Home' Greymouth Star : August 11th 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
1877 - US astronomer Asaph Hall discovers a
Martian moon which he names Deimos.
1929 - Arabs launch attacks on Jews in
Palestine over disputes on Jewish use of Wailing
Wall in Jerusalem.
1942 - During World War II, Vichy
government official Pierre Laval publicly
declares that “the hour of liberation
for France is the hour when
Germany wins the war.”
1945 - Allies inform Japan that
its surrender offer is acceptable as
World War Two in Pacific nears
1965 - Rioting and looting break
out in the predominantly black
Watts section of Los Angeles; in the week that
followed 34 people were killed and more than
1966 - Treaty to end three years of hostilities
between Malaysia and Indonesia is signed.
1984 - US President Ronald Reagan jokes
during a radio voice test that he had “signed
legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We
begin bombing in five minutes.”
4 - Monday, August 11, 2014
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uLetters to the editor
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Enid Blyton, British author
(1897-1968); Flo Bjelke-Petersen,
Australian politician (1920-); Alex
Haley, US author (1921-1992);
Mike Douglas, US TV personality
(1925-2006); Arlene Dahl, US
actress (1925-); Jerry Falwell, US
Televangelist (1933-2007); Anna
Massey, US actress (1937-2011); Per vez
Musharraf, President of Pakistan (1943-); Ian
Charleson, British actor (1949-1990); Steve
Wozniak, inventor of the Apple II computer
(1950-); Hulk Hogan, US actor-wrestler
(1953-); Joe Jackson, British musician (1954-
); Charlie Sexton, US rock guitarist (1968-);
Chris Hemsworth, Australian actor (1983-).
It is easier to make a saint out of a libertine
than out of a prig — George Santayana,
Spanish-born philosopher (1863-1952).
“For God so loved the world that He gave
His only Son. That whosoever not die but have
everlasting life. ” -- John 3:16
The West Coast
Rugby team returned
yesterday with the
Seddon Shield and Wills Cup in its possession.
The cup will be here until next season but the
shield will be at stake in three weeks time when
Buller challenges on August 29. Marlborough
has its game for the shield on September 5.
When the West Coast side brought the shield
south yesterday it was greeted by many rugby
followers, led by the Greymoth Municipal
Band. The team was tendered a civic reception
at the Greymouth Borough Council chambers
where some hundreds gathered. Mr J E Stokes,
deputy mayor, congratulated the team on its
noteworthy effort and hoped it could repulse
the two remaining challenges this season.
The Rapahoe district is proud of its sporting
representation record this year. For a place
of its size the people there feel it takes some
beating. The area has only 25 homes housing
a resident population of 152. Of these, 13
different people have worn the West Coast
colours this year in five different sports.
Greatest representation has been in rugby
league. Schoolboy players are B Jones and
J Moore, while R Baxendale and T Crestani
have been in the under-11 team and D
O’Connell in the under-13 provincial side.
Ben Crestani, Ron Baxendale and J O’Shea
have been Coast outdoor bowlers while
Mesdames A Noble, D O’Connor and
K Dyeming have represented the indoor
section of this game.
Miss J Noble has played basketball while
K Crestani has been selected as a Seddon
Shield district rugby player.
uFood for thought
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he first All Black to
die in World War One
was Albert “Doolan”
Downing, a rangy
for ward who sported a
Ranfurly Shield tattoo on
his left arm.
The Napier storeman, who played 26
games for the All Blacks, was one of two
players killed in action at Gallipoli.
A lock and loose forward for Auckland
Marist, Downing, 29, was among a
group of players who entered a pact to
enlist for war as they sailed back to New
Zealand from an Australian tour. Of the
23 players who toured, only five did not
During a game against Metropolitan
Union in Sydney on August 5, 1914,
Downing and his team-mates learned
that war had been declared when the
news was posted on the scoreboard.
He joined the army, played two games
for Trentham Military Forces, and left in
June 1915 with the Fifth Reinforcements.
Two months later he was dead, killed in
action on August 8, 1915, as troops from
the Wellington Regiment landed at Suvla
Nuggety Taranaki for ward Henry
“Norkey” Dewar — named for his small
but granite-like physique — was the
other All Black to die at Gallipoli.
