Home' Greymouth Star : March 26th 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Wednesday, March 26, 2014
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uLetters to the editor
1827 - Death of German composer Ludwig
1892 - Death of US poet Walt Whitman at
1902 - Death of Cecil Rhodes, British-born
statesman and nancier.
1945 - Death of David Lloyd
George, prime minister and British
1973 - Death of British actor-
playwright Sir Noel Coward.
1979 - Camp David treaty is signed
by Israeli Prime Minister Menachem
Begin and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat.
1983 - Death of Anthony Blunt, a Russian
agent and the "fourth man" who engineered the
escape of the spies Burgess and Maclean.
1990 - Police re on demonstrators in
Sebokeng, South Africa, killing 11 people and
1992 - Britain's Prince Andrew and his wife,
the former Sarah Ferguson, separate; Former
world heavyweight boxing champion Mike
Tyson sentenced to six years in prison for rape.
1997 - e bodies of 39 members of the
Heaven's Gate techno-religious cult are found in
a mansion at Rancho Santa Fe, California.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Robert Frost, US poet (1874-1963); Syngman
Rhee, South Korea's founding president (1875-
1965); Chips Ra erty, Australian
actor (1909-1971); Leonard Nimoy,
US actor (1931-); Alan Arkin, US
actor (1934-); James Caan, US actor
(1940-); Diana Ross, US singer
(1944-); Steven Tyler, US singer
of Aerosmith fame (1948-); Jon
English, English-born Australian
singer and actor, (1949-); Martin Short, US
actor-comedian (1950-); Jennifer Grey, US
actress (1960-); Keira Knightley, English
"When elephants ght it is the grass that
su ers." --- Kikuyu proverb.
"I am writing to you, little children, because
your sins are forgiven on account of His name."
--- (1 John 2.12).
In October a West
Coast scholar will
take up a position
as Professor of
Chemistry at Exeter University, England. He is
Mr Max McGlashan, son of Mr and Mrs
L D McGlashan of Greymouth. Mr
McGlashan is at present a reader in chemistry
at Reading University, which is 40 miles west
Born in Greymouth 39 years ago, Mr
McGlashan received his initial education at
the Grey Main primary school and later at the
Greymouth Technical High School. From high
school he graduated to Canterbury University
where he obtained a master of science degree
with rst class honours. Mr McGlashan was
then granted the Sim's Empire Scholarship
which provided for study at Reading
Last night's wild windy storm knocked out
three railway routes on the West Coast. On the
Midland Line to Canterbury, communications
and signalling on both sides of the alps were
disrupted, causing delays to early morning train
A slip in the Buller Gorge blocked the
track to Westport, and another extensive slip
over the incline section running to Rewanui
prevented work at the Liverpool State mine
today. Big trees were tossed on the track and a
ganger requested a powersaw to cut these and
an engine to haul the trunks o the line.
Kokiri, due to sail last night with coal for
Wellington, is barbound and will now sail
when conditions moderate. Towai anchored in
the roadstead at 9 o'clock last night and will
berth when bar conditions improve.
Tomorrow's forecast: winds light to moderate,
showers clearing; weather becoming ne.
uToday s birthdays
uFood for thought
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3 Werita Street, PO Box 3, Greymouth
03 769 7900 (o ce)
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Sports Editor Tui Bromley
Chief Reporter Laura Mills
03 769 7913
03 755 8422
Vratislavice (Czech Republic)
e name Porsche has long made sports
car enthusiasts swoon but the Nazi past
of the famous brand's founder has left his
Czech hometown sorely divided over his
In 2010, Vratislavice opened an ultra-
modern, million-dollar memorial to
Ferdinand Porsche, who invented the
Volkswagen Beetle --- among the world's
top selling cars --- and in 1898, the rst
e German-headquartered Porsche AG
loaned cars to the facility, right next to
town hall, to help show o their founder's
Town o cials, meanwhile, put up signs
reading "welcome to Vratislavice, the
birthplace of Ferdinand Porsche".
Not all in this modest locality of nearly
8000 residents north-east of the capital
Prague felt comfortable trumpeting their
native son, however.
Last year, a new team voted into city hall
could no longer ignore growing protests
that Vratislavice --- in an area annexed by
Nazi Germany in the late 1930s --- was
"memorialising" a man who had worked
for Adolf Hitler.
Anti-Nazi war veterans and the Jewish
community objected to the fact the
facility never mentioned Porsche's Nazi
connections, Mayor Ales Preisler told
ey condemned Porsche for joining
the Nazi SS paramilitary group before
the war, and deplored that prisoners
of war were used as slave labour at the
Volkswagen car plant in Wolfsburg,
Germany when Porsche was general
To calm matters, the town hall late last
year renamed the memorial an "exhibition"
and added a text saying Porsche had been
Porsche AG, meanwhile, took back
its cars but would not talk about the
controversy, saying it was a "local
"All vehicles in our collection are
rotated on a regular basis," was the
only explanation given by Porsche AG
spokesman Dieter Landenberger who
declined further comment.
e facility has been empty ever since.
