Honour and hope

01/03/2011

Deputy Prime Minister Bill English spoke at the Wellington vigil for the Christhcurcfh earthquake victims this afternoon:

Today we will honour, by our silence, those who died in the Christchurch earthquake.

And in those quiet moments we can contemplate what fear or courage, what horror or hope filled their last moments.

People who began their day, just one week ago, the same way as we began our day today.

Their conversations and their laughter were savagely stopped and their homes and workplaces are ruined and quiet.

Today we stand in silence with those who watched them go, the families, friends, workmates and strangers who reached for them, tried their utmost to protect them and comforted them, even when their own lives were in danger.

And the end of our silence will be the beginning of hope.

Hope that we can stitch up the ragged edges of broken hearts and broken homes and rebuild.

Hope that the memory of those who have died will be the foundations of a renewed city and renewed communities.

We hope we can heal the doubts of all who have suffered from this devastation, that their homes and workplaces can once again be safe and sustaining.

So as this silence brings us together, may it also remind us of the truth that this suffering and loss, has taught us – our loved ones matter more and our daily anxieties matter less.

May the living have Hope. May those who have died Rest in Peace.


Word of the day

01/03/2011

Hiraeth – homesickness;  the sense of loss that comes from having been separated from one’s home; missing the feeling of being home, of having a place; longing or nostalgia especially for Wales and things Welsh.


Quake communication by social media and memoirs

01/03/2011

Discussion of on-line matters with Jim Mora on Critical Mass started with how on-line media complemented the MSM in coverage of the Christchurch earthquake.

Facebook, Twitter and blogs helped people connect with family and friends and also mobilise volunteers and equipment to help with recovery effort.

Among the many blog posts was one in which Brian Edwards and  Judy Callingham wrote of how Twitter brought us news that our family in Christchurch was safe.

Another which caught my eye was Not PC, who wrote of the tragedy and included descriptions of what happened to the buildings.

Many bloggers in Christchurch didn’t have power or internet connections at first but started posting when they could and their accounts provide a powerful human record of the quake and its aftermath.

It might be just as well they didn’t read the problem with memoirs first. In this column Neil Genzlinger, a staff editor at the New York Times writes disparagingly on memoirs written by people with nothing much to say.

One of those whose memoir he disparages, Sean Manning, responded in the Daily Beast.


Reflecting in silence

01/03/2011

At 12:51 New Zealanders are being asked to observe two minute’s silence for the victims of the Christchurch earthquake.

Prime Minister John Key said:

“This may be New Zealand’s single most tragic event.

“I am calling on all New Zealanders to stop and remember those who have lost their lives, those who are missing, and the hundreds of people who are mourning family and friends.”

The quake struck on Tuesday 22 February 2011 at 12.51pm.

“At 12.51pm this Tuesday, the 1st of March, I am asking that New Zealand stops for two minutes as a sign of unity for the people of Canterbury who are enduring a tragedy beyond what most of us can imagine.

“Canterbury will recover and we will do all we can to ensure it does.

“For now we must do all we can to show its people that all of New Zealand grieves with them.”

The tragedy has touched all corners of the country.

This will be an opportunity to remember and reflect.

The rescue and recovery effort will continue. It will need all of us to help in whatever way we can. 

Ater the observation of silence one way we can do that is by carrying on as normal, even though normal will never be what it was before the quake struck at 12:51 on Tuesday February 22.


Ferrier leaving Fonterra

01/03/2011

Fonterra CEO Andrew Ferrier is leaving the company later this year.

Mr Ferrier said that, with Fonterra in good shape, it provided the right opportunity for the transition. He said that he intended to continue living in New Zealand after he left Fonterra, but wanted the flexibility to spend a little more time with family, including in his homeland Canada.

“I have always thought that a successful CEO should build a culture and capability in an organisation, to ensure that it continues to improve when you move on,” Mr Ferrier said. “Fonterra is a great co-operative and, when I leave, I will have absolute confidence in it becoming even stronger in the future.

“I have had 17 years as a CEO, including eight years at Fonterra, and I am looking forward to more flexibility in my life, spending more time with my family, and choosing from a number of business interests that are available to me.”

The low point for Fonterra under his tenure was the Sanlu contaminated milk powder tragedy.

There have been many high points, including  growth in international markets, development of new products and record payouts to shareholders.