Dewar, an ironworker and member
of the Wellington Mounted Rifles, was
killed in action at Anzac Cove a day after
The two players were among the 13 All
Blacks who died in the war.
Robert “Bobby” Black, who died in the
Battle of the Somme in September 1916,
was a team-mate of Downing and Dewar
in the side which toured Australia.
All Black to
lose his life was
of the 1905
A Boer War
for war after
the death of
brother. He was
extremely fit and
often in the thick of action.
Badly wounded in the Battle of
Passchendaele on October 4, 1917, he
was taken to a field hospital but died later
that day. He was 43, the oldest and most
illustrious of the All Black casualties.
Ernest Booth, a team-mate in the
1905 side, said of his skipper: “He was
a valuable friend and could be, I think,
a remorseless foe. To us All Blacks his
words would often be, ‘Give nothing
away : take no chances’.”
Throughout the war soldiers were
encouraged to play rugby as a way to
sustain morale and welfare.
During a respite from the disaster at
Gallipoli, the Anzac comrades organised
a game on the island of Lemnos. In this
wartime Bledisloe contest, played with a
football because no rugby ball could be
had, the New Zealanders ran in 13 tries.
The Australians managed one.
Another singular game was played in
Paris in April 1917 against France for the
Somme Cup. A crowd of 60,000 watched
the game, won by the New Zealanders
40-0, though, as war correspondent
in his report,
a number of
been at the
Front was in
June 1917. Four men died in the space
of two weeks, three in the bloody Battle
of Messines, while 1913 All Black James
Baird died of wounds in France. Jim
Baird played just three first-class games
one of them an All Black test.
The young Otago winger was called into
the national side when Eric Cockcroft,
the selectors’ first pick, withdrew because
Baird, 19, got the nod because he was
the closest player available for the test in
Ponsonby front-rower and member of
the first NZ Maori side George Sellars
was carrying a wounded comrade when
he was killed at Messines on June 7,
1917. Sellers played 15 times for the All
tests in 1913.
and a member
of the New
that played in
Paris for the
killed in action
in Messines on
June 20, while Jim McNeece, a forward in
the 1913 and 1914 teams, died of wounds
one day later. Southlander McNeece, a
big, fast loose-for ward, played 11 All
Black games. Shot in the chest, the
32-year-old farmer was treated in an
Australian ambulance station on June 8,
1917. After being transferred to hospital,
he never recovered and was buried in
Rouen in north-west France.
Besides Robert Black, the Somme
also claimed Frank Wilson, a speedy
Auckland winger who twice wore the
silver fern. Wilson, 31, a teacher, sur vived
Gallipoli, but could not recover from
wounds at the Somme.
Canterbury fullback Hubert “Jum”
Turtill stunned the rugby world early last
century when he switched to league. The
British-born Turtill — his nickname
was short for Jumbo, a reference to his
size as an infant — played one test
for the All Blacks, but changed codes
and joined the All Golds, a team which
toured Britain in 1908.
He stayed on as a professional player
with St Helens before becoming an
Enlisting with the West Lancashire
regiment, Turtill saw action in France. He
was killed, aged 38, in April 1918.
The strapping Eric Harper played 11
times for the All Blacks and toured
Britain with Gallaher’s Originals. He also
excelled at cricket and athletics, and was a
Harper, a lawyer, ser ved in the
Canterbury Mounted Rifles and was
posted to Palestine. He died there, aged
40, as he tried to control horses spooked
by Ottoman bombardments on April 30,
Ernie Dodd played three games for
the All Blacks. A tough front-rower, he
turned out for a Wellington team which
beat the All Blacks in 1905.
Enlisting in his late 30s, rifleman Dodd
got to France in early 1918. He spent
three days in hospital in June after a
bullet creased his scalp, but his luck ran
out three months later when the
NZ Division took part in an assault on
the Hindenburg Line.
On September 11 a German sniper shot
Dodd in the throat.
The last All Black to die was blacksmith
Alex “Jimmy ” Ridland. He turned out
as hooker in six games. The rugged
Southland forward was among the Kiwis
who liberated Le Quesnoy, in northern
France, in one of the last acts of the war.
