Posts tagged: New Zealand

Lest We Forget – Thank You From Singapore and the Region to the Aussie Diggers!

By , April 25, 2012 12:29 am

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Source: Aussie Pete

As we clock over past midnight to the 25th April, 2012, we welcome the onset of another ANZAC Day.

A national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand to honour the members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) and to commemorate all those who died and served in military operations for their countries.

anzac04It also serves as a time for reflection for me personally as I recall the various stories that were handed down from my late Grandfather, Henry Thomas Aubrey Bowles, who served as an Air Force navigator.

Given that this year’s ANZAC day falls on a weekday (and there is obviously no national vacation here in Singapore), we will not be heading out to Kranji war memorial for the dawn service. However, every time I have visited the site, I am always overwhelmed at the number of Aussie graves lined up as far as the eye can see.

Therefore, this year, I thought I would offer up a few statistics on the number of Aussie POWs (prisoners of war) and fatalities as recorded in history in Singapore and surrounding areas within the region:

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Twenty-two thousand Australians were captured defending Malaya, Singapore, and the Netherlands East Indies. Over 21,000 were from the Second AIF (particularly the 8th Division); 354 RAN; 373 RAAF officers; and 71 women from the Australian Army Nursing Service. Of these, 14,792 were captured at Singapore; 2,736 on Java; 1,137 on Timor; 1,075 on Ambon; and 1,049 at Rabaul.

Nearly 36% of Australian prisoners (8,031) died in captivity.

Massacres of Australians occurred at Tol Plantation on New Britain (160 Australians); Parit Sulong in Malaya (110); and at Laha on Ambon (over 200). Twenty-one Australian nurses were executed on Banka Island, and an unknown number of Australians elsewhere in Malaya and in Singapore, especially at the Alexandra Hospital.

Nearly 2650 Australians died on the Burma-Thailand Railway.”

“[In September 1945] the largest numbers of Australians were congregated on Singapore Island and Johore (5,549); 4,830 were distributed in several camps and on a number of working parties in Thailand and remote areas of Burma; 265 were in French Indo-China; about 750 were distributed throughout the islands of the Netherlands East Indies, with the largest group (385) in Java, and in Sumatra (243); about 100 were on Ambon; two were at Macassar, seven on Bali; another 150 were at Kuching in British North Borneo. About 2,700 were distributed between Japan, Korea and Manchuria. About 200 remained on Hainan”. [Wigmore, p. 633]

Sources:

Peter Dennis (et al), The Oxford companion to Australian military history, (Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1997)

Lionel Wigmore, The Japanese thrust, Australia in the war of 1939-1945, vol. IV (Canberra: Australian War Memorial, 1968)

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To all past and current Australian service men and women – thank you for what you have done and what you continue to do. I thank you, Australia thanks you… and lest we forget, Singapore and the region thanks you for your continued allegiance.

Video: 15th February, 2012 – The 70th Anniversary of the Fall of Singapore:

[youtube ZU3FnuYxwm8]

Amazing World… Amazing Pictures!

By , December 23, 2011 12:00 am

My good ol’ mate, Ralphie, in Melbourne has done it again. He always seems to get his hands on some of the most remarkable stuff and never fails to share with me on email.

In this edition, some of the most amazing pictures that you will ever see… ENJOY!!

ASIDE: Wishing a Blessed and Merry Christmas and a Safe and Prosperous New Year to Ralph and his family… have a beer for me mate.

The world’s highest chained carousel, located in Vienna, the height of 117 metres:

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Thor’s Well – “the gates of the dungeon.” CapePerpetua, Oregon. At moderate tide and strong surf, flowing water creates a fantastic landscape:

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Emerald Lake in the crater of an extinct volcano. Tongariro National Park – NewZealand:

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Restaurant on a cliff on the east coast of Zanzibar. Depending on the tide the restaurant can be reached both on foot and by boat:

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Office of Selgas Cano in Madrid:

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Desert with Phacelia (Scorpion Weed). Flowering once in several years:

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Balloons in Cappadocia:

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Dubai. The view from the skyscraper BurjKhalifa. The height of buildings is 828m (163 floors):

