Home' Greymouth Star : January 29th 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Wednesday, January 29, 2014
We appreciate the value of the Letters to the Editor
column as a public forum for West Coasters and
welcome your opinion and suggestions.
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must include your name, address, phone number
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Post to PO Box 3, Greymouth, fax to 768 6205 or
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uLetters to the editor
1820 - King George III dies insane at
1845 - Edgar Allan Poe's famous poem e
Raven is rst published.
1856 - e Victoria Cross, the
Commonwealth's highest military
honour, is instituted.
1886 - German motor pioneer
Karl Benz is granted a patent for the
rst successful petrol-driven car.
1888 - Death of Edward Lear,
English landscape painter and
writer of nonsense verse.
1896 - US physician Emile Grubbe becomes
the rst to use radiation treatment for breast
cancer, on patient Rose Lee of Chicago.
1949 - Britain grants de facto recognition to
new state of Israel.
1958 - Wedding of Hollywood stars Paul
Newman and Joanne Woodward.
1980 - Death of US comedian Jimmy
1990 - Ousted East German Communist
Party leader Erich Honecker is arrested and
ordered to stand trial for high treason.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
omas Paine, American patriot-author
(1737-1809); W C Fields, US actor (1880-
1946); Victor Mature, US actor (1913-1999);
Germaine Greer, Australian born feminist,
academic and author (1939-);
Katharine Ross, US actress (1940-
); Tom Selleck, US actor (1945-);
Oprah Winfrey, US tv personality
(1954-); Nicholas Turturro, US
actor (1962-);Heather Graham, US
actress (1970-); Sara Gilbert, US
actress (1975-); Andrew Keegan,
US actor of Party of Five fame (1979-); Athina
Onassis, French heiress and equestrian (1985-).
"Misquotations are the only quotations that
are never misquoted." --- Hesketh Pearson,
British biographer (1887-1964).
" e gifts He gave were that some would be
apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some
pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the
work of ministry, for building up the body of
Christ." --- (Ephesians 4:11-12).
owner was found dead
pinned beneath a
tractor by his wife shortly after 2pm yesterday.
He was Istvan (Stephen) Straszinszky, who
left home in the morning to cut ax in a
swamp adjoining the main road at Kamaka.
Mrs Straszinszky became alarmed when her
husband did not return home for his lunch and
went to look for him.
Mr Straszinszky evidently got the back
wheels of the tractor stuck in the swamp and
when he attempted to accelerate clear the
machine toppled over pinning him beneath it.
Mr Straszinszky, a Hungarian who came to
the West Coast with his family four years ago,
is survived by his wife Katalina, a daughter,
Katalin (Mrs Gall, Christchurch), one son,
Stephen; and his mother, Erzebet Straszinszky,
who lives at his residence in Ngahere.
Two Greymouth-born women, both in their
early twenties, will this year be in the Solomon
Islands as lay teachers attached to mission
stations. On January 16, 23-year-old Miss
Lynette Sadler, a daughter of Mr and Mrs F A
Sadler, Milton Road, left for Banga, a minute
island in the Solomons group. She will teach at
the Methodist mission for a term lasting three
Miss Mary-Claire Collie, 21, the daughter of
Mr and Mrs E Collie, Alexander Terrace, will
at the weekend leave New Zealand en route to
a Catholic mission station in the Buma village
on the island of Malaita, South Solomons. e
procurator of the Honiara Central Mission
is Rev Father D J Moore, SM, formerly of
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
They call themselves the
'forgotten soldiers' --- the
1000 or so Aboriginal
men who fought for their
country in World War
One but returned home
to nd that the respect they had earned
on the battle eld was denied them in
As Australians prepare to mark the
centenary of the start of the 'Great
War' --- and, more seminally, that of the
1915 Gallipoli debacle --- the forgotten
soldiers are emerging from the shadows
and claiming their rightful place in
the history books and the national
Key dates always trigger soul-searching
here. e front page of Sunday's Sun-
Herald featured a large photograph of
Adam Goodes, the indigenous AFL
footballer and newly crowned Australian
of the Year, together with a quotation
from his Australia Day inter view: "It 's a
very sad day for a lot of our mob."
e next 15 months will see a frenzy
of navel-gazing, culminating in a
centenary ser vice next year at Anzac
Cove, where 8709 Australians and 2721
New Zealanders were killed during the
failed campaign to capture the Gallipoli
Peninsula, in modern-day Turkey.