About the same time, the town
hall removed the signs proclaiming
Vratislavice was Porsche's birthplace.
" ese things should not be nanced
using municipal cash," Mayor Preisler
told AFP, adding Porsche "was a Nazi all
Porsche was born in 1875 into
the predominantly ethnic German
community in Vratislavice, when it was
known as Ma ersdorf and part of the
Habsburg's Austro-Hungarian empire.
He left at age 18, moving rst to Vienna
then later to Germany.
His talent in designing cutting-edge
engines and cars saw him climb company
ranks at renowned auto-makers including
Austro-Daimler and Mercedes.
When Hitler took power in Germany
in 1933, he was quick to ask Porsche to
design a "people's car", the predecessor of
the VW Beetle.
"Porsche was an active Nazi who was
on very good terms with Hitler and used
this relationship to push his projects,"
said Jan Vajskebr, a historian at the Czech
Terezin Memorial located in a World
War Two ghetto and prison. e Nazis set
up the site, often known by its German
name eresienstadt, from where tens of
thousands of Jews were sent to Auschwitz.
gave up his
citizenship in 1935,
four years before
his country was
occupied by Nazi
spent 22 months
in prison after the
war and died in
1951, leaving the
business to his son
Ferry who in turn
gained fame with
models like the
iconic Porsche 911.
Four years after
Beetle rolled o
the production line.
In all, about 23
million Bugs have
been built, making
the model one of the best-selling cars of
Back "home", the car-maker's
achievements do not always outweigh
his past. Petr Jirasko is among those
demanding the exhibition disclose all
about Porsche's collaboration with Hitler.
"He was a Nazi. History books don't lie,"
But pulling a cart past the local cemetery
where Porsche's parents are buried,
pensioner Miloslav Spidlen disagreed.
"Porsche was a man who achieved
something that every driver can
appreciate. I value such people no matter
what they're like," he said.
Despite the controversy, car collector
Milan Bumba is setting up his own
private Porsche museum at a local
brewery, where he already has three
Porsches, a 1956 Beetle and a Porsche
"Porsche had no choice," said the
54-year-old bus driver.
"Hitler chose him and if Porsche had
refused, he would have ended up in a
concentration camp and never achieved
Bumba believes Porsche "was only
interested in designing cars and I think
he didn't see what was happening around
him," he said.
Using his own cash --- and some of his
wife's --- for his museum, Bumba has
already welcomed VW and Porsche fans
from Europe, America and as far a eld as
New Zealand and Australia who came to
see the engineer's birthplace. --- AFP
Nazi leader Adolf Hitler inspects the new, Volkswagen 'people's car' at the Fallersleben car factory.
Nazi past overshadows genius of Porsche
As the battle over Scottish
independence heats up,
residents of three groups
of remote Scottish islands,
some of which straddle
oil and gas elds north-
east of Britain, are calling for their own
breakaway votes and greater autonomy.
Islanders from Shetland, Orkney and
the Western Isles have lodged a petition
with the Scottish parliament asking for
a vote on September 25, a week after a
referendum on whether Scotland should
end its ties with the United Kingdom
after 307 years.
Local councils in the three island
groups have also launched a campaign
called "Our Islands, Our Future" to seek
more powers after the September 18 vote,
whatever the result, which could include
control of the sea bed around the islands.
e moves follow debate over the
powers that Shetland and Orkney would
have if Scotland became independent,
with local o cials saying that around
67% of North Sea reserves lie within
their coastal waters.
Nationalists argue Scotland can be a
prosperous nation with oil money to
o set its relatively higher State spending
and forecasts of oil and gas revenue of
between $51 billion and $98 billion
between 2012-13 to 2017-18.
But islanders, wary of governments in
both London and Edinburgh that they
accuse of ignoring their needs, are keen
to control their own resources.
Tavish Scott, the Shetland's
representative in the devolved Scottish
parliament, said Scotland does not have
an economy without oil and gas, giving
Shetland some leverage.
"We want to make sure that out of
this big constitutional debate, we decide
what we want for our future, because
Edinburgh doesn't tend to pay much
attention to the islands," Scott told
reporters this week.
e islands' call for more power comes as
the campaigns over Scottish independence
gather pace, with separatists still trailing in
opinion polls but gaining ground.
