Home' Greymouth Star : July 1st 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Tuesday, July 1, 2014
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uLetters to the editor
1847 - The US Post Office issues the first
1867 - The provinces of Nova Scotia, New
Brunswick, Q uebec and Ontario officially
become the Dominion of Canada.
1910 - South Africa becomes a dominion of
1916 - The British army attacks German lines
at the start the First Battle of the
Somme during World War One,
sustaining their heaviest casualties
ever in one day: 20,000 dead.
1974 - President Juan Peron of
Argentina dies during third term in
1985 - Three explosions rock Rome,
Madrid and Athens killing one and injuring 39.
1999 - Q ueen Elizabeth II opens Scotland’s
first Parliament in nearly 300 years.
2001 - Twenty-seven slashed bodies are found
in Aceh, Indonesia, where more than 870 people
have been killed in a separatist war.
2002 - A Boeing 757 cargo jet crashes mid-air
into a Russian passenger airliner over southern
Germany, killing 71.
2004 - Saddam Hussein appears in Iraqi court
for the first time.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Charles Laughton, British-born actor (1899-
1965); James Cagney, US actor (1904-1986);
Olivia de Havilland, British actress (1916-
); Sydney Pollack, American film director
(1934-2008); Lady Diana Spencer,
Princess of Wales (1961-1997);
Sir Seretse Khama, first president
of Botswana (1921-1980); Twyla
Tharp, US dancer/choreographer
(1941-); Deborah Harry, US singer
(1945-); Liv Tyler, US actress
(1977-); Carl Lewis, US Olympic
athlete (1961-); Pamela Anderson, US actress
(1967-); Liv Tyler, American actress (1977-).
“The past is a foreign country; they do things
differently there. ”
— L P Hartley, British author.
“ Now faith is the substance of things hoped
for, the evidence of things not seen.”
— (Hebrews 11:1).
Mrs S Apanui’s fine
contralto voice did
not quaver. She was
before the microphone
with the Salvation Army Songsters on Sunday
afternoon. She was the only one in the studio
who did not know the Cobden Fire Brigade
was fighting a fire at her home.
The fire gutted a shed on her property 10 feet
from her brick house at 49 Fitzgerald Street.
But Mrs Apanui sang on regardless for the
Songsters and radio station staff conspired to
keep the knowledge of the outbreak from her
in case it brought on “mike fright”.
No damage was done to the house and
firemen soon had the fire under control. Mrs
Apanui said this morning that she was “pretty
certain” children had started the fire which
burned tools and clothing.
The telephone was “ hot ” over the weekend
at the home of Mrs M F Gray, Hokitika
— m other-in-law to Maori All Black Tom
Rogers — as congratulations poured in from
all quarters on the Kiwi and West Coast Rugby
lock’s selection in the New Zealand Maori
team to tour Fiji next month.
Rogers’ selection as well as being a great
personal achievement has honoured West
Coast rugby for he is only the second man in
the province’s history to gain such a coveted
Now 27 years of age, Rogers appears to be at
the peak of his career. The quiet off-the-field
disposition of this popular sporting figure is in
contrast to the fiery 15st 4lb, 6ft 2in giant who
takes the field of play.
On Wednesday, Hokitika public accountant
Mr Philip C Blank will become the first West
Coaster to head Rotarians in the South Island.
uFood for thought
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03 769 7900 (office)
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In years gone by, Dunedin schools were
prominent in the community not only for
their output of high achieving pupils, but
for the clouds of blue smoke that billowed
across the city from their coal boilers.
Since the cleaner-burning wood pellet
boiler technology was introduced to many
Dunedin schools in 2008, the air around
the city has been considerably cleaner.
But, as with most things in life, there has
been a cost.
Otago Boys’ High School rector Clive
Rennie said his school was one of the first
to convert to a wood pellet-burning boiler
about five years ago.
It was a decision the school had regretted.
He said the school’s old coal-fired boiler
was not expected to meet new Otago
Regional Council air quality resource
consent requirements, so the school spent
about $30,000 in 2008 to have its boiler
converted to burn wood pellets.
“The outcome has been that in 2008, our
coal bill was $32,000. Last year, our wood
pellet bill was $114,000.
“If we’d actually not been able to recoup
that from the Ministry of Education, we
wouldn’t have gone there.’’
Mr Rennie said there was a difference in
the heat from coal-fired boilers compared
with wood pellet boilers.
A coal-fired boiler took a while to warm
up, but it had a lot of residual heat at the
end of the day, he said, whereas the heat
from pellet boilers ‘’died’’ as soon as they
were turned off.
