Sounds of Silence


Happy birthday Art Garfunkel – 69 today.

Word of the day


Tittynope – a small quantity of anything leftover.

Board members have use-by dates


The people who set the law that U.S.A. presidents could serve no more than two four-year terms provided a good example for boards to follow.

While it there may be exceptions, a couple of four year terms or three three-year terms are generally enough for board members to give their best and retire while they’re still giving it.

When board members step down after a maximum of eight or nine years it provides the opportunity for others to come in with fresh energy and enthusiasm, new ideas and – if they take their role seriously – questions about what’s being done and why.

Health Minister Tony Ryall has told Southern District Health Board chair Errol Miller he won’t be reappointed. There are no questions about his contribution and leadership, it’s just time for change. 

Mr Ryall said Mr Millar had done a notable job for nearly eight years, particularly in “bringing the two boards together”.

A different set of skills was now needed, he said in a brief statement. He said he had appreciated working with Mr Millar and was sure he had “more to offer the health service” in future.

Auckland DHB chair Pat Sneddon has said he will resign after a discussion with the minister too.

Board membership have a use-by date. Good ones realise that themselves and work out it’s time to go before others push them. 

Institutional knowledge and experience and assets for boards but so too are a new perspective and different skills.

Quote of the week


 Labour believed  it could puncture the Govt’s poll ratings by focusing on cost-of-living issues, underlining its portrayal of John Key as being “out-of-touch,” reinforced by headlines of unrest drummed up by unions going on strike.
But it all fell apart in the wake of union bully-boy tactics, conjuring up memories of the era when NZ was ruled by industrial strife. Instead of a new face, Labour has reverted to its old unreconstructed image. The Govt meanwhile can claim it has been successful in cushioning the impact of the recession, not only on households, but on business and labour.

In particular latest indicators on wage movements, with private sector pay rates moving up 0.6% in the September quarter, suggest there is less slack in the labour market than might have been expected at this point in the cycle. The impact of the commodity boom will start to be increasingly felt as NZ moves into 2011.

The Govt is convinced its policy to transform structural elements of the economy, essentially a 3-to-5-year programme, is well understood by the public. What is unusual about the Key-led coalition is the community sector, which has agitated against the policies of previous National Govts, is constructively engaged with this administration, and, as one sector leader put it, “has never been so settled.”                 

                                          Trans Tasman.

Grin & grip caption contest #2


The All Blacks and Helensville in the background can’t be a coincidence.

The photo was borrowed from here. Captions welcomed.

Adam Smith is also inviting captions for a different photo from the same event.

November 5 in history


On Noveber 5:

1338   Ly Anh Tong was enthroned as emperor of Vietnam at the age of two, starting a 37-year reign.

1499   Publication of the Catholicon, the first Breton dictionary as well as the first French dictionary.

1530   The St. Felix’s Flood destroyed the city of Reimerswaal in the Netherlands.

1605   Gunpowder Plot: A conspiracy led by Robert Catesby to blow up the English Houses of Parliament was thwarted when Sir Thomas Knyvet, a justice of the peace, found Guy Fawkes in a cellar below the House of Lords.

Three illustrations in a horizontal alignment.  The leftmost shows a woman praying, in a room.  The rightmost shows a similar scene.  The centre image shows a horizon filled with buildings, from across a river.  The caption reads "Westminster".  At the top of the image, "The Gunpowder Plot" begins a short description of the document's contents.

1688  Glorious Revolution began: William of Orange landed at Brixham.

1743  Coordinated scientific observations of the transit of Mercury were organized by Joseph-Nicolas Delisle.

1757  Seven Years’ War: Frederick the Great defeated the allied armies of France and the Holy Roman Empire at the Battle of Rossbach.

Battle rossbach trap.gif

1768   Treaty of Fort Stanwix, to adjust the boundary line between Indian lands and white settlements set forth in the Proclamation of 1763 in the Thirteen Colonies.

Frontier of NY in Revolution2.png

1780   French-American forces under Colonel LaBalme were defeated by Miami Chief Little Turtle.


1831  Nat Turner, American slave leader, was tried, convicted, and sentenced to death.


1838   The Federal Republic of Central America began to disintegrate when Nicaragua separated from the federation.

1850  Ella Wheeler Wilcox, American author and poet, was born (d. 1919).

1854   Crimean War: The Battle of Inkerman.


1862  Indian Wars: In Minnesota, 303 Dakota warriors were found guilty of rape and murder of whites and were sentenced to hang. 

1872   In defiance of the law, suffragist Susan B. Anthony voted for the first time, and is later fined $100.


1895   George B. Selden was granted the first U.S. patent for an automobile.


1908  Prime Minister Sir Joseph Ward ceremonially opened the North Island main trunk railway line by driving home a final polished silver spike at Manganuioteao, between National Park and Ohakune.

Last spike for North Island main trunk line

1911   Italy annexed Tripoli and Cyrenaica.

1911 Roy Rogers, American actor, was born (d. 1998).


1913   King Otto of Bavaria was deposed by his cousin, Prince Regent Ludwig, who assumed the title Ludwig III.


1913  Vivien Leigh, English actress, was born (d. 1967).

1916   The Kingdom of Poland was proclaimed by the Act of November 5th.

1916  The Everett Massacre in Everett, Washington as political differences led to a shoot-out between the Industrial Workers of the World organisers and local police.


1917   October Revolution: In Tallinn, Estonia, Communist leader Jaan Anvelt led revolutionaries in overthrowing the Provisional Government (As Estonia and Russia were still using the Julian Calendar, subsequent period references show an October 23 date).


1917  St. Tikhon of Moscow was elected the Patriarch of Moscow and of the Russian Orthodox Church.

1921  Princess Fawzia of Egypt, Queen of Iran, was born.

1931   Ike Turner, American musician, was born (d. 2007).

1937   Adolf Hitler held a secret meeting and stateed his plans for acquiring “living space” for the German people.

1940   Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected to a third term as President of the United States.


1941  Art Garfunkel, American musician, was born.

1942   The Second Battle of El Alamein was won by the British Allies.


1963  Tatum O’Neal, American actress, was born.

1967   The Hither Green rail crash killed 49 people. The survivors included Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees.

1968   United States presidential election, 1968: Republican Richard Nixon won the American presidency.

Richard Nixon.jpg

1983   Byford Dolphin diving bell accident killed five and leaves one severely injured.


1986   USS Rentz, USS Reeves and USS Oldendorf visited Qingdao (Tsing Tao) China — the first US Naval visit to China since 1949.

1987   Govan Mbeki was released from custody after serving 24 years of a life sentence for terrorism and treason.

1990   Rabbi Meir Kahane, founder of the far-right Kach movement, was shot dead after a speechin New York.


1995   André Dallaire attempted to assassinate Prime Minister Jean Chrétien of Canada. He is thwarted when the Prime Minister’s wife locked the door.

1996   President of Pakistan Farooq Ahmed Khan Leghari dismissed the government of Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and dissolved the National Assembly of Pakistan.

2006   Saddam Hussein, former president of Iraq, and his co-defendants Barzan Ibrahim al-Tikriti and Awad Hamed al-Bandar were sentenced to death in the al-Dujail trial for the role in the massacre of the 148 Shi’as in 1982.


2007   China’s first lunar satellite, Chang’e 1 went into orbit around the Moon.

Chang e 1.jpg

2009   US Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan allegedly killed 13 and wounded 30 at Fort Hood, Texas in the largest mass shooting ever at a US military installation.


Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.

%d bloggers like this: