Victoria Cross

Dambusters medals to stay in NZ thanks to Tory bogeyman

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Everyone on the left likes to hate Lord Ashcroft, except yet again he has come to the aid of New Zealand to retain medals won in World War 2.

Les Munro, the last surviving Dambusters pilot, has spoken of his delight at raising more than $160,000 for a memorial dedicated to his fallen World War II mates, while also being able to keep his historic war medals in New Zealand.

Mr Munro, 95, had planned to sell his medals at auction this week in order to make a donation to London’s Bomber Command Memorial for its ongoing upkeep.

There was concern from New Zealand museums, the Government, and the RSA at the possibility of losing such treasured historical objects overseas. But the medals will be kept in the country after Mr Munro accepted a $150,000 donation by British billionaire Lord Michael Ashcroft.

Lord Ashcroft, who owns the world’s largest collection of Victoria Cross medals, will donate the money to the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund, which looks after the memorial. In return, Mr Munro has agreed to donate his medals, including the Distinguished Service Order and Distinguished Flying Cross, along with logbooks and associated memorabilia, to the Museum of Transport and Technology (Motat) in Auckland.   Read more »

Face of the day

Pippa Doyle

Pippa Doyle

One of New Zealand’s most secretive military organisations has opened its high-security doors for a 93-year-old woman.

Tonight, it was a meeting of war heroes when New Zealand’s Victoria Cross winner Willie Apiata kissed 93-year-old Pippa Doyle, one of the great if unknown secret agents of World War II.

Apiata was in the audience as Pippa – otherwise known as Phyllis Latour Doyle – received France’s highest decoration: the Chevalier de l’Ordre National de la Legion d’Honneur, the Legion of Honour (knight class).

 DAVID WHITE/Fairfax NZ TOP HONOUR: The Legion of Honour medal which was presented to Pippa Doyle.


DAVID WHITE/Fairfax NZ
TOP HONOUR: The Legion of Honour medal which was presented to Pippa Doyle.

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Gower cops one in the chook

3News

Yesterday I blogged about Patrick Gower’s rude and disrespectful post trying to make political mileage out of a hero retiring from his 23 years service in the army.

Well Willie Apiata’s boss gives Gower a serve:

LIEUTENANT GENERAL RHYS JONES – CHIEF OF DEFENCE FORCE wrote:

Patrick, I can assure you and the public of New Zealand that Corporal Apiata, V.C. will get the send-off from the Defence Force that HE wants.

I think if the New Zealand public has learnt anything about Willie since he rose to prominence for his remarkable act of gallantry, it is that Willie is an incredibly humble man who has never sought the spotlight for himself. Where he has made public appearances and supported causes, these have been where he sensed he could make a difference to his community and New Zealand.

So too it is in the way he wishes to leave the Defence Force. As Defence Force leaders we will first and foremost be guided by Willie’s own wishes to make the transition to his new role beyond the Defence Force in his own quiet and deliberate way. As Chief of Defence Force, I believe he has earned that right.

As to the “rushed” way you claim the NZ Defence Force handled this issue, our statement was of course in response to imminent news media stories we became aware of. It was not the Defence Force that sought to initiate a story but your own brethren. Again, our statement was in accordance with Willie’s wishes.

With regard to the other innuendo and gossip you speculate about in your “opinion piece”, all I can do is refer you again to the statement that Corporal Apiata, V.C. made through the Defence Force yesterday afternoon. As regularly voted one of New Zealand’s “most trusted New Zealanders”, I hope Patrick that you will take Willie’s word on this matter – if not my own – that he left his fulltime military role under good terms, and will continue his long association with the Defence Force as a Reserve Force member:

“This has been a decision that I have not taken lightly and it is one that has taken me many months to make. I am leaving to pursue my goals and to grow with my family. I am very proud of my service with the NZDF and I am very grateful for all of the support I have received from the NZSAS and the NZDF.”

Face of the Day

Stuff.co.nz

Willie Apiata had left the Army to invest his considerable skills with at-risk youth:

New Zealand’s only living recipient of the Victoria Cross, Corporal Willie Apiata, is leaving the military.

Prime Minister John Key has revealed Apiata is leaving the SAS to work for the youth charity High Wire Trust.

The Trust, which has an outdoor pursuits centre in Papakura, helps at-risk young people.

“I’m sure he’ll do a great job out there,” Key said.

“He’ll be a great role model for them.”

Apiata had advised the Defence Force several months ago that he intended to leave the regular force but he would remain a member of the reserves.

You can’t call a VC winner a dud root

There are many things you can call a Victoria Cross winner…hero, brave, outstanding etc, but you can’t call him a dud root, as the hosts and panel of an Aussie TV show have found out:

The co-host of Channel Ten program The Circle has publicly apologised for making a sexist and disrespectful comment about Victoria Cross winner Ben Roberts-Smith, saying she had never met the Australian war hero and ‘‘felt sick’’ at the angry backlash she had received after branding him brainless.

Yumi Stynes admitted she did not know much about Corporal Roberts-Smith when she commented on a photograph of the shirtless war hero in a swimming pool yesterday, saying: ‘‘He’s going to dive down to the bottom of the pool to see if his brain is there’’.

Stynes’ guest co-host and veteran journalist George Negus had then quipped: “I’m sure he’s a really good guy, nothing about poor old Ben. But that sort of bloke, and what if they’re not up to it in the sack?”

Another host questioned whether Negus was suggesting “that he could be a dud root?”, to laughter from the audience.

