Word of the day

February 23, 2011

Anguish – severe phyical or mental pain.


Practical help

February 23, 2011

The Salvation Army in Oamaru is asking for donations of blankets and fresh baking which will be delivered to Christchurch tomorrow.

Rural Women has requested portaloos and petrol on behalf of Access Homehealth which supports elderly and disabled people in their homes.

Fonterra delivered 200,000 litres of fresh water to Christchurch this morning and is transporting more bulk containers to its Clandeboye site.

It is getting 34 pods, each of which can hold 21,000 litres,  from around the South Island.  They will be filled with water and delivered to Christchurch for as long as it’s necessary.

The company also has UHT milk supplies ready to go where it is needed.

The University of Canterbury’s Volunteer Army is organising volunteers to help as it did in September.


It’s not only words

February 23, 2011

What do you do when you only have words and words seem inadequate?

If they come from the heart it’s not only words, it’s compassion, comfort and encouragement.

Prime Minister John Key has just held a media conference at which he said:

New Zealanders have woken to a tragedy unfolding in the great city of Christchurch.

The earthquake that struck the Canterbury region at ten to one yesterday has wreaked death and destruction on a dreadful scale.

There is no reason that can make sense of this event.

No words that can spare our pain.

We are witnessing the havoc caused by a violent and ruthless act of nature.

Many people have lost their lives. Families have lost their cherished loved ones. Mates have lost their mates.

These deaths are the greatest loss.

They remind us that buildings are just buildings, roads just roads, but our people are irreplaceable.

Today all New Zealanders grieve for you Christchurch.

To all those who woke up in Christchurch today feeling lucky to be alive, we know that you too are shocked, unnerved and grieving.

We know that your loss is sharpened by fear.

Our minds go to the mothers and fathers comforting children struck by anxiety and disbelief.

They go to the elderly, infirm and isolated who experienced this event alone and who remain blunted by shock.

And they go to each and every Cantabrian who has stoically endured six months of aftershocks, only to be hit by the biggest shock of all.

On behalf of New Zealand let me say to all of you: We feel your pain, as only a small nation can, for none of us feel removed from this event.

I am a proud son of Christchurch. I was raised there, I got my first job there, my sister lives there, my mother died there, I know what a wonderful place it is.

But my connection to Christchurch is no rare thing.

All New Zealanders have a piece of our heart in Christchurch.

All of our lives are touched by this event.

A friend or family member who lives there. A time spent studying there or a memorable experience had there.

We feel connected to your suffering. Your tragedy is our tragedy.

Today I want Christchurch to hear this message:

You will get through this.

This proud country is right behind you and we are backing you with all our might.

The world is with us.

Our Australian neighbours, our British and American friends, the great countries of this world, all are putting their shoulder to your wheel. They are sending their support, their expertise, their people to help us.

Christchurch, today is the day your great comeback begins.

Though your buildings are broken, your streets awash, and your hearts are aching, your great spirit will overcome.

While nature has taken much from you, it can not take your survivor’s spirit.

This devastating event marks the beginning of a long journey for your city.

It will be a journey that leads us from ruins and despair to hope and new opportunities. From great hardship will come great strength.

It will be a difficult journey, but progress is certain, things will get better, Christchurch will rise again.

On behalf of the Government, let me be clear that no one will be left to walk this journey alone.

New Zealand will walk this journey with you. We will be there every step of the way.

Christchurch; this is not your test, this is New Zealand’s test.

I promise we will meet this test.

Today and tomorrow our focus must be on preserving lives, on rescuing those who are trapped and treating those who are injured.

We pay tribute to the hundreds of search and rescue workers, emergency personnel, medical professionals and each and every person who is contributing to this effort.

You are heroes amongst us.

Already the bravery and resilience of Canterbury is on show.

In the weeks ahead our journey will take us to new obstacles, new challenges.

We have a city to rebuild. We have peoples’ livelihoods to restore. We have a community’s confidence to inspire.

We will rise to these challenges.

We will rebuild this city resolutely, and with the conviction that this is what it is to be a Cantabrian, what it is to be a New Zealander.

We are a country of pioneers. Whether we came by waka, sailboat, or aeroplane, we came with the conviction that we could build a new life in this country.

That great pioneering spirit will come to the fore in Christchurch over the coming months and years.

Though lost lives will never be replaced, and though your city will never look the same again, you will rebuild your city, you will rebuild your lives, you will overcome.

We have seen many cities in the world come back from disasters on this scale, and Christchurch will be no exception.

I know that all New Zealanders stand ready to help.

Right now, we can help by rallying around those who are grieving, supporting those whose livelihoods are in peril.

My message to all Kiwis who want to help is – act on that desire.