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And this is the view down:

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These trees grow in the forest near Gryfino, Poland. The cause of the curvature is unknown:

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The border between Belgium and the Netherlands in a cafe:

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Twice a year in the Gulf of Mexico rays migrate. About 10 thousand stingrays swim from the Yucatan Peninsula to Florida in the spring and back in the fall:

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In the resort town of Skagen you can watch an amazing natural phenomenon. This city is the northernmost point of Denmark, where the Baltic and North Seas meet. The two opposing tides in this place can not merge because they have different densities:

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In the Chinese province of Shandong is a bridge across the Gulf of Jiaozhou. The bridge length over 36 km is calculated for eight car lanes, and is the longest sea bridge in the world:

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Day and night. The monument in Kaunas, Lithuania:

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An unusual tunnel in California’s Sequoia National Park:

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This statue, created by Bruno Catalano, is located in France:

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Family Photo:

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The longest traffic jam in the world recorded in China. Its length is 260 kilometres:

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Paris computer games store. In fact, the floor is absolutely flat:

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Marcus Levine – slaughtering an artist in the literal sense. He creates his paintings by nailing a white wooden panel. At his latest series of paintings exhibited in a gallery in London, Marcus has spent more than 50,000 pieces of iron:

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In the city of Buford (USA) lives just one person. He works as a janitor and as a Mayor:

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Autumn Camouflage:

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Haus Rizzi – Germany:

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Lena Pillars. Russia, the Lena River:

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Banpo Bridge in Seoul, South Korea:

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Favelas of Brazil. The boundary between wealth and poverty:

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Lost paradise in the Indian Ocean. Isle of Lamu:

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Balcony of floor 103 in Chicago

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From the outside it looks like:

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View of the sunset from inside the wave:

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This is a unique geological phenomenon known as Danxia landform. These phenomena can be observed in several places in China. This example is located in Zhangye, Province of Gansu. The color is the result of an accumulation for millions of years of red sandstone and other rocks:

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In northwestern Montana, USA. The water is so transparent that it seems that this is a quite shallow lake. In fact, it’s very deep:

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Airport in the Maldives is located on an artificial island in the middle of the Indian Ocean:

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Lighthouse guard in Mare, France must be one of the most courageous people on the planet! Not everyone will have a smoke in such weather, and in such a place!:

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Photo of storm in Montana, USA, 2010:

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Skyscraper-Crescent Crescent Moon Tower (Dubai):

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Heavy fog in Sydney, which enveloped the whole city:

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The river above the river: Magdeburg Water Bridge, Germany:

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Morning Glory – kind of clouds observed in the Gulf of Carpentaria in northern Australia:

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Gibraltar Airport is one of the most extraordinary airports in the world:

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Source: Aussie Pete Legacy Blog

NZ Air Travel – Miss Your Flight And Get Punched In The Head

By , June 29, 2011 12:37 am

EXCLUSIVE CCTV FOOTAGE RELEASED

The Location: The Check-In Counter for Jetstar (Operated by Skycare)

The Players: In the blue corner, Radio DJ (shock-jock) Iain Stables and in the red corner, a much larger Check-In Staff Member, Patrick Joseph Ulberg

The Problem: Mr Stables turns up late for his flight and is not allowed to board the plane

What followed, can only be described as absolute mayhem. The absolutely dramatic CCTV footage has just been released as a part of the assault case against Mr Ulberg.

Stables

The video was played for the local court and shows Mr Stables sweeping bag labels off the counter and throwing a radio at Mr Ulberg. Next thing, Mr Ulberg comes out from behind the counter and starts swing haymaker punches.

jetstar2Ulberg was found not guilty of assaulting Mr Stables – the court ruled that the check-in staff member acted in self-defence.

However, despite his injuries, Mr Stables might not be off the hook – he was charged at the time of the incident with “disorderly behaviour likely to cause violence.”

Apparently, the incident was sparked when when Mr Stables turned up late for his Jetstar flight and when told he could not board the plane, was told in no uncertain terms, to “f*** off to Air New Zealand”.

It was further alleged that Mr Stables then yelled a racial slur – calling Mr Ulberg a “black mother f****r”, and then leaned over the check-in counter and punched him.

