Home' Greymouth Star : July 23rd 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Wednesday, July 23, 2014
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uLetters to the editor
1595 - Spanish land at Cornwall, England,
and burn Mousehole and Penzance before
returning to their ships.
1885 - Death of Ulysses Simpson Grant,
commander of the Federal army during
the latter part of the US Civil War and US
president from 1869-77.
1914 - Austria and Hungary issue ultimatum
to Serbia after assassination of Archduke
Ferdinand. The dispute led to World War One.
1916 - Death of Sir William Ramsay, Scottish
chemist, Nobel Prize winner and discoverer of
helium, argon and other inert gases.
1951 - Marshal Henri Philippe
Petain dies in prison.
1982 - International Whaling
Commission votes for a total ban on
commercial whaling to take effect in
1993 - British Prime Minister John
Major sur vives a vote of confidence
and a reluctant House of Commons approves a
treaty of European Union on his terms.
1999 - In the worst massacre since Nato
entered Kosovo, 14 Serb farmers are shot dead
in a field near Gracko.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Francesco Sforza, Italian mercenary and
duke of Milan (1401-1466); Lord Alanbrooke,
English soldier (1883-1963); Sir Arthur
Whitten Brown, British aviator (1886-1948);
Raymond Chandler, US author (1888-1959);
Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia (1891-
1975); Gloria DeHaven, US actress (1925-);
Bert Newton, Australian TV personality
(1938-); David Essex, British singer (1947-);
Woody Harrelson, US actor (1961-); Martin
Gore, US rock musician (1961-);
Eriq LaSalle, US actor (1962-); Slash,
English-born US guitarist (Guns
N’ Roses) (1965-); Philip Seymour
Hoffman, US actor (1967-2014);
Charisma Carpenter, US actress
of Buffy the Vampire Slayer fame
(1970-); Trisha Fallon, Australian basketballer
(1972-); Omar Epps, US actor of TV series
House (1973-); Monica Lewinsky, former
White House intern (1973-); Bec Hewitt,
former Home and Away star (1983-); Daniel
Radcliffe, British actor of Harry Potter fame
“ To be proud and inaccessible is to be timid
and weak.” — Jean Baptiste Massillon, French
“This cup that is poured out for you is the
new covenant in My blood.” — Luke 22:2
coastal vessels are
biding their time
in the port of
Greymouth because the bar is too rough for
safe passage. Exactly 100 years ago a little
steamer arrived at the mouth of the Grey River.
The captain did not know whether the port was
open or closed. There were no signals and no
facilities. He navigated his tiny vessel across the
entrance — and made history. Greymouth was
The Nelson, as the vessel was called, was the
first steamer to enter the Grey River. It was
brought here by Greymouth founder, storeman
Reuben Waite with about 70 passengers. Waite
opened a store shortly after his arrival here and
the exact locality of the building is the corner of
Mawhera Quay and Waite Street.
In Mr M T Woollaston, Greymouth has
one of the finest painters New Zealand
has produced. This is the firm opinion of
a Wellington art critic the Dominion’s
Russell Bond. He was writing a review of
Mr Woollaston’s recent exhibition hung for
a fortnight in the Central Gallery, Lambton
The Wellington appearance of the West Coast
artist ’s work was the initial stage on his first
extensive North Island tour of more than 100
Although elections over the years have
showed that Greymouth has more than slight
leanings towards Labour policy, there are
proposals afoot to form a Junior National Party
in Greymouth, and the scheme has been well
received by a number of Greymouth’s teenagers.
Mainly responsible for the revival of interest
here is 21-year-old Greymouth schoolteacher
Mr Ian Tennent.
uFood for thought
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he only British prime minister
to be assassinated has been
remembered as Parliament
revived the spot near where he
Spencer Perceval is said to have uttered,
“Oh, I have been murdered,” after he was
gunned down by John Bellingham on May
11, 1812, in the lobby of the House of
Commons while on his way to attend an
inquiry into the recent Luddite riots.
Four patterned floor tiles in Parliament
thought to mark where Perceval fell
were removed by workmen during recent
renovations, leaving the historic event
unmarked in the Palace of Westminster.
