Big Ben Bell Makers Did St Mary’s Anglican Church Bell Pokeno

New Zealand Churches: St Mary’s Anglican at Pokeno.

Everyone who has driven south of Auckland on their way to Tauranga or the Coromandel will have seen the beautiful Anglican Church of St Mary’s which sits on the hill to your right as you leave the Southern Motorway bound for Tauranga. It is worth a stop to see this lovely old church and its beautiful, English country garden with its wonderful trees. It is a tranquil place. The smell of the oak and beech leaves, and the smell of flowering garden life feeds the soul; as refreshing to the senses as the inspiring lines of the architecture, and its aspiring bell tower from a time long gone by, when beauty and grace of structure were considered important in developing the soul, and in creating a harmonious environment and society.

With a bit of luck, this Church should be saved. John O’Hare of the New Zealand Historic Places Trust, has ‘publicly notified the old wooden church for recognition as a category 2 historic place’, according to the New Zealand Herald, Friday June 3, 2011.

This Church is over a hundred years old. It was built in 1889, and a foundation stone laid. It was opened for worship the following year, in 1900. In 1901, the Church of St Mary’s was declared to be “the finest Church in the diocese”.

St Mary’s Anglican Church at Pokeno has the remarkable feature of having bells made by the same bell maker who cast the original bell for the clock tower of Big Ben, housed in the Palace of Westminster, London. This company was John Warner and Sons, of London.

Funds for the original building of the Church, 690 pounds, were donated by Harriet Johnston, who emigrated to New Zealand from Devon. Harriet Johnston also donated the bells.

to be continued…


Malebranche The French Philosopher

Secular Priests Of The Roman Catholic Church

Nicolas de Malebranche was a French Philosopher, a Mystic and a secular priest, who was born in Paris. He lived from 1638 to 1715, which gave him a good old age of 77 years.

Malebranche studied theology at the Sorbonne University. While nearing the completion of his studies in theology, at age 22, he joined the ‘Congregation of the Oratory’, which was an organization of secular Roman Catholic priests.

He followed the teachings of the French Philosopher Rene Descartes and believed, like Descartes, that “all knowledge outside of the mind can come to it only through divine revelation”.

Malebranche was a serious scholar and writer of many important Spiritual and Philosophical books. He wrote most of his important works after the age of 40.

The “De la Recherche de la Verite”, which was published in 1674, was the result of ten years of study on the teachings of Descartes.

This was followed by “Conversations Metaphysiques et Chretiennes” in 1677, and “Traite de la Nature et de la Grace” in 1680. Other Spiritual teachings include “Entretiens sur la Metaphysique et sur la Religion”, which was published in 1688, and “Traite de l’Amour de Dieu” in 1697.


Recipe For Spiced Coffee With Cardamom

Cardamom is reputed to be an aphrodisiac which features in the old Persian tale of ‘The Thousand And One Nights’. Cardamom is good for the digestion, stimulates appetite, relieves colic, and is soothing to the mucous membranes. Cardamom is supposed to be a good spice to use with ‘windy’ vegetables such as cabbage and broccoli, and beans and lentils, because it relieves flatulence.

Medicinal Uses for Cardamom: Cardamom can be used as a treatment for coughs, colds, and bronchitis, and as a medicine to help stop vomitting. (see Reader’s Digest ‘Foods That Harm, Foods That Heal’, edited by Tom Sanders, 1997.) For treating coughs, I like to use it with a little cinnamon and honey in a hot lemon drink.

Cardamom in Desserts and Cooking: It combines well with cinnamon, cloves, ginger, paprika, orange, lemon, cocoa, or coffee. Cardamom, either freshly ground, or powdered, goes well in milk puddings, or halva, and other desserts such as chocolate steamed pudding, and biscuits and cakes such as gingerbread.

The Eleteria Cardamomum grows in India and Ceylon. This is the plant which produces the wonderful Cardamom seeds which are used in Indian curry, and sweet condiments. A close relative of the Eletaria Cardamomum is the Aframomum Meleguata, which grows on the West Coast of Africa. The seeds of the African variety are often referred to as ‘Grains Of Paradise’. According to Jane Colin, in ‘Herbs and Spices for Health and Beauty’, the ‘Grains of Paradise’ were used by the Welsh Physicians of Myddrai, in Wales, from the 13th century onward. Some of the uses put to the ‘Grains of Paradise’ by the Welsh Physicians were to flavour wine and to fortify beer.

Here is a delicious coffee recipe which is spiced up with Cardamom. This is a coffee with a difference which you can serve up to your dinner guests. You can use a good instant coffee if you wish, but freshly made coffee from the real coffee grounds is always best.

