Be a tourist in your town
With no room for an editorial last week, ‘tis time to acknowledge Mark Dawson and Lin Ferguson, who took over Midweek while I enjoyed some annual leave.
Lin, a skilled journalist of repute, stepped in and turned out some very good stories (with photographs) to fill the Midweek pages.
Taking care of the editing and mechanical side of things was Whanganui Chronicle editor Mark Dawson. He added Midweek to his already huge burden of responsibilities until I returned.
Midweek continued to be published and remains a quality newspaper with strong community attachment.
Many thanks to you both, Mark and Lin. I’m sure it will happen again sometime.
Visited Whanganui recently? And I’m not addressing tourists.
How many Whanganui citizens know their own town to the extent that many of our visitors do?
Too often we leave exploration of the familiar for when we want to show visiting friends and family what a jewel we have here, and, in the process, we learn an awful lot. For many of us, we still have huge parts of Whanganui left to discover. To really know what our city has to offer, I suggest you be a tourist for a while. When you get time, wander the streets, read the advertising, see what’s on and what’s coming up, get out of the house and have a good look around. There are places where few locals venture, but where tourists often go. That should change.
How many art galleries have you visited lately? Been to many sporting events? Have you been to see Rick Rudd’s Quartz Museum of Studio Ceramics? Taken a walk around Virginia Lake and wandered through the Winter Gardens? Have you watched glass art being created? Have you seen the incredible improvements in Rangiora St in Castlecliff? Checked out the other suburbs? Are you planning on visiting Art in the Garden? When’s the last time you wandered through the Sarjeant Gallery (did you know it’s on Taupo Quay while the building in Queen’s Park is being upgraded?) or Whanganui Regional Museum in its temporary premises in Ridgway St? Have you even been to the i-Site down by the river? Have you considered shopping at the River Traders’ Market?
And here’s a tip: don’t be scared. Whanganui’s tourist attractions are nothing to be frightened of and art is not necessarily a scary thing. Riding the Waimarie, the Wairua or even the Durie Hill lift is an adventure, so look at an expedition to see art as a similar thing. It doesn’t take courage but an open mind helps, and, who knows? You might enjoy yourself. You might find you actually liked seeing the fruits of the vast range of artistic talent Whanganui shelters. How amazing would that be?
The streets of Whanganui are home to many things unseen by locals. Do yourself a favour and render them “seen”. Remove the negative and learn a whole lot about the place where you live. Having done so, you can encourage others to come here too, even if just for a look!
The NZ Defence Industry Association Forum is being held in Palmerston North and is being attended by arms dealers from around the world, all keen to see the latest, innovative ways to kill human beings.
It’s no good mincing words; the “forum” is a market place for weapons.
The major sponsor is Lockheed Martin, the world’s largest arms dealer and a manufacturer of nuclear weapons.
This forum is no longer wanted in Wellington so it is being held in Palmerston North. The council there has obviously welcomed it and even plans to frustrate peaceful protest by blocking streets around the Central Energy Trust Arena, the forum’s venue.
The irony is that Palmerston North has Peace City status.
The council wants to prevent certain people, or types of people, from getting near the venue, so plans to set up road blocks around the arena and question people as to their motives for entering the area.
Peaceful protest is not breaking the law.
Holding this “forum” is also, unfortunately, not breaking the law.
The police, who are meant to enforce the law and arrest those who break it, will be unashamedly on the side of the arms dealers and will be there to prevent peaceful protesters from approaching. They need to question the reason for their existence.
It comes down to a question of morals.
The protesters want peace in the wider sense of the word.
The forum is there to promote easy destruction of human life.
If the police have to be involved at all, who should they be protecting? An immoral market, or people who want an end to war?
Palmerston North should consider surrendering its Peace City status if this is the kind of thing they wish to promote. You can’t have it both ways.
‘Remove the negative and learn a whole lot about the place where you live. Having done so, you can encourage others to come here too, even if just for a look!’