Horowhenua Mail : January 12th 2012
5 THURSDAY, JANUARY 12, 2012 100% NZ OWNED & OPERATED Penguins liked to leave their mark on handlers Army days: Michael Dally looks back at photos of his Antarctica service, after receiving the New Zealand Armed Services Defence Force medal last month. Levin resident Michael Dally was the latest recipient of the New Zealand Armed Services Defence Force Medal last month, for his 11 years of service in four branches of the army, and a stint in Antarctica. Mr Dally, who has been a high school teacher, worked in Radio New Zealand and is currently manager of Horowhenua Adult Literacy Services (HALS), said it was a thrill'' to receive the medal in the post. The 68-year-old, a sergeant in the New Zealand Army's Royal Corps of Transport, serving in both the regular and territorial army in periods between 1963 and 1983, said his most memor- able experience was serving in Antarctica. Attached to the United States Forces at McMurdo Station for three months over summer in 1977, his main duties involved unloading cargo from the Hercules, for transportation by helicopter to various bases. However, there were the odd jobs'' helping pick up penguins for transporting to the US. The penguins had no fear of humans, but as soon as they were picked up and about to be put in the boxes, they would void their bowels over the person holding them. We soon learned to hold them out at arm's length.'' Mr Dally said his army days were definitely character forming'', learning personal discipline and how to read people. In McMurdo, living in close confinement with 30 to 40 guys all bunking in together, you have to learn how to get along.'' Survivors: Doug Tait visits his wife Catherine at Wellington Hospital after a fatal car crash at Otaihanga. Photo: FAIRFAXNZ The horrors of a road crash As Doug Tait lay unconscious inside the twisted wreckage of his car, his wife thought she had lost him. Catherine Tait will never forget waking up, trapped inside the Hol- den Commodore with her husband and three children after a horrific crash near Waikanae on December 30. I remember being blacked out and I could hear my kids crying in the background and that was getting louder and louder and louder,'' she said from her Wellington Hospital bed on Tuesday. I started to feel the pain in my stomach area. Then I looked up and saw the dash right in front of me. I looked over at Doug and he was still out to it. I really believed he had gone and I had lost my husband. I was just thinking, How on earth are we going to get out of this?'.'' The couple and their three chil- dren were driving home to Levin along State Highway 1 between Paraparaumu and Waikanae when the head-on crash happened on December 30, killing the driver of the other car, Lance Rielly, 39, and his stepdaughter Stephanie Fox, 18. It was the 11th fatal crash of a holiday period in which 18 people died. I remember seeing a vehicle skid- ding on my side of the road towards us,'' Mr Tait said. There's no sound that is scarier than the sound of the brakes locking up and then the impact with the sound of metal crunching. I had no time to react.'' He remembers little else of the crash but his wife recalls the relief when her children were pulled from the car, followed by fear at the smell of smoke and petrol. Doug was still out [unconscious] and they [the rescuers] said, No, no you've got to get away,' and I thought, God, this is it, I'm going to get blown up.' Doug woke up and he looked at me andhisface wasjust. . .Icould see part of his nose down by my arm . . . and just blood everywhere. He said to me, We've got to get out of here, we've got to get out of here'.'' With the help of other motorists he escaped, but Mrs Tait couldn't. She was pinned inside. I just closed my eyes and then I heard, Someone's got help, someone's here.' I looked out my win- dow and there were these two guys with fire extinguishers. I was just so relieved. Then I just felt the excru- ciating pain after that.'' Mrs Tait was cut from the car and taken to Wellington Hospital, where she is still recovering from the serious injuries she suffered. Her husband and children were all treated at hospital, but have been allowed to go home. FairfaxNZ The good ship Jones sets sail for Foxton The replica ship built by Foxton Beach resident Llew Jones has been moved by tractor to Jones' Play- ground. The ship that Llew Jones built took a short tractor ride to its final destination in Jones' Playground, Foxton Beach, last month. The five metre children's play fix- ture received some final paint touches by members of Task Force Green. Mr Jones, who had spent almost three months building the 18th Century replica for the play- ground, said the team had done a good job. It's lifted up everything I've done, especially the balustrades and fancy pieces on the side.'' He was also pretty pleased it came over without a hitch'', after the 10 minute, 200 metre journey from his driveway to the park lifted up by the tractor which had to be driven backwards for the whole journey. Wife Pauline, who will be glad to get her house back, was quite emphatic his next project will not be as big''. The ship was officially launched'' on December 20, but the mast will be installed next week, said Mr Jones. He said the ship looks magnifi- cent'' on site and is being well used. I put a lot of work into it... 525 hours I put into it, just the ship part of it.'' Children from the district can come up with a name for the ship and for the playground boat outside the Levin Aquatic Centre in a compe- tition run by the Horowhenua Dis- trict Council. Children can enter at the Levin or Foxton aquatic centres.
January 5th 2012
January 19th 2012