Buildings old and new

01/03/2011

Christchurch had some beautiful old buildings but, as Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee said, some of those old buildings killed people.

On Breakfast this morning he said it might be possible to restore some of the historic buildings.

But it won’t be possible to restore them all and nor should anyone try – the rebuild will be faster and the city safer if some are razed and cleared.

New buildings are safer. We have not just building codes to thank for that but the fact that people who design and build our buildings, comply with them.

As Gerry also said:”You set codes, you build to codes and people stay safe.”

There are other parts of the world which have codes which aren’t applied or complied with.


Make today a Red and Black day

01/03/2011

Last Tuesday was a black day, an email arrived last night suggesting we make this Tuesday (today) a Red and Black day.

I have an idea…. lets all wear red and black (Canterbury sporting colours) next Tuesday 1 March – a week after the terrible and fatal earthquake, to show our heart-felt support for Christchurch people and to give Cantabrians the message that “we love you, we feel your pain and we are all with you”.

Imagine walking down the street and seeing red and black everywhere – New Zealanders showing support and solidarity for fellow New Zealanders.

Imagine being a visitor to NZ and experiencing this country-wide expression of support.

Imagine being a Cantabrian and seeing and feeling this big wave of kiwi support. 

Get out your red and black clothes, scarves, hats, bags and shoes next Tuesday 1 March and show you care for Christchurch

Share this with your family, friends, work colleagues and neighbours  

Let’s show Christchurch that we care for them and are thinking of them now.

(Ribbon borrowed from Scrubone at Something Should Go Here Maybe Later).


March 1 in history

01/03/2011

On March 1:

752 BC Romulus, first king of Rome celebrated the first Roman triumph after his victory over the Caeninenses.

 

86 BC  Lucius Cornelius Sulla, at the head of a Roman Republic army, entered Athens, removing the tyrant Aristion who was supported by troops of Mithridates VI of Pontus.

286  Roman Emperor Diocletian raised Maximian to the rank of Caesar.

Maximian.gif

293  Roman Emperors Diocletian and Maximian appointed Constantius Chlorus and Galerius as Caesares,  beginning the Tetrarchy.

 

317 Crispus and Constantine II, sons of Roman Emperor Constantine I, and Licinius Iunior, son of Emperor Licinius, were made Caesares.

1445  Sandro Botticelli, Italian painter, was born (d. 1510).

1449 Lorenzo de’ Medici, Italian statesman, was born (d. 1492).

Portrait by Agnolo Bronzino

1457 The Unitas Fratrum was established in the village of Kunvald, on the Bohemian-Moravian borderland. It is the second oldest Protestant denomination.

1562 23 Huguenots were massacred by Catholics in Wassy marking the start of the French Wars of Religion.

1565 The city of Rio de Janeiro was founded.

1628 Writs were issued by Charles I of England mandating that every county in England (not just seaport towns) pay ship tax by this date.

1633 Samuel de Champlain reclaimed his role as commander of New France on behalf of Cardinal Richelieu.

1692 Sarah Good, Sarah Osborne and Tituba were brought before local magistrates in Salem Village, Massachusetts, beginning the Salem witch trials.

1810 Frédéric Chopin, Polish composer, was born (d. 1849).
Chopin in 1849

1811 Leaders of the Mameluke dynasty were killed by Egyptian ruler Muhammad Ali.

 

1815 Napoleon returned to France from his banishment on Elba.

1840 Adolphe Thiers became prime minister of France.

1852 Archibald William Montgomerie, 13th Earl of Eglinton was appointed Lord Lieutenant of Ireland.

1870 Marshal F.S. López died during the Battle of Cerro Corá marking the end of the War of the Triple Alliance.

1872 Yellowstone National Park was established as the world’s first national park.

Canary Spring

1873 E. Remington and Sons in Ilion, New York began production of the first practical typewriter.

1886 Maungatautari Whare Uta (Maori bank) was created in response to Maori concern they were being cheated by Pakeha bankers.

Maungatautari Whare Uta (Maori bank) created

 1886 The Anglo-Chinese School, Singapore was founded by Bishop William Oldham.

 

1893 Nikola Tesla made the first public demonstration of radio in St. Louis, Missouri.

1896 Battle of Adowa: an Ethiopian army defeated an outnumbered Italian force, ending the First Italo–Ethiopian War.

Battle of Adwa Tapestry Closeup.png

1896 Henri Becquerel discovered radioactivity.

1904 Glenn Miller, American bandleader, was born  (d. 1944).

 

1901 The Shotover Bridge (from which I threw myself three years ago – on a bungy cord) opened.

Shotover River bridge opened

1910 The worst avalanche in United States history buried a Great Northern Railway train in northeastern King County, Washington, killing 96 people.