How To Make Cardamom Flavoured Coffee:

6 cups boiling water

4 tablespoons coffee grounds or instant coffee

1 teaspoon powdered cardamom

Make the coffee in the usual way in a plunger by pouring the boiling water over the coffee grounds which has the teaspoon of powdered cardamom added to it. Let the plumger sit for two minutes before pushing the plunger down. Then serve immediately. This coffee is very nice served with whipped cream.


Clean-Up Of Toxic Agent Orange In Viet Nam Just Beginning 2011

Stop Experimenting With Dangerous Chemicals: In New Zealand we all know soldiers who have died as a result of exposure to Dioxin/Agent Orange, whilst working in Viet Nam during the American war there. I know of two children, friends of my son’s, whose father died two years ago of Agent Orange causes: These boys also have severe health problems as a result of their father’s exposure to this deadly chemical, which affects the genetic structure of our make-up.

A Toxic Waste Clean-Up Company with connections to New Zealand has just won a contract for cleaning up areas of Viet Nam which are still contaminated by the Agent Orange’ poisons. It is outrageous, I think, that the Americans who spoilt Viet Nam with their war, and polluted it with Agent Orange/Dioxin, have not cleaned up the mess in all these years since the war.

A clean-up is only just beginning, it seems. I have not read this in the news yet – I found out this information via ‘the grape-vine’: A friend of mine is a carpenter, who has done work for the owner of this environmental clean-up company out Pukekohe way. The man who owns the clean-up company does a roaring trade cleaning up environmental toxins such as those generated by ocean oil drilling accidents, and any other chemical spillages. He lives in Hong Kong, has a life-style block at Pukekohe where there hangs an 1885 Claude Monet amongst other valuable paintings.

He is apparently excited to win the tender for the Viet Nam clean-up. I worry about the people who will be employed as the labourers in Viet Nam to physically do the clean-up: Probably the poor people of Viet Nam, is my guess. The areas contaminated with Agent Orange/Dioxin from the war will be dangerous to work in, and as hazardous to the health as radiation from Fukushima. Dioxin affects the genes, with the potential for an adult to conceive a deformed child even years after exposure to the chemical, if it does not kill you in the mean-time.

Viet Nam suffered vast contamination of Dioxin/Agent Orange at the hands of the American military during the war forty odd years ago. They sprayed masses of ‘Agent Orange’ all over the place, as a defoliant. A defoliant is a chemical which will kill off the vegetation. The vegetation was destroyed so that they could ‘see the enemy’, so they said. But the use of ‘Agent Orange’ – Dioxin aslo meant that agriculture was wiped out, and the soil rendered highly toxic because of the poisons which remain in the soil. This seems incredible, that Dioxin, which is the killer agent in Agent Orange, and also in 245T, which was widely used in New Zealand around the same period, and after, as the war in Viet Nam, has been left around in the soil in Viet Nam for almost 50 years. Dioxin is deadly stuff. It causes degenerative disease such as cancer, nervous diseases such as multiple sclerosis, parkinsons disease, arthritis, sclerosis of the liver, and birth defects.

Many children in Viet Nam will have already suffered birth defects and other debilitating conditions, as a consequence of the Dioxin/Agent Orange chemicals deposited by the Americans in the soil. Spina bifida is just one of the terrible conditions which babies can be born with, after their mothers or their fathers have been exposed to Dioxin in 245T, or Agent Orange, or other preparations.

We were told by our health authorities in New Zealand in the 1970’s that there was no evidence to prove that 245T was harmful, and so it still got poured onto our soils here. I have personal experience of being sprayed with 245T Dioxin, aerially, by helicoper, on our two acre block up in the Hokianga. That was in 1975. I will never forget it, because that was the same year my baby died – I had been carrying her when the spraying was done. We tried to prevent the spraying from happening, but no one would listen: “It is not harmful”, they said. “There is no proof that 245T (Dioxin – same stuff as Agent Orange) – is harmful to humans”. When I went to the doctor AFTER the spraying, ill as can be, he said the same thing – ‘No evidence that 245T is harmful to humans. You must be imagining it”, he said. Shortly after this incident which resulted in the death of my baby, a friend of mine who also lived in an agricultural community gave birth to a baby with spina bifida.

