Editorial: Let the bells ring out

PETER O'NEILL
Last updated 05:00 24/07/2013
royal baby
GETTY IMAGES
HAPPY NEWS: The son of Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge makes his first appearance outside the Lindo wing of London's St Mary's Hospital .

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OPINION: It's Tuesday morning and church bells are ringing madly outside.

Why? Because of an event on the other side of the world.

A royal baby.

Awwwwww. How ... what's the word? ... nice.

And different. Different than earthquakes and snowstorms and flooding. Different than famine and crime and war. Different than politics and money matters and job figures.

Just ... nice.

Something we can all relate to, in one way or another.

And kind of quaint that the Anglicans in Timaru stuck to a tradition of ringing the bells whenever an heir to the throne is born. Even if they weren't real bells, thanks to one of those earthquake things.

What the sound of bells proved was that the apron strings have not yet been entirely cut. Mother England is still Mother England, or at least Aunty.

Just look around at the interest there has been in this birth.

It's a boy, gushed the media. Weighed 8lb 6oz! Called? Who knows, let's run a sweepstake.

Statistics New Zealand even put out an illustration giving a Kiwi twist. Amazing. Statistics coming to life. Who would have thought?

I can't recall the usually stodgy government department doing that before.

What really does this mean for us in the antipodes, apart from a diversion from our oh-so normal lives?

Nothing, in all probability, unless we win the sweepstake.

Apart from ongoing diversions from our oh-so normal lives.

Whats-his-name's first steps, first day at school, first time in trouble on the town with Uncle Harry, entry to the air force, marriage, his own children, accession to the throne in, say, roughly 50 years.

We'll follow his life because of tradition, because many of our ancestors came from where he comes from, and because the media will dish it up for us.

Why might we do that? Because, occasionally, we want a break from earthquakes and snowstorms and flooding. And so, we think, do you.

So right now we're working on the really burning question of the day, which is, of course: Who changes the nappies?

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- The Timaru Herald

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