In another quirk of parliamentary
history, North-west Norfolk MP Henry
Bellingham is a descendant of the assassin.
Overnight, House of Commons Speaker
John Bercow insisted no grudges were
held against Bellingham as he helped
unveil a new plaque in St Stephen’s Hall,
near to the location thought to mark the
spot of the assassination.
Bercow also joked it would be wrong
to suggest the wicked behaviour of John
Bellingham had been passed on to Henry.
The plaque was installed following efforts
by Northampton North MP Michael
Ellis, as Perceval was previously an MP for
Northampton South Tory Brian Binley
joined Ellis, Bellingham and a gathering
of parliamentary officials to unveil the new
Ellis said the new memorial was a
“fitting tribute” and long overdue in
memory of Perceval’s public ser vice.
“People know more about the
assassination of (US presidents) John F
Kennedy and Abraham Lincoln than
they do about our own prime minister —
maybe because it was so long ago, perhaps
because he was short-lived as prime
minister but it’s right near where he fell
we do mark that occasion,” he said.
Speaking at the unveiling, Bercow said:
“ Fully 214 years before Michael Ellis was
elected for his Northampton constituency,
Spencer Perceval was elected to represent
not Northampton North or Northampton
South but, as I understand it, the entirety
“So in terms of political and historical
lineage, Michael and also (Mr Binley) can
lay claim and say there is a link between
Spencer Perceval and themselves.
“For those of you who don’t know the
significance of Henry Bellingham, it
is said that John Bellingham — and I
assume the evidence is pretty watertight
— w a s responsible for the assassination of
Spencer Perceval, the only prime minister
in office to be assassinated.
“Henry is a descendant of John
Bellingham. However, I think it would
be wrong to suggest moral turpitude
afflicted family or should be regarded as
a hereditary, immediately transmissible
characteristic. No grudges bore.
“Even if you think Henry has been
afflicted by part of the gene, I’ve seen no
evidence of it myself.
“Michael, in the best traditions of
parliamentary forgiveness and possible
intra-party cordiality, forgives you, Henry,
if you need to be forgiven.” — PA
British PM’s 1812 assassination remembered
Assassin’s target . . . Spencer Perceval, the only British prime minister to be murdered in office.
I recently returned from a holiday in
Canada visiting family. We were located
in a small town in an area known as the
Okanagan. Its main industry is fruit
production by small holders. One grower
I spoke to whose main income was in the
hunting industry had a small holding of
600 cherry trees which produced him one
crop of around 32,000 pounds of fruit,
which were packed and shipped the day
There are numerous small holders
selling locally, nationally and
internationally in this region and doing
I remember as a child growing up
in the Grey Valley having wild apple,
plum, cranberry, apricot and walnut
trees growing on our property, as well
as blackberries and raspberries. All
these trees and plants produced huge
crops each season, and I remember my
grandmother producing jars of preser ves
to keep up with our constant fruit
This growing region in Canada has
taken off considerably over the past few
years but the main market is local buyers.
There are fruit stalls located along the
highways at every turn. A study done
by Lincoln College and commissioned
by the West Coast Regional Council
concluded that the climate and some soils
were conducive to the production of fruit
and vegetables for local consumption and
for winter and spring markets elsewhere
in the South Island, and for nursery
stock, glasshouse production, blueberries
and cranberries. There is kiwifruit in
Karamea and other farmers are growing
potatoes, tamarillos, blueberries,
strawberries and nursery stock.
Could the Coast turn its hand to
creating a fruit and vegetable economy to
replace the industries now in decline?
Hari Hari airman
I live near what used to be RAF
Cottesmore in Rutland, England, and
have recently discovered that 3 RNZAF
personnel are buried in the village
cemetery. One of them is sergeant Jack
Edward Wall and I understand that he
came from Hari Hari. He was killed
in a mid-air collision on the night of
September 12, 1941, along with another
RNZAF pilot, sergeant V H Griffiths.
I understand that sergeant Wall was the
son of William and Margaret Emily Wall
and that he may have had two brothers,
Archie William and Frank Douglas, and
a sister, Mary Katherine.