“If we had purpose-built school boilers
for pellets, I think we would feel that we
had more control over what happens.
‘’We’re now stuck with a system that is
not totally fit for purpose.’’
If the school could make the decision
again, it would stick with the coal boiler,
“ Wood is cleaner to burn, there’s no
doubt about that, but if your (coal) boiler
is in good condition, and fine-tuned, it
doesn’t put out much smoke, and I don’t
think we would have breached the rules for
For Logan Park High School deputy
principal Peter Hills, there was no question
the new technology was worth every cent.
Like many other schools around
Dunedin, Logan Park decided to convert
to wood pellets because its two 1MW
coal boilers would no longer gain resource
consent from the ORC.
“Half of Dunedin knows you could see
Logan Park in the morning, chucking blue
smoke down the valley towards town, and
now people go past and you can’t tell if
anything is coming out of our chimney.
“It ’s a good outcome in terms of the
The cost of a new boiler at the time was
about $500,000, whereas a conversion of
the boiler to wood pellets was only about
$100,000 over three or four years, and
the Energy Efficiency and Conser vation
Authority (EECA) funded half of the cost.
“So it was quite an attractive proposition
to shift,’’ Mr Hills said.
“The cost was a huge motivator to
change, but also Logan Park High School
is green and environmentally friendly —
coal was just not the right look for us.’’
The school paid $120,000 for pellets in
2011, but the cost had decreased to about
$93,000 last year because the wood pellet
market had become more competitive
and lower prices could be negotiated, he
said. The school had also found ways to
maximise its boiler’s efficiency.
Kaikorai Valley College executive officer
Brian Lee said the school was about to
replace its 40-year-old coal boiler, but it
had no plans to change to wood pellets.
The school had investigated a change
to wood pellets, but based on anecdotal
evidence from other schools that had
already made the change, Mr Lee
estimated it would cost about three times
more to run than the coal boiler.
The school spent about $30,000 a year
on coal for its boiler, and for that reason, it
had opted to stay with the status quo, he
“ We spent a considerable amount of
money last year installing a sophisticated
filtration system in our boiler house, which
filters out all the particles and soot, and
what that means is that we have a resource
consent from the ORC to continue to burn
coal for another 35 years.
“That extended the life of the boiler. If
we couldn’t get that, the other option was
wood pellet, wood chips or lpg.
“Just the capital cost of converting to one
of those was quite horrendous — and then
the expendables costs on top of that was
The largest distributer of wood pellets
for commercial boilers in Dunedin is
A J Allen.
Manager Kevin Sullivan confirmed the
cost of wood pellets had not decreased over
the past five years, and was not expected to
drop in the future.
Rather, he believed consumers had
become more efficient in their usage and
better at negotiating cheaper prices for
buying in bulk.
He could not divulge the cost per tonne
because it was commercially sensitive.
“It’s a green trend. Wood is taking over
from coal. The price hasn’t really come into
it.’’ — Otago Daily Times
Schools counting the cost of wood pellets
The new wood pellet boilers heating many Dunedin schools are costing more than three times as much
to run as their older coal-fired equivalents, which has left one school principal regretting the decision
to move to wood pellets. Otago Daily Times reporter JOHN LEWIS talks to several Dunedin schools
about why they have, or have not, converted to the new technology.
PICTURE: Otago Daily Times
Logan Park High School property site manager Dave Penny with wood pellets for the schools boiler.
e was a national
treasure in the
and Australia, loved
and adored by
children and adults
alike, and even invited to paint the
But Rolf Harris will now be
remembered for a stunning fall from
grace that has resulted in the 84-year-
old being convicted of indecently
assaulting four girls in the UK
between 1968 and 1986.
He will probably be jailed on Friday.
A master of almost every medium
and endlessly ingenious, Harris
combined high talent with exuberant
and almost palpable goodwill that
made him a favourite of all ages for
more than 50 years.
A few years after shooting to fame
with his wobble board and nonsensical
songs about kangaroos and a man
called Jake who had an extra leg,
he presented a show in which he
would paint on stage in an apparent
He would slowly reveal what he
had painted, as he repeated the
catchphrase: “Can you tell what it is
But perhaps the most revealing
brushstrokes about Harris himself
came as he was tried, and then
convicted, of assaulting four girls, one
as young as seven or eight.
