Home' Greymouth Star : July 10th 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Thursday, July 10, 2014
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uLetters to the editor
138 - The Roman Emperor Hadrian dies.
1040 - It is thought that Lady Godiva rides
naked on horseback through Coventry, England.
1553 - Lady Jane Grey is proclaimed Queen
of England after the death of Edward VI.
1559 - Mary, Q ueen of Scots, claims title of
Queen of England in opposition to
1940 - The 114-day Battle of
Britain starts as Nazi forces begin
attacking southern England by air.
1962 - Telstar satellite is launched
from Cape Canaveral, bringing live
television from the US to Europe for
the first time.
1965 - British rock group The Rolling
Stones score their first No 1 hit in the US with
1976 - Four mercenaries, three British and
one American, are executed by firing squad in
1989 - Mel Blanc, the “man of a thousand
voices”, including such cartoon characters as
Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and Porky Pig, dies in
Los Angeles aged 81.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Camille Pissarro, French painter (1830-
1903); James Whistler, English artist
(1834-1903); Jake LaMotta, US boxer (1921-);
Jerry Herman, US composer (1933-); Keith
Stackpole, Australian cricketer
(1940-); Arthur Ashe, US tennis
player (1943-1993); Virginia Wade,
English tennis player (1945-);
Sue Lyon, US actress of Lolita
fame (1946-); Arlo Guthrie, US
folk singer (1947-); Neil Tennant,
English singer (1954-); Schapelle
Corby, Australian convicted drug smuggler
(1977-); Jessica Simpson, US singer (1980-).
“There are only two distinct classes of people
on this earth: those who espouse enthusiasm
and those who despise it.” — Germaine de
Stael, French author (1766-1817).
“All the nations will be gathered before Him,
and He will separate people one from another
as a shepherd separates the sheep from the
goats.” — (Matthew 25:32).
The vacant sign
will be hung out at
station on Saturday
afternoon. But if the brigade’s ser vices are
required its members will be on the job. Last
evening’s meeting of the West Coast Rugby
Union received a rather unusual request from
the brigade — for parking space for a fire
engine and two cars right at hand at Rugby
Park next Saturday.
The reason? Eighteen of the brigade’s 20
members had signified their intention of seeing
the West Coast-Buller representative match,
and to save time in the event of a fire it was felt
it would be more convenient to have an engine
on hand at the park. The request was granted.
A position on the northern-most Japanese
island of Hokkaido is coming up soon for
Greymouth Department of Agriculture officer
Mr J M Lockhart. He has been appointed
as grasslands expert to the Hokkaido
Government and will leave here on July
26. Hokkaido officials made a request to
the New Zealand government department
and 42-year-old Mr Lockhart received the
The department ’s local farm advisory officer,
Mr Lockhart has been on the West Coast for
eight years. D uring his Greymouth stay he has
been a member of the Westland Catchment
Board, which recently paid a tribute to his
Cochrane. — On July 8, 1964, at McBrearty
Annexe, Greymouth, to Colleen (nee Sheehan)
and Kelvin — a daughter; both well.
Glen. — On July 8, 1964, at McBrearty
Annexe, Greymouth, to Beverley (nee Coburn)
and Russell — a son; both well.
uFood for thought
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“P lease tell me I’m dreaming,” texted
a friend of mine. “P lease tell me that
David Cunliffe didn’t just apologise for
being a man.” I stared at my cellphone in
disbelief. Was he joking? Why would the
leader of a political party languishing in
the opinion polls alienate at least half of
the voting public? Why would he hand
his opponents such an enormous cudgel?
As if his party was not already battered
Later that day, at the pub, the guffaws
and the jokes continued. I have to
confess, I contributed my fair share
of them. I would also point out that,
although all of my drinking companions
were lefties, by no means all of them were
men. This was equal opportunity ridicule.
So what was going on here? Why were
a tableful of seasoned leftists — male and
female — and all of them well-versed
in the facts and figures of domestic
violence in New Zealand so unanimous
in condemning the opening sentences of
David Cunliffe’s speech to last Friday ’s
Women’s Refuge Symposium?
