Sir Ron Trotter was farmers’ friend


A text informed me the farmers’ friend had died.

It was referring to Sir Ron Trotter who  was a graduate of what was then Lincoln College (now University).

He was managing director and chair of Wright Stephenson and instrumental in its merger with National Mortgage about which the NBR tells a wonderful story.

Wrightson NMA was one of the most successful stock and station agencies in the country at a time when local managers were trusted to back people in whom they had confidence.

The NBR also says Sir Ron was a champion of the economic reforms of the 80s.

 Most farmers were unhappy with them at the time but few would want to turn back the clock now and many see the sense in ideas put forward by the Business Round Table which he helped to found.

New Zealand has lost a successful businessman who was generous with his time and skills in many public roles.

Sticks and Stones


Happy birthday Mike Hugg, 68 today.

Hmmm – maybe this should have stayed in the not-all-old-music-was-good-music- file.

Word of the day


Ebberman – one who fishes under bridges.

Is there something special about people who fish under bridges or are there words for fishers who choose other places too?

Driving Home From Elizabethtown


Driving Home from Elizabethtown by Bert Stern is this Tuesday’s Poem.

Among the links to other contributions by Tuesday poets in the sidebar is Russell Sprouts by Ashleigh Young.

Ewe chew


The lamb paddock needed chewing down and we had a mob of old ewes on hand to do the chewing.

That would have been fine if they’d stopped there.

But no-one had checked the gate between the paddock and the garden and the ewes discovered it was open  . . .



12/15 in the Dominon Post political trivia quiz.

Update: Kiwiblog spotted an error in the question on pay for parliamentary sick leave:

It read: “How much do MPs on indefinite leave, lose from their salary every week?” and the options were $50, $500, $110 and $75.

 The question had been changed by the time I did the quiz, it now reads: “How much do MPs on indefinite leave from Parliament lose from their salary on each sitting day?” The options for answers are $50, $500, $10, $75.

We like the 90 day trial


Ever since John Key announced that the 90-day trial period for new employers would be extended to cover all businesses unions have been telling us that’s unfair.

They aren’t reflecting the views of most people:

ONE News asked voters whether they thought the 90-day trial law should be extended to cover all companies every time someone starts a new job. Sixty percent said yes, while just 36% said no. The remainder said they didn’t know, or were unsure.

What the unions fail to understand is that a trial period isn’t just for employers’ sakes.

It helps people get a job and it also helps existing workers.

Having new workers who don’t pull their weight or simply don’t fit in can be really hard on existing staff.

August 11 in history


On August 11:

3114 BC   The Mesoamerican Long Count calendar, used by several pre-Columbian Mesoamerican civilizations, notably the Mayans, began.


2492 BC  Traditional date of the defeat of Bel by Hayk, progenitor and founder of the Armenian nation.


480 BC  Greco-Persian Wars: Battle of Artemisium – the Persians achieved a naval victory over the Greeks in an engagement fought near Artemisium.

Map showing major incidents of the second Persian invasion of Greece

355  Claudius Silvanus, accused of treason, proclaimed himself Roman Emperor against Constantius II.

1755  Charles Lawrence gave expulsion orders to remove the Acadians from Nova Scotia beginning the Great Upheaval.


1786  Captain Francis Light established the British colony of Penang.

1804  Francis II assumed the title of first Emperor of Austria.

1858  First ascent of the Eiger.


1892 Hugh MacDiarmid, Scottish poet, was born  (d. 1978).

1897 Enid Blyton, English author, was born (d. 1968).


1918 World War I:  Battle of Amiens ended.


1919 Constitution of Weimar Republic adopted.

1920  The LatviaBolshevist Russia peace treaty, which relinquished Russia’s authority and pretenses to Latvia, is signed.

1921  Alex Haley, American writer, was born  (d. 1992).


1929   Babe Ruth became the first baseball player to hit 500 home runs in his career with a home run at League Park in Cleveland, Ohio.


1929  The Bud Billiken Parade and Picnic began its annual tradition, which is now the oldest and largest African American parade in the United States.

1933 Jerry Falwell, American preacher, was born (d. 2007).


1934   First civilian prisoners arrived at Federal prison on Alcatraz Island.

1942 Mike Hugg, British musician (Manfred Mann), was born.

1942  Actress Hedy Lamarr and composer George Antheil received a patent for a frequency hopping, spread spectrum communication system that later became the basis for modern technologies in wireless telephones and Wi-Fi.

1952  Bob Mothersbaugh AKA Bob 1, American musician (Devo), was born.

1952  Hussein proclaimed king of Jordan.


1960 Chad declared independence.

1962 The country’s first roll-on roll-off (RO-RO) ferry, New Zealand Railways’ Aramoana entered service between Wellington and Picton.

Picton ferry Aramoana enters service

1965  The Watts riots began in Watts area of Los Angeles.


1972 The last United States ground combat unit left South Vietnam.

1975  Governor Mário Lemos Pires of Portuguese Timor abandoned the capital Dili, following a coup by the Timorese Democratic Union (UDT) and the outbreak of civil war between UDT and Fretilin.

1982  A bomb exploded on Pan Am Flight 830, en route from Tokyo to Honolulu, killing one teenager and injuring 15 passengers.

1988  Al-Qaeda was formed.

Flag of al-Qaeda in Iraq.svg

1999 The Salt Lake City Tornado tore through the downtown district of the city, killing one.

The Salt Lake City Tornado of 1999 rips through downtown

2003 NATO took over command of the peacekeeping force in Afghanistan, marking its first major operation outside Europe in its 54-year-history.


2003 – Jemaah Islamiyah leader Riduan Isamuddin, better known as Hambali, was arrested in Bangkok.

2003 – A heat wave in Paris resulted in temperatures rising to 112°F (44° C), leaving about 144 people dead.


Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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