But their flippant treatment of Corporal Roberts-Smith – who single-handedly stormed an enemy machine gun position in Afghanistan in 2010 – angered relatives of decorated war veterans as well as viewers, who flooded the television show’s Facebook page with furious comments.

The show’s treatment of Corporal Roberts-Smith also came under fire after the soldier revealed in a candid interview on Channel Seven’s Sunday Night that he and his wife had conceived their twin daughters through IVF treatment.

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Shabby Churnalism

Patrick Gower is normally better than this muck:

3 News has learned that John Key has had a private meeting with a controversial right-wing British billionaire, Lord Michael Ashcroft.

Mr Ashcroft was a leading figure behind the last election campaign by Britain’s Conservatives, but Mr Key says the two men did not really talk politics when they met.

The billionaire flew into Auckland in his private for the rugby, and a meeting with Mr Key.

Mr Ashcroft is known in New Zealand for putting up the reward for the stolen Victoria Cross medals.

But he is best known for pumping his time – and millions – into the British Conservative Party and right-wing politics.

“He’s deputy chairman of the Conservative Party, I see him every time he comes to New Zealand,” says Mr Key.

Well, actually Mr Ashcroft is not the deputy chairman any more.

Nope Patrick but he is the Treasurer of the International Democratic Union of which National is a member. This is a stupid story of no merit other than Patrick Gower’s hushed tones about a billionaire. Not only that but they used footage from three years ago to pad out the story. It is shabby and disrespectful to the guy that actually helped get the stolen medals back.

I should confess now before Patrick finds the conspiracy. My father is an office holder of the APDU, a constituent member of the IDU and has met Lord Ashcroft many times, I think he even has his cellphone number written down somewhere.

Instead of looking for conspiracy under the wings of executive jets why doesn’t Patrick Gower go ask Phil Goff about his attendance at the fundraiser with a person charged with electoral fraud?

 

Job well done; here's a billion for your troubles – Saudis

Make no mistake where Hamas gets their funding from. From jihadist regimes like the Iranians and from the Saudis. Faced with falling oil prices Iran needed some conflict in the Middle East and Hamas the ever loyal servants of their main arms suppliers dutifully obliged.

For their part the Saudis have chipped in a cool billy to help with “reconstruction and rehabilitation in Gaza”. The chances of Hamas reconstructing anything in Gaza witht he billion dollars is remote, more likely the money is fulfilling the Saudis own duty towards the jihad — jihad al-mal, the “money-jihad,” which Bin Laden recently reminded Muslims of.

We should also remember that the Saudi King says;

“One drop of Palestinian blood” is more valuable than all the money in the world…

Given the fact they have chucked a billion at the jihadist regmie run by Hamas for about 1500 killed you’d have to say that the Saudi King lied and he rates Palestinian blood at about $666,666 a body. (ironic number that, isn’t it?)

Ban: Death toll in Gaza 'unbearable'

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon is in Israel and has said that “death toll in Gaza had reached an unbearable point”.

Strange, isn’t it? The UN said and did virtually nothing about the genocide in Rwanda, the same in Darfur, but for their darling Pally buddies, a few hundred deaths of Hamas terrorists and their supporters is ‘unbearable’?

The UN and the other apologists for Islamic terrorist group clearly have a very distorted reality. Bear in mind that Hamas has been at war with Israel for decades and still has as its stated aim to clear Palestine from the Jordan to the sea of the Jew.

The Israeli’s will never give in because to give in will be to die.

i suppose it was nice of him to mention that Israel’s citizens have the right to live without fear of rockets. A million Israeli citizens live within rocket range day and night, he told reporters, and “this too must stop permanently.” He claimed that Hamas’s use of private homes and civilian institutions was “unacceptable.”

Yeah but they won’t do anything about stopping Hamas, they never do.

Obama's honeymoon already over

Power Line – The Honeymoon: Still Over!

In The Honeymoon: Over Before It Began!, I noted that Islamic protesters in Indonesia were blaming Barack Obama for Israel’s attack on Gaza even though he hasn’t yet been inaugurated. This calls into question, as I put it in that post, liberals’ “touching faith that the election of Barack Obama will cause America to be better loved by people around the world, including those who are ideologically hostile to the United States.”

Here’s more evidence that the honeymoon is already over, this time from Iran. Note that Obama says he wants to change our relationship with Iran by treating it with more “respect.” Here, demonstrators in Tehran walk on a poster of Obama:

The great black hope of the liberal “progressives” will prove to be a massive failure. Already Islamist protesters the world over are burning Obama in effigy. Obama himself thinks that opeing dialogue with terrorists will be helpful. I have news for him, it will only be useful if those terrorists are sitting in chains as we interrogate them. As John at Powerline comments “The point, of course, is that if anyone thinks that electing Obama as President will cause us to be loved by our enemies, just because he isn’t George Bush, that person is doomed to disappointment.”

Hamas leaders cower in hospital bunker behind human shields

Sources: Hamas leaders hiding in basement of Israel-built hospital in Gaza – Haaretz – Israel News

Senior Hamas officials in Gaza are hiding out in a “bunker” built by Israel, intelligence officials suspect: Many are believed to be in the basements of the Shifa Hospital complex in Gaza City, which was refurbished during Israel’s occupation of the Gaza Strip.

The tough guy leaders of Hamas are cowering behind the skirts of women and the injured in the basement bunker at Shifa Hospital in Gaza.

Heard that name before? Of course you have it is the hospital where the Pallywood special movie of fake CPR was filmed. Turns out that the same hospital is the main base of Hamas, knowing the Israelis won’t bomb it.