Home' Greymouth Star : March 24th 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Monday, March 24, 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.
Letters may be submitted by post, fax or e-mail and
must include your name, address, phone number
and - except for e-mails - your signature. Noms de
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Please keep your letters honest, respectful and
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Post to PO Box 3, Greymouth, fax to 768 6205 or
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uLetters to the editor
1603 - Queen Elizabeth I dies after ruling
England for more than 40 years
1905 - Death of Jules Verne, French novelist.
1944 - In Rome, Nazis execute more than
300 civilians in reprisal for an attack
the previous day by Italian partisans
who killed 32 German soldiers.
1953 - Death of Queen Mary,
widow of King George V, three
months before the coronation of
her grand-daughter Elizabeth II;
Resident of Ten Rillington Place,
London, discovers a body in a cupboard; it
leads to the arrest of mass murderer John
1958 - Elvis Presley is inducted into the US
army for two years.
1965 - e US spacecraft Ranger 9 crash-
lands on the moon.
1972 - Britain takes over direct control of
Northern Ireland in e ort to restore peace
1976 - World War Two British Field Marshal
Bernard Montgomery dies.
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 McQueen, US
actor (1930-1980); Curtis Hanson,
US lm director (1945-); Tommy
Hil ger, American fashion designer
(1951-); Robert Carradine, US actor
(1954-); Kelly LeBrock, US actress
(1960-); Dean Jones, Australian
cricketer (1961-); Lara Flynn Boyle,
US actress (1970-); Jessica Chastain, American
actress (1977-); Keisha Castle-Hughes, New
Zealand actress (1990-).
"Time wounds all heels." --- Jane Ace, US
radio disc jockey (1905-1974).
"But they all alike began to make excuses. e
rst said to him, 'I have bought a piece of land,
and I must go out and see it; please accept my
regrets.'" --- (Luke 14.1).
e death occurred
at Greymouth this
morning of Mr Robert
Aynsley, a senior
citizen of Main Road, Dobson. He was in his
83rd year. Mr Aynsley was born at Greenstone
in the heyday of the alluvial goldmining boom.
He had spent many years goldmining in the
Blackball district and of recent years had resided
Mr Aynsley was not married and is survived by
two brothers and nine sisters.
e death of Mr Victor Stanley Baxter, of
Marlborough Street, Greymouth, occurred at
Christchurch on Saturday morning. He was in
his 62nd year. Mr Baxter had been in indi erent
health for several months.
He had given a lifetime of ser vice to the town
of Greymouth, as a member of the municipal
band and also tutor to many bandsmen, past
and present, who have made their mark on
bands and musical circles in New Zealand and
He was employed at Schaef 's Garage for many
years and as a young man was chau eur for the
late Dr James McBrearty at Greymouth.
Mr Baxter was a single man and is survived by
one sister and three brothers.
Beatlemania has hit the West Coast! Anyone
who thought otherwise must have been sadly
deluded by last Saturday's request session on
3YZ. e last half of the session was crowded
with numbers by the four young men from
O'BRIEN-KERRIDGE.- Mr and Mrs E
Kerridge, of Blackmore Street, Greymouth,
have much pleasure in announcing the
engagement of their second daughter Diane
Mary to Paul Francis, third son of Mr and Mrs
M O'Brien, of Fendalton, Christchurch.
uToday s birthdays
uFood for thought
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Sports Editor Tui Bromley
Chief Reporter Laura Mills
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03 755 8422
150 years, OK?
might be, take a
moment to re ect
on the most
popular word in the English language,
It's 175 years since OK --- or, as some
prefer, okay --- rst appeared in print, on
page two of e Boston Morning Post,
then one of the most popular newspapers
in the United States.
"I think OK should be celebrated with
parades and speeches," Allan Metcalf, an
English professor in Illinois who is the
world's leading authority on the history
and meaning of OK, told AFP.
"But for now, whatever you do (to mark
the anniversary), it's OK."
In his 2010 book, OK: e Improbable
Story of America's Greatest Word,
Metcalf calls OK "the most frequently
spoken (or typed) word on the planet"
--- used more often than "Coke" or an
Concise and utilitarian, it's
quintessentially American in its
simplicity. Etymologically, it has no
direct relationship with Latin or Greek
or any other ancient tongue.
Oxford Dictionaries, on its website,
rejects speculation that OK is derived
from the Scottish expression "och aye,"
the Greek "ola kala" (it's good) or the
French "aux Cayes," which refers to a
Haitian port famous for its rum.
Rather, it favours a theory --- shared by
Metcalf --- that it's an abbreviation of
"orl korrekt," a derivative of "all correct"
from the 1830s when jokey misspellings
were all the rage, like internet memes are
Credit for nding its rst use in print
goes to Allen Walker Read, a Columbia
University professor, who died in 2002
after a lifetime interest in OK and
another widely used word with four
letters that starts with the letter F.
It appeared in the Post in the context
of an article concerning the ironically
named Anti-Bell Ringing Society,
founded in 1838 to oppose a municipal
law in Boston prohibiting the ringing of
But OK truly entered the national
lingua franca in 1840, when spin
doctors for Democratic presidential
nominee Martin Van Buren, a native of
Kinderhook, New York, insisted to voters
that it meant "Old Kinderhook."
