Home' Greymouth Star : May 19th 2014 Contents 3
Keri Hulme comes
out of hibernation
$1 (Home Delivery 75c)
MONDAY, MAY 19, 2014
Est. 1866 Phone 769 7900
splattered with mud
Hokitika rugby win
The Kiwi rugby team’s celebratory
weekend from winning the New
Forrest Cup unbeaten, was soured
by the burglary of their Hokitika
clubrooms, at Cass Square. Police
said someone broke into the
pavilion on Friday night, setting
off a fire extinguisher and leaving
“quite a mess”. The following night
vandals smashed three windows at
the Hokitika i-Site in the Westland
District Council building, also in
Instead of jumping into a taxi, a
16-year-old Hokitika boy jumped
on it early yesterday morning. He
was caught and arrested by police,
and has been referred to the police
youth aid section.
Police are keen to catch up with
the occupants of a vehicle that was
seen doing burnouts in Runanga
last night. The four people riding
around in the black Nissan Skyline
in the McGowan-Mill streets area
about 8.30pm were described as
“skinheads”. “ We would like to find
them and give them a visit,” senior
constable Michael Tinnelly, of
Greymouth police, said.
Rain with northerly breezes
DOC funds cut
The biggest West Coast landowner
had its budget cut last week. Budget
2014 cuts the Department of
Conser vation’s spending on natural
heritage management by at least
$4.6 million from $164.9 million in
2013-14, to $160 million in 2014-15.
“There is no new funding to allow
DOC to control rats and stoats over
the 613,000ha it proposes as part of
its ‘Battle for Our Birds’ programme
to help vulnerable birds such as
mohua and kaka. They don’t stand a
chance without adequate funding,”
Green Party spokeswoman Eugenie
A family who moved to a
picturesque cottage halfway up a
Welsh mountain is having their
peace and quiet ruined — by Led
Zeppelin fans. Ecologist Scott Roe,
42, thought the tiny house would be
an escape from the hustle and bustle
of city life. But Led Zeppelin used
it as a country hideaway to write
Stairway To Heaven — and Scott ’s
family get besieged by hairy rock
fans on a pilgrimage. The family
are now hassled by rockers taking
a pilgrimage to the property and
asking if they can see inside.
— Daily Mail
Taxi receptionist ‘threatened with stabbing’
The Greymouth Taxi office shut up
shop early yesterday morning after a
drunken man allegedly threatened to
stab a staff member.
Taxis spokesman Ian O’Connor said
the Christchurch man turned up at
the Mackay Street office about 3am.
“ He became angry when a female
staff member refused to let him
through a door in the building — she
was alone in the office,” Mr O’Connor
He threatened the woman, saying he
would be “waiting around the corner”
to stab her.
Police were called and apprehended
the man, who told the arresting
officers he was agitated because of
the lack of taxis. He was charged with
Mr O’Connor said he did not
hesitate closing the office, saying
they would not tolerate drunks who
“This happens most weekends and
if it continues there is the possibility
that the taxi ser vice in Greymouth
“Some weekends we don’t have a lot
of cars on. Often that is because we
don’t bring many people into town —
then at 2 or 3 o’clock in the morning
they just turn up. We do our best.
“ We are left to clean up the rubbish
at the end of the night, after all the
idiots leave the hotels in town. One
Sunday morning I found a knife in
the back of my taxi. You just don’t
know what some of the passengers are
up to these days,” Mr O’Connor said.
Cat set alight, disfigured
A Cobden woman is distraught after
someone deliberately set fire to her cat
Marie Aitken’s three-year-old
Siamese-tabby had been missing for
a week when it returned home with
burns all over its body.
Mrs Aitken was so upset by the
cruelty she could not sleep.
“S he doesn’t look like a cat any more
.. . I’ve never seen such a thing in my
Mrs Aitken said the cat, named
Midnight, was “totally scorched” when
they found it — both ears had been
partly burned off, its nose burned and
whiskers singed off. Extensive patches
of its back were also burned.
“They’ve burned right into her ear.
We don’t know if she can hear or not,”
Midnight’s own kittens did not
recognise it and it now hid away.
“ We think she is in shock. She used
to love being outside.”