At least 40 Aboriginal soldiers fought
at Gallipoli --- not that you would know
it from o cial accounts or ctional
recreations such as Peter Weir's 1981
movie, notes Gary Oakley, indigenous
liaison o cer at the Australian War
Memorial in Canberra.
Indigenous recruits --- who also ser ved
in large numbers in World War Two,
Vietnam and other con icts --- were
not even recognised as citizens in 1914.
Legally, they were barred from enlisting,
but recruitment o cers increasingly
turned a blind eye as the death toll
For young men who had been con ned
to reser vations, with State authorities
dictating where they could live and work,
and often withholding their wages, war
was a liberating experience.
"For the rst time in their lives, they
were treated as equals," says Oakley. " ey
got the same pay as their white comrades,
and they faced the same opportunities and
challenges. Really, the Australian Defence
Force was the rst equal opportunities
employer." ( e Australian Imperial
Force was the only Commonwealth force
without racially segregated units.) It was
a similar story in the trenches, where
black and white soldiers bonded amid
the privations and su ering, according to
Tom Wright, the author of Black Diggers,
a play which debuted last week at the
"Once you put on a uniform, colour
is irrelevant," says the playwright, who
mined letters, diaries and oral histories for
On their return to a still segregated
Australia, however, indigenous
ex-servicemen were refused service in pubs
--- even when wearing their uniform and
medals --- and excluded from RSL (RSA)
clubs. Some country towns left Aboriginal
names o war memorials.
" e big disappointment was that they
thought they had done their bit for their
country, but their employment prospects
were no better, they still could not vote,
they still were not believed by the local
police o cer," says Wright.
ey still could not travel freely, or buy
property, or marry a white woman without
permission. Most insultingly, perhaps,
their ancestral lands were compulsorily
acquired to enable returned service
personnel to become farmers, under a
scheme from which they were excluded.
As one character in Black Diggers
obser ves: " ey painted the colour back
onthedayIgoto thatboat. . .Ifeel
like I won something over there and I
lost it back here."
ey also struggled to reintegrate
into their own communities --- "caught
between a white society that was largely
indi erent to their plight and a black
society that was unable to understand it ",
as Wright puts it.
Many had joined up, Oakley believes,
"as a way to prove your manhood as a
warrior", and to protect "country" ---
even if that meant their traditional lands
rather than the Australian nation. "And
I think they also thought that when they
came back to Australia they would be
looked on di erently because they had
ser ved the nation, but things went back
to the status quo," he says.
"You weren't allowed to march on
Anzac Day, you weren't allowed to have
a drink with your mates in the pub. So
at invisibility --- in wider society,
at least --- is one reason why their role
has never been properly recognised, he
ings are changing, slowly. e
AWM's World War One gallery is being
revamped to incorporate throughout the
part played by Aboriginal soldiers, rather
than consigning it to a solitary plaque.
Centenary ceremonies are expected to
have a strong indigenous avour.
Wright hopes that Black Diggers ---
directed by Wesley Enoch, indigenous
director of the Queensland eatre
Company --- will, by integrating black
faces into the broader national story, help
to "recalibrate" the Anzac legend.
Because, as Oakley observes: "Anzac is
not exclusively a white man's story."
At least 40 Aboriginal soldiers fought at Gallipoli --- but you would not know it, the New Zealand Herald reports.