SkycareA witness testified that they had seen Mr Stables “mouthing off”, throwing something and hurling a racist insult at the employee at the Jetstar desk, whereafter Ulberg retaliated by throwing punches to the head.

Mr Stables was treated for concussion, bruising and cuts.

[youtube rItHVddTm-8]

Source: Aussie Pete

Homophobic Kiwis? All Blacks Video Sparks Gay Outrage!

By , December 13, 2010 10:45 pm

Being an Aussie and of course a Wallabies supporter, it’s a given that any opportunity that arises to bag a Kiwi (and even better, the infamous ‘All Blacks’ rugby team) it’s a mandate that I must sieze and run with it! – No offense to anyone else intended… this kind of Australia – New Zealand rivalry is a national pastime for Aussies and Kiwis alike.

This is the gesture that has sparked the outrage - watch for yourself and see if you agree

This is the gesture that has sparked the outrage - watch for yourself and see if you agree

air-new-zealand-logoThe latest news to hit the headlines, is the scene that has been scrapped from Air New Zealand’s in-flight safety video. The video is specially themed around the country’s rugby stars. The reason for the censorship? – the gay community are up in arms over what they see as an offensive gesture by the All Blacks centre, Richard Kahui.

The offending scene starts with a female flight attendant snapping a picture with her cell phone whilst giving Kahui a quick peck on the cheek. Next thing, a gay Air New Zealand flight attendant also asks for a kiss on the cheek and is flatly refused by the player.

allblacks_logo_webAccording to NZ Rugby Union spokesman about the cut scene, Brian Finn, “It’s a decision for the airline. They’ve kept us informed about it. We won’t be commenting on this”.

Among the complaints to the airline, was a suggestion from a professor that the video could lead to gay male suicides. WTH?? – watch it for yourself… I don’t understand how one thing could lead to another – but then again, I’m no professor!!

Air New Zealand safety manager, David Morgan, said “When we created this video and discussed the scene featuring a gay male flight attendant and a rugby player with key stakeholders, including a number of the gay community, we received none of the feedback we have in the past week… The scene was not something that we, the people we tested the scene with, or indeed the participants in the scene, viewed as distasteful or likely to cause concern”.

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If you ask me, I think it’s a bit of a stretch for anyone to find the scene offensive (gay or straight)… it’s all just a bit of fun. But the thing that has left me completely dumb-founded, is the fact that it’s ok for Kiwis to kiss sheep, but not to kiss a gay guy on the cheek!! (ok, ok – of course I jest… don’t take it to heart. I still love my New Zealand brothers)

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The All Blacks performing the trademark traditional Haka

The All Blacks performing the trademark traditional Haka

Is It Cruelty If The Animal Is Already Dead? – Gotta Love Those Kiwis!

By , September 22, 2010 9:26 pm

Called the ‘Poss Toss’, the students at Colyton School in country New Zealand are being taught to have ‘fun’ by throwing the dead bodies of possums as far as they can.

NZ newspaper, the Manawatu Standard, ran pictures of students at Colyton School grabbing possum carcasses by the tail and throwing them as far as possible!

NZ newspaper, the Manawatu Standard, ran pictures of students at Colyton School grabbing possum carcasses by the tail and throwing them as far as possible!

In my mind, this is extremely poor taste… the argument is that the possums are ‘pests’ and very destructive to crops and even general households – which is completely accurate. The same problem exists in parts of Australia, and just as with kangaroos and rabbits, the debate surrounding organized and systematic ‘culling’ has been continuing for decades.

This is the charity sport that they're teaching their kids at Colyton School, NZ

This is the charity sport that they're teaching their kids at Colyton School, NZ

But this should not equate to the celebration of complete disrespect for an animal corpse. In fact, I find this ‘charity sport’ both distressing and indeed quite sick.

But the majority of Kiwis (60% of over 2,000 people) who were surveyed online by stuff.co.nz disagree with me, by saying that possum-throwing was “harmless fun for kids”.

Although some locals had complained to the ‘Society for Protection of Cruelty Against Animals’, saying the practice taught kids to “disrespect dead animals”, surprisingly enough there have actually been similar events that have been run to raise money for the SPCA.

