Home' Greymouth Star : January 30th 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Thursday, January 30, 2014
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uLetters to the editor
1606 - Sir Everard Digby, omas Winter,
John Grant and omas Bates, conspirators
in the Gunpowder Plot to blow up the British
Houses of Parliament, are executed.
1649 - Britain's King Charles I is beheaded.
1917 - First jazz record is cut in the US.
1933 - Adolf Hitler is named
1948 - Mahatma Gandhi is
assassinated by a Hindu nationalist.
1948 - Death of US aviation
pioneer Orville Wright.
1962 - Two of world-famous
Flying Wallendas high-wire act
are killed when their seven-person pyramid
collapses during a performance in Detroit.
1972 - Pakistan leaves Commonwealth
in protest against imminent recognition of
Bangladesh by Britain, Australia and New
1972 - irteen civil rights marchers are shot
to death by British soldiers in Northern Ireland
on what became known as Bloody Sunday.
2013 - Patty Andrews, last surviving member
of the Andrews Sisters trio, dies.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Franklin D Roosevelt, US president (1882-
1945); Dorothy Malone, US actress (1925-);
Olof Palme, Swedish prime minister (1927-
1986); Gene Hackman, US actor
(1930-); Tammy Grimes, US actress
(1934-); Vanessa Redgrave, English
actress (1937-); Dick Cheney,
former US vice-president (1941-);
Phil Collins, English pop singer
(1951-); Brett Butler, US actress
(1958-); Christian Bale, British-
born actor (1974-).
"How does God's love abide in anyone who
has the world's goods and sees a brother or
sister in need and yet refuses help?"
--- (1 John 3:17).
"It is the tragedy of the world that no one
knows what he doesn't know --- and the less a
man knows, the more sure he is that he knows
everything." --- Joyce Cary, English author
A 35ft Westport
foundered and sank
in about 25 feet of
water after striking a breakwater in the Buller
River early yesterday. e sole occupant of
the trawler, the rst mate Mr D Langrope,
26, single, of Westport, made his way to shore
about 100 yards away, on a hatch cover. He was
e trawler was making for the harbour
entrance, at the start of a shing trip, when the
steering is reported to have jammed. e craft
veered inshore and collided with the adjacent
breakwater. e owner Mr Priest was on
holiday. e trawler was insured for £2000.
e well-known local drapery rm of Tymons
Ltd, in lower Tainui Street, Greymouth, is to
close down soon. e company controlling
the shop specialising in clothing for women
is to cease operations here in a short time
and at present the sta is preparing for a nal
Already there have been a number of
inquiries for the vacant premises.
An elderly man slipped out of Paparua Prison
early this morning and set out on foot with the
idea of reaching the West Coast. ere was no
alarm at the prison, however, for the "escaper"
was Mr A H Reed, 88-year-old author and
New Zealand's most famous marathon walker.
Mr Reed spent last night at the prison before
continuing with the second and last leg of his
South Island hike. His intention is to come to
Greymouth via Arthur's Pass and walk through
to Otago by way of the Haast Pass. He will
cover about 900 miles on his South Island hike.
He has already done about 230.
uToday s birthdays
uFood for thought
Printed and published by the
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03 769 7900 (o ce)
769 7913 (editorial)
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Sports Editor Tui Bromley
Chief Reporter Laura Mills
03 769 7913
03 755 8422
Healy s view
It started well. e Kelston Girl's
College hall was full-to-bursting --- an
achievement in itself on a sunny public
holiday in Auckland. Political meetings are
no longer the drawcards they used to be,
back in the days when thousands would
turn out to hear a party leader speak, so I
imagine Labour was delighted with the
700-800 people who had ventured forth to
hear David Cunli e's "state of the nation"
It can not be easy, pulling one of these
things together. e modern political
speechwriter is tasked with addressing
(but not upsetting) a multitude of
audiences simultaneously. Ranged along
the right-hand side of the hall were
the conduits to these "demographics".
Running my eye down the media bench,
I counted o a slew of the Parliamentary
press gallery's nest. In the centre of the
hall the television networks' cameras were
lined-up in front of the speaker's podium
like a ring squad.