It might be useful, here, to remind
ourselves of his actual words:
“Can I begin by saying I’m sorry —
I don’t often say it — I’m sorry for
being a man, right now. Because family
and sexual violence is perpetrated
overwhelmingly by men against women
and children. So the first message to the
men out there is: ‘ Wake up, stand up,
man up and stop this bull—’ .”
You see? Written down in full and
contextualised, Cunliffe’s words do not
look all that silly — do they? Indeed, you
might even say they look rather brave.
None of us seated around that table at
the pub, and no intelligent person reading
Cunliffe’s sentences anywhere else in
New Zealand, would dispute them. The
perpetration of psychological, physical
and sexual violence is overwhelmingly a
masculine phenomenon. While not every
male is guilty of assaulting and/or raping
women and girls, the violence inflicted
upon females by a minority of males
does contribute to the maintenance of a
patriarchal culture from which all men
Patriarchy and imperialism are closely
related, so perhaps it would help to
elucidate the role that violence plays in
shoring up our patriarchal culture by
elucidating the role it played in shoring
up the British Empire.
It is said that the entire Indian sub-
continent was kept in the thrall of Great
Britain by an imperial administration of
fewer than 100,000 men. By no means all
of these men were engaged in the brutal
business of repression. The majority were
well educated, thoroughly decent civil
ser vants who would never have dreamed
of flogging a man to death, or presiding
over the slow starvation of an entire
province. Such dreadful acts were carried
out by others; by soldiers and policemen.
Deplorable, of course, but necessary — if
the British Raj was to sur vive.
Is that why even we lefties buried
our heads in our hands upon hearing
Cunliffe’s words? Because we knew,
instinctively, just how outraged “ordinary ”
men would be when they heard them?
Not because these other men were in
favour of hurting women and children,
but because, however ham-fistedly,
Cunliffe had acknowledged all men’s
complicity in the myriad acts of violence
and intimidation that mandate the
equally numerous acts of female-to-male
deference and acceptance by which
the patriarchal individual defines
The exercise of power and control
constitutes the common coinage of both
patriarchy and imperialism. No matter
how thoroughly we attempt to conceal
them beneath the draperies of romantic
love and the “white man’s burden”, the
true character of their brutal transactions
cannot be hidden.
All men (and, I suspect, an alarmingly
large number of women also) learn
to both see and not see the effects of
domestic and sexual violence. We recoil
in horror from the murdered wives and
children but find it next to impossible
to recognise the manifest evil in the
perpetrators — the men invariably
described as “just an ordinary bloke, a
good family man”.
But, in portraying these “enforcers” of
patriarchy in such chillingly normative
terms we confirm (albeit unconsciously)
our own participation in the dark secret
that Cunliffe shouted to the world.
That these horrors are of our making —
men’s making — and will persist until,
acknowledging the role violence plays in
preser ving our patriarchal privilege, we
can all say: “I’m sorry for being a man.”
Chris Trotter is an independent
We should all be sorry
oung British singer
Cassie Graves lives with
Trimethylaminuria, a rare
metabolic disorder where
the body cannot break
which is found in certain foods.
The disorder causes the chemical
to build up in her system before it is
released in her sweat, urine and breath —
giving off a strong fishy odour.
Here we take a look at 10 illnesses most
people have probably never come across,
according to the National Organisation
for Rare Disorders (NORD).
1. Jumping Frenchmen of Maine
This extreme startle reaction was first
identified in the late 1800s among an
isolated group of French Canadian
lumberjacks. The exact cause of jumping
Frenchmen of Maine is unknown, but
one theory is that the disorder occurs
because of an extreme conditioned
response to a particular situation
influenced by cultural factors.
2. Parry Romberg Syndrome
In this acquired (not inherited) disorder,
skin and soft tissues on half of the face
begin to shrink (atrophy), leading to a
3. Cronkhite-Canada Syndrome
Symptoms of this very rare disease
include loss of taste, intestinal polyps,
hair loss and nail growth problems. CCS
occurs mostly in older people but there
have been fewer than 400 cases reported
in the past 50 years.