Having lived in New Zealand for a
couple of years I was just interested
to find out if he still had family in the
area and whether they knew what had
happened to him. His grave is well
looked after by the CWGC.
Many thanks for your help.
Extra Telecom charge
Through your column I would like to
ask why I was charged an extra $1.50
at the Post Shop before I could pay my
phone bill? This is wrong. Why should I
have to pay for a ser vice like this? I have
never had a letter or e-mail from Telecom
telling me that they were going to do this.
Also, I like to pay my bill in cash as
it costs $5 per transaction if I pay by
automatic payment or direct debit from
my bank, plus a $5 set-up fee.
I was shocked when the lovely lady
behind the counter told me this. I feel
sorry for them having to tell everyone
that they have to pay this $1.50 before
they pay their bill.
This is just another rip-off by Telecom
to make more money. This has to be
illegal and this is not Post Shop it is
Telecom doing it. No one should have to
pay this sort of money, regardless of the
I would like the Star to ask questions
over this and let your readers know what
is going on and get answers for us.
— plus interest
I commend the Star for being one of
the few media outlets willing to discuss
the financial straitjackets which successive
governments impose on public bodies
building new facilities (Greymouth Star,
The Greymouth Hospital article used the
Democrats’ suggested figure of 1% interest
for a Reser ve Bank loan in order to give a
simple comparison with the huge costs of
the Government ’s proposed interest rates.
The vast savings to DHB budgets under
Reser ve Bank loans are further highlighted
by the fact that, according to information
I extracted (painfully) from Tony Ryall
some time ago, the administration rate
on Government-sourced loans is 0.15%.
Applying that as the total cost for Reser ve
Bank loans further slashes the costs to
DHBs - and the taxpayers’ pockets.
The article quotes West Coast DHB/
Canterbury DHB chief executive David
Meates saying, “the redevelopment cost
at Greymouth would have to be repaid,
but that had been factored into budgets,
and building anew was not a lot more
than the current cost, plus depreciation,
of maintaining the leaking buildings”. So
Surely Mr Meates and his colleagues
would prefer to cover all that for a mere
0.15% interest charge rather than 4.6
to 5.1% loans dragging on for at least
23 years? If not, why not? If they do
not understand this, they — and the
Government — only need to ask the
I have now been pursuing this
Government for two years repeatedly
asking why they will not source DHB
loans — and all public works loans —
from the Reser ve Bank, and they are still
evading the question.
Most recently Finance Minister Bill
English responded to that question
without even mentioning the Reser ve
Bank. If he cannot cope with a financial
question from a retired musician/car ver
living in rural Queensland one has to ask,
why is he the Minister of Finance?
Imagine the additional health care that
would be available to Coasters — and
New Zealanders in all DHB regions — if
the hundreds of millions of dollars being
unnecessarily siphoned off the DHBs
were to be put into health care. The
same situation could apply in education,
district and regional council works, in
fact everywhere that public works are
It would transform New Zealand’s
economy. Why wont they do it?.
NZ Democrats for Social Credit
Gluten-free: the facts
I feel compelled to write a letter on
behalf of all coeliac disease sufferers. For
the general public who roll their eyes and
scoff at anyone who says they are gluten-
free, here are the cold hard facts:
1. If we do not check a product and then
eat gluten, we vomit, have diarrhoea and
are left very weak and feel ill for 24 hours.
It is not a pretty sight.
2. We should not have to wear a sign on
our heads saying ‘coeliac’. If you offer us
food and we say ‘no’ or ask if it is gluten-
free, just accept it without question.
My grandson was recently offered a lolly.
He said ‘no thanks’ as he did not know if it
was gluten-free. The boy answered ‘you’re
not one of those are you?’ Dan felt like
crap after. He is 10 years old.
3. For those of you who go on a gluten-
free diet to lose weight — eat more fruit
and veggies, go to KFC and McDonald’s
less, and exercise more. Leave the gluten-
free food on the shelves for those who
Before I was diagnosed I was under six
stone. Now I am a little too healthy and
need to exercise more.
