Sir Colin Meads’ funeral

August 28, 2017

Sir Colin Meads’ funeral is being live-streamed on the All Blacks’ Facebook page.

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Sir PineTree has fallen

August 20, 2017

One of New Zealand’s great All Blacks, a farmer and community stalwart Sir Colin Meads has died.

He had a reputation for tough play some of which wouldn’t, and shouldn’t, be acceptable today but it would be wrong to judge the past by modern standards.

He played the amateur game. Running, and working on, his farm was a large part of his training.

He was a man who believed in not letting the team down, whether it was rugby, or community work for the likes of IHC’s calf scheme.

Time away from the farm put a lot on the shoulders of his wife, Verna, and their family without the compensation of the money professional players get now.

NZ On Screen has This is Your Life of Meads here and a documentary on Extraordinary New Zealanders featuring him here.


Life’s not fair but

August 20, 2017

It’s not fair!

That is a complainant often heard from children.

It is also heard from adults and often with justification.

And while, they don’t speak, animals can show what they think about unfairness.

Life isn’t fair. Bad things happen to good people.

We often have no control over that but as concentration camp survivor Viktor Frankyl said:

Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

He also said:

When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.

That is so much easier to say than do, but I found using strengths to navigate unfair situations by Carly Rospert helpful:

BRAVERY: Bravery is a key strength to call upon when approaching situations of unfairness. Whether you or someone else is being treated unfairly, calling it out has the potential to create conflict. Bravery is a strength that compels you to speak up for what is right, even in the face of opposition. If someone else calls attention to a situation of unfairness, it is important to recognize the bravery they used to stand up and speak out.

PERSPECTIVE: Rarely are situations of unfairness completely black and white, so it is important to use your perspective strength to seek to understand all the points of view in the matter before coming to a judgement. Perspective is a strength that allows you to recognize and weigh multiple sides before making decisions and is crucial for navigating difficult situations.

PRUDENCE: Because unfairness is often such a serious issue, it is important to call on your strength of prudence to carefully examine the situation before taking action. Prudence is a strength that compels you to be very careful about your choices and not do or say things that you could later regret.

LOVE: Unfairness often carries with it feelings of hurt and anger. It is important to approach a situation of unfairness with the strength of love to show compassion and care to those involved. Love is a strength that can help you maintain relationships through difficulty by showing care and kindness.

FORGIVENESS: You might need to pull on your forgiveness strength after a situation of unfairness has been brought to light and remedied. It can be hard to let go of the hurt that unfairness can cause. Forgiveness is a strength that does not mean you are condoning unfair actions or even forgetting the situation occurred, but rather a strength that allows you to move forward and find peace within yourself. . .

This has been an annus horribilis for several people I know. Their stories aren’t mine to tell so I’ll say nothing more about that.

I’m posting this in the knowledge that others will also be facing difficulties and in the hope it might help.


Glen Campbell 22.4.36 – 8.9.17

August 9, 2017

Country singer Glen Campbell has died:

During a career that spanned six decades, Campbell sold over 45 million records. In 1968, one of his biggest years, he outsold the Beatles.

“It is with the heaviest of hearts that we announce the passing of our beloved husband, father, grandfather, and legendary singer and guitarist, Glen Travis Campbell, at the age of 81, following his long and courageous battle with Alzheimer’s disease,” the singer’s family said in a statement.

Campbell was a rare breed in the music business, with various careers as a top-level studio guitarist, chart-topping singer and hit television host. His late-career battle with Alzheimer’s – he allowed a documentary crew to film on his final tour for the 2014 award-winning I’ll Be Me – made him a public face for the disease, a role President Bill Clinton suggested would one day be remembered even more than his music. . . 


Michael Bond 13.1.26 – 27.6.17

June 29, 2017

Michael Bond, creator of Paddington Bear and author of more than 200 books has died.

What will be wanted on this voyage and will there be marmalade sandwiches when he arrives?


Still don’t risk lives to get dead

June 20, 2017

Families of the men who died in the Pike River mine explosion are understandably upset that video footage from the mine shows intact bodies when they’d previously been told fire would have consumed everything.

It is fair to question why all footage wasn’t shown earlier.

But whatever video shows, Solid Energy chief executive Tony King is right when he says it doesn’t make it safe for people to enter the mine:

“As we have previously said, there is nothing in any of the video footage that has been released that contradicts the ultimate decision that manned re-entry of the mine is unsafe”, said Mr King.

“The lack of damage evident in the video footage of Borehole 44 is consistent with what would be expected in the circumstances. We all saw the images of flames coming out of the shaft. These hot gases established an air current that drew air up the drift, into the fire and then up the shaft. The tendency in an underground fire is for it to burn back towards the source of oxygen i.e. the drift. The roof-fall at the end of the drift is probably due to heat damage, and extensive damage from there through to the shaft and in adjacent roadways would be expected. The inner parts of the mine would be oxygen deficient and there would have been no air current to draw the fire into those areas.” 

The directors of Solid Energy wrote an open letter last year explaining why it is unsafe to enter the mine.

Full information on the technical aspects of re-entry is on their website.

It would be helpful to counter conspiracy theorists if all video footage was released.

But that won’t change the fact that the mine is unsafe and no lives should be risked to rescue the dead.

 


John Clarke 29.7.48 – 9.4.17

April 10, 2017

John Clarke, satirist and comedian extraordinaire has died.

Born in Palmerston North, he studied at Victoria University before heading to London, where he gained a break through with a part in the 1972 Barry Humphries comedy The Adventures of Barry McKenzie.

Clarke came home a year later, and was in the cast of New Zealand’s first sitcom, the student-flat comedy Buck House.

By then, Clarke had already pioneered his iconic character Fred Dagg in short TV sketches and a Country Calendar ‘spoof’ edition. . .

Clarke moved to Australia where he continued to delight audiences as a writer and satirist.

For 25 years he and Brian Bryan Dawe poked the borax at politicians in Clarke and Dawe.

You can see some of his work at Mr John Clarke, read his bio at NZ on Screen and listen to an interview with Jesse Mulligan at RNZ.


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