Home' Greymouth Star : August 14th 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Thursday, August 14, 2014
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uLetters to the editor
1900 - An international force captures
Beijing, relieving foreigners besieged there
since the start of the Boxer Rebellion two
1908 - World’s first international beauty
contest is held at the Pier Hippodrome at
1941 - German spy Josef Jakobs
is put to death, the last person to be
executed in the Tower of London.
1945 - Japan surrenders to United
States, ending World War Two.
1951 - Death of William
Randolph Hearst, US newspaper
owner and publisher.
1984 - Death of J B Priestley, English
novelist and playwright.
1988 - Death of Enzo Ferrari, Italian racing
pioneer and sports car builder, aged 90.
1992 - Death of Judge John Sirica, a central
figure in America’s Watergate scandal.
1997 - Timothy McVeigh is formally
sentenced to death in the US for the
Oklahoma City bombing.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
John Galsworthy, British novelist and Nobel
laureate (1867-1933); Steve Martin, US
actor-comedian (1945-); Susan
Saint James, US actress (1946-);
Danielle Steel, US author (1947-);
Gary Larson, US cartoonist (1950-);
Magic Johnson, US basketball player
(1959-); Susan Olsen, US actress
(The Brady Bunch) (1961-); Halle
Berry, US actress (1966-); Catherine
Bell, US actress ( JAG) (1968-).
“ Do not look back, and do not dream about
the future, either. It will neither give you back
the past, nor satisfy your other daydreams.
Your duty, your reward — your destiny — are
here and now.” — Dag Hammarskjold, UN
“Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to
suffer and to rise from the dead on the third
day, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins
is to be proclaimed in His name to all nations. ”
— (Luke 24:46-47).
A compliment, one
month early, was paid
to the Greymouth
acting secretary, Miss Dorothy Blair, at last
night ’s monthly meeting. Next month, Miss
Blair will have been in the board’s employ for
Mr C Coxall who paid the compliment said
he would not be at next month’s meeting and
did not want to let the opportunity pass to
express his admiration for Miss Blair’s work.
Miss Blair said quickly; “I think we ought to
go into committee.” S he said it had seemed “an
awfully long time” when she had had 25 years
with the board.
The Great Benyon, Christchurch-born
Edgar Benyon, is pulling down his shingle as
a professional entertainer after 55 years on the
stage. Currently on a farewell West Coast tour,
the Great Benyon made his name early in front
of the footlights. At the age of 16 he left New
Zealand on a Fuller vaudeville circuit which
encompassed Australia, South Africa, Britain
and the Continent.
In Ireland — the land of his parents — he
branched out with his own shows and went
on tour until he returned to New Zealand
15 years ago as a seasoned trouper. He has
tripped around the country eight time with his
hypnotic, magic and juggling acts, and on this
trip here he is showing to school pupils.
West Coasters are evidently not avid letter
and packet senders. The Greymouth and
Westport districts had the lowest percentages
for postings in New Zealand last year. O ut
of the national total of 533,864,000 articles,
Greymouth sent 0.6% and Westport the lowest
percentage of 0.2.
uFood for thought
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Winners and losers
Burning the Prime Minister in effigy is
evidence of some pretty serious political
disaffection. The only other instance
I can recall is the burning in effigy of
Jenny Shipley and Ruth Richardson
during the mass demonstrations against
the Employment Contracts Bill and
Mrs Shipley ’s proposed social welfare
cutbacks in April 1991. The image of
the two stuffed dummies consumed in
flames, while the delirious crowd chants
“ Burn, Shipley, burn!”, is one of the most
powerful to emerge from that bitter time.
The practice itself is a primal expression
of what anthropologists call ‘sympathetic
magic’. The act of setting fire to a likeness
of your enemy is driven by the same
powerfully negative emotions as sticking
pins in a voodoo doll. Unlike the private,
even secretive, persecution of the voodoo
doll, however, burning in effigy is almost
always a collective and cathartic act, and the
effigy itself almost always of a well-known
— if not well-liked — public figure.
The act is undoubtedly more shocking
to us now than it would have been to
our parents and grandparents. Seventy
or 80 years ago in the English-speaking
dominions of the British Empire the very
public burning in effigy of the hapless
Guy Fawkes was an annual ritual in which
whole communities participated. Behind
the bonfires and fireworks, however, flitted
the shadowy folk memory of a time when
real men and women were burned alive
in the public square. Those who cared to
ponder the origins of such “harmless” folk
traditions were reminded that believing in
the wrong things at the wrong time was
once a very dangerous practice indeed.
