365 days of gratitude

March 16, 2018

A parcel addressed to Kay and Philip, on a farm, situated up a long drive with cows, opposite Cust pub or thereabouts” got to where it was meant to go.

That’s not the first time a rural mail deliverer has delivered a vaguely addressed item to the correct recipient.

Melanie Dalton said her family owned a large and “very distinctive” white goat they kept tethered on a long wire across from their house in Balclutha, a small town in Otago.

“We got a letter years ago asking for the letter to be delivered to “the old house with the pretty garden … across the road from the big white goat with one horn. We got the letter!”

Another said she once got a letter with her name, Lisa Norrie, and “the butterfly house opposite the school” as the address.

A New Zealand Post spokeswoman said mail addressed to vague addresses, such as “Grandma on Main Street”, occasionally slipped through the system.

“Sometimes the local knowledge of those working in our postal network does help locate the correct address to deliver these items to. . .

Many years ago a letter addressed to my farmer and me by our first names at a farm near Windsor got to us.

Such tales are a positive reflection on the people who work in the postal system and the benefits of living in spare self populated places and I’m grateful for both.


Word of the day

March 16, 2018

Atavism – an evolutionary throwback, such as traits reappearing which had disappeared generations before; the reappearance in an individual of characteristics of some remote ancestor that have been absent in intervening generations; referring to instances when an organism possesses traits closer to a more remote ancestor, rather than its own parents.


Oamaru trumps Timaru

March 16, 2018

Stuff is doing a series of stories on rivalries between provincial towns and cities.

It started with Timaru vs Oamaru for the pride of the south.

Audrey Malone talked up Timaru and Hamish Rutherford penned an ode to Oamaru.

. . . It’s amazing what kids take for granted.

Only when I went to university did it dawn on me that the local bank did not necessarily have giant Corinthian columns at the entrance (or that the tellers may not know you by name).

You might not see what is remarkable about Oamaru if you have simply driven through it. From State Highway 1 it would be possible to imagine Oamaru was just another provincial New Zealand town, so very long that its main purpose is to slow you down on the way to somewhere else.

But I was lucky enough to call Oamaru home: grandiose banks, halls, churches, pubs, municipal buildings and many large houses, built on early economic prosperity and the availability of a distinctive locally quarried limestone were the norm.

Let me sing its praises. At 14,000, the population is hardly bigger than it was in the 1960s, but North Otago’s dominant town is arguably much more prosperous than many others which have grown much larger.

Oamaru has world-class offerings for food and culture, with a rich tapestry of history.

It has good cafes and a couple of restaurants which would continue to do fine if they were in bigger towns. The brewery, Scotts, relocated from Auckland, is well known for its gluten-free variety by New Zealand’s booming GF army. The Whitestone cheese factory sells to supermarkets in every part of New Zealand – and has attracted a few celebrity fans in Hollywood. It has contributed great literature, from Janet Frame to Greg McGee.

There is a lolly factory, which opened in 1949. Rainbow Confectionery recently attempted to keep Pineapple Lumps production in New Zealand after Dunedin’s Cadbury factory closes. The owners, Mondelez, refused, sending manufacturing offshore, with every other Cadbury and Pascall product. So may I offer you Rainbow’s Pineapple Chunks, available online and in the factory store?

Some of the employment is more old-school: Pukeuri, to the north, still has its freezing works, with dairy farms all the way up the beautiful Waitaki Valley. Oamaru is a good place if you are willing to work hard.

New Zealand’s first shipment of frozen meat was sent to Britain from the port just to the south. The port may now be insignificant in shipping terms compared to Timaru, but it was in Oamaru that the Terra Nova landed, carrying news that the great British explorer Robert Scott had died in his failed bid to reach the South Pole first.

A key measure of a New Zealand town’s class is in its coffee, but despite living in Timaru for a spell and still passing through several times a year, I still wouldn’t know where to go. In Oamaru, head to the area with most of the nice buildings and take your pick.

There are many great things to say about Timaru. Like almost anywhere you go, it is full of very nice people. A nationally competitive motorsport community recently gave us international rally driver Hayden Paddon. But Paddon is no Richie McCaw, who started in North Otago before going on to bigger things. . . 

Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean, who lives in Oamaru, thinks it is the best wee town in the South Island. She moved there with her husband and young family decades ago, and won’t be leaving any time soon.

“We moved 30-odd years, and it’s largely because of the people we wouldn’t move away,” Dean says.

She usually flies in and out of Timaru.

“I actually like Timaru, I just like Oamaru a whole heap more.” . . .

Oamaru and Timaru are often confused by outsiders because they sound similar.

If there’s any rivalry between the two, it’s pretty low key.

For many of us on the right side of the Waitaki River, Timare is just a place you drive through on the way north.