4. Hailey-Hailey Syndrome
This genetic disease is characterised
by blisters and lesions that come and
go, usually healing without scarring.
It becomes apparent after puberty and
occurs because of a mutation in a gene
responsible for production of a protein
essential for good skin health.
Also known as benign chronic familial
pemphigus or HHD, Hailey-Hailey
occurs due to a mutation in a specific
gene that creates a protein that is
essential for the proper health of skin.
5. POEMS Syndrome
POEMS stands for Polyneuropathy
(affecting many ner ves), Organomegaly
(abnormal enlargement of an organ),
Endocrinopathy (affecting certain
hormone-producing glands), Monoclonal
gammopathy and skin defects. Symptoms
include progressive weakness of the
ner ves in the arms and legs, enlarged
liver or spleen, darkening of the skin
and excessive hair growth. Other names
for the disorder include Crow-Fukase
Syndrome, Takatsuki syndrome and PEP
6. Adult Onset Still’s Disease
This rare autoinflammatory disorder
(sometimes referred to as AOSD or
Wissler-Fanconi Syndrome) affects the
entire body but the cause is unknown.
It causes high, spiking fevers, a pink or
salmon-coloured rash, joint pain, muscle
pain and sore throat. Episodes vary in
frequency and severity.
7. Necrotising Fasciitis
This is a rare but very severe type of
bacterial infection that can destroy
muscles, skin and underlying tissue.
“Necrotising” refers to something that
causes tissue death. These infections can
be sudden, vicious and fast-spreading,
and if not treated quickly, can lead to
toxic shock syndrome. Other names for
the disease include flesh-eating bacteria
(or disease) and streptococcal gangrene.
8. Segawa Syndrome
A rare genetic disorder characterised by
an unco-ordinated or clumsy manner of
walking and dystonia (a general term for
a group of muscle disorders characterised
by involuntary contractions). Symptoms
usually become apparent around six
years of age and may be more noticeable
in the afternoon or evening than in the
It is a genetic disease that is
characterised by early onset of cataracts
associated with persistently elevated
levels of a protein known as ferritin in the
blood plasma. The mutation associated
with this disease is inherited as an
autosomal dominant trait, and cataracts
are the only known complication
associated with this disease.
10. Leukocyte Adhesions Deficiency
LAD syndromes are characterised
by defects affecting how white blood
cells respond and travel to the site of a
wound or infection. Symptoms vary from
person to person, but all who are affected
develop an increased susceptibility to
recurrent bacterial and fungal infections.
— New Zealand Herald
Illnesses you never hear of
James Piercy calls it the “hidden
Every year in his homeland, the United
Kingdom, 135,000 people are admitted to
hospital as a consequence of it.
And each day in New Zealand, about
90 New Zealanders sustain it from
everything from hypoxia and strokes to
falls and concussions.
The UK science communicator is
talking about brain injury, which he says
for something remarkably common is
The gap is something Mr Piercy, who
hosted a presentation in D unedin as part
of this week’s New Zealand International
Science Festival, aims to close.
Indeed, his own knowledge of brain
injury was scant until the day his life
changed — January 30, 2011.
What had been an ordinary Sunday
outing near his home of Norwich turned
to tragedy when his family’s car sustained
a tyre blow-out, spun off the road and
slammed into a tree.
His wife Kate, 36, was killed on impact,
and his three children, now aged 16, 13
and 8, suffered minor injuries.
Mr Piercy, the front-seat passenger,
suffered a traumatic brain injury when
his head slammed against the
He recalls nothing of the accident
and little of the weeks that followed.
Emerging from a six-day coma, the news
that his wife had died was forgotten an
Scans showed a small area of damage
on the right side of his brain, causing
weakness on that side of his body, but it
was diffuse damage on the left that has
meant the most problems.
