Home' Greymouth Star : June 10th 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Tuesday, June 10, 2014
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uLetters to the editor
1906 - Death of Richard John Seddon, prime
minister of New Zealand (1893-1906).
1909 - SOS distress signal is used for the first
time by the Cunard liner SS Slavonia, wrecked
off the Azores.
1942 - German Gestapo kills male residents
of Lidice, Czechoslovakia, in retaliation for
assassination of a German official.
1943 - Hungarian journalist Laszlo Biro
patents his ball-point pen.
1944 - Nazi troops massacre nearly all the
residents of Oradour-sur-Glane, France, in a
1946 - Death of American boxer
Jack Johnson, the first black to hold
the world heavyweight title.
1960 - Fokker Friendship crashes
at Mackay, north Queensland,
1967 - Death of Spencer Tracy,.
1977 - James Earl Ray, the convicted assassin
of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr,
escapes from prison in Tennessee with six
others. He is recaptured three days later.
2002 - US Mafia boss John Gotti dies.
2004 - Ray Charles dies aged 73.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Nikolaus August Otto, German developer
of internal combustion engine (1832-1891);
Henry Stanley, English explorer (1840-1904);
Britain’s Prince Philip (1921-); Judy Garland,
US singer-actor (1922-1969);
Maurice Sendak, author of Where
The Wild Things Are (1928-2012);
Tony Mundine, Australian boxer
(1951-); Jeanne Tripplehorn, US
actor (1963-); Elizabeth Hurley,
British actress (1965-); Faith Evans,
US singer (1973-); Tara Lipinski,
US Olympic champion ice skater (1982-); Kate
Upton, US model and actress (1992-) .
“ History is worth reading when it tells us
truly what the attitude toward life was in the
past. ” — Dorothy Canfield Fisher, American
“ But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom
the Father will send in My name, will teach
you everything, and remind you of all that I
have said to you.” — ( John 14.26).
On June 4, 1939,
laid the foundation
stone of St Andrews Church, Blaketown. Last
Thursday and Sunday celebrations were held
to mark the silver jubilee of the occasion. On
Thursday evening many people packed into
the church to hear a commemorative ser vice
conducted by the vicar of Greymouth Rev K G
Aubrey. There was also a large attendance at a
thanksgiving ser vice in the church on Sunday
This was followed by a social hour in the
Blaketown hall where a special jubilee cake
was cut by Mrs E M Spender, Sunday school
superintendent who held that position when
the foundation stone was laid, and Mrs C
Collins, president of the St Andrews Ladies
Guild. Speakers included vestryman and
treasurer, Mr L C Lindley, Mrs Collins and
A West Coaster this year became the first
person in New Zealand to pass a university
master’s degree in soil conser vation. That
man is 24-year-old Allan G Gillingham, now
appointed as the Department of Agriculture’s
soil conser vator for South Canterbury.
Hari Hari born and raised, Mr Gillingham
received his early education at the Hari
Hari School and subsequently attended the
Greymouth High School. He later went to
Lincoln College to study for six years, gaining
his agricultural science degree two years ago
and his master’s this year.
He is the son of Mr and Mrs G Gillingham,
Hari Hari. His father is a farmer and a former
well-known West Coast boxing identity. He
is also the grandson of Mrs G Durry, Smith
uFood for thought
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Li Hui and Ben Blanchard
hina is waking up to a
mismatch in its labour
A record 7.27 million
graduates — equivalent
to the entire population of Hong Kong
— will enter the job market this year;
a market that has a shortage of skilled
Yet many of these university and college
students are ill-equipped to fill those jobs,
prompting the government to look at
how it can overhaul the higher education
system to bridge the gap. The problem is
part structural, part attitude.
While most liberal arts students are
still looking for work after graduating
this summer, 22-year-old Li Xidong is
preparing to start a job as an electrician
that he landed well before finishing three
years of training at a small vocational
Li’s diploma may appear less impressive,
but his coveted job in a tight labour
market may hold the key to the
employment conundrum in the world’s
second largest economy. The machinery
sector alone projects a gap of 600,000
computer-automated machine tool
operators this year, media have reported.
“ We’re trained as skilled workers, it’s
quite easy for us to find jobs while still
in school,” said Li, who is in the final
stretch of a three-year programme at
Hebei Energy College of Vocation and
Technology in Tangshan, an industrial city
180kms east of Beijing.
