Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Ancestry.com Training

The Winton Genealogy Group is presenting a demonstration on the use of ancestry.com at Winton Library on Sunday, 10 June, from 10am to 3pm. Learn how to start the search for your family at home or using ancestry at the library. Book your place now by phoning Joan McConachie on 03-236-1737. Cost is $5.

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Woodland Creature Held to Account

Last Friday, the Otautau Courthouse held a much-anticipated night session. Interested members of the community packed the building to watch the spectacle. In what is surely the trial of the decade, the infamous woodland villain, Mr B.B. Wolf,  would finally be held to account for his many crimes.

Every trial has twists and turns. These tense moments made for good drama. In the above picture, Hansel is being sworn in by the bailiff as the D.A. prepares to exam the witness. Of course, this was just minutes before the bailiff realised that Hansel, Gretl and Dorothy of the Wizard of Oz were all in the wrong courtroom! The Wolf could've easily have asked for a mistrial, but the judge, visibly perturbed, banished the errant witnesses from the room and continued.

The Boy Who Cried Wolf was also a menace to the proceedings, and he was thrown out after numerous outbursts.

At the heart of the trial were the endearing witnesses. These included the Three Little Pigs, Little Red Riding Hood and her Grandmother. Each testified earnestly, telling of their now-famous tragic encounters with the Wolf. But the clever wolf meticulously twisted their words, casting doubt over their testimony.

In the end, the jury (the audience) was asked to decide the Wolf's fate. Deliberation didn't take long but counting the votes did! That added to the overall intensity of the evening. The judge read the verdict: Guilty! And the room erupted in cheers.

For exclusive photos of the proceedings, see the St Andrews Scout Group facebook page.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

"Like Us on Facebook"

It's an unfortunate phrase - 'like us'. I don't like it. But there are some good things about Facebook despite its mission to make money off of user demographics and interests.

If you 'like' someone's Facebook page (clicking 'like' on a page), any update from that page will show up in your 'newsfeed' automatically. A newsfeed is like your own personal newspaper of other people's updates. You don't have to go to webpages or blogs to read what people (or organisations) are up to. It all comes to you - when you log-on to Facebook.

Here are a few pages that might be worth 'liking' so that you get their updates:

Emergency Management - Civil Defence Southland

NZ Get Thru

Southland District Council

Environment Southland


Of course, Otautau has a page as does Otautau School and St Andrews Scout Group. If more community groups were on Facebook, it might ameliorate the silo effect - where we all just do our own thing and don't know what's happening with other groups. Collaboration and communication among groups is vital especially in hard economic times. Would love to see the rugby club, netball club, golf club, museum, RSA, arboretum etc get pages. Let's get into the 21st century.

And what if the Wallace Community Board got a Facebook page? We could potentially know the issues at hand and offer ideas and solutions in real time. The sky is the limit.

If you are new to Facebook, make sure you take care to get your settings just the way you want them. You can protect your privacy, choose who is a friend and who isn't, and whether others can contact you or not. Do not post phone numbers and addresses if you don't want the whole world to see it. And don't give your password to anyone.

Be safe and be smart on the net.

Saturday, 12 May 2012

John Hicks' New Book

Recently retired veterinarian and all around talented writer, John Hicks, has just come out with a new ebook entitled A Wander in Vetland. This is the long-awaited sequel to his first book Pizzles in Paradise: the escapades of a travelling vet. John says that "a fair proportion of A Wander in Vetland is set in Otautau and surrounds, and features local entities," but it also weaves in the more interesting aspects of medical and veterinary history.

A Wander in Vetland and Pizzles in Paradise can be sampled or downloaded for a mere pittance at John's epublisher, Smashwords.

The cover photo was taken on Bill Marshall's farm.

Election 2017

Election season has swung into gear with the next General Election on Saturday, September 23rd - 7 1/2 weeks away. Not much has changed with...