PICTURE: New Zealand Herald
Aboriginal performers in Black Diggers, a play which opened at the Sydney Festival recently.
New hospital politics
With the business case for West Coast
health care out in the open, thanks to
the Greymouth Star's persistence, we can
look closely at National's $60 million new
Local clinicians and other experts arrived
at $87m for new facilities to meet the
Coast's health care needs. Take out Buller's
needs and we require about $80m for a
new base hospital in Greymouth.
At $60m, that's a $20m shortfall!
So where did the grandiose talk of a new
hospital at three-quarters the estimated
cost come from? Did National's Minister
of Health, Tony Ryall simply stu -up,
or did the revelations in this paper and
the staunch resistance of others involved
bring to light an attempted election year
It is hard not to suspect that, despite the
solid case for realistic health expenditure
on the Coast, Mr Ryall was out to pull a
swifty. A new hospital at $60m was never
intended to give us the ser vices needed.
What Mr Ryall saw was the opportunity
for his party to say that they had given the
Coast a new hospital while saving $20m
on building costs and millions more on
service cuts; ser vices that would have had
to be provided in Christchurch from the
Canterbury-West Coast DHB combined
And the reason? Simply to claw millions
out of our regions to spend in Auckland
to secure an election victory. When
sound policy is replaced by promises of
motorways, port developments and casino
hand-outs for Auckland, the rest of us will
have to pay.
Grey Star criticised for
After reading your article on Monday,
'Blogger puts the boot in'. I was horri ed
that you have hurt a West Coast family
who are grieving from the loss of their
son even more. Why would you print
something from a blogger (who on his
website is pictured with a weapon) that
has no connection to the West Coast
or the family? I feel, along with a lot of
people, that this is not necessary to publish
such an opinion in front page news or
printed at all. Newspapers I feel are just
that --- newspapers for news. Leave the
blogging where it was intended --- on the
Advice to blogger
Cameron Slater is a waste of space. He
should stay in Auckland and keep his
misguided views about West Coasters to
Several years ago my eldest
granddaughter was staying with a friend
in Cobden. As they were walking back
from the Richmond Street park to Wickes
Street they were almost hit by a young
idiot in his car. He was skiting in front of
friends and crashed into a car, then over
the footpath and into a fence. A slap on
the wrist was all he got.
Just over three years ago, my husband
was driving to work on Blackball Road.
It was still dark. He had to stop for two
sheep in the middle of the road. As he was
just starting to speed up, two idiots, racing
side by side, came over the brow of the
hill. e one on Brian's side just made it
on to his side. Recently, an idiot drove into
my brother-in-law 's house.
Now we have come to one death and two
injured. It was sheer luck no one else was
killed. It is too easy to blame a cop you do
not know rather than a supposed friend.
e only person who is at fault, I believe,
is the driver. He could, and should have
slowed down when he got to Greymouth.
I write in response to the item in the
Greymouth Star ( January 23, 'A blaze of
colour') about Greymouth ower gardens.
I am the former councillor referred to
in the item who apparently wanted 'the
owers replaced with native shrubs'.
Over two years ago I raised this issue.
My proposal was that the Grey District
Council review the types of plants in its
garden areas to reduce ongoing costs and
maintenance. In full bloom the ower
gardens look beautiful, but this is for a
relatively short period of time each year.
e council referred the matter to the
assets and engineering department to
follow up. Councils do not always move
at pace. Towards the end of last year the
gardens were left unplanted for a longer
than usual period of time.
During the lead-up to the council
elections, the council chief executive
attributed the unplanted gardens to
a councillor in a media article in the
Greymouth Star. To suggest, more than
two years since the issue was rst raised,
that I was responsible for the empty
gardens is a big stretch.
I did not suggest that all council's ower
beds be replaced. Nevertheless, I do not
see the value in replacing thousands
of ower plants twice a year. Council
contractors have a limited budget to
maintain a large number of garden areas.
ey do a great job with these limited
resources. All I was asking for is that
council get the best value and outcome for
the Grey district ratepayers and residents.