“Seventy percent of our class found work
and some others are starting their own
businesses,” Li noted, as he waited for a
friend at a recruitment fair in the capital,
where fewer than a third of this year’s
university graduates had found work by
The government has said it plans to
refocus more than 600 local academic
colleges on vocational and technical
education — replacing literature, history
and philosophy with technology skills
such as how to maintain lathes and build
ventilation systems. Course curricula will
be tailored to meet employers’ specific
Pilot programmes will be launched this
year, and 150 local universities have signed
up for the education ministry’s plan, the
official Xinhua news agency has reported.
After 13 years of aggressive policy to
expand academic colleges, China had
almost seven times as many freshmen
last year than in 1998. That rapid growth
compromised educational quality,
especially in local colleges established after
1999, experts say.
“Understanding of oneself and the job
market, and training and education to face
the job market, these are all missing in our
ivory-tower style education,” said Chen
Yu, director of the China Institute for
Occupation Research at Peking University.
Part of the problem lies with the
students, too, who harbour unrealistic
expectations, especially as China’s
economic growth loses momentum.
Chinese graduates are less willing than
their Western peers to take blue-collar
jobs, work in smaller companies or start
their own businesses, hoping to land
steady jobs instead in the government or
high-paying white-collar work, Chen said.
“College students should know they are
not God’s gift and it ’s difficult to find jobs,
so they can adjust their attitude and don’t
necessarily have to join the civil ser vice or
big state-owned firms,” he added.
For instance, China’s call-centre sector
needs 20 million workers to cater to its
vast consumer population, but currently
employs just 2 million due to a dearth of
trained workers, says Yako Yan, chairman
of the China Call Center and Business
Process Outsourcing Association. “Call
centres are technical labour ... graduates
often don’t have the technical ability.
Some think it’s relatively low-end and
disapprove of it,” says Yan.
That attitude and the harsher reality of
China’s jobs market today has left many
graduates feeling helpless. In a changing
market, many graduates with big dreams
and high scores find they have few
“ What we studied has no use in finding
jobs,” said Xu Ke, 23, who was at the same
Beijing job fair and is soon to finish her
course majoring in general marketing
planning at an agricultural institute in
eastern Jiangsu province. “In college, we
thought companies would be queuing up
The government plans to reform the
national college entrance exam system
by setting up a technical training exam
separate to the academic exam, Education
Vice Minister Lu Xin was reported by
Xinhua as saying. The ministry would also
turn more than 600 local universities into
higher-education vocational colleges, Lu
said. China has 879 public universities and
colleges, according to a 2013 ministry list.
“ Vocational education has a bearing on
China’s economic transformation and
upgrading ... and on the employment
of hundreds of millions in the labour
force,” Yu Zhengsheng, the fourth-ranked
member in the elite Politburo Standing
Committee of the Communist Party, told
a meeting of the national political advisory
body earlier this month.
The ministry declined to comment for
In recent years, graduates from higher
vocational schools, which rank below
universities in the Chinese system, have
consistently done better in finding jobs
than standard college graduates, Lu told
the People’s Daily, the official newspaper
of the ruling Communist Party, in a
separate inter view.
Apart from the economic concern, the
government is keen to move graduates
into suitable jobs to prevent any
formation of a restive young population
— which played a major role in the 1989
pro-democracy movement. For years,
Beijing has encouraged students to accept
more lowly positions, such as village
officials, especially in the less developed
western regions, and to start their own
About 80% of higher vocational school
graduates last year found jobs, while only
around two-thirds of college graduates
secured work, according to a report from
the 21st Century Education Research
Institute. Vocational college graduates
also had a higher average starting salary
— at 3291 yuan ($530) a month versus an
average 3157 yuan among students from
China’s top-100 universities.
“ We don’t necessarily need to sit in an
office after graduating. I can start in the
factories and work my way up, step by
step,” said Li, who hopes to pick up the
practical skills that will allow him to move
on to more advanced electrical work.
China’s labour mismatch
A job seeker looks at recruitment advertisements at a labour market in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, China.
Like many eight-year-old girls, she eats
in the school canteen and goes to ballet
class. Her friends know her as Leonor but
soon they will have to call her “Highness”.
Her childhood will not be the same
now that her grandfather Juan Carlos is
stepping down as king of Spain.
Once her father Felipe is crowned king,
she will no longer be Infanta, but Princess
— a nd one day Queen. She will be the
youngest direct royal heir in Europe.
She will step out for the cameras to
zoom in on her blue eyes, blonde hair and
toothy smile. Royal-watchers say those
may be just the charms the Spanish royal
family needs to save its image.
“Until now, her parents have deliberately
protected her so that she is not in the
papers all the time. Those days are
over,” said the prince’s biographer, Jose
“They will still try to minimise the
impact on her personal life, but soon she is
going to be the heir to the throne. It will
change her life,” he added.