Mrs Aitken said the cat went missing
on Sunday, May 11, and did not return
until Saturday night. Previously, the
cat never wandered more than three or
four houses away and was not normally
away for more than a day.
“ We went looking for her but we
didn’t think she would go far. Normally
if we called her she would come.”
She suspected at the time the cat had
been taken, although Midnight did not
like strangers and would not have gone
“S he’s a fighter, it would have been
hard to get her in a cage.”
Mrs Aitken found it at 8.15pm on
Saturday when she went outside for a
“It was really bad when we first got
her ... We called the police right away
and they came down — the officer
couldn’t believe it.”
She believed the cat had to have been
“It rained heavily on Saturday night
and her body wasn’t wet and her paws
weren’t wet or muddy.
“I want to find out who would do
Someone else had found the remains
of a cat that had been burned on the
beach near Point Elizabeth.
It was not the first time that a pet of
theirs had been targeted.
“The cat ’s brother, we think was
poisoned and we had a dog we also
think was poisoned,” Mrs Aitken said.
Last year two cats were caught in gin
traps around the same area of Cobden.
The SPCA today arranged for the cat
to be taken to West Coast Vets for a
PICTURE: Nicholas McBride
John Bennett, with his sister’s cat Midnight, which someone stole and set alight last week.
Cassino vets reflect on 70th
The two sur viving West Coasters
from the Battle of Monte Cassino
were today reflecting in quiet
contemplation their part in the
famous battle, which ended 70 years
Les Gilmore, of Ross, and Jim
Leckie, of Greymouth, both in
their 90s, are all that remain of a
once strong West Coast contingent
at Cassino, a defining moment in
World War Two.
Thirty-eight of their comrades
from throughout New Zealand,
led by Defence Minister Jonathon
Coleman, are in Italy for the
commemorations and were
today gathering at the Cassino
Commonwealth War Graves
The 2nd New Zealand Division
suffered 1600 casualties during the
battles of Monte Cassino. A total of
2176 New Zealanders were killed,
and a further 6700 were wounded,
including Mr Gilmore who was
badly cut and bruised about the legs
“Had it got me anywhere else I
would have been in trouble but it
was only the leg so they patched
time,” Mr Gilmore said today.
The Ross veteran returned to Italy
a few years ago for a memorial
service at the battle site and would
have gone back this time had his
passport not lapsed.
Mr Leckie, now a resident of
Kowhai Manor, said he had never
returned post-war to Monte Cassino
and had no desire to.
Both men watched from different
standpoints as waves of American
planes bombed the historic
monastery atop the hill overlooking
Mr Leckie was clutching his rifle
while Mr Gilmore, as part of the
medical corps, had only a red cross
armband as his protection.
Mr Leckie also suffered leg wounds
but that was in North Africa prior
to the Italian campaign, the doctors
patching him up and sending him
back to the frontline just in time for
the Battle of Cassino.
There, he was buried in a trench
as one of the thousands of German
shells that rained down on the Allied
troops landed close by. Fortunately,
he was able to dig himself out,
shaken but unharmed.
Both men today remembered the
battle as “hell”.
Mr Gilmore bemoaned the great
loss of life and the sacking of a
beautiful city in the name of war.
Meanwhile, at the
commemorations, Dr Coleman
said that it was important that the
history and the sacrifices made by
the New Zealanders who fought in
World War Two for the peace and
freedom was not forgotten.
“ Today, we pay tribute to the brave
and determination soldiers who
ser ved in Italy. New Zealanders as
well as British, Indian, Polish,
French, American and German
troops fought in tough, unrelenting
conditions,” he said.
A Christchurch truck driver
with 20 years’ experience says it is
vital that drivers have knowledge
of the road and the right skills to
successfully navigate Arthur’s Pass.
A coroner’s inquest into the
death of truck driver Piki Lewis
Jones began in Christchurch this
morning. The 34-year-old was killed
when his truck plunged off the Otira
Viaduct on State highway 73 in June
2011. Guy Hahn told the court the
descent heading into the viaduct
was an extremely dangerous piece of
road for an inexperienced driver. He
said hitting that section too fast, in
the wrong gear, or failure to properly
use the retarders or secondary brake
system could easily be fatal. Police
blamed the poor condition of the
truck. — APNZ-Newstalk ZB
Viaduct danger detailed to coroner
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