Word of the day


Bliss –  perfect joy, utter happiness; something causing such happiness; heaven.



7/10 in the Herald’s Christmas quiz.



This is my favourite week of the year.

It’s too late to worry about what’s left on this year’s things-to-do list and too early t think about next year’s.

There’s enough food left over from Christmas to feed us and any waifs and strays who turn up without any effort.

There’s Christmas books to read – autobiographies of Fleur Sullivan and Alison Holst for openers.

There’s family and friends calling.

The sun’s shining.


Vounteering for Christchurch again


Federated Farmers isn’t making a mass call for farmers to mobilise to help in Chirstchurch as they did in February and June because it’s the busiest time of the year.

However, Federated farmers in partnership with the Student Volunteer Army will be helping where they can:

Open call for volunteers (Boxing Day and December 27) A two-day operation is being led by the Student Volunteer Army (SVA) for Boxing Day (December 26) as well as on December 27. The SVA has established a Volunteering Centre at the QEII (Queen Elizabeth II carpark).  Please click here for a map.

Farmers, if you are available, are invited to turn-up anytime from 9am on either Boxing Day or December 27. It is important to go to QEII first as this is to coordinate teams. There will be no Federated Farmers Farmy Army base camp as in previous operations.

Farmers are asked to bring their own equipment (trailer, shovel & barrow etc), lunch, water and sunscreen. Please also remember to bring your own personal protection equipment and a change of clothing.

If you can’t shovel, feel free to bring some food to distribute.

Areas of need Many would have seen images on the news and it is felt a two-day operation would largely break the back of the immediate problem. Please note that streets in the Bexley area are flooded and volunteers are currently advised to stay away.

Some final thoughts If you are in a position to spare a few hours on December 26 and/or December 27, it will be appreciated. That said, this is the business time of the year for farming and we know the commitment that means.

This year has been devastating to Christchurch but the Canterbury spirit lives on. On behalf of everyone who has served in or helped the Farmy Army, no matter how small or large, can we say all say a collective and sincere thank you.

One of the linings to the earthquake clouds has been the community spirit shown by students, famers and other volunteers who have done so much to help people in so much need.


December 26 in history


1481 – Battle of Westbrook – Holland defeated troops of Utrecht.

1620 Pilgrim Fathers landed at what became New Plymouth in Massachusetts.

1716  Thomas Gray, English writer, was born (d. 1771).

1780  Mary Fairfax Somerville, British mathematician, was born (d. 1872).

1791 Charles Babbage, English mathematician and inventor, was born (d. 1871).

1860  The first ever inter-club football match took place between Hallam F.C. and Sheffield F.C. at the Sandygate Road ground in Sheffield.

1862 Four nuns serving as volunteer nurses on board USS Red Rover were the first female nurses on a U.S. Navy hospital ship.


1870 The 12.8-km long Fréjus Rail Tunnel through the Alps was completed.

1871Gilbert and Sullivan collaborated for the first time, on their lost opera, Thespis.

1879 In Christchurch, 30 Catholic Irishmen attacked an Orange (Protestant) procession with pick-handles, while in Timaru 150 men from Thomas O’Driscoll’s Hibernian Hotel surrounded Orangemen and prevented their procession taking place.

Sectarian violence in Canterbury

1891 Henry Miller, American writer, was born  (d. 1980).

1893 Mao Zedong, Chinese military leader and politician, was born (d. 1976).

1898 Marie and Pierre Curie announced the isolation of radium.

1919   Babe Ruth of the Boston Red Sox was sold to the New York Yankees by owner Harry Frazee.

1933 FM radio was patented.

1935 Abdul “Duke” Fakir, American singer (The Four Tops), was born.

1940  Phil Spector, American music producer, was born.

1942 Marco Vinicio Cerezo Arévalo, Guatemalan president, was born.

1949 José Ramos-Horta, President of East Timor, Nobel laureate, was born.

1953 Leonel Fernández, Dominican politician and current President of the Dominican Republic, was born.

1953 Toomas Hendrik Ilves, President of Estonia, was born.

1980 Aeroflot put the Ilyushin Il-86 into service.

1982 Time Magazine’s Man of the Year was for the first time a non-human, the personal computer.

1986 World Population reaches 5 billion according to www.ibiblio.org world population tracker.

1991  The Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union met and formally dissolved the USSR.

2003 A magnitude 6.6 earthquake devastated southeast Iranian city of Bam, killing tens of thousands and destroying the citadel of Arg-é Bam.

2004 A 9.0 magnitude earthquake created a tsunami causing devastation in Sri Lanka, India, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, the Maldives and many other areas around the rim of the Indian Ocean, killing 230,000 people.

2006 The 2006 Hengchun earthquake (7.1 magnitude)  hit Taiwan.

  • Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.

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