“In most people, the parts of the brain
that control your speech and language are
on the left-hand side,” he said. “ When I
get tired, I get a bit of a stammer, and I
sometimes get stuck for words.”
Fatigue, his heaviest burden, came on
when he found himself growing stressed,
anxious or trying to do too many tasks at
“S leep helps, but it won’t necessarily
cure it, as does food. But the best thing
I can do to recover is relax, stop trying
to concentrate, stop worrying, and try
convincing myself it will all be okay.”
Brain-training activities such as reading
books, playing games and socialising have
also assisted his recovery.
“Basically, I’ve given up on the idea of
getting back to the old James, and I’ve
settled down on the idea of being the
new James. I’m not constantly thinking
about how far I’ve got to go, but how far
All the while, his need to understand
his situation has seen much of his work
as a science communicator with Science
Made Simple focused on himself. He
has learned about the critical parts of
the brain, their key functions and, most
importantly, how they communicate with
Mr Piercy uses the analogy of a
motor way being closed, and having to
find other roads to reach his destination.
“So what I’ve been doing the past three
and a half years is re-wiring my brain,”
“The brain is plastic — when we
learn things as babies, we are making
connections, though the brain stays
plastic for the rest of your life, and you
can re-wire it.”
Here, a healthy “cognitive reser ve”
helped, and research had shown that a
longer period of education in life meant a
better recovery from brain injury later.
By sharing his journey he hoped the
knowledge he had been gathering may
also benefit others.
“Lots of people with brain injury
look perfect — you might think they ’re
drunk, or mentally ill, but actually they’re
just really tired, or they have memory
problems, or are anxious sometimes
because they ’ve had damage to parts of
their brain.” — New Zealand Herald
Living with a brain injury
UK science communicator uses personal experience to highlight health issue that affects
up to 90 New Zealanders a day.
The Thompson family, who have
run the Ohakune picture theatre
for 90 years, are selling up.
The theatre, once a social
centrepoint of Ohakune, has been
hit by shrinking audiences, movie
rentals and film piracy.
The final blow was the industry’s
shift to digital from 35mm film.
“ We were probably the oldest
family theatre still going in New
Zealand — we simply ran out of
film,” Bruce Thompson said.
Fittingly, one of the last films
35mm reel of The Hobbit: The
Desolation of Smaug, which
showed Ohakune’s Mount
The theatre, still furnished with
old pipe heaters that run under
rows of classic leather seats, was
opened in 1916 at the height of
World War One.
Bruce’s father Harry Thompson
took over the local picture business
in 1924, first screening in Raetihi,
then moving to Ohakune and
showing films to mill workers using
a projector mounted on the back of
By 1929, the family was running
three cinemas in the Waimarino
area — the Kings Theatre, one
at the former Plaza at Ohakune
Junction, and a third at Raetihi. On
a Friday night, all three would be
The earliest offerings were
20-minute silent pictures with
piano accompaniment, before the
advent of “talkies”.
The timber-floored Kings Theatre
has not only one of the longest
histories of any New Zealand
cinema, but also one of the most
During the 90 years the
Thompson family have run it, it has
been involved with some of New
Zealand’s most cherished films.
Shot within a short car ride from
its front steps were The Lord of
the Rings, River Queen and Geoff
Murphy’s cult classic Goodbye
The Hollywood comedy Without
a Paddle, largely based in nearby
Raetihi, cast local children among
its extras. Some of their names
remain scribbled on a movie poster
hanging in the theatre foyer.
But its biggest connection
lies with Smash Palace — the
theatre hosted the premiere of the
1981 film which started Roger
Donaldson’s directing career, and
its namesake junkyard is still on the
outskirts of town.
The demise of their local cinema
has saddened some locals, but the
Thompsons are happy to step away
and enjoy a well-earned retirement.
“ We’ ll play a bit of bowls, perhaps
go to the seaside a bit more often,”
Mr Thompson said. Mrs Thompson
added: “And we’ ll go to the
— Wanganui Chronicle
Curtain falls on theatre which
opened showing silent movies
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