It is a sad state of a airs when people
of Greymouth need to put their pet dogs
and children on leashes to avoid being
poisoned when walking a particular
recreational, residential and industrial
section of land in their community.
e area I am referring to is where my
dog Max died after inhaling or ingesting a
toxic substance which he came in contact
with in the South Beach area, south of
He either licked or ingested the poison
along the recreational cycleway behind the
industrial section of Jacks Road, along the
residential section of Jacks Road or by the
grass verges along Main South Road back
to the overhead bridge.
e toxic poison took hold quickly, and
within minutes it had changed a happy,
adventurous huntaway padding along his
routine walk, into a distressed animal,
which had collapsed and was lying on the
grass beside the public pathway.
Max was rushed to the after hours vet
clinic unconscious, but still in the throes
of a continuous convulsion, which he
eventually succumbed to.
He was sedated, his stomach was ushed
and he was put on a drip, but the poison
had taken hold. From being a healthy
canine 30 minutes earlier, he was bleeding
internally and died the following morning.
My concerns are, what was the poison
responsible and how did it happen to be
in that particular area of real estate that
evening, as we had walked the same area
in the morning and the night before?
Was the poison laid intentionally or was
it carelessly dropped? Was it rabbit bait,
rat poison, cyanide or was it 1080?
e e ects on my dog suggest it could
have been cyanide, possibly rat poison, but
there is a strong leaning towards 1080.
is particular area of land is becoming
the 'Bermuda Triangle' for recreational
dog walking, as four dogs in the past ve
months were also poisoned, which seems
to me more than a coincidence.
1080 is a very toxic poison, it looks
attractive to animals, has a scent which
smells like candy and at present is being
used to try to eradicate possums on the
Is it just a coincidence that a building
in the industrial section in this particular
zone, which backs on to Mill Creek,
is being used for bulk storage of 1080
Further to Glen Morgan's letter about
recycling (Greymouth Star, January 22).
ere is no weight in polystyrene so how
does that equate to being charged so
If they are charging so much to dump it
why are they charging at all for people to
take it away?
I baulked at paying $2 for an empty
styrofoam box to reuse as a chilly bin, so
left it. But isn't this what recycling is all
about? If they want to be rid of waste, why
don't they give it away to people who can
I am blowed if I know why this
Government allows stu like this to be
imported if they do not want it here.
Surely someone could come up with a way
to recycle it. Perhaps shred it for beanbags
or something, or use it for repackaging,
or put it in the 'too hard basket', which is
what seems to have been done.
On a recent visit to the hospital
outpatients, I noticed that the cistern in
the men's toilet was en-stickered with the
message: 'Stay calm. Carry condoms'.
On inquiring at reception I was told that
these stickers were also in the 'ladies' and
had been placed by someone from the
sexual health clinic. What a pity, although
still somewhat mysti ed I had hoped that
they were the o cial advice in the event of
an earthquake on hospital premises.
Conser vative Party
'on the rise'
e foaming-at-the-mouth diatribe
from New Zealand First leader Winston
Peters against the rise and rise of the
Conser vative Party of New Zealand would
be amusing if it did not come across as just
a wee bit desperate and pathetic.
It may interest Winston Peters to know
that the Conservative Party has no need
to 'trawl' NZ First policy, or to target NZ
First voters --- the Conservative Party acts
on the law of attraction, not hyperbole,
and the result has been that voters from
across the political spectrum have ocked
to the Conser vative Party, which now
has over 6000 members and supporters
With a recent Roy Morgan poll placing
the Conservative Party at 2.5% and
climbing, the maths is simple: each current
member of the Conser vative Party only
has to secure 20 votes each, and it is 'hello
is news will be a relief to the National
Party, who can now safely and quickly
resile from considering doing a deal with
a 'past use-by date' political chameleonic
dinosaur that is Winston Raymond Peters.
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