Word of the day


Maculate – blotched, spotted or stained; impure; to blemish, spot or pollute.

NZ Whisky gold


The Loan and Merc, which is also known as Fleur’s Other Place*, is housed in an old warehouse in Oamaru’s historic precinct.

However, the restaurant isn’t the only tenant in the building. Upstairs the New Zealand Whisky Company,  is maturing  400 barrels of whisky two of which have won world recognition:

New Zealand has blitzed the field at a United States Whisky Olympiad, in a boost to the region’s burgeoning whisky-making credentials. Two rare whiskies from the New Zealand Whisky Collection won gold medals at the Mid West Whisky Olympics in Michigan, outperforming some of the world’s most revered whiskies from Scotland, Ireland and Canada.

The 10-year-old Dunedin DoubleWood, which is available in Australia through Dan Murphy’s, was crowned World’s Best Blended Whisky. Silver went to Canada’s Crown Royal and bronze to Jamesons of Ireland.

And the 21 year old South Island Single Malt whisky was named World’s Best Single Malt in the same competition, beating the Silver Cross from Michigan’s Journeyman Distillery and Scotland’s Glenlivet 15 year old French Oak Reserve.

The New Zealand Whiskey Collection comprises 400 barrels of stock from the country’s last distillery which closed in the 1990s. It has since been maturing in a South Island seaside warehouse.    Spokesman Greg Ramsay said the wins were a massive endorsement of its quality.

“For the Dunedin Doublewood and South Island Single Malt to beat some of the best whiskies in the world in this competition is testament to their pure, premium ingredients and the craftsmanship with which they were made,” Mr Ramsay said.

“New Zealand is starting to take its rightful place as a producer of some of the world’s great whiskies.”

* Called Fleur’s Other Place because it’s run by Fleur Sullivan of Fleurs Place fame.

Hat tip: Oamaru Life

Thursday’s quiz


1. “. . .  for when women are the advisers, the lords of creation don’t take the advice till they have persuaded themselves that it is just what they intended to do. Then they act upon it, and, if it succeeds, they give the weaker vessel half the credit of it. If it fails, they generously give her the whole.”?

2.  Which New Zealand author wrote The Matriarch?

3. It’s matrone in French, matrona in Italian, matriarca in Spanish and kuikui in Maori, what is it in English?

4.  Who was the Greek goddess of wisdom, warfare, battle strategy, heroic endeavour, handicrafts and reason.

5. Who topped Forbes’ list of the world’s most powerful women this year?

Prepare to ShakeOut


At 9.26am on Wednesday September 26 more than a million people will participate in the earthquake drill New Zealand ShakeOut.

Wherever we are, at home, work or school, inside or outside, we’re being asked to join in and practise the drill:  “Drop, Cover and Hold”.

That’s what we’re meant to do in an earthquake.

Rural Support Trusts have a message for farmers:

Stop for a moment and think – if there had just been a major earthquake:

  • Are your family and staff safe?
  • If you have lost services or infrastructure, are you able to keep your farm operating?

Following the 2010 Darfield earthquake some properties did not have power for up to a week. Also, rotary dairy platforms were knocked off their mountings, grain silos collapsed, and reticulated water systems were damaged. In the 1987 Edgecumbe earthquake, milk silos at the dairy factory collapsed. The 1968 Inangahua earthquake saw all roads out of the area blocked.

“The priority for restoring services such as electricity and telephone service is likely to go to the areas of highest population first,” says Lindsay Wright of the Southland Rural Support Trust. “This means that the more remote rural areas may have to wait several days for restoration of services. If the roads are blocked, then maybe longer.”

Rural Support Trusts are asking farmers to take the opportunity during the Shakeout event to consider their readiness, response and recovery plans should such an event occur in their area.

Until a couple of years ago the need for awareness and preparation might have been considered to be academic.

The Canterbury earthquakes taught us it isn’t.

Wherever we are we need to know what to do. In the country especially we need to be prepared to look after ourselves and our neighbours in case help can’t get to us or emergency services have higher priorities in more densely populated places.

Why is land special when F&P’s not?


When a Chinese company bought farmland there was an uproar even though they couldn’t take it away, they have to operate it here and employ people who live here and use local goods and services to do that.

Contrast that to the reaction since Chinese company Haier issued a takeover notice for Fisher and Paykel.

Since it’s a company they can take it, its jobs and  intellectual property away.

There has been concern about job losses but nothing like the fuss there would be if this was foreigners buying a farm.

Why is land special when F&P’s not?


High Commissioner cements place


Talk of a High Commissioner cementing his place is not usually to be taken literally.

But Richard Prebble writes in the Listener* that it can be for our man in the Cook Islands:

John Carter told me he had spent the day repairing the residency’s pathway. The tenders for the job were outrageous, he said. So he purchased $250 worth of cement and did it himself. He was so pleased with himself I could not bring myself to ask what his hourly rate was . . .

Tim Shadbolt added to his notoriety as mayor of Waitemata by hauling a concrete mixer behind the mayoral car.

John Carter has now cemented his place in the Concreting Hall of Fame for doing DIY at the official residence.