No act of kindness is too small.

Right now, you can help by offering support to friends and family who are hurting. Offer them a bed or a roof over their head if that is what they need. Make your donations to help those who have been hit hardest.

As infrastructure recovers, your visits to Christchurch will be welcome.

Above all, throughout this journey, offer those affected your love. Know that your humanity is more powerful than any act of nature.

As we look to the future, New Zealanders should know that the Government is going to do everything we can to support the recovery and rebuilding of Christchurch.

We are a resilient nation, and we will not bow down to this challenge. . .

Words too can express what we are feeling and help make sense of the senseless. Poet Mary McCallum writes:

After the last earthquake in Christchurch, I posted a poem trying to haul together what had happened there, and express what I’d seen and read at my safe distance in Wellington. I post it again today – the earthquake in Christchurch yesterday has devastated that city and its people. It was far worse in effect than the one last September, but the stuff of this poem does, I think, hold true, especially the opening lines — and not just for the people of Christchurch but for all of us in NZ at the moment … ‘it mobs us/leaves us/immobile//we are aghast…’ 

You can read Earth here.


General donation better than specific

February 23, 2011

When disaster strikes it reflects well on human nature that most of us want to help.

If you’re not close enough, or qualified, to do something practical then donations to organisations helping and supporting those in need are the next best thing.

Relief funds were set up for the people of Canterbury after September’s earthquake and others have already been set up to help people after yesterday’s.

When you give to a charity like Red Cross you’ll have a choice of your money going to a specific project or general purposes.

One of the unexpected consequences of disasters is donations for relief efforts result in a shortage of funds for the good work which is business as normal for charities. Money given to a general fund can, and will, be used to help with a disaster but money given for a specific purpose can’t usually be directed elsewhere.

While a disaster generates generosity it’s often better not to target your donation to relief efforts, but to leave it to the organisation to direct it to where the need is greatest.


Darkest day

February 23, 2011

It was difficult to drive away from Christchurch yesterday afternoon when I knew so many people there needed help.

But I also knew there were experts there doing what needed to be done and the last thing they needed was an extra person getting in the way.

The drive home was a sombre one as I listened to National Radio’s excellent coverage of the earthquake.

From the start there was the expectation of fatalities. The first official count was 17, minutes later it increased to 65 and it will be much worse than that.

I texted a couple of friends but mindful of overloaded lines didn’t try to phone anyone. I’m still waiting and hoping, to find out they are all safe.

Prime Minister John Key said yesterday, we may be witnessing New Zealand’s darkest day.

As the death toll climbs and the enormity of the work involved in rescue and recovery sinks in, today won’t seem any lighter.


February 23 in history

February 23, 2011

On February 23:

632 The Last Sermon (Khutbah, Khutbatul Wada’) of Prophet Muhammad.

1455 Traditional date for the publication of the Gutenberg Bible, the first Western book printed from movable type.

1633 Samuel Pepys, English naval administrator, man of letters and diarist, was born  (d. 1703).

1660 – Charles XI became King of Sweden.

1739 – Richard Palmer was identified at York Castle by his former schoolteacher, as the outlaw Dick Turpin.

A monochrome illustration of a man on  horseback, jumping a wooden gate.  He is wearing a wide-brimmed hat,  coat, trousers, and long boots.  His left hand holds the reins, in his  right hand is a pistol.  A man stands in the near distance, in front of a  toll booth, with a shocked expression on his face.  Obscured by the  gate, a small dog watches proceedings.

1744 –  Mayer Amschel Rothschild, German-born banker, was born  (d. 1812).

1820 – Cato Street Conspiracy: A plot to murder all the British cabinet ministers was exposed.

1836 – The Battle of the Alamo began in San Antonio, Texas.

The crumbling facade of a stone building is missing its roof and  part of its second floor.  A pile of stone rubble sits in the courtyard.  In front of the building are a horse-drawn carriage and several people  in 1850s-style clothing: women in long dresses with full skirts and men  in suits with top hats.

1840  Frederick Wicks, English author and inventor, was born (d. 1910).

1847  Battle of Buena Vista – American troops under General Zachary Taylor defeated Mexican General Antonio López de Santa Anna.

 

1850 César Ritz, Swiss hotelier, was born (d. 1918).

 

1854 The official independence of the Orange Free State was declared.

      

1887 French Riviera was hit by a large earthquake, killing around 2,000.

1898 Émile Zola was imprisoned in France after writing “J’accuse,” a letter accusing the French government of anti-Semitism and wrongfully imprisoning Captain Alfred Dreyfus.

1903 Cuba leased Guantánamo Bay to the United States “in perpetuity”.

 Gitmo Aerial.jpg

1904  940,000 hectares of west Southland were permanently reserved for what became Fiordland national park.

