Happy headlines

October 17, 2011

ODT – All Blacks muscle way into World Cup final

Too big, too strong and, most of all, just too damn    clinical. The All Blacks beat the Wallabies 20-6 in the World    Cup semifinal last night, and showed they have the muscle and    grunt to go with the renowned finesse in the side . . .

Southland Times – ABs trample over Aussies

France versus 4 million, the All Blacks have their date with destiny after surging into the Rugby World Cup final. . .

The Press – Screaming for All Black joy

After living through their city’s devastation, Christchurch residents could
finally scream for joy . . .

Dominion Post – All Blacks reward party faithful at fanzone

Clad in black, with faces painted in silver ferns, a crowd of thousands cheered the All Blacks to victory in Wellington’s fanzone last night . . .

NZ Herald – Epic All Blacks deliver on huge night

Yes we can and yes we did – in style . . .

And not so happy:

The Australian – Wallabies outplayed out smarted all blacked out

THE Wallabies’ World Cup campaign lies buried in the graveyard of Eden Park after they were bundled out of the tournament by the All Blacks last night . . .

Sydney Morning Herald – Great hope of rugby fumbles and bumbles when he was needed most

If that was Quade Cooper’s best game ever, as captain James Horwill fearlessly  declared it would be on match eve, then one can only wonder what  his worst has  been . . .

The Age –  Kiwis on the cusp after walloping Wallabies

AND yea, verily, it is written. Though long have our Kiwi cousins walked in the  shadow of the Valley of Death, through World Cup loss after World Cup loss, as  an entire people plumbed the depths of despair, now, now the hour is  upon them. The promised land is now just up ahead around the bend . . .

Peter FitzSimons gets full credit for graciousness in the last column.

 


Nancy Wake dies

August 8, 2011

World War II heroine Nancy Wake has died in London.

Peter Fitzsimons told her story in Nancy Wake, A Biography of our Greatest War Heroine.

The dust cover says:

In the early 1930s, Nancy Wake was a young woman enjoying a bohemian life in Paris. By the end of the Second World War, she was the Gestapo’s most wanted person.

As a naive, young journalist, Nancy Wake, witnessed a horrific scene of Nazi violence in a Viennese street. From that moment, she was determined to do everything in her power to rid Europe of the Nazi presence. What began as a courier job, carrying messages between groups of partisans, became a highly successful escape network for Allied soldiers, perfectly camouflaged by Nancy’s high-society life in Marseille.

Her network was soon so successful – and so notorious – that she had to flee France to escape the Gestapo, who had dubbed her ‘the white mouse’ for her knack of slipping through its traps.

But Nancy was a passionate enemy of the Nazis and refused to stay away. She trained with the British Special Operations Executive and parachuted back into France behind enemy lines. Again, this singular woman rallied to the cause, helping to lead a powerful underground fighting force, the Maquis. Supplying weapons and training the civilian Maquis, organising Allied parachute drops, launching countless raids and ambushes on Nazi convoys, cycling four hundred kilometres through German checkpoints and across a mountain range to find a new transmitting radio – nothing seemed too difficult in her fight against the Nazis. She was, as one of her old comrades remarked, the most feminine of women but she fought like five men.

Nancy Wake is our most decorated wartime heroine, having received the George Medal, the French Croix de Guerre with Star and two Palms, the Untied States Medal of Freedom with Palm, the French Medaille de la Resistance, and the French Chevalier de Legion d’Honour.

Campaigns to award her a New Zealand honour failed although the RSA recognised her with a Gold Medal.

A comment by Lieutenant-General Peter Cosgrove AC, MC, on the dust cover of her biogrpahy says:

 At its core this book is about sacrifice and a willingness to risk all for a higher cause. And it is in this sense, that Nancy’s life has very real contemporary meaning for all Australians . . . This commitment to finish what you have commenced – no matter how difficult or dangers – stands as a guiding beacon.


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