May I publicly thank Glenys Whittington, Craighead Diocesan School, Alpine Energy Brass and the South Canterbury Museum for their world-class efforts to honour Passchendaele this week in Timaru.
The Belgians (I found out when I visited there) have not forgotten the help New Zealand made a century ago but sadly most New Zealanders have forgotten where most of our war dead lie. Yhey call the red poppy the wrong name and are oblivious to October 12.
If you add up all those killed at Erebus, Napier, Christchurch, Tangiwai, Wahine, Ballantynes and Seacliff - Passchendaele equals the same number, all in one afternoon and at a time when our population was only a million. It is our darkest day and has been our forgotten day.
On behalf of my colleagues in the Passchendaele Society and the above locals – there is now awareness. Gavin Marriott Passchendaele Society are from working class Ireland, bringing their Catholic faith with them, and still others have come here from Scotland, bringing with them their Presbyterian faith. A lot were involved with building some of the beautiful churches that we enjoy today.
Our court system comes largely from the book of Leviticus. While I know that it has been updated to serve modern times, the principle is still the same. Most people still put their hand on The Bible and swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. I know there is an alternative; most still follow this practice.
Why stop Bible in schools, it is part of who we are. I know a lady who teaches it, and there are very strict regulations about what can be taught, and it is centred around respecting others, being kind and so on. With so much concern about bullying among young people it can only do good in my view.
Recently I was ill, and spent a week in hospital. On calling at my home one of the ladies from my church noted that my curtains were in much need of a wash, and the windows needed a clean too, so a group from church came one morning after I came home and did both jobs. At a time when my illness had cost me extra money, I was most grateful for their assistance.
All the mainstream churches in Timaru run our foodbanks and other services that help the poor and needy; secular society doesn’t do that. While I would hate to discourage people from using these facilities, just because they are non-church attendees, I would ask everyone to stop for a few minutes and think of the people that give so generously of their time, talents and money. They are only asking for half an hour a week in return, and parents do have the ability to withdraw a child from these lessons if they really feel strongly about it. Maureen Harper
Timaru Myanmar (formerly Burma).
On an invited visit to ring a temple bell, he quoted a line from Rudyard Kipling’s poem Mandalay, inappropriate today considering British activities in the days of Empire.
Someone composed a song from the poem which Peter Dawson sang in the days of steam radio. Snippets recalled refer to the soldier of the poem who fancied a Burma girl telling of her ‘‘a-smoking of a whacking (?) white cheroot’’ and ‘‘a-wasting Christian kisses on an ‘eathen idol’s foot’’.
Kipling, for some reason, was also notable for his detraction of cricketers. One wonders what he would make of their activities today.
When a batsman is thought to be leg before wicket, this causes a collective imbecilic howl accompanied by idiotic expressions from the entire opposition as they face and appeal to the umpire with upraised arms.
If the appeal is successful the umpire pokes a finger into the air, whereupon the opposing team hurries from all over the field and surrounds the bowler, there to bestow on him and each other that peculiarity in an action of highhand slapping. If fortunate, the hero also gets his hair ruffled.
These activities seem to be an imperative, the highlight and purpose of the game, and once achieved, everyone resumes places, hoping for the next such episode to play out.
If Kipling could label cricketers ‘‘flannelled fools’’ in his day, one wonders how he would describe their antics in the present. P Schaab