I knew in my heart that the 245T Dioxin would be bad for us, especially my baby. The right thing to do would have been to have left the area as soon as we heard that the spraying was to go ahead. Even abandoning the whole property and never ever going back would have been better than losing my child as a consequence of Dioxin poisoning. I commend the actions of the young expectant mother in Te Puke, Bay Of Plenty, NZ, who is about to leave her home because of the kiwifruit spraying which is about to begin. She has been told that the chemical being used is not harmful to humans – just as I was told that 245T Dioxin was not harmful to humans. This young mother is not taking any chances and is going to move house to avoid the spray. After my own experience, I would be doing the same thing – no use waiting to become another statistic, after which time it will be announced that this poison IS actually harming humans.

Do Not Wait While Chemicals Are Being Trialled In Public To See If They Are Safe: Too late if you or your baby or other children have suffered irreversible ill health. – Note: I am going to put up a few details on this story in the next post directly after this one.

It was several years afterward that the New Zealand health authorities banned 245T/Dioxin based poison. This was years after America and other countries in the world had banned it. Many people here in New Zealand have lost children, or suffered cancers and other long-standing illnesses because of 245T, or Dioxin poisoning. Many parts of our country will still be contaminated with 245T Dioxin. The area around New Plymouth, where they manufactured the stuff, is especially toxic.

I feel for all those people in Viet Nam who have suffered long-term ill health because of Dioxin exposure, and especially for all those poor children who have suffered birth defects. I also feel for all the service-men from New Zealand, America, and other places who fought in Viet Nam, and whose lives were wrecked because of ill health or death due to Dioxin exposure from the Agent Orange defoliant used there.


Recipe For Kiwi Style Coffee Pavlova Cake To Celebrate Rugby Cup

Simple New Zealand Recipe for a Blender-Made party pavlova which happens to be Gluten-free, and very delicious.
Getting ready to celebrate a Rugby World Cup All-Black win? Here is something to go with that cup of tea, or to share with your friends as a dessert after the game. Pavlova cakes are a Kiwi invention which have become part of our traditional fare. The Aussies seem to have claimed the Pavlova in the same way they purloined our famous race-horse Phar Lap, who was a Melbourne Cup winner. Phar Lap was born and raised in New Zealand.

Anyway – here is a Coffee flavoured Kiwi “Pav” which is a Pavlova recipe with a difference: It contains just egg WHITES, sugar, and coffee, which makes a change from the traditional New Zealand Pavlova. Neither coffee nor sugar is grown in New Zealand, so perhaps we could excuse the Aussies for their claim to the Pav, because sugar cane is grown in Australia and exported to New Zealand. So without the Aussie sugar, and the Brazilian coffee – where would we be?

This is an extremely easy, no-fuss recipe. With this recipe, you do not have to add the sugar gradually, as with the standard Pavlova recipes, but put the sugar in all at once. You begin by beating the egg white and sugar ingredients with a hand-held beater over a bowl of hot water for a few minutes, as per instructions below. Then you put the beaten egg white and sugar into your blender with the coffee and simply whizz it all up. If you prefer, a hand beater can be used instead of the blender or electric beater. The blender makes an easy job of it.

Get Ready To Make Your Gluten Free Coffee Pavlova. First of all Pre-heat your oven. Turn it on to 160C or 365F. Put the baking tray about half way up the oven.

Now get your ingredients ready. You will need:
3 egg whites
1 ½ cups of white sugar
1 tsp instant coffee
2 tablespoons of boiling water
First, you must separate the egg whites from the yolk. This must be done cleanly, with NO egg yolk in the white at all. THIS IS THE SECRET OF GOOD PAVLOVA MAKING. Not a trace of yellow yolk, remember. Now put your egg whites into your bowl. Simply pour on the sugar, ready for the beating.
Next thing is to put the boiling water over.
Now place your bowl over a saucepan of near boiling water. Beat the mixture for a minute or two with a hand-held beater until the sugar has dissolved.
Now place the mixture into your electric mixer and beat until the mixture is stiff.
Have your baking tray ready with greased paper on it. Divide your Pavlova mixture into roughly two equal sized pavlovas, placing these onto the greased paper. You cook the two togatehr, on the same tray, at the same time, together, so make them fit onto the one baking tray. Use a knife to smooth over their tops neatly. The idea is to make two fairly even Pavlova cakes which can be fitted together once they are cooked.
Now place in your oven which has been Pre-heated to 160C or 325 F. Bake for 40 minutes. Turn the oven down or off if the Pavlova starts to brown. Pavlova should not be browned while cooking.

Walnut Filling:
½ cup chopped walnuts
1 tsp sugar
2 tablespoons milk
½ tsp instant coffee
¼ tsp cinnamon
Put your walnuts, sugar, milk, coffee and cinnamon together into a small saucepan. Bring these gently to the boil and let simmer for a couple of minutes. Use a wooden spoon to stir until the sugar dissolves, and do not let the mixture burn. This makes a kind of caramel to coat the walnuts. Drain the nuts after two minutes, and stand them aside to cool.

