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The Gisborne Photo News




with Uncle wal

Great news for the fans of "Footrot Flats" : Murray Ball is deeply immersed at his Gisborne home in a new creation involving Wal and The Dog. Called "The Ballad of Footrot Flats", it's a complete departure from his cartoon strips. Murray wrote a long "story poem" recounting an adventure shared by Wal and his friend, and he is now working on full colour illustrations which will appear alongside the text. Murray says his work, "a large book", is scheduled for publication at the end of the year or early in 1997.

The year of Te Reo Maori has passed, but we still have been puzzled by some common phrases- for example, whether to use "Kia Ora" or "Tena Koe" as a greeting. Maori scholar and former diplomat Peter Gordon comes to the rescue:

Kia Ora is roughly equivalent to the pakeha "cheers" or "gidday" - a general, friendly greeting. Tena Kohe, meaning "how do you do", is more formal. If you wished to be extremely correct you would use "Tena Korua" for two people and "Tena Koutou" for a gathering.

But in general, says Peter, use Kia Ora with a cheerful smile and you can't go wrong.

Rowing international Chris White captured a whole new audience as a star of "Clash of the Codes", recently re-run on the telly. Chris (now 35) was aged 13 when he began his rowing career at Gisborne Boys' High School. A son of the great All Black lock Richard "Tiny" White, Chris also played rugby but finally opted for rowing when, at university, he had to make a choice because of the demands of training. Now an insurance agent in Hamilton, he says of the "Clash of the Codes" events: "They were all hard, but the mud run was the toughest. It was forbidding!"

Ahuge tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera) has been a landmark in Russell Street for years. Recently it attracted extra attention because of a fence building operation. The tree is at the front boundary edge of Dr Michael Bottrill's home and it's so large around the base that the carpenter had to cut palings of different lengths and shapes to fit over it. Dr Bottrill, who has lived there since 1968, understands that the house was built around 1919 so the tree was probably planted then. Some locals told him that the house used to be a bank manager's home. He'd be pleased to hear from anyone who has more precise knowledge of the tree's history. The fence-builder, by the way, was Paul Chapman, Dr Bottrill's cousin, on holiday from England.

It's sad to see the demise of a newspaper and the Eastland Sun's departure after eight years is no exception. Bruce and Janet Johnstone founded the weekly in 1987. Previously they had been producing a publication for business box-holders and its success prompted them to expand into a weekend newspaper. But, says Bruce, its profitability has been slipping in relation to the company's other divisions - "It has been involving a lot of management time and effort". The company is now fully occupied with its two radio stations, 89FM and B96, and with Eastland Television.

Thump, boom, thump ... That's the dull but relentless sound that keeps us awake late at night when the rock fans are partying. The "music" itself is less irritating and seems more distant. Brett Sherriff of the Sound Shop explains that the boom comes from the bass amplifiers which are low frequency and carry much further than higher-pitched sound. Yes, the party-goers could help by turning down the bass amplifiers but then the music, from where they are listening, would be out of balance. A stalemate? Brett says the party crowd could assist by keeping bass amplifiers indoors (as opposed to the verandah or beside the barbie) and by closing windows and doors.

Your Uncle Wal wishes that people who deliver "junk" mail would push it right through the slot into the mailbox instead of leaving it poking out of the slot. The point is that there is a danger of losing real mail when the postie comes along because he, or she, can't get the mail right into the box. Of course, we could put a "no junk mail" sticker on the box couldn't we. But then we might miss some genuinely useful commercial information - even a bargain!

QUOTE: From the newsletter of the Gisborne Superannuitants Association ... "It beats me why they call it a TAX RETURN when so little of it ever does!"