“I feel a bit sorry for her because the
change is going to take away some of her
Prince Felipe and his wife Letizia were
already darlings of the celebrity press
when Leonor was born on October 31,
Letizia, an ex-newsreader, has made
countless front pages.
The births of Leonor and her sister
Sofia, who is now seven, turned them
into possibly the cutest royal family in the
world: a tall prince, glamorous mother and
two little girls with long blonde hair.
The couple have kept their daughters
largely out of view so their childhoods can
be as normal as possible.
The few glimpses of the girls allowed by
the palace have shown them smiling as
they hold hands with their mother and
father or their grandmother, Q ueen Sofia.
“ Leonor is a very intelligent child, very
active but calm. She faces the cameras
with great serenity,” said Apezarena.
“S he is very caring towards her sister.
She makes sure to give her advice and
help,” he said.
“S he does the same things as her
classmates, eats in school, goes to ballet
class, and studies English.”
She is said to speak good English,
learned from her grandmother and a
British nanny as well at Holy Mary of the
Rose Bushes, her expensive private school
in western Madrid.
History is changing the childhood
routines of Leonor de Borbon y Ortiz,
Just weeks before the king announced his
abdication, Leonor made her first official
In a white cardigan and green shorts, she
stood beside her father in his blue air force
uniform to watch a ceremonial fly-past on
Royal-watchers say the timing was not
random. Juan Carlos, 76, had already
decided to step aside and the outing was
the start of Leonor’s new higher-profile
role as future heir to the throne.
When Felipe is crowned, Letizia will
become queen and Leonor will take the
title Princess of Asturias.
She is expected to follow the same
preparation for the crown as her father
did, with military training when she is
older. At 18, she must swear loyalty to the
king and the constitution.
“They have been explaining to her for
some time who she is, who her parents
and grandparents are, and what their role
is in the country,” said Apezarena, who has
written several books about the prince’s
“S he has been listening to that, but she is
still very young.” — AFP
Childhood changes for eight-year-old princess
Would more residents of New Orleans
have been evacuated ahead of Hurricane
Katrina in 2005 if it had been named
A study published recently suggests
they would have, perhaps reducing
Katrina’s death toll of more than 1800.
Because people unconsciously think
a storm with a female name is less
dangerous than one with a masculine
name, those in its path are less likely to
flee, and are therefore more vulnerable to
As a result, strong Atlantic hurricanes
with the most feminine names caused an
estimated five times more deaths than
those with the most masculine names,
researchers at the University of Illinois at
Urbana-Champaign wrote in Proceedings
of the National Academy of Sciences.
That result held up even after the
researchers accounted for storm strength.
Hurricane names currently alternate
between male and female. Among those
the World Meteorological Organisation
has chosen for 2014: Dolly, Josephine,
When the National Hurricane Centre
began giving storms human names in
1953 with Alice, it used only women’s.
The first “male” Atlantic hurricane was
Bob, in 1979.
The attempt at gender equality may
Based on the analysis of Atlantic
hurricanes from 1950 to 2012, when
94 made landfall, the researchers
found that names of less severe storms
did not matter. Whether people took
precautions or not, the death toll was
minimal and no different for male and
But for strong hurricanes, the more
feminine the name — as ranked by
volunteers on an 11-point scale — the
more people it killed.
Behavioural scientist Hazel Markus
of Stanford University, who was not
involved in the study, called it “very
significant ” and “proof positive” that
gender stereotypes affect behaviour even
when the male or female is not a living
The study did not prove why severe
hurricanes with female names were
deadlier, but hints emerged in lab
In one, the Illinois team gave 346
volunteers no information about a storm
except its name, and asked them to
predict its intensity. “Omar,” “Marco” and
the like were judged more severe than
“Fay,” “Laura,” and their sisters. In four
additional experiments, volunteers shown
a storm’s projected path were up to 34%
more likely to say they would evacuate
ahead of male names than female ones
on the same path. Reaction to gender-
neutral names like Sandy fell in the
When judging a storm’s threat, people
“appear to be applying their beliefs about
how men and women behave,” said
co-author Sharon Shavitt, a professor
of marketing at Illinois. “ This makes a
female-named hurricane, especially one
with a very feminine name such as Belle
or Cindy, seem gentler and less violent.”
A spokesman for the National
Hurricane Centre declined to say
whether scientists there find this analysis
credible. But “whether the name is Sam
or Samantha,” Dennis Feltgen said,
people must heed evacuation orders.
What is in a hurricane’s name
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