Letters to the editor
Obviously you won't be reading this if we've been destroyed by a massive cataclysm.
Doomsday not arriving, we may instead have entered the new Golden Age - in which case you will be reading this.
Whichever (or, neither), "the end day" of the Mayan calendar isn't unlike nature's cyclic birth, death, rebirth . . . and though neither are in fact dates in the modern sense, the Mayan date falls at the December 21-22 solstice.
Solstice means "the sun stands still" - or so it seems - and is a moment of balance when the light begins to decline. Though, again, not top of the poll this year, Blenheim is a sunny town and this week during the solstice period of the shortest night(s) and the longest day(s), it's the brightest time on nature's calendar.
The first day of summer or litha, and for Maori te marua o te raumati, is a time to celebrate completion and fulfilment, acknowledge accomplishments, appreciate successes and each other.
With the same pronunciation and only one letter to distinguish them, the word "sun" is easily altered to "son". Convenient indeed for the Christian church, which purposely positioned the newer mass of Christ close to the winter solstice (northern hemisphere) so that the two celebrations overlapped and would cause the very much older one, and its adherents, to be overridden and superseded. Those of us who've dared to deviate from the season-insensitive Gregorian calendar will be observing yuletide in its proper season, winter, and for what it is, the winter solstice.
A sunny solstice to all.
I would like to express my thanks to the two ladies who came to my assistance on Wednesday, December 12 at about 1pm, when I fell and struck my head. They called the ambulance and stayed with me until it arrived. My thanks also to the staff at Accident and Emergency at the Wairau Hospital for their care and attention during my stay there.
Thank you all very much.
This month the Pre-Christmas Peek Tour took place. This was the second such fundraiser for Hospice Marlborough. Hospice Marlborough has been operating for nine years and is an important provider of palliative care services, both at the Hospice and within the community.
In a world that is increasingly busier and far more complicated than it was yesterday, we often tend to concentrate our energies and good will towards those things that are tangible, needed, important and close to our hearts and the heart of the community.
Hospice Marlborough, for many, fits that requirement and has become a much respected identity within our community. The work group are sincerely appreciative of the many business sponsors, Blenheim Lions Club, Auntsfield Estate Ltd, volunteers and the host home owners of the eight beautifully decorated homes.
It is a delight to be able to advise that just over $21,000 was raised, comprising of ticket sales, raffles and donations. On behalf of the work group, I say a sincere thank- you to all involved with this wonderful day.
Convener Work Group Society values
Bromhead's cartoon (Express, Dec. 17) inferring that the recent tragic shooting in the US was because of guns, shows how easy it is to jump to the wrong conclusions. The issue and cause is not firearm ownership, but mental health, or in other words, the health of society. In 2005 Professor Gary Mauser presented a paper on Pacific Rim firearm ownership and crime rates in which he concluded "New Zealand has the highest proportion of civilian firearm owners in the Pacific, yet it has one of the lowest homicide rates in the region".
NZ's firearm laws are highly regarded as they are based on the fitness of the person to own a firearm. In the mid-1990s a NZ police study examined homicide weapons and found firearms were used in a minority, i.e. 25 per cent.
The causes are intertwined and therefore complex. One is the increasingly liberal values of society thereby reflected in increasing violence in films, television and computer games. The other is the society that politicians have created. In NZ's case the advent of Rogernomics followed by Ruthenasia tore the solid values of the former Kiwi society to shreds and embedded a selfish aggressiveness.
I recall Bill Birch MP once asking who would like NZ to go back to 1972. I bet those of 1972 vintage would put their hands up.
- The Marlborough Express