
But on the third night, after Trevor
Bolderson spoke of the co-operative
that he and other Spring Creek workers
attempted to get o the ground (and
which inspired the play), the 'no
alternative' argument began to stumble.
Why did Solid Energy and the
Government refuse to deal? It made
no economic sense. ere was no risk
involved (the $20 million guarantee that
was required, even if called up, would quite
quickly equate with the money to be spent
on care and maintenance). Garth Elliott,
EPMU organiser, gave the answer: " ey
insist on control."
Quite quickly the picture changes. ose
in charge of big capital, even when it is
made up of social capital drawn from
our insurance funds, retirement savings,
bank deposits etc insist on controlling the
economy, even at a regional level, as they
insisted on control of health and safety.
And so we are useful to them only if there
are pro ts to be made --- end of story.
Local politicians buy into it, workers
are ambivalent, local capital lines up for
some crumbs. We pay for the lack of
accountability and the lack of regulation
with the Pikes and the Spring Creeks etc,
and we are made to believe there is no
It is not a good state of a airs, and
could only be changed if there were a
clear-headed alliance of local capital,
local organised workforce, local organised
community sector, local politicians and
let us add local media. Of course, it was
this very same alliance that brought in the
rst Labour government in 1935. And
we could then add international capital to
that coalition, if it were willing to accept
mutually agreed upon values.
It is encouraging that Australian rm,
Bathurst Resources, seem to be operating
along these lines, locating to New
Zealand, seeing its own operation as nite
but wanting to encourage other diverse
developments during its operation so that
a sustainable local economy begins to be
Roly Keehan had his early education in
Kaikoura while his father was working on
the east coast, and was later educated by
the Marist Brothers in Greymouth before
he started work on a dairy farm and went
fruit picking in Blenheim.
Roly returned to the West Coast
when he was 18, picking up work at
the Snow ake ice-cream factory on the
production line and doing deliveries.
In 1959 he joined the Grey Electric
Power Board as a trainee linesman. It was
the beginning of a long career with the
power board, progressing to line foreman,
area manager and eventually depot
From an early age Roly had a passion
for sport and he stamped his mark on the
West Coast rugby elds playing halfback
for the Marist 18-year-olds before
quickly progressing to the senior
ranks and eventually the West Coast
Roly later took up coaching and guided
the exceptional Marist senior side of the
late 1960s and early 1970s.
He was a competitive tennis player
for West Coast and his St Columba
Club side for many years. He was also
an active member of the now disbanded
Greymouth Trotting Club. He joined
as a member in 1960 and served on the
committee from 1970. Later a vice-
president and president Roly was
also a proud life member of the trotting
Frank O'Donnell says Roly Keehan
was a competitive sportsman and a
"A really good all-rounder, a very good
tennis player and a mighty rugby player.
He was built like a pocket battleship and
could cover the ground very quickly, a
wonderful halfback. Roly was a popular
guy and a true gentleman --- he never had
a bad bone in his body."
Roly's late wife Joan was the love of his
life and together they raised their ve
children --- Debra, Delwyn, Kenneth,
Nicola and Gaynor --- at the family home
in ompson Street, Greymouth.
My rst thought on reading that
Durham Havill was setting up a
consortium to build the proposed
Haast-Hollyford road was to wonder if
he has been investing in Queenstown
property. Why? Because Queenstown and
points east of the Alps will be the main
bene ciaries of this road.
is idea may be dressed up as being of
bene t to the Coast, but the money and
the drive are coming from people like
millionaire Christchurch businessman
Earl Hagaman, founder of the Scenic
Circle Hotel chain. It was Mr Hagaman
who commissioned a $15,000 report by
David McLernon, of Octa Associates,
suggesting a toll road could be built for
between $225 million and $315 million.
e idea is to create a new Queenstown
to Queenstown loop. Tourists will land
in Queenstown and will be turning away
from the rest of the Coast at Haast,
via either the Haast Pass or the new
Hollyford link, back to well established
tourism areas east of the Alps.
e idea of 'Hokitika International
Airport' feeding tourists through the new
road and back to Hokitika is just a hook
to catch the support of Coast councils, and
you can be sure there will be requests for
'seeding money' as well.
e more likely outcome is that Hokitika
will become a tourism backwater, fewer
tourists will pass through the Grey
and Buller districts and a new Haast
Scenic Circle Hotel will export the
accommodation pro ts o the Coast.
Queenstown will have the rst and the
last bite of the bun, while Hokitika and
Greymouth might get some crumbs.
Family tree intrigue
While reading the letters last week
there was a mention of Robin Hood. Last
year while working on my family tree
I came across three sets of 26th great-
grandparents --- King John 'Lackland' and
Isabella of Angouleme; Baron eobald
Fitzwater, High Sheri of Lanchashire
and Maud La Vavasour and Fulke III
Fitzwarin and Maud La Vavasour. e
latter couple are one of three possibilities
for being the inspiration of the Robin
Fulke Fitzwarin II owned land in
Whittingham in Whittington Castle. e
land sits on the English-Welsh borders.