Friday’s answers

March 16, 2018

Teletext gets my thanks for posing Thursday’s questions and can claim a virtual chocolate cake by leaving the answers below should they have stumped us all.


Rural round-up

March 16, 2018

White South African farmers ‘need help from a civilised country‘:

Australia’s Home Affairs Minister is investigating how to bring white South African farmers to Australia on humanitarian grounds.

White farmers facing violence in South Africa “deserve special attention” from Australia, Peter Dutton said.

He said he had watched television footage and read articles that convinced him the farmers needed help, and had ordered his department to investigate how to bring the farmers to Australia. . .

Young farmer making most of opportunities – Sally Rae:

Scottish-born Ann Linton always wanted to visit New Zealand before she was 21.

She got her wish – albeit a week after the milestone birthday – but she did not realise that she would never really leave.

Miss Linton (26), who came with just a suitcase, has ended up with a career in the dairy industry – and a husband-to-be.

She and her partner, Scott Henderson, are now managing a 420ha effective self-contained dairy farm near Milton, with stunning views over South Otago, milking 830 cows. . . 

NZ lamb, mutton returns at record levels as supplies dwindle -Tina Morrison

(BusinessDesk) – New Zealand meat processors are having to pay more for lambs as supplies dwindle, pushing lamb and mutton returns for Kiwi farmers to record levels for this time of the year, according to AgriHQ’s Monthly Sheep & Beef report for March.

Better rainfall in dry areas of the South Island and lower lamb growth rates in the North Island have led farmers to keep hold of their stock instead of sending them to slaughter, and a higher kill rate earlier in the season also means there is now less stock available than normal, said AgriHQ analyst Reece Brick. . .

Campaign aims to lower farm death toll

Stubbornly high rates of farm fatalities have prompted a three-year Worksafe campaign to get farmers to use their rural vehicles more safely.

The agency will be sending inspectors to farms and launching publicity campaigns to try to reduce the death toll.

WorkSafe statistics show 128 people have died in farm accidents since 2011. . .

Māori team up with Crown to breed unique berries for global markets:

A joint venture company has been created to breed and develop new unique berry varieties to be marketed exclusively by Māori-owned firm Miro Limited Partnership (Miro).

The Government-owned science institute Plant & Food Research and Miro signed a 50:50 joint venture agreement at an event hosted this afternoon by Ngati Haua at the iwi’s Rukumoana Marae in Morrinsville. . . 

Kiwi Agtech Company Biolumic Secures US$5m Funding for World’s First UV Crop Enhancement System – Investors back revolutionary solution to escalating global demand:

 BioLumic, creator of the world’s first crop-yield enhancement system using UV light, today announces the close of US$5 million [NZ$6.5m] in Series A funding.

This significant round of financial backing comes from leading global AgTech investors Finistere Ventures and Radicle Growth acceleration fund, along with Rabobank’s recently-launched Food & Agri Innovation Fund and existing investors from across New Zealand.


Jump while you can Ron

March 16, 2018

Ron Marks is being accused of using Airforce helicopters as taxis.

Last year he was in the news for the wrong reason for breaking rules for wearing his military medals.

Last year he was rolled as party deputy.

If he jumps from his party now he will be sacked as minister.

But if he doesn’t jump now he’s at risk of being kicked out of parliament altogether when his leader Winston Peters gets his wake-jumping bill passed.


Quote of the day

March 16, 2018

It is easy to believe in freedom of speech for those with whom we agree.  – Leo McKern who was born on this day in 1920.


March 16 in history

March 16, 2018

597 BC – Babylonians captured Jerusalem, replace Jehoiachin withZedekiah as king.

37 Caligula became Roman Emperor after the death of his great uncle, Tiberius.

1190 Massacre of Jews at Clifford’s Tower, York.

1322 The Battle of Boroughbridge took place in the First War of Scottish Independence.

1521 Ferdinand Magellan reached the Philippines.

1621 Samoset, a Mohegan, visited the settlers of Plymouth Colony and greeted them, “Welcome, Englishmen! My name is Samoset.”

1660 The Long Parliament disbanded.

1689 The 23rd Regiment of Foot or Royal Welch Fusiliers was founded.

1774 Captain Matthew Flinders, English explorer, was born (d. 1814).

1789 Georg Simon Ohm, German physicist, was born (d. 1854).

1792 King Gustav III of Sweden was shot. He died on March 29.

1802  The Army Corps of Engineers was established to found and operate the United States Military Academy at West Point.

1812  Battle of Badajoz (March 16 – April 6) – British and Portuguese forces besieged and defeated French garrison during Peninsular War.

1815 Prince Willem of the House of Orange-Nassau proclaimed himself King of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands, the first constitutional monarch in the Netherlands.