The Prime Minister’s supporters have
naturally recoiled in anger and disgust at
the image of their leader being put to the
torch. His opponents, however, would be
lying if they did not admit to feeling just
the hint of a thrill as the flames climbed
higher. Such is the power of fire. It speaks
directly to the savage that lies within every
one of us.
And it is precisely this appeal to our
inner savage that makes burning in effigy
such a profoundly undemocratic gesture.
Because if democracy means anything,
it means suppressing the savage within
and submitting the issues that divide us
as individual citizens to the judgement
of the electorate as a whole. Even more
importantly, it means accepting that
collective judgement — even when it goes
against our individual contribution to its
Such high-minded pronouncements
are no substitute, however, for a closer
examination of what leads some of our
fellow citizens to the extreme of publicly
destroying the image of their political
leader. What is fuelling such incandescent
anger? Who is responsible for the social
and political desperation it represents?
Because that is what it is: the burning of
John Key ’s effigy is, indisputably, an act of
deep-seated anger and desperation. Proof
that a whole layer of our population not
only feels excluded from the “rock star
economy ”, but despairs of ever finding a
political champion willing to obtain for
them a back-stage pass.
But, perhaps, the use of the present tense
in this context is misplaced. Perhaps what
we should say is “despaired”. Because,
in the course of the past few weeks,
these reckless haters of John Key and
his National Party government show
every sign of having found themselves a
champion; one of the most unlikely to ever
bestride New Zealand’s political stage;
Here is someone who shares the rage of
New Zealand’s despised Underclass. And
for much the same reasons. He, too, has
felt the unwanted attentions of the police.
He, too, has been lashed by the whips of
the mainstream media. He, too, has been
branded a threat to public safety and
Most importantly, however, Kim Dotcom
and the Underclass blame the same man:
John Key. And when it comes to voicing
their political priorities, he and they both
use the same three word slogan.
It is a powerful rallying cry for the young
and the disaffected — incendiary even.
But one wonders whether the young and
idealistic activists on the Internet Party
payroll would find much to talk about
with those who deride John Key as a
‘faggot ’, or, worse still, a ‘Jewish faggot ’?
Especially considering that this time-
worn term of abuse is derived from the
tradition of consigning homosexuals (and
Jews) to the flames.
Chris Trotter is an independent left-
wing political commentator.
Burning the Prime Minister in effigy
Doctor Who and Sherlock
showrunner Steven Moffat has
“come clean” about the possibility
of a crossover ‘Wholock’ episode
between the two shows.
Moffat says he wants to do it but
his “killjoy ” colleagues Benedict
Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman
are in the way.
The collision of the two popular
BBC shows has been the subject of
much fan fiction, and now the man
who ser ves as the driving force
behind both has admitted that he
wants to make it a reality, though
he thinks it ’s unlikely that it will.
“Look I’m going to come clean
on this: I would,” he said with
regards to a crossover at a recent Q
“Go speak to Benedict
Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman,
Mark Gatiss and Sue Vertue, okay?
They ’re all in the way. I’m not the
killjoy, it’s that lot. It ’s probably not
going to happen. ”
He went on to agree with
Sherlock co-creator Gatiss that
while a Sherlock — Doctor Who
crossover may be tempting, the
detective and the Time Lord are
probably better off kept in their
“ You know in some ways, I think
Mark (Gatiss) has got a point
when he says that however good
you imagine (the crossover), it
would be almost better in your
imagination than it would be if
the two grand old egotists actually
met,” he added.
“They ’d just both go off in
opposite corners and sulk that
there was someone cleverer than
Peter Capaldi takes over from
Matt Smith as the doctor proper
on August 23, with the BBC One
premiere of series eight episode
Deep Breath. — Independent
‘Killjoys’ hold up Doctor Who-
Sherlock crossover episode
Benedict Cumberbatch, left, as Sherlock and Peter Capaldi as Doctor
Who. Will they ever meet?
e would all love to
win Lotto. I know
I often dream
about what I would
spend my winnings
on. For one
Christchurch man, the nearly $14 million
in prize money was enough to make him
quit his job.
However, winning the jackpot may not
solve all your problems. Here are four
instances where big feuds have occurred
because of big wins:
Brother vs Sister
In October 2013, Angeline Deep
Narain took her brother Ajnesh Narain
Chinappa and his wife Valashni Vandana
Chinappa to court over a property the
couple bought, with what Narain believes
were her winnings.
In 2009, Chinappa’s mother Kaniamma
Winter went to check a Lotto ticket
with her daughter-in-law. When it was
confirmed as a winning ticket, Winter
was so flustered she could not remember
her bank account number. So the money
was put into the Chinappas’ bank account
The couple went on to buy a property,
but a nasty feud erupted over who was
entitled to the winnings, and the property.
