Word of the day


Resilience – bouyancy; the ability to recover from change, disaster, illness, misfortune or tragedy.

Thursday’s quiz


1. Who said That which doesn’t kill us makes us stronger?

2. What does a penetrometer measure?

3. It’s fuerza in Spanish and pākahukahu in Maori, what is it in English?

4. When was the Hawkes Bay earthquake?

5. Bob Parker was mayor of which local authority before he was mayor of Christchurch?

Bad timing for good news


Fonterra’s announcement of an increased payout just as news of the Christchurch earthquake was breaking looked crass.

But although it was bad timing there wasn’t much choice and it is good news.

The probability of an increase had been well signalled before the Board meeting and the announcement was expected. Had it not been made reporters would have asked and done the story anyway.

Fonterra’s first concern after the quake was the safety of its staff and then ensuring milk could be collected.

The company made an immediate donation of $1 million to the relief fund and will match shareholder donations dollar for dollar up to another million. It’s  already delivering water to Christchurch in its tankers and will continue to do as long as it’s needed.

The announcement might have looked like bad timing but the injection of extra money into the economy is good and even more important in the wake of the quake.

The tragedy in Christchurch reinforces that people matter most. Helping them and the city recover will take money and improved export income is even more important because of that.

Wounded but not fatally


As we walked through Cashel Mall in the centre of Christchurch a couple of weeks ago we looked at the red stickers on the Whitcoulls building and its neighbours and wondered how businesses were surviving.

The stickers meant the buildings were too damaged to enter. That would be difficult not just for the shops which were closed but neighbouring businesses which were getting fewer customers because of those closures.

We wondered too how people were coping with financial uncertainty and repeated aftershocks, although friends told us they’d got used to them and just carried on.

It will be even harder now but while Christchurch is wounded the wounds won’t be fatal.

Some businesses will close, some people will leave, others who might have come to visit, study or work might choose not to.

But most will stay. The city will survive and rebuild just as Napier did 80 years ago.

An example of how it can be done came from former San Francisco mayor Art Agnos on Afternoons yesterday.

We can help by giving financial, practical and moral support if we’re able to, and when the worst is over and they need visitors we can go back to enjoy the many attractions.

Christchurch is still the South Island’s largest city and the gateway to the Mainland. It’s people are resilient and the country is with them.

February 24 in history


On February 24:

303 – Galerius, Roman Emperor, published his edict that began the persecution of Christians in his portion of the Empire.

Romuliana Galerius head.jpg

1387  King Charles III of Naples and Hungary was assassinated at Buda.

1538 Treaty of Nagyvarad between Ferdinand I and John Zápolya.


1582 Pope Gregory XIII announced the Gregorian calendar.

Gregory XIII.jpg

1607 – L’Orfeo by Claudio Monteverdi, one of the first works recognised as an opera, premiered.

Head of a heavily bearded short-haired man with a  serious expression, leaning slightly forward and facing semi-right,  although his eyes look straight ahead. A white collar over a dark coat  or cloak is also visible.

1711 The London première of Rinaldo by George Frideric Handel, the first Italian opera written for the London  stage.

1739 Battle of Karnal: The army of Iranian ruler Nadir Shah defeated the forces of the Mughal emperor of India, Muhammad Shah.

Nader Shah Afshar.jpg 

1786 Wilhelm Grimm, German philologist and folklorist, was born (d. 1859).

The Grimm Brothers, Jacob Grimm and Wilhelm

1803 The Supreme Court of the United States, in Marbury v. Madison, established the principle of judicial review.

1804 London‘s Drury Lane Theatre burnt to the ground, leaving owner Richard Brinsley Sheridan destitute.


1822 The 1st Swaminarayan temple in the world, Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Ahmedabad, was inaugurated.

Shree Swaminarayan Sampraday, Ahmedabad.jpg

1826  The signing of the Treaty of Yandaboo marked the end of the First Burmese War.

1831 The Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek, the first removal treaty in accordance with the Indian Removal Act, was proclaimed. The Choctaws in Mississippi ceded land east of the river in exchange for payment and land in the West.


1839 William Otis received a patent for the steam shovel.


1848 King Louis-Philippe of France abdicated.

1868 The first parade to have floats was staged at Mardi Gras in New Orleans.

1868 – Andrew Johnson became the first President of the United States to be impeached by the United States House of Representatives.



 1875 The SS Gothenburg hit the Great Barrier Reef and sank off the Australian east coast, killing approximately 100.

SS Gothenburg.jpg

1877  Ettie Rout, New Zealand activist, was born  (d. 1936).


1893 The American University was chartered by an act of the Congress.


1895 Revolution broke out in Baire beginning the second war for Cuban independence.

1899 Western Washington University was established.

1902 The Battle of Langverwacht Hill ended.

End of the battle of Langverwacht Hill

1909 – The Hudson Motor Car Company was founded.

Hudson Logo.svg

1917 The U.S. ambassador to the United Kingdom was given the Zimmermann Telegram, in which Germany pledged to ensure the return of New Mexico, Texas, and Arizona to Mexico if Mexico declares war on the United States.


1918 – Estonian Declaration of Independence.


1920 The Nazi Party was founded.

NSDAP Reichsadler.svg

1926  Jean Alexander, English actress, was born.


1942 Battle of Los Angeles: a UFO flying over Los Angeles caused a blackout order at 2:25 a.m. and attracted a barrage of anti-aircraft fire, ultimately killing 3 civilians.


1942 Paul Jones, English singer (Manfred Mann), was born.

1945 Egyptian Premier Ahmed Maher Pasha was killed in Parliamen.

1948 Dennis Waterman, British actor, was born.

1968  The Tet Offensive was halted; South Vietnam recaptured Hué.


1970 National Public Radio was founded in the United States.


1976 Cuba’s national Constitution proclaimed.

1981 Buckingham Palace announcedthe engagement of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer.


1981 – An earthquake registering 6.7 on the Richter scale hit Athens, killing 16 people and destroying buildings in several towns west of the city.

1989 – Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini offered a USD $3 million bounty for the death of The Satanic Verses’ author Salman Rushdie.

1988 Salman Rushdie The Satanic Verses.jpg

1989 – United Airlines Flight 811, bound for New Zealand from Honolulu, Hawaii, ripped open during flight, sucking 9 passengers out of the business-class section.

1999 – A China Southern Airlines Tupolev TU-154 airliner crashed on approach to Wenzhou airport killing 61.

2006 Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo declared Proclamation 1017 placing the country in a state of emergency in attempt to subdue a possible military coup.

2007 Japan launched its fourth spy satellite.

2008 Fidel Castro retired as the President of Cuba.


2010 – Sachin Tendulkar scored the first double century in One Day International cricket.

Sachin Tendulkar.jpg

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.

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