How much easier it must have been
when the only people you had to please
were those in the room. In the years before
live broadcasts and journalistic "balance",
when editors instructed their reporters
under no circumstances to report anything
the Labour Party said or did. Back then
politicians could speak freely to the party
faithful in the lingua franca of shared
convictions and common dreams.
Cunli e did a little of that: rationing his
manse-bred emotion through his cat-
who-got-the-cream grin; careful not to
give his enemies the ammunition needed
to shoot him; appealing to his audience's
dwindling sense of what Labour stands for
by appending a mischievous "if you know
what I mean" to his deliberately un nished
I am not sure the audience understood
their hero's emotional reticence or much
appreciated the modern political leader's
need to engage in communicative multi-
tasking. ere were moments when
their need to hear their own anger and
frustration thrown back at them raw and
red was palpable. But they were out of
luck. For better or worse, David Cunli e
does not do demagogue.
Not yet anyway.
For the moment he is listening to his
advisers and seeking the opinions of
his colleagues. ey were all in the hall
on Monday, beaming up at him from
their front row seats in a gut-churning
display of amity and unity. As if the men
and women on the media bench had
forgotten the secret brie ngs, the strategic
leaks. As if the party rank-and- le had
forgiven the bitterness and bile, the cruel
rumour-mongering, the ruthless character
Actors assembled, the play continued.
e 'best start' policy of State-rewarded
fecundity is the work of many months of
ailing and threshing in Labour's policy
mill. A little grist from years of sel ess
advocacy by Labour's policy council, and
a lot of cha from the uneasy trio of
Annette King, Sue Moroney and Jacinda
I listened and sighed. Not because
helping the new-born baby's parents with
a weekly payment of $60 is a bad thing
to do, but because there was a time when
supplying the wherewithal for the labour
force's reproduction was the employers'
responsibility --- not the State's.
Will Labour never tire of subsidising the
bosses' parsimony with money taken from
the pocket of one worker and slipped into
the hand of another?
And why, oh why, this reluctance to
embrace universality? If it makes sense
to woo those with a combined household
income of $150,000, then why not seek
the a ections of those earning $175,000
--- or $200,000? ere is something noble
in saying: " is is yours because you are a
citizen: a co-participant in this thing we
call New Zealand." It should be beneath
a socialist's dignity to say "You --- but not
e place for drawing up lists and
making tables is the Inland Revenue
Department. e best 'targeting' device
ever constructed is called a progressive
It started well, but David Cunli e's 'state
of the nation' did not progress very far. He
damped his tinder down and planted seeds.
I was hoping for a ame.
Chris Trotter is an independent
left-wing political commentator.
Labour hoping for a f lame
She is the granddaughter of
Caribbean immigrants to
America who has just been
appointed to a top job by Bill
de Blasio, New York's new
He is the dashing British actor who
stars as Sherlock Holmes in the hit
television series on both sides of the
Atlantic and plays a plantation owner
in the Oscar-nominated 12 Years a
Despite their very di erent
backgrounds, Stacey Cumberbatch and
Benedict Cumberbatch apparently do
not just share a distinctively English-
Stacey believes that the actor's fth
great-grandfather owned her ancestors
on an 18th century sugar plantation
on Barbados. ey are "related", not
by blood, but by their shared roots in
the brutal trans-Atlantic slave trade,
she told the New York Times after her
appointment as a city commissioner.
Her ancestors were slaves on the island
at the time when it was the practice
for them to take the family names of
plantation owners such as Abraham
e star has previously discussed
how his name became common among
Caribbean families because of his
forebear's role on the island.
Although there are no paper records
to establish the link, it seems that New
York's new chief of administrative
services is among them.