In 2012, the Chinappas told Winter and
Narain they would be trespassing if they
went to the house.
Three’s a crowd
In 2008, three mates, including an
expat New Zealander from Hawke’s Bay,
partied the night away and woke to find
they had won more than $13m on a quick
draw Tattersalls Oz Lotto ticket.
Within weeks, the three fell out. There
were deals and arguments, negotiations
taking place in the car and eventually
a Supreme Court hearing. The trio
eventually settled in April 2010.
For richer or poorer
In 2001 Malcolm Rabson and then
partner Linda Gallagher won $1.3m in
Lotto and invested in three properties.
However, Rabson later claimed the
ticket was bought on behalf of a family
trust and his partner had no right to the
winnings. The couple split and faced
a bitter courtroom battle to settle the
Even Trevor from Te Kauwhata suffered
a breakdown in his relationship with close
family. The former supermarket employee
who scored $27m in 2012 had to go into
hiding from the intense media interest.
While these New Zealander’s did not
experience the happy endings they may
have expected, they are still better off
than some of the biggest-winning lottery
losers of all time:
Time until bust: One month.
In June 2012, Urooj Khan bought
a scratchy and won the $1m jackpot.
When his lump sum cheque of $502,000
was issued on July 19, 2012, Khan was
pronounced dead the next day. He had
ingested cyanide — a lethal poison. His
winnings were cashed on August 15.
Andrew “Jack” Whittaker
Time until bust: Four years
Andrew “Jack” Whittaker’s substantial
win also contributed to a string of bad
luck and personal tragedies. He began
drinking heavily and visiting strip clubs.
On two separate occasions, thieves stole
around $880,000 (in total) from his car
parked in a strip club car park. Whittaker
lost his granddaughter and her partner
both to drug overdose. Four years after his
win, Whittaker alleged he was now broke.
William Post III
Time until bust: Three months.
Soon after William Post III won
$19.1m in the Pennsylvania lottery, things
went downhill instead of up. Post had
already spent most of his first annual
payout of $590,000 in the first two weeks
after he received his cheque. He bought
a restaurant, used-car lot, and aeroplane.
And, within three months he was
$590,000 in debt.
It was also reported that Post ’s brother
was arrested for hiring a hit man to
kill him and his sixth wife. Family also
convinced him to invest in worthless
business “opportunities” and his landlady
duped him into handing over most of
his money. Post was sent to jail for firing
a gun at a bill collector, and filed for
bankruptcy. — New Zealand Herald
Archaeologists in Greece have
discovered a vast tomb that they believe
is connected with the reign of the
warrior-king Alexander the Great, who
conquered vast areas of the ancient world
between Greece and India.
The tomb, dating to around 300 BC,
and which may have held the body of
one of Alexander’s generals or a member
of his family, was found beneath a huge
burial mound near the ancient site of
Amphipolis in northern Greece.
Antonis Samaras, Greece’s Prime
Minister, visited the dig yesterday and
described the discovery as “clearly
extremely significant ”.
A 4.5m-wide road led up to the tomb,
the entrance of which was flanked by two
carved sphinxes and was encircled by a
457m-long marble wall. Experts believe
a 4.8m-tall lion sculpture previously
discovered nearby would have once been
placed on top of the tomb.
They ruled out the possibility that the
tomb could be that of Alexander — the
emperor is believed to have been
buried in Egypt after he is thought to
have died of a fever in Babylon in
The tomb was found in Greece’s
northern Macedonia region, from where
Alexander began to forge his empire.
Archaeologists, who began excavating
the site in 2012, hope to fully explore
the tomb by the end of the month to
determine exactly who was buried there.
The site is being guarded by police
while archaeologists continue their work.
Catherine Peristeri, head of the ancient
monuments department in northern
Greece, said that some of Alexander’s
generals and admirals had links to the
area around the city of Amphipolis. It
was also the place where his wife, Roxana,
and son, were killed in 311BC on the
orders of Cassander, a Macedonian
general who fought over the empire after
Alexander the Great ’s death.
Situated about 100km northeast of
Greece’s second-biggest city, Thessaloniki,
the tomb appears to be the largest
discovered in Greece, and probably
belonged to a prominent Macedonian of
that era, a Culture Ministry official said.
The tomb, which consists of decorative
white marble and frescoed walls, was
partly destroyed during the Roman
occupation of Greece.
Amphipolis was founded in 437BC as
an Athenian colony, but was conquered
by Philip II of Macedon, Alexander’s
father, in 357BC.
— New Zealand Herald
The entrance to the tomb was flanked by two car ved sphinxes and encircled by a
457m-long marble wall.
Tomb may be tied to Alexander the Great
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