Today, OK is used "to ask for or express
agreement, approval or understanding"
or to add emphasis to a sentence, as in
"I'm going to stay here, OK?" according
to its entry in the Merriam-Webster
I'm OK, You're OK, published in 1967,
remains one of the best-selling self-help
books of all time, while Rodgers and
Hammerstein declared Oklahoma in
song to be OK! in their eponymous 1943
ere's also the OK Corral in
Tombstone, Arizona --- but in this
instance, OK stands for Old Kindersley
and the infamous 1881 shootout that
supposedly took place there but actually
occurred down the street.
Internationally, OK has travelled
remarkably well on the wings of
American popular culture --- and found a
niche in the digital era, tting easily into
140-character Twitter and text messages.
Using Google Glass eyewear, in fact,
calls for a voice command that begins:
"OK, Google Glass."
"It's a nice, short abbreviation and it ts
abbreviations in other languages," said
Metcalf, the executive secretary of the
American Dialect Society who teaches at
"It's distinctive, yet easily pronounced
and very readily understood ... It uses the
vowel O, the vowel A and the consonant
K --- and those are found in almost all
languages of the world.
"So if you're speaking with somebody
who has a totally di erent language than
you, chances are you can get by with
gestures and OK in various tones of
voice." --- AFP
Music that crumbled the wall
Diana PlaterThilo Schmied is
his teenage years in the
shadow of the wall that
divided West Berlin and
his home in East Berlin.
Pop music was making life bearable for
him and his school friends, so he was beside
himself with excitement when in March,
1988 his favourite band, Depeche Mode,
was invited by the cultural minister to play
in East Berlin.
e Communist government was
attempting to appease its citizens by
holding concerts of everybody from Shakin'
Stevens to Bruce Springsteen, while the
Stasi fearfully watched on as young people
craned their necks to catch concerts on
the other side by Michael Jackson, David
Bowie and Pink Floyd.
"Music is not completely responsible for
the wall coming down," Schmied said. "But
it's connected politically."
We are in the vast, former ballroom,
which is still part of the Hansa Studios
in West Berlin. With 15m-high co ered
ceilings, wooden patterned oorboards,
heavy red curtains and chandeliers, Studio
2 or the "Great Hall by the Wall" started as
a chamber music hall in 1913, with many
uses over the years including as a venue for
Gestapo parties. Musicians speak of the
magic of its acoustics.
In November this year it will be 25 years
since the fall of the Berlin Wall (155km
of barbed wire and concrete watched
over by towers), and Berlin is celebrating
with special events and exhibitions that
recognise the division of the city, the Cold
War and the events leading up to peaceful
reuni cation in 1989-90.
e Kothener Strasse 38, in Kreuzberg,
known as the Meistersaal, just down the
road from the now reconstructed train
station of Potzdammer Platz, gives you a
feel for those times.
It's where many ground-breaking albums
were recorded, particularly in the mid 1970s
to early 90s, including four by Depeche
Schmied, a former sound engineer who
has exclusive access to the studios, has
brought us to Studio 2
via the foyer lled with
old photos of rock stars
and producers and up a
When the wall went
up only metres away
in 1961 the building
was relegated to the
fringes of no man's land,
surrounded by elds,
rubbish and gypsy
But in 1964 it was
bought by the German
record label Ariola and
then in 1976 by Meisel
Music Publishers, with
Hansa being one of
Not only were the
studios a lot cheaper
than ones like Abbey
Road in London, artists
loved the freedom of
Studio 2, with only
a remote television
camera linking them to
the control room down
Close your eyes and
you can start to imagine
its most famous artist,
David Bowie, in his
elegant style, singing
here during the three
years in the late 1970s
he spent in Berlin.
Inspired by German
art movement that
exploded there in the
early 20th century,
Isherwood and the
Weimar Republic as well as the theatre of
Bertolt Brecht, Bowie did some of his most
creative work here, recording the albums
known as the Berlin Trilogy --- Low and
Heroes, while Lodger was completed in
Montreux and New York. He also produced
e Idiot and Lust for Life for his friend
and sometime atmate, Iggy Pop (the
godfather of punk).
On his 66th birthday, January 8, 2013,
Bowie came out with his ode to Berlin,
Where Are We Now, the wistful single of
his rst album in 10 years, e Next Day.
We move to the studio's cafe or green
room which was once the control room,
where the Wall and watchtowers could
once be seen through the window, now
blocked by a brick wall of a neighbouring
Schmied tells a story about how one of
the sound engineers, Eduard Meyer, ashed
one of the lamps at the border guards, as if
to say "We're here."
"Iggy and David yelled, 'Stop, stop they
will shoot on us'," he says.
U2's Achtung Baby with the song they
composed here, One, was the last big
Studio 2 recording in 1991. In a salute
to Germany they gave it the facetious
title, possibly inspired by Mel Brooks' e
Producers. Renovated in the 1980s, Hansa
Studio has had a renaissance and is now an
active space with musicians from chamber
music groups to the bands, R.E.M, Killing
Joke, Snow Patrol and e Hives recording
here. --- AAP
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