  First step in creation of Fiordland National Park

1905 Chicago attorney Paul Harris and three other businessmen met for lunch to form the Rotary Club, the world’s first service club.

1909 The AEA Silver Dart made the first powered flight in Canada.

1917 First demonstrations in Saint Petersburg. The beginning of the February Revolution.

Patrol of the October revolution.jpg

1918  First victory of Red Army over the Kaiser’s German troops near Narva and Pskov. In honor of this victory, the date has been celebrated from 1923 onward as “Red Army Day”; it was renamed Defender of the Fatherland Day after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, and is colloquially known as “Men’s Day”.

1919 Benito Mussolini formed the Fascist Party in Italy.

National Fascist Party logo.jpg

1934 Léopold III became King of Belgium.

1940 100,000 people welcomed home HMS Achilles, the ship involved in the Batte of the River Plate, the Allies first naval victory in WWII.

100,000 welcome home HMS <em>Achilles</em> crew

1940 Peter Fonda, American actor, was born.

1941 Plutonium was first produced and isolated by Dr. Glenn T. Seaborg.

Light-gray standing cylinder. Its top slice has been cut off and  slightly shifted aside exposing a darker inside

1944 The Soviet Union began forced deportation of the Chechen and Ingush people from the North Caucasus to Central Asia.

1945 During the Battle of Iwo Jima, a group of United States Marines and a U.S. Navy Corpsman, reached the top of Mount Suribachi on the island and were photographed raising the American flag. The photo won a Pulitzer Prize and became the model for the national USMC War Memorial.

 Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima, by Joe Rosenthal / The Associated Press.

1945 The 11th Airborne Division, with Filipino guerrillas, freed the captives of the Los Baños internment camp.

1945 Manila, was liberated by American forces.

1945 Capitulation of German garrison in Poznań.

1945 German town of Pforzheim was completely destroyed by a raid of 379 British bombers.

1945  The Verona Philharmonic Theatre was bombed by Allied forces.

1947 The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) was founded.

1954 The first mass inoculation of children against polio with the Salk vaccine began in Pittsburgh.

1955  First meeting of the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO).

1957  The founding congress of the Senegalese Popular Bloc was opened in Dakar.

1958 Cuban rebels kidnapped 5-time world driving champion Juan Manuel Fangio.

Fangio.png

1960 Naruhito, Crown Prince of Japan, was born.

1966 In Syria Baath party member Salah Jadid led an intra-party military coup that replaced the previous government of General Amin Hafiz, also a Baathist.

1969 Michael Campbell, New Zealand golfer, was born.

Michael Campbell Wellington 2005.jpg

1981 Antonio Tejero attempted a coup d’état by capturing the Spanish Congress of Deputies.

Tejero golpe.jpg

1983 The Spanish Socialist government of Felipe González and Miguel Boyer nationalised Rumasa, a holding company founded by entrepreneur José María Ruiz Mateos.

1983 Emily Blunt, British actress, was born.

1983 The United States Environmental Protection Agency announced its intent to buy out and evacuate the dioxin-contaminated community of Times Beach, Missouri.

1987 Supernova 1987a was seen in the Large Magellanic Cloud.

Supernova-1987a.jpg

1991 Ground troops crossed the Saudi Arabian border and entered Iraq, starting the ground phase of the Gulf War.

 

1991 Thai General Sunthorn Kongsompong led a bloodless coup d’état, deposing Prime Minister Chatichai Choonhavan.

1992 –  The Socialist Labour Party was founded in Georgia.

1998 –  Tornadoes in central Florida destroyed or damaged 2,600 structures and killed 42.

1998 – Osama bin Laden published a fatwa declaring jihad against all Jews and “Crusaders”; the latter term is commonly interpreted to refer to the people of Europe and the United States.

Bin Laden Poster2.jpeg

1999 Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Öcalan was charged with treason in Ankara.

 

1999 An avalanche destroyed the Austrian village of Galtür, killing 31.

Galtür (01).jpg
 

 2005 n Slovakia, a two-day “Slovakia Summit 2005” took place between U.S. President George W. Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

 

2005 The French law on colonialism was passed, requiring teachers to teach the “positive values of colonialism”.

2007 – A train derailed on an evening express service near Grayrigg, Cumbria, killing one person and injuring 22.

VirginPendolinoDerailment.jpg

2008 A United States Air Force B-2 Spirit crashed on Guam, the first operational loss of a B-2.

 

 

 2010 – Unknown criminals poured more than 2.5 million liters of diesel oil and other hydrocarbons into the river Lambro, in Northern Italy, causing an environmental disaster.

 Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipeida.


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