1818 Second Battle of Cancha Rayada – Spanish forced defeat Chileans under José de San Martín.

1839 – John Butler Yeats, Northern Irish artist (d. 1922).

1865 The Battle of Averasborough began as Confederate forces suffer irreplaceable casualties in the final months of the American Civil War.

1872 The Wanderers F.C. won the first FA Cup, the oldest football competition in the world, beating Royal Engineers A.F.C. 1-0 at The Oval in Kennington , London.

1900  Sir Arthur Evans purchased the land around the ruins of Knossos, the largest Bronze Age archaeological site on Crete.

1912 Lawrence Oates, an ill member of Scott’s South Pole expedition left the tent saying, “I am just going outside and may be some time.”

1920 Leo McKern, Australian actor, was born (d. 2002).

1924 In accordance with the Treaty of RomeFiume became annexed as part of Italy.

1926  Robert Goddard launched the first liquid-fueled rocket, at Auburn, Massachusetts.

1926 Jerry Lewis, American comedian, was born.

1935 Adolf Hitler ordered Germany to rearm herself in violation of the Versailles Treaty. Conscription was reintroduced to form the Wehrmacht.

1939 Hitler proclaimed Bohemia and Moravia a German protectorate.

1939 Marriage of Princess Fawzia of Egypt to Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi of Iran.

1940 Jockey Y-fronts were first sold in New Zealand shops.

Jockey Y-fronts hit NZ shops

1942 The first V-2 rocket test launched. It exploded at lift-off.

1945 The Battle of Iwo Jima ended but small pockets of Japanese resistance persisted.

1945 – Ninety percent of Würzburg, Germany was destroyed in only 20 minutes by British bombers. 5,000 were killed.

1948 Michael Bruce, American musician (Alice Cooper), was born.

1950   Czechoslovakia‘s ministry of foreign affairs asks nuncios of Vaticanto leave the country.

1952  In Cilaos, Réunion, 1,870 millimetres (74 in) of rain fell in one day, setting a new world record.

1958  The Ford Motor Company produced its 50 millionth automobile, theThunderbird, averaging almost a million cars a year since the company’s founding.

1959 EUROAVIA, the European Association of Aerospace students was founded, the first initiative towards European cooperation in Aerospace.

1962 A Flying Tiger Line Super Constellation disappeared in the western Pacific Ocean, with 107 missing.

1963 Kevin Smith, New Zealand actor, was born.

1963  Mount Agung erupted on Bali killing 11,000.

1966 Launch of Gemini 8, the 12th manned American space flight and first space docking with the Agena Target Vehicle.

1968 Vietnam War: In the My Lai massacre, between 350 and 500 Vietnamese villagers were killed by American troops.

1968 – General Motors produced its 100 millionth automobile, theOldsmobile Toronado.

1976 – British Prime Minister Harold Wilson resigned, citing personal reasons.

1977 – Assassination of Kamal Jumblatt the main leader of the anti-government forces in the Lebanese Civil War.

1978  Former Italian Prime Minister Aldo Moro was kidnapped and later killed by his captors.

1978 – Supertanker Amoco Cadiz split in two after running aground on the Portsall Rocks, three miles off the coast of Brittany, resulting in the 5th-largest oil spill in history.

1983 Demolition of the radio tower Ismaning, the last wooden radio tower in Germany.

1984 William Buckley, the CIA station chief in Beirut, Lebanon, was kidnapped by Islamic fundamentalists and later died in captivity.

1985 Associated Press newsman Terry Anderson was taken hostage in Beirut.

1988  Iran-Contra Affair: Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North and Vice Admiral John Poindexter were indicted on charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States.

1995 Mississippi formally ratified the Thirteenth Amendment, becoming the last state to approve the abolition of slavery. The Thirteenth Amendment was officially ratified in 1865.

1997 Sandline affair: On Bougainville Island, soldiers of commander Jerry Singirok arrested Tim Spicer and his mercenaries of the Sandline International.

1998  Pope John Paul II asked God for forgiveness for the inactivity and silence of some Roman Catholics during the Holocaust.

1999 – NZHistory.net.nz was launched.

NZHistory.net.nz launched

2003 – The largest coordinated worldwide vigil took place, as part of the global protests against Iraq war.

2005 –  Israel officially handed over Jericho to Palestinian control.

2014 – Crimea voted in a controversial referendum to secede from Ukraine to join Russia.

2016 – A bomb detonated in a bus carrying government employees in Peshawar, Pakistan, killing 15 and injuring at least 54.

2016 – Two suicide bombers detonated their explosives at a mosque during morning prayer on the outskirts of Maiduguri, Nigeria, killing 22 and injuring 18.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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