 

1910 David Niven, English actor, was born (d. 1983).

 

1912 Albert Berry made the first parachute jump from a moving airplane.

1917 Robert Lowell, American poet, was born (d. 1977).

1919 March 1st Movement began in Korea.

 The March 1st Movement monument.

1922 Yitzhak Rabin, Prime Minister of Israel, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, was born  (d. 1995).

1927 Harry Belafonte, American musician and activist, was born.

 

1932 The son of Charles Lindbergh, Charles Augustus Lindbergh III, was kidnapped.

1936 The Hoover Dam was completed.

Hoover Dam

1936 – A strike occurred aboard the S.S. California, leading to the demise of the International Seamen’s Union and the creation of the National Maritime Union.

1939 Japanese Imperial Army ammunition dump exploded at Hirakata, Osaka, killing 94.

1939 Trans-Canada Air Lines (forerunner of Air Canada) begins transcontinental operations (between Vancouver and Montreal).

1944 – Mike d’Abo, English singer (Manfred Mann), was born.

1944 Roger Daltrey, English musician (The Who), was born.

1946 The Bank of England was nationalised.

1947 The International Monetary Fund began financial operations.

International Monetary Fund logo.svg

1953 Joseph Stalin suffered a stroke and collapsed, he died four days later.

1954  Ron Howard, American actor and director, was born.

1954 Nuclear testing: The Castle Bravo, a 15-megaton hydrogen bomb, was detonated on Bikini Atoll resulting in the worst radioactive contamination ever caused by the United States.

Castle Bravo Blast.jpg

1956  Dalia Grybauskaite, President of Lithuania, was born.

1956  The International Air Transport Association finalised a draft of the Radiotelephony spelling alphabet for the International Civil Aviation Organization.

1956 – Formation of the National People’s Army.

1961  President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps.

US-PeaceCorps-Logo.svg

1961 – Uganda became self-governing and held its first elections.

1964 Villarrica Volcano began a strombolian eruption causing lahas that destroy half of the town Coñaripe.

 

1966 – Venera 3 Soviet space probe crashed on Venus becoming the first spacecraft to land on another planet‘s surface.

1966 – The Ba’ath Party took power in Syria.

Ba'ath Party flag

1973 Black September terrorists stormed the Saudi embassy in Khartoum, Sudan resulting in the 1973 Khartoum diplomatic assassinations.

1975 Colour television transmissions began in Australia.

1981  Bobby Sands began his hunger strike.

Bobby sands mural in belfast320.jpg

1992 Bosnia and Herzegovina declared its independence from Yugoslavia.

1995 Polish Prime Minister Waldemar Pawlak resigned from parliament and was replaced by ex-communist Józef Oleksy.

2000 – Hans Blix assumed the position of Executive Chairman of UNMOVIC.

2002 U.S. invasion of Afghanistan: Operation Anaconda began in eastern Afghanistan.

Anaconda-helicopter.jpg

2002 – The Envisat environmental satellite successfully reached an orbit 800 kilometers (500 miles) above the Earth on its 11th launch, carrying the heaviest payload to date at 8500 kilograms (9.5 tons).

 

2002 The peseta was discontinued as official currencyof Spain and replaced with the euro (€).

100 pesetas 200 pesetas - Madrid European Capital of Culture - 1992

2003 – The International Criminal Court held its inaugural session in The Hague.

2004 Mohammed Bahr al-Uloum becomes President of Iraq.

2005 Death penalty for juveniles revoked in United States of America.

2006 English-language Wikipedia reached its one millionth article, Jordanhill railway station.

White sphere made of large jigsaw pieces. Letters from many alphabets are shown on the pieces.

2007 Tornadoes swarmed across the southern United States, killing at least 20.

2007 – “Squatters” were evicted from Ungdomshuset in Copenhagen, provoking the March 2007 Denmark Riots.

 

2008  Armenian police clashed with peaceful opposition rally protesting against allegedly fraudulent presidential elections 2008 killing at least 10 people.

 

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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