Cumberbatch's performance in 12
Years a Slave, which has been nominated
for several Academy Awards, including
best picture, is not the rst time that
he has chosen a role that harks back
to his family's ties to slavery. Abraham
Cumberbatch, who was born in Bristol
in 1726 and died in 1785, came from
a family of merchants and adventurers
and built the clan's fortune from a sugar
plantation on Barbados.
e actor said that it was a "sort of
apology" for this history when he played
William Pitt the Younger, the abolitionist
prime minister, in the 2006 lm Amazing
Grace about William Wilberforce's ght
to eliminate the slave trade in the British
He once said that his mother, Wanda
Ventham, the actress who also played his
mother in Sherlock, encouraged him not
to use his real name in his professional
career because she was concerned that
he could face claims for reparations from
descendants of slaves.
e Cumberbatch family has faced no
such lawsuits. But 14 Caribbean nations
last year said they would seek reparations
from the former colonial powers of
Britain, France and the Netherlands for
the slave trade. e countries have hired
a rm of London lawyers that secured
compensation from Britain for Kenyans
who were tortured under British colonial
rule in the 1950s.
e islands have said they will compile
an "inventory" of damage su ered
and demand an apology and nancial
damages. Britain abolished the slave trade
Researchers said last year that an
ancestor of Samantha Cameron, the
Prime Minister's wife, received the
equivalent of several million pounds in
compensation when the British abolished
the trade.Benedict Cumberbatch
Born in Kensington, raised in
Chelsea and educated at Harrow.
In 2012 he courted controversy by
lamenting that he was a victim of "posh-
bashing". Stacey Cumberbatch
Born in the New York borough of
Queens, graduated as a lawyer and has
spent a long career in city and state
New York mayor Bill de Blasio said
that her heritage "has driven her to
excellence''. -- New Zealand Herald
Stacey Cumberbatch, left and Benedict Cumberbatch.
Paul Cortez can remember the
night 31 years ago as clearly as if it
was last week.
He had walked into the paediatric
intensive care unit of Riverside
County Regional Medical Centre
in California to nd his seven-year-
old son, Mikey, barely clinging to
Bandages were covering his little
body, seemingly from head to
toe. Wires and tubes attached to
machines were keeping him alive.
Doctors told Cortez Mikey might
not make it. A drunken driver had
smashed into the car carrying the
boy and relatives, sending four of
them, including his mother, brother
and sister, to other hospitals. Four
other relatives, including Mikey's
oldest brother, were dead.
Not knowing what to do, Paul
Cortez knelt and, with Mikey's
hand in his, made a promise to
God: If his son somehow survived,
whatever the condition, he and his
family would always be there for
It felt strange at rst because,
although he is a deeply religious
man, Cortez had never before asked
for any favours from heaven.
"But he was our son."
Mikey would never walk or talk
again, but that did not matter to his
family. For the next 31 years, they
raised him at home, including him
in every activity they could. From
holidays to high school football
games, they were by his side until
his death last month.
e family lived in Temecula,
midway between San Diego and
One day, Mikey and his relatives
piled into the family car and left
home to meet his father for a night
out. ey were travelling on a rural,
two-lane road when a drunken
driver hit their car head-on. "No
seatbelts in those days," Mikey's
mother said, meaning everybody
was tossed about the car.
Mikey, the worst injured, su ered
serious brain damage. He was left
in a persistent vegetative state,
which is like a coma but lasts much
longer. People are able to perform
some basic functions, but show only
limited, if any, awareness of their
Mikey would never fully emerge
from that state, but his father
wanted him to have as full a life as
When Paul Cortez coached his
daughter Angelica and son Tony in
soccer, Mikey sat in his wheelchair
on the sidelines, cheering them on.
When Tony made his high school
football and basketball teams,
Mikey was at every game.
At basketball games he would be
at courtside, and at some point in
every game his brother would come
over and give him a hug. "He was
aware of things going on around
him by his eye contact or gestures
that he made," his father said. "He
felt pain and he could feel a tickle
when we tickled him and he would
smile at times."
Dr Paul Vespa, who heads
UCLA's Neurointensive Care Unit,
said there are some cases in which
people largely in a vegetative state
seem to recognise some things.
" ey have a lot of impairment,
but they are able to interact a little
bit," he said. Giving them as close to
normal a life experience as possible,
as Mikey's family did, probably does
help them, he added.
Still, there were many things
Mikey could never do over the
years, such as shower or dress or
feed himself. So his mother and
grandmother did those things for
After his 38th birthday a year ago,
Mikey's health began to deteriorate.
Eight months ago he was diagnosed
with end-stage renal failure. e
family learned how to do dialysis
themselves and kept him at home.
Two days after Christmas last
month, Mikey died at home, with
his family at his side. --- AP
Family kept life full for Mikey despite injuries
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