4. Doctors need to take the disease more
seriously. When Daniel was two or three
years old he was finally diagnosed with
it after I went to the doctors with his
parents. I demanded blood tests.
My own siblings laughed until my
eldest sister was diagnosed, and possibly a
brother. It is hereditary and those of Irish
descent are more likely to have it.
5. Winz has to take it more seriously
and not scrap the disability allowance for
children. When food can be three times
more expensive, parents need a hand up.
6. Restaurants need to take more care. I
was caught out after the manager changed
the thickener and forgot to make sure it
was gluten-free. I have never been back.
7. Supermarkets need to take more care
in their bakery lines and keep the gluten-
free products in a separate part. It is easy
to make a mistake if you are in a hurry to
pick up an item that is sitting beside the
one you want. I have done the same with
I felt it was necessary since gluten-free is
becoming a fad.
Is restoring the Runanga Miners’ Hall
(a) It is a beautiful, architectural gem?
(b) It has played a significant role in the
political and historical development of
(c) It will provide jobs for local builders
(d) It will act as an education centre for
our children, adults and visitors to our
(e) Cultural tourism (mining heritage) is
an important economic driver of the West
(f ) It honours the skills, resilience and
foresight of our elders who built this hall
with their own hands?
(g) It will help ground young Runanga-
ites and others in their proud identity?
(h) It will renew pride in our town and
(i) It has withstood earthquakes and
cyclones and is still structurally sound?
(j) Because of its category 1 listing with
Heritage New Zealand, we only need to
raise 30% of the funding to completely
(k) It holds the collective memories
of every living person who grew up in
Runanga and it echoes with the voices of
(l) It enshrines values of international
solidarity of all peoples working towards
shared wealth and peace on planet earth?
(m) All of the above.
Runanga Area Association
I see the plans for the downsized new
hospital has been released. When Dr
Judy Forbes raised concerns about patient
safety in 2008 some of the consequences
of the new models of care were becoming
I recall a case when I was walking past
the surgical ward one evening, when there
was a cardiac arrest call from the surgical
ward. A teenager had rapidly developed
breathing difficulty after apparently
uncomplicated appendix surgery. He
needed immediate mechanical ventilation
and transfer to ICU in Christchurch,
but the outcome was good. I asked the
surgeon whose care the patient was under,
whether he was aware of any potential for
deterioration. He explained he did not the
see the patient after surgery as a registrar
from Christchurch had operated on the
patient. When I asked the registrar who
operated on the patient on a return stint
at Greymouth, he said he did not see the
patient after surgery as the patient was not
his and that he just took the appendix out.
This patient sur vived without problem,
others since have not been so lucky. The
new model of care in surgery seems to
have forgotten the importance of post-
surgical medical care or quality and safety.
Details of cases where the adverse
outcomes are severe rarely get reported.
Medical treatment errors usually get
reported as natural causes when death
occurs. Medical treatment errors are
more likely to cause prolonged disability
than death in hospital. Number of people
needing rest home care and the use of
morphine and syringe pumps may give
a better indication of medical treatment
In response to the announcement
that the Engineering, Printing and
Manufacturing Union (EPMU) has
donated to the Greens election campaign.
‘ Very satisfactory’ does not seem a
good enough assessment of the Greens
industrial policy (Greymouth Star, July
16). We deser ve to have the very best for
The donation to the Greens could have
been put to better use with those recently
made redundant, not propping up the very
group that is openly campaigning to put a
stop to growth in the minerals sector.
Shame on the EPMU.
I am amazed that a donation from
anybody to any one individual, numbers
of people or organisation can in essence
cause an expectation that when given, the
gift will in effect produce a guarantee of a
return or returns in kind, of an expectation
held by the giver.
That, gentle people, is a bribe or when
taken to silent backroom extremes in
politics, a manipulation of democracy.
The ratepayers of the Westland District
Council recently, through direction of the
council, lost hundreds of thousands of
ratepayer dollars employing many people
over a period of years for pie in the sky
ideas and no accountability.
I note not a tear was shed.
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