An ICM poll published yesterday was
the second survey in a week to show the
pro-independence movement catching
up, with 39% of 1010 people questioned
in favour of independence, up two
percentage points from a month ago,
while the No vote dropped to 46% from
49%. e undecided voters were 15%,
down one point.
e petition calls for three separate
referendums for people of each island
group to let them vote on whether they
should become independent, stay in
Scotland, or, in the event of a Yes vote
in September, stick with the United
e petitioners said the three island
groups were culturally very di erent but
shared some common history.
Orkney and Shetland, with populations
of about 21,000 and 23,000 respectively,
were under Norwegian rule from the
ninth century until 1472.
e Western Isles, also known as the
Outer Hebrides that lie o western
Scotland, are home to about 27,000
people with the picturesque island chain
a popular tourist destination.
A spokeswoman for the Scottish
parliament said more than 620 people
had signed the petition since it opened
for signatures on March 20. It closes on
April 28 when a parliamentary petitions
committee will decide how to proceed
with the request.
" is is a quite a large number in a few
days so it is clearly generating a lot of
interest," said the spokeswoman, adding
that there was no particular number of
signatures needed to ensure the petition
went before the committee.
But whether the petition leads to
an independence vote or not, island
authorities, who currently have some
powers such as collecting property tax
and education, see political change in
Scotland as a time to make sure their
needs are considered.
" is is a once in a lifetime moment
to do something really special for island
communities like ours," Orkney Islands
Council Convener Steven Heddle said in
a statement. --- Reuters
Shetland's capital Ler wick.
Islands seek independence
Mail ser vices
Rumour has it that our mail is now
sorted in Dunedin. Could NZ Post please
con rm or deny this?
Recently, a letter posted to me from
Northland took ve days to arrive. Also I
see in the Greymouth Star that NZ Post is
putting up its prices. It seems to me we are
paying more for an inferior service.
NZ Post con rms that the mail sorting
arrangement has not changed.
I think Trevor Molloy is right re the
dragline dredging of the inner and outer
harbours (Greymouth Star, March 19).
In days past when there were harbour
board workshops full of very practical
men, such a solution would have been
carried out without any publicity. I do not
want to see the lagoon reclaimed but it
does need the outlet lowered by 1.5m.
Some bright spark who knows the cost of
everything and the value of nothing may
claim the 'cost is too great'. To the best of
my knowledge, the harbour has never paid
for itself and for that matter neither has
the railway line to Christchurch, but both
have returned literally billions to the Coast
and New Zealand economy, as well as tens
of thousands of jobs.
Former Problem Gambling Foundation
chief executive John Stans eld, a former
Green Party candidate, wilfully spits
hubristic venom at the Salvation Army
Oasis Gambling service in his comment
that, 'Some people don't want a counsellor
with a tambourine on the wall'.
I am a counsellor and super visor who
used to provide contract services to
the Salvation Army. I never once saw
any musical instrument hanging from
any wall. What I did see was a team of
dedicated, hard working and genuinely
compassionate people working for a
call and cause that went way beyond
a contract. I am also a social service
e Problem Gambling Foundation
claim they have helped over 25,000 people
over 20 years with a sta of 63. is
means that each sta member deals with
approximately 20 people per year, which
on average, is less than one person per
fortnight. is equates to a total of 1250
people with gambling problems --- not a
high client population.
Five million dollars in funding a year
that the Problem Gambling Foundation
was receiving equates to a cost of
approximately $4000 per person helped ---
which as an outcomes researcher, I would
regard as grossly ine cient.
So, essentially all the Salvation Army
had to do was submit a contract proposal
that illustrated better e ciency for money
Based on the above gures, I am picking
that this exercise was not a particularly
di cult one to achieve, and I congratulate
the Salvation Army on their successful
Your article 'Shipwreck's secrets
(Greymouth Star, March 20) refers.
In my library I have a book dated 1936,
Shipwrecks, New Zealand Disasters
1795 to 1936, by Chas W N Ingram
and P Owen Wheatley, published by
Dunedin Book Publishing Association,
Edinburgh House Bond Street, Dunedin.
In grateful recognition of his interest
in the publication of this work and his
willingness to assist at all times, this book
is dedicated to James Oswald Harwood of
the Marine Department, Wellington.
It states, about the end of March 1863,
the schooner Gipsy went ashore between
the mouth of the Buller and e Steeples
while endeavouring to enter the Buller
River. Two lives were lost as the result of
the capsizing of a canoe engaged in the
rescuing of the crew. Two months later it
was reported the Gipsy was still stranded,
and it is presumed she became a total
Reunion, Te Kowhai
Te Kowhai Primary School and district
will hold its 125th reunion in Te Kowhai,
Hamilton, on March 6-8, 2015.
All past pupils, current and past
Te Kowhai district residents are
welcome. To register your interest please
e-mailTeKReunion@gmail.com or phone
Te Kowhai School (07) 8297860 or
Facebook us on https://www.facebook.
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