Another six women gave supporting
evidence during his eight-week
London trial that the artist abused
them in Australia, New Zealand and
Prosecutor Sasha Wass QC said
indecent assault cases often relied on
the word of one alleged victim against
a perpetrator but with Harris many
women had described his “deviant
Harris was, she said, “a sinister
pervert who had a demon lurking
beneath the charming exterior”.
Overnight, a jury unanimously
agreed, convicting the Australian on all
12 indecent assault charges.
Harris was born in Perth on March
30, 1930. His parents were Welsh
migrants and his grandfather George
Harris was a noted portrait painter.
He went to Perth Modern School,
where a contemporary was Bob
Hawke. He was already a competent
pianist and artist — and swimmer.
He was a State champion at several
distances and narrowly missed
selection for the 1952 Olympics.
Harris has written that he had
a happy childhood growing up in
“There were always pencils and paper
at home and drawing came naturally
“I struggled at university. After two
years I left and enrolled in teacher
training college which I loved. My first
job was perfect, teaching children to
swim, but then something happened
that changed everything.”
During a month’s hospitalisation
— when he was “totally paralysed ”
and thought he had polio — Harris
reflected on his life plans and decided
to take a year off teaching to focus on
At the age of 22, he headed to
London, a city his parents had
described as “the hub of the universe”
with the best of everything, where he
would study art at the City and Guilds
He broke into television, despite
an audition which he described
as a “disaster”, drawing cartoons
with a puppet called Fuzz. Soon he
was appearing on the BBC and in
Every Thursday night, he and his
piano accordion entertained homesick
Australians at the Down Under Club,
where he first sang Tie Me Kangaroo
He also customised the song, with
lines like “Don’t ill-treat me pet dingo,
Ringo” for a special performance with
The wobble board was discovered
accidentally. To prepare for a portrait,
he had covered a sheet of masonite
in oil paint. When he shook it, a
“marvellous sound ”, a sort of semi-
liquid whoop-whoop, came out.
In 1969 he recorded the moving
battlefield song Two Little Boys which
went to the top of the charts and
was said to be Margaret Thatcher’s
favourite. A much later hit was his
version of Stairway to Heaven.
He regularly returned to Australia,
producing shows such as Rolf ’s
Walkabout, the ABC’s first
Australian-made colour television
Harris starred in the first
performance at the Sydney Opera
House’s concert hall, appeared
at the opening of the Brisbane
Commonwealth Games with, “L et me
welcome you to the games, friend”,
helped initiate the Schools Spectacular
at the Sydney Entertainment Centre,
and recorded with the Adelaide
Symphony Orchestra the Young
Person’s Guide to the Orchestra,
complete with Tubby the Tuba and
Pee Wee the Piccolo.
For 10 years from 1994 he hosted the
BBC’s Animal Hospital, which five
times was voted Britain’s most popular
factual entertainment show. A key to
its success was Harris being able to
show with great tenderness the close
bonds between people and their pets.
That was followed by his Rolf on Art,
in which he painted on camera in the
style of such masters as Rembrandt,
Picasso, Monet and van Gogh.
It was the most watched arts
programme in British television
In 1993, Harris became an unlikely
headline act at the iconic Glastonbury
music festival on the back of a
rendition of Stairway to Heaven which
he had covered a few years earlier.
Harris and his wobble board went on
to appear at Glastonbury several more
But in late 2012 Harris was caught
up in Operation Yewtree, a police
investigation started after sex abuse
allegations against the late BBC
entertainer Jimmy Savile.
Harris is due to be sentenced on
Friday but has already been told by
Justice Nigel Sweeney to expect a
A snapshot of the life of Rolf Harris:
composer, painter and television
Born March 30, 1930 in Perth
Moves to the UK in 1952 to study
Meets Welsh sculptress Alwen
Hughes who he marries March 1,
Daughter Bindi is born March 10,
Becomes household name after
starting tv series the Rolf Harris Show
in 1967 which features Harris painting
huge murals and asking “Can you tell
what it is yet?”
Releases Tie Me Kangaroo Down,
Sport in 1960, Jake The Peg (1965),
Two Little Boys (1969) and Stairway
To Heaven (1993)
Awarded an MBE in 1968
Awarded OBE in 1977
In 1989 starts hosting the
television series Rolf ’s Cartoon Club
which is followed by Animal Hospital
(from 1994) and Rolf On Art (from
Paints official portrait of the
Queen in 2005 for her 80th birthday
Made CBE in 2006 Queen’s
Made Officer of the Order of
Australia in 2012
Convicted of indecently assaulting
four girls in the UK between 1968 and
1986. — AAP
Rolf Harris performs on stage as Jake the Peg in 1970.
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