Now whip up ½ pint of fresh full cream. Add the cooled nuts to the whipped cream.
Fill your pavlova with the walnut-cream mixture and leave the filled pavlova to sit for several hours before using. If you want to make the Pavlova for the following day, the two Pavlova cakes can be filled and put together and left in the fridge overnight. This enhances the coffee and cinnamon flavours, as it gives them time to infuse through the pavlova. This version of the Kiwi style Pavlova is really delicious.


Oil Spillage Ship Rena Tauranga Say No To Deep Sea Oil Drilling

New Zealand Oil Spill By Ship Rena Near The Port Of Tauranga. The oil slicks are already on shore, and dead sea-birds drowned in the oil slicks were shown on Maori Television last night, 10.10.2011 Distressed people along the beach who were witnessing the pollution of their beautiful sea-side were interviewed about this environmental calamity which has struck in New Zealand.

We have all been pleasantly diverted by the fabulous events of ‘The Rugby World Cup which is still being played in New Zealand, but we shouldn’t ignore the goings-on around us, especially when these events are threatening our environment, possibly to a devastating degree. This container ship ‘Rena’ is still sitting out from the Tauranga harbour with tons of oil still on board – oil which is seeping into our seas, while the authorities and the ship’s owners work out how they are going to salvage their ship and its goods. This is a mini-spillage so far, compared to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill last year. However, its disastrous effects are being seen already, and the damage is likely to get much worse.

A Message From Greenpeace today asks people to sign up to their “No Deep Sea Oil Drilling” campaign, which you can find on Facebook.

John Key’s government have already given the OK to Brazilian oil company ‘Petrobras’, to drill for oil on this same coast where the ship Rena is now spiling oil. John Key’s government is acting VERY IRRESPONSIBLY by doing this. They are only considering the money to be made, and not the environment or its people. They have not listened to the voice of New Zealanders who have protested about Petrobras’ oil drilling on the East Coast of New Zealand. This accident by the ship Rena, which is likely to spill massive amounts of oil into the sea, the signs of which are already evident, should be a dire warning to our government that NO OIL DRILLING SHOULD OCCUR IN ANY OF OUR WATERS. BECAUSE DEEP SEA OIL DRILLING WILL HAVE ITS ACCIDENTS TOO. IT IS INEVITABLE. Greenpeace give the logical argument that, if we cannot contain the oil which is already spilling from the ship ‘Rena’, and which is already killing sea-birds, then how can we expect that we will be able to tackle a bigger oil spillage from an oil rig? The answer is that we won’t. These accidents of oil spills from deep-water oil rigs are almost a regular occurence. I think that they are still trying to clean up the damage from that one which happened earlier this year in the North Sea. The thing is, that you can’t possible clean up oil out of the sea completely. It’s a bit like trying to take the egg yolk out of a cup of water once the egg yolk has burst. You might get a little of it, but you cannot get it all. And so, if your egg yolk should happen to be toxic material, like oil, and it bursts into the sea, then the damage is done. You cannot reverse it with any technology. All you can hope for is that you will manage to collect the worst of it from on top of the water. But much of it will have already washed away, covering an area of hundreds of kilometres, polluting the water, and killing sea-birds and fish along the way.

Next thing that happens is that this toxic material finds its way into the food chain, and ends up on the beaches. Oil causes cancer, so people suffer too, in the end.

Our country should not be looking to make profit from a procedure which will end up poisoning its wild-life, its oceans, and its people.


300 Tonnes Oil Spilt On New Zealand Coastline

Dead Birds Already Washed Up At Mt Maunganui, Tauranga. Seals and fish will be the next seen to suffer. People will suffer too: Apart from not being able to eat the fish caught in the area, and not being able to swim or surf on the beaches, there is a health hazard for humans and all animals who use the area, as oil is carcenogic. That means that it causes cancer.

The ‘Rena’ became stranded on the Astrolabe Reef over a week ago. The accident sent off alarm bells for many of us, as we remembered the Gulf of Mexico disaster. We suspected that the accident was very much down-played by the authorities, and that the rescue mission to remove all the oil on board might not happen in time to prevent the spillage of oil into the sea. As we feared, action was very slow from our government, and from the ship’s owners. And now, the oil is indeed spilling into the sea.