* Not on-line yet, will be here next week.

September 13 in history


509 BC – The temple of Jupiter on Rome’s Capitoline Hill was dedicated on the ides of September.

122 The building of Hadrian’s Wall began.

533 General Belisarius of the Byzantine Empire defeated Gelimer and the Vandals at the Battle of Ad Decimium.

1213  Ending of Battle of Muret, during the Albigensian Crusade to destroy the Cathar heresy.

1503 Michelangelo began work on his statue of David.

1504 Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand issued a Royal Warrant for the construction of a Royal Chapel (Capilla Real) to be built.

1584   San Lorenzo del Escorial Palace in Madrid was finished.

1743  Great Britain, Austria and Savoy-Sardinia signed the Treaty of Worms.

1759 Battle of the Plains of Abraham: British defeated French near Quebec City in the Seven Years’ War.

1808 Finnish War: In the Battle of Jutas, Swedish forces under Lieutenant General Georg Carl von Döbeln beat the Russians.

1812  War of 1812: A supply wagon sent to relieve Fort Harrison was ambushed in the Attack at the Narrows.

1814 – Francis Scott Key wrote The Star-Spangled Banner.

1847  Mexican-American War: Six teenage military cadets, Niños Héroes, died defending Chapultepec Castle in the Battle of Chapultepec.

1848  Vermont railroad worker Phineas Gage  survived a 3-foot-plus iron rod being driven through his head; the reported effects on his behavior and personality stimulated thinking about the nature of the brain and its functions.

1850 First ascent of Piz Bernina, the highest summit of the eastern Swiss Alps.

1857  Milton S. Hershey, American confectioner, was born (d. 1945).

1877 Stanley Lord, captain of the SS Californian the night of the Titanic disaster, was born (d. 1962).

1882  The Battle of Tel el-Kebir  in the 1882 Anglo-Egyptian War.

1894 J.B. Priestley, English playwright and novelist, was born (d. 1984).

1898  Hannibal Goodwin patented celluloid photographic film.

1899 Henry Bliss was the first person in the United States to be killed in a car accident.

1899  Mackinder, Ollier and Brocherel make the first ascent of Batian (5,199m – 17,058 ft), the highest peak of Mount Kenya.

1900 Filipino resistance fighters defeated a small American column in the Battle of Pulang Lupa, during the Philippine-American War.

1906 First fixed-wing aircraft flight in Europe.

1914 – World War I: The Battle of Aisne began between Germany and France.

1916 Roald Dahl, British writer, was born (d. 1990).

1922 The temperature (in the shade) at Al ‘Aziziyah, Libya reached a world record 57.8°C (136.04°F).

1922 – The final act of the Greco-Turkish War, the Great Fire of Smyrna, commenced.

1923  Military coup in Spain – Miguel Primo de Rivera took over, setting up a dictatorship.

1927 – Tzannis Tzannetakis, Greek politician, Prime Minister of Greece (d. 2010)

1933 Elizabeth McCombs became the first woman elected to the New Zealand Parliament.

NZ's first woman MP elected

1935  Rockslide near Whirlpool Rapids Bridge ended the International Railway (New York – Ontario).

1941 David Clayton-Thomas, Canadian singer (Blood, Sweat & Tears), was born.

1943  Chiang Kai-shek elected president of the Republic of China.

1943 – The Municipal Theatre of Corfu was destroyed during an aerial bombardment by Luftwaffe.

1944 Peter Cetera, American musician (Chicago), was born.

1948  Margaret Chase Smith was elected senator, and became the first woman to serve in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the United States Senate.

1952 Randy Jones, American musician (The Village People), was born.

1953 Nikita Khrushchev appointed secretary-general of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

1956 Anne Geddes, Australian photographer, was born.

1956 The dike around the Dutch polder East Flevoland was closed.

1956 – IBM introduced the first computer disk storage unit, the RAMAC 305.

1964  South Vietnamese Generals Lam Van Phat and Duong Van Duc failed in a coup attempt against General Nguyen Khanh.

1967 Michael Johnson, American athlete, was born.

1971 Chairman Mao Zedong‘s second in command and successor Marshal Lin Biao fled China after the failure of alleged coup against the supreme leader, the plane crashed in Mongolia, killing all aboard.

1976 Craig McMillan, New Zealand cricketer, was born.

1987  Goiânia accident: A radioactive object was stolen from an abandoned hospital in Goiânia, Brazil, contaminating many people in the following weeks and leading some to die from radiation poisoning.

1988  Hurricane Gilbert, the strongest recorded hurricane in the Western Hemisphere to that date.

1989  Largest anti-Apartheid march in South Africa, led by Desmond Tutu.

1993 – Public unveiling of the Oslo Accords, an Israeli-Palestinian agreement initiated by Norway.

1993 Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin shook hands with PLO chairman Yasser Arafat at the White House after signing an accord granting limited Palestinian autonomy.

2007 The Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples was adopted.

2008  Hurricane Ike made landfall on the Texas Gulf Coast of the United States, causing heavy damage to Galveston Island, Houston and surrounding areas.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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