Bob Marley would have been 65 today.
Happy birthday Denis Norden – 88 today.
His voice is familiar from the radio, I don’t recall watching him on TV, though. Maybe the British programmes in which he featured didn’t make it to New Zealand?
Since it’s Waitangi Day:
Last Waitangi Day I spent most of the day getting to Auckland to celebrate the silver wedding anniversary of friends.
I can’t remember clearly what I did on February 6 the year before, or the year before that or any other Waitangi Day.
Early February is a busy time on any farm so regardless of the holiday there has to be some business as usual.
I suspect when our daughter was at school we took the opportunity to go to the river for a swim but I have no memories of marking the day in any way which showed I was aware of its meaning.
That could also be said of Queens Birthday and Labour days.
But Waitangi Day is still special.
I can’t think of any other country where there was such an attempt to bridge the gap between the indigenous people and the government of the colonisers.
That the execution didn’t live up to the intent is shameful, but that shouldn’t detract from the importance of the attempt.
Such respect for indigenous people and recognition they had rights was probably unique at the time and it’s by no means universal now.
It’s fitting to mark that with due ceremony at Waitangi and wherever else people choose to do so. But if some, perhaps most of us, choose to mark the anniversary of the treaty’s signing, without the hoopla with which other countries celebrate their important days, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Being free to celebrate a wedding anniversary with friends, swim in the river or do whatever else we please is just as much a celebration as making a big fuss.
Meanwhile though, in Townsville my niece, who is a Kiwi of Scottish, English and Dutch descent, will be having a hangi with friends.
On February 6:
1664 Mustafa II, Ottoman Sultan, was born
1840 Around 40 Maori chiefs, led by Hone Heke, signed a treaty with the British Crown at Waitangi.
1842 Mary Rudge, English chess master, was born.
1848 Walter B. Pitkin, American lecturer in philosophy and psychology, was born.
1894 Eric Partridge, New Zealand lexicographer, was born.
1895 Babe Ruth, American baseball player, was born.
1899 The Treaty of Paris, a peace treaty between the United States and Spain, was ratified by the United States Senate.
1911 Ronald Reagan, 40th President of the United States, was born.
1917 Zsa Zsa Gábor, Hungarian-born actress, was born.
1922 Denis Norden, British radio and television personality, was born.
1922 The Washington Naval Treaty was signed, limiting the naval armaments of United States, Britain, Japan, France, and Italy.
1933 The 20th Amendment to the United States Constitution went into effect.
1945 Bob Marley, Jamaican musician, was born.
1947 The trans-Tasman liner Wanganella was refloated after 18 days stuck on Barrett Reef.
1950 Natalie Cole, American singer, was born.
1951 The Broker, a Pennsylvania Railroad passenger train derailed near Woodbridge Township, New Jersey, killing 85 people and injuring over 500 more.
1976 Princess Marie of Denmark, was born.
1978 The Blizzard of 1978, one of the worst Nor’easters in New England history, hit the region, with sustained winds of 65 mph and snowfall of 4″ an hour.
1987 Justice Mary Gaudron became the first woman appointed to the High Court of Australia.
Sourced from NZ History Online & WIkipedia.