Category Archives: New Zealand

Tragedy in New Zealand

On behalf of the members of the Down Under Club of Winnipeg, we are shocked, devastated and heartbroken to hear the news this morning about the terrorist attack at two mosques in Christchurch.

Our sincere condolences to the families and friends of the 49 victims and the many who were injured, as well as the people of New Zealand, wherever you are around the world. Our hearts and our thoughts are with you all.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has released the following statement, which is reprinted in full below. To view the press conference, click here.

“It is with extreme sadness that I tell you that as at 7pm tonight, we believe that 40 people have lost their lives in this act of extreme violence.

“10 have died at Linwood Avenue Mosque, 3 of which were outside the mosque itself.

“A further 30 have been killed at Deans Avenue Mosque.

“There are also more than 20 seriously injured who are currently in Christchurch A&E.

“It is clear that this can only be described as a terrorist attack.

“From what we know, it does appear to have been well planned. Two explosive devices attached to suspects’ vehicles have been found and they have been disarmed.

“There are currently four individuals who have been apprehended but three are connected to this attack and are currently in custody, one of which has publicly stated that they were Australian born.

“These are people who I would describe as having extremist views that have absolutely no place in New Zealand and in fact have no place in the world.

“While we do not have any reason to believe at this stage that there are other suspects, we are not assuming that at this stage. The joint intelligence group has been deployed and police are putting all of their resources into this situation.

“The defence force are currently transporting additional police staff to the region.

“Our national security threat level has been lifted from low, to high. This I want to assure people is to ensure that all our agencies are responding in the most appropriate way. That includes at our borders.

“Air New Zealand has cancelled all turbo prop flights out of Christchurch tonight and will review the situation in the morning. Jet services both domestically and internationally are continuing to operate.

“There is heightened security, so we can assure people of their safety and the police are working hard to ensure people are able to move around their city safely.

“I have spoken this evening to the mayor of Christchurch and I intend to speak this evening to the imam, but I also want to send a message to those directly affected.

“In fact, I am sure right now New Zealand would like me to share a message on their behalf too.

“Our thoughts and our prayers are with those who have been impacted today. Christchurch was their home. For many, this may not have been the place they were born, in fact for many, New Zealand was their choice.

“The place they actively came to, and committed to. The place they were raising their families. Where they were parts of communities that they loved and who loved them in return. It was a place that many came to for its safety. A place where they were free to practice their culture and their religion.

“For those of you who are watching at home tonight, and questioning how this could have happened here.

“We, New Zealand, we were not a target because we are a safe harbour for those who hate.

“We were not chosen for this act of violence because we condone racism, because we are an enclave for extremism.

“We were chosen for the very fact that we are none of those things.

“Because we represent diversity, kindness, compassion. A home for those who share our values. Refuge for those who needs it. And those values will not and cannot be shaken by this attack.

“We are a proud nation of more than 200 ethnicities, 160 languages. And amongst that diversity we share common values. And the one that we place the currency on right now is our compassion and support for the community of those directly affected by this tragedy.

“And secondly, the strongest possible condemnation of the ideology of the people who did this.

“You may have chosen us – we utterly reject and condemn you.”

Yarn February – March 2019

The Southern Yarn’s February – March 2019 issue is ready for your reading enjoyment again. Here’s the editorial to get you started:

Thanks to Jenny Gates for typing up the Getting to Know feature for this issue – about “Two-Up” (p.6). Now, I think there needs to be some explanation for readers who have never attended one of our events here in Winnipeg.

We play Two-Up at many of our gatherings – it is easy and fun for all ages, and results in a winner in just a few tosses. So, here’s the explanation: the way we “place our bets” is to stand up and place both hands on your head, or both hands on your butt, or one hand on your head and the other on your tail. Everyone who doesn’t match the result of the toss of the two pennies (yes, we use genuine pre-decimal Australian pennies) is out and they sit down. Those left standing place their bet again and there is another toss. It usually only takes three or four tosses to get a winner. So, we’re not really breaking any laws; and, in fact, we’re upholding a long-observed ANZAC Day tradition.

There is a charming 1937 book titled The Lore of the Lyrebird by Ambrose Pratt in which much of the credit for advancing the knowledge of lyrebirds is said to be due to an amazing friendship between a male lyrebird and a widowed lady named Mrs Edith Wilkinson, who, at that time, lived hermit fashion on one of the higher slopes of Mt Dandenong, Victoria, Australia. Since then these birds continue to fascinate and impress and have become superstars through YouTube and David Attenborough documentaries. They are also the subject in this issue’s Birds I view (P.8).

Thank you this month to Jude McCudden, Jenny Gates, Chris Brasher, Malcolm Whyte, Judy Powell, Peter Munn, Terry Delong, Murray Burt, our advertisers and you, our readers!

Australia Day and Waitangi Day

Celebrate Australia Day and Waitangi Day on Saturday January 26 from 5 pm at the Scandinavian Cultural Centre (764 Erin) in Winnipeg.

This is a POTLUCK event, and you are asked to bring a main, veggie dish, salad, and/or a dessert, with enough for yourself and a bit extra.

There will also be a BAKE-OFF by some of our younger members. Enjoy what they have cooked up for us.

Bar will be open and the conversation will be lively and entertaining.

Welcome to our Annual General Meeting!

“Welcome!” is exactly what we will say when you join us on November 30 at 7:00 pm for our annual general meeting.

It will be held at the Scandinavian Cultural Centre, 764 Erin St, and we are hoping for a good turnout of members.

The AGM is a fantastic opportunity to:

  • hear all about our events in the past year,
  • find out what’s ahead next year,
  • offer suggestions for Club activities,
  • put your name forward for the new executive,
  • vote in the new executive,
  • catch up with fellow members,
  • participate in some lively conversation, and
  • enjoy snacks and drinks from the bar.

But the most important reason to attend the AGM is to meet those on the executive who have worked tirelessly to make this Club what it is.  They put in many hours to organise events, put together and design and mail out the newsletter, manage dues paid and balance the budget, keep track of members, and do whatever else is necessary to ensure the DUCW remains a vibrant and welcoming organisation for all of us.

So make a point to drop in. Even if you don’t want to be on the executive, this is your opportunity to support those who do and to be part of our future.