A week before the Armistice was signed,
the NZ Division used ladders to storm
the walled town.
Among the casualties on November 4,
1918, was the 36-year-old from Invercargill.
He died the next day.
New Zealand Herald
Rugby talent lost
in World War One
PICTURE: Alexander Turnbull Library
New Zealand soldiers playing rugby in Fontaine, France, in October, 1918.
Egypt said last week it plans to build a
new Suez Canal alongside the existing
145-year-old historic water way in a multi-
billion dollar project to expand trade along
the fastest shipping route between Europe
The project, to be run by the army, is a
major step by new President Abdel Fattah
al-Sisi to stimulate Egypt’s struggling
economy and recalled some of the grand
national programmes of one of Sisi’s
predecessors, army strongman Gamal
Sisi, a former army chief, took power
last year after ousting elected Islamist
President Mohamed Morsi and has since
overseen a massive crackdown on Mursi’s
The Suez Canal earns Egypt about
$5 billion a year, a vital source of hard
currency for a country that has suffered a
slump in tourism and foreign investment
since the 2011 uprising that preceded
An official in the Suez Canal Authority
told Reuters the new canal was set to
boost annual revenues to $13.5b by 2023.
The new channel, part of a larger project
to expand port and shipping facilities
around the canal, aims to raise Egypt ’s
international profile and establish it as a
major trade hub.
“This giant project will be the creation of
a new Suez Canal parallel to the current
channel of a total length of 72km,” Mohab
Mamish, authority chairman, told a
conference in Ismailia, a port city on the
He said the total estimated cost of
drilling the new channel would be about
$4b and be completed in five years,
though Sisi said he hoped it would be
finished within a more ambitious one-year
The original canal, linking the
Mediterranean and Red Seas, took 10
years of brutal, poorly paid work by
Egyptians, drafted at the rate of 20,000
every 10 months from “the peasantry”.
It slashed weeks if not months off
journeys between Europe and Asia that
other wise necessitated a trip round Africa.
Sisi said the armed forces would be in
charge of the new project for security
reasons. Up to 20 Egyptian firms could be
involved but would work under military
super vision, he said.
Last year’s overthrow of Morsi was
followed by a rise in violence from Islamist
militants based in the Sinai peninsula,
which has stoked concern about the
security of the nearby Suez Canal. The
government has been fighting militants in
an ongoing campaign in the area.
“Sinai to a large degree has a sensitive
status. The army is responsible to Egypt
for this,” said Sisi.
Sisi’s allies have likened him to Nasser,
the charismatic colonel who led a 1952
coup against the monarchy, set up an
army-led autocracy and also rounded up
In 1956, Nasser nationalised the Suez
Canal, leading to a failed invasion by
Britain, which controlled the channel, as
well as France and Israel.
Nasser was praised by Egyptians for
pursuing big projects during his 14 years
as president. Pro-government media did
not hesitate to compare the Suez plans
to Nasser’s own state-led infrastructure
projects that were a source of national
Egypt has planned for years to develop
76,000 square kilometres around the
canal into an international industrial and
logistics hub to attract more ships and
Neil Davidson, senior adviser for ports
and terminals at London-based Drewry
Maritime Research, said the new canal
would not necessarily generate greater
trade but the development of a hub around
it could prove lucrative.
“The strategic location of Egypt and
the canal is a key advantage ... being a
key point where cargo can be distributed
or worked on. This hubbing concept is
extremely valuable,” he said.
Reuters reported on Sunday that Egypt
had chosen a consortium including global
engineering firm Dar al-Handasah, as well
as the Egyptian army, to develop the area.
A promotional video played at the
launch event suggested the project would
cut waiting times for vessels and allow
ships to pass each other on the canal.
Mamish, the chairman, said the project
would involve 35km of “dry digging”
and 37km would be “expansion and
deepening”, indicating the current Suez
Canal, which is 163km long, could be
widened as part of the project.
The Panama Canal linking the Atlantic
and Pacific Oceans in Central America,
is also being expanded with a third set of
locks being built to allow bigger ships to
pass through the water way. That project is
due to open in 2016.
Second Suez Canal planned
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