When Fulke II died, his son paid a ne
of L100. Fulke II and King John grew
up together. As teenagers John and Fulke
had an argument over a chess game. John,
as king, decided to give the land to a
Welshman named Maurice of Powys.
Fulke III, his three brothers William,
Phillip and John, cousins and others, went
to the Marches and became outlaws for
three years. King John nally relented and
gave back the land, plus a bit more.
Maud Le Vavasour was the daughter of
Robert, High Sherrif of Lancashire. She
rst married Baron eobald Walter. ey
became the rst Butlers of Ireland. ey
had several children. When he died Maud
went back to England and her father
sold her to Fulke III. ey became Robin
Hood and Maid Marion. ey had six
children. When Maud died (1226) Fulke
remarried. He lived to become an old man.
If anyone tells you not to bother to
trace your family history, do not listen.
Skeletons should be released from their
On October 30 our Mayor told Ron
Johnson of Dobson the aquatic centre
attracted over 100,000 patrons each year.
en I read in your paper of November 2
there is only about half that many. Now,
the Mayor did say the council did not
tell lies so I guess there must have been a
en, in June I believe it was, ratepayers
had to make a gift of $85,000 to this
private company the theatre trust. At the
time, they said they had to have $75,000
each year from us for always. Now they tell
us they only want $50,000 each year.
Next we have to give this private trust
$2 million for maintenance of their
Now we have the council wiping o
$3.8m of its worth. Next they decrease
the worth of the aquatic centre's value
by $2.6m they say would be the cost to
re-roof it. en they make a provision for
another writedown of $1.23m to cover
the loan call in of the money owed by this
private theatre company.
A total wipe o of $7.36m. Not only will
this make our borrowing more expensive,
they expect us to come up with the
$50,000 gift to this private trust each year.
is trust must be insolvent and I believe
it is against the law to keep trading.
I also believe there is no part of the
council's "bible" that allows it to nance a
en this gure of $2m we gave this
private trust, there is no provision for it.
Do not say we have another $2m to add to
this, making the wipe down $9.63m.
en my brain grinds into gear, this
$2.6m for the aquatic centre roof, which
is not wanted. ere is $600,000 which
is enough to design and install two
internal trusses to support the sag, and
there hidden is the $2m we have already
donated to the private theatre trust.
On Tuesday, October 29, Vinay
and Swasti Chandra (owners of the
Greymouth McDonald's franchise) invited
around 80 older citizens to attend a
lunch that was organised on behalf of our
voluntary group CARE.
e food was amazing and the ser vice
provided by Vinay, Trent and Zaynah was
a delight to all. Vinay personally waits on
the tables and the older people attending
all commented about his wonderful kind
and caring attitude towards everyone.
e sandwiches made by Swasti were
most appreciated and also enjoyed by
is wonderful lunch is personally
provided by the Chandra family --- the
cost was minimal but the food was so
plentiful that 'seconds' were the order of
e pro ts from this lunch are doubled
by Vinay and then given back to our group
for us to donate to a local charity of our
On behalf of CARE we would like to
convey our sincere thanks in recognition
of this wonderful contribution that this
locally-owned family business provides
towards the people in our group.
anks again to all of the McDonald's
In the justi ed outrage over these
animals involved in the so-called 'Roast
Busters', let's not overlook the fact that
these girls were not just named and
shamed --- they were drugged, abused and
raped as well.
Where has the decency gone in society
where young males --- I refuse to dignify
them with the term men --- think that it is
admirable to even act in this way to begin
People like to decry conservatives
for their abhorrence of sex education
in schools, but when we look at the
way society has gone since these social
experiments were introduced, normalising
sexual behaviour in children, it is the
brainless ideologues that have stolen the
innocence of our kids that need to step up
and take the responsibility for their part
ey can add that to the wonderful
job microchipping has done in reducing
vicious dog attacks. Good job all around.
e plans to decrease the allowable level
of alcohol consumption will not address
the issues in relation to the road toll, in my
In case it has escaped your readers'
attention, the bulk of those killed and
maimed on our roads have su ered at
the hands of the sober driver. Consider
the facts. Police gures show death and
serious injury over the past 20 months to
be in icted by a mere 53 drivers out of
a total of 3.2 million drivers. How hard
would it be to remove those drivers from
e change from criminal law
prosecutions to civil law for those below
the 80mg level smacks of an inability
of the police and the justice system to
deal with the situation, given that the
onus of proof to e ect a conviction is
considerably less than under the criminal
In my view this proposal is simply
another revenue gathering exercise by the
Government and will have little or no
impact in reducing the road toll or make
our roads any safer.
e demerit points are a joke. People
who drive at 60kph in a 50kph zone will
attract 10 demerit points, this despite
the fact that the mere increase of 10kph
over the limit increases the chances
of serious and fatal outcomes quite
considerably. is legislation is emotive,
targeting a small group of miscreants,
whose deplorable actions in no way have
a serious impact on the overall scheme
of things. But then, there is an election
coming up, eh?
Bill van Halewyn
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