We were given the update on TV3 News tonight about the marine accident, just after politician Nick Smith ‘the right honourable’, minister for the environment, declared the situation as “The worst maritime environmental disaster New Zealand has ever seen”. We saw cameramen aboard a small craft which was out there in the ocean, amidst a four to five metre swell, getting as close as it could to the ‘Rena’ which is stranded on the Astrolabe Reef. This was around a kilometre away, being the exclusion zone declared by the marine authorities since the accident a week ago. Nevertheless, the surface of the water looked to be a greyish-black over the whole expanse of the sea around this exclusion zone, and beyond.

This accident should be a awarning to all the ‘right honourables’ of New Zealand’s National Party government under the leadership of John Key. They have given the ‘go-ahead’ to Brazilian oil company Petrobras to drill in the ocean of New Zealand’s East Coast, regardless of protests by the public urging them not to do this. They have also given permission for other oil drilling to be done by another oil company,on the west coast of New Zealand. They have paid no heed to the disastrous consequences of oil drilling gone wrong, as ween in the Gulf of Mexico, after the massive oil spill there by an ocean oil drill just last year. Now, they might perhaps have an inkling about what the rest of us were on about, when we said how devastating an oil spill would be for the region.

This oil spillage by the ship ‘Rena’ over in Tauranga will be simply devastating on many levels. The worst aspect is that the environment is spoilt, and that people’s health, too, will suffer. As well, the enjoyment and use of the beaches in the Bay Of Plenty is now impaired. Many small businesses will be also affected, such as fishing, and tourism, with many people’s livlihoods threatened.

The ship ‘Rena’, which is shipwrecked off the East Coast Port of Tauranga in the Bay of Plenty, is still spilling tonnes of oil into the sea. Dead birds are already turning up on the beaches. The oil slicks are moving in to the shores, where they are contaminating beaches. Many of the shell-fish growing on the rocks will be poisoned, and many shell-fish will die. The surviving shell-fish will be contaminated, and may not be good to eat for many years now, as the oil will infiltrate the porous rocks along the coast where the shell-fish grow.

A Toxic Dispersal Agent Is Being Sprayed On The Sea Around Tauranga: The dispersal agent being used in the clean-up, saccording to the news tonight, is Porex 9550, which is toxic in itself. It partially dissolves the oil, but does no good to the environment. My guess is that this chemical is related to the Corexit 9500 chemical, originally developed by Exxon, and now manufactured by Nalco Holding Co. in America. This is the chemical solvent which was used in the Gulf of Mexico oil clean-up. This chemical is reported to be four times more toxic than the oil it is supposed to ‘clean up’. This is a cosmetic measure – All it does is to make the oil more liquid, so that it disperses over a wider area. But the oil – and the toxic dispersal chemicals – are all still in the sea. There is a question being asked as to why this chemical was chosen above a less harmful water-soluble product, for the Gulf of Mexico clean-up. Apparently, the shares in the company of Nalco Holdings went up dramatically the day after it was announced that the Corexit 9500 would be used for the Gulf of Mexico clean-up. It is possible that it is exactly the same chemical being used here in New Zealand, and that ‘Porex 9550’ is actually ‘Corexit 9500’, the latter label being mentioned on TV3’s news tonight, and on ‘Campbell Live’.

The alternative, less harmful dispersal agent is one called ‘Dispersit’, which is manufactured by Polychem. Polychem is a division of the U.S. Polychemical Corporation. This product is reported to have only a third of the toxicity ot the Corexit 9500 chemical. This information about these solvents comes from the on-line article entitled “Protect The Ocean’.

But instead of the less harmful alternative, 600 litres of the more toxic chemical, Porex 9550 ?, have so far been poured into the ocean out from Tauranga. Greens Party Russell Norman says they have decided too soon to use this toxic chemical. It has been banned in Sweden. In the United Kingdom, the same toxic agent is restricted. Greens say that there is not enough evidence for its safety to support the government using it.

Also on board the container-vessel ‘Rena’ which is stranded on the Astrolabe Reef at Mt Maunganui is a large shipment of ‘Astrolabe’ wine meant for the dining tables of Europe. This is a New Zealand-made wine which comes from Marlborough, in the South Island. It is extremely ironic that the ‘Rena’ which carries the ‘Astrolabe’ wine is shipwrecked, stuck on the Astrolabe reef. TV3 Campbell Live reporter pointed out that the Astrolabe is an ancient instrument used by mariners to determine the depth of the sea, and that if the ‘Rena’ had had an Astrolabe on board, it would have been able to avoid getting stranded on the Astrolabe. In which case the Astrolabe wine would have reached its destination, and, more importantly, the oil spill would not have occured. Bad judgement all around.