Great – so it’s not illegal and it’s not in school hours… but is this the kind of morals that should be taught to young children? I think not!! What would the principal think if they had a ‘tossing contest’ of his departed relatives?

[MORE]

Shocking CCTV Footage From Terrifying Cruise (Never Before Released)

By , September 8, 2010 10:13 pm

Cruise Liner 'Pacific Sun' was smashed by huge waves in a tropical storm on it's return from Vanuatu

Cruise Liner 'Pacific Sun' was smashed by huge waves in a tropical storm on it's return from Vanuatu

We all daydream about it from time to time… taking time off work for an idyllic Pacific cruise on a luxury liner. Let’s just hope that we don’t board the Titanic!! The following astonishing and shocking footage has just surfaced today on website, Liveleaks and was quickly replicated across YouTube – set to go viral I suspect.

Imagine relaxing on this perfect vacation to Vanuatu, sipping cocktails, when the P&O cruise liner you are travelling on, the ‘Pacific Sun’, runs into a storm. Next thing you’re ‘rocking and rolling’ along with other passengers and all of the furniture, as the ship gets pounded with huge waves which sends the entire vessel into violent chaos!!

The incident occured in July, 2008, about 650 kilometres off the coast of New Zealand when the ‘Pacific Sun’ was returning from an eight day cruise (perhaps it was really a 3-hour tour on the ‘Minnow’ – for all those old enough to remember ‘Gilligan’s Island’). Until now, the footage has never been exposed to the public. Of the 2,403 passengers and crew on board, 42 people were injured – some quite seriously.

In the first video, a woman can clearly be seen hitting her head on a post and collapsing… then she seems to get ‘swallowed’ by the tables and chairs along with another woman who had tried to come to her rescue.

According to www.news.com.au, many of the other injuries were sustained when some pokie machines fell over… injuries included things like broken ribs and limbs, a fractured pelvis and cuts.

Please note that this is the ‘long version’ of the video and things really heat up at around 4-minutes in. Be sure to keep watching.

[youtube LeKMTSepHeQ]

The next video was taken below deck, and shows heavy equipment (including a forklift), almost wiping out one of the crew members.

[youtube kEWIxm2VqDQ]

Pacific Sun , Camera in Dk3 Stb Aft SD:

[youtube bkA5iXc_Znw]

Jetski from London to New Zealand

By , July 31, 2010 11:46 pm

Jeremy Burfoot will be taking on some seriously deadly oceans on his journey from London to New Zealand

Jeremy Burfoot will be taking on some seriously deadly oceans on his journey from London to New Zealand

For those mates of mine in Asia, it might not be any secret that Aussies (Australians) and Kiwis (New Zealanders), although friendly neighbours, like to make fun of each other and are often very passionate when the countries cross the Tasman and meet up in sporting competitions.

But all ‘sheep’ jokes aside, I think it’s quite OK for me to call 51-year-old Kiwi, Jeremy Burfoot a bit of a fool. An airline pilot and part-time ‘dare devil’, Mr Burfoot will attempt to ride a jetski all the way from London to New Zealand (about 32,000km). Starting out from outside London’s Houses of Parliament (on the River Thames) on August 1, he will spend 12 hours a day for four months riding the jetski.

Although Mr Burfoot has already circumnavigated New Zealand on a jetski, he said that even his wife is calling him an idiot for this latest world record attempt. In all fairness, his message is a good one – raising awareness about cancer prevention by riding a personal watercraft halfway around the world.

Mr Burfoot and three others, will head across the English Channel to Rotterdam before powering up the Rhine and Danube rivers and then on to the Black Sea. They will also visit Turkey, the Suez Canal,the Red Sea, Yemen, Oman, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka and Singapore. The four will hop from island to island through Indonesia to Australia before ending their journey around the end of November… I really hope it doesn’t end earlier for them – they’re taking on some very well-publicised and notorious rough oceans along the way!!

WTH - Mr Burfoot, pliz dun do this, cuz... !!!

WTH - Mr Burfoot, pliz dun do this, cuz... !!!

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