Friday, 16 March 2018

The Nuclear Era - changing of the tide

The sign things were to change.

USS Truxton and Longbeach arrive in Wellington and Auckland for port visits in 1976.  At this time there was little movement from factions opposed to Nuke ships.  When USS Pintado and USS Haddo arrived in 1978 and 1979 respectively the tide had changed. Protest fleets more especially for Haddo became very well organised and many still remember that protester who clambered up on the bow of the submarine.

In January 1978, Pintado arrived in Auckland with very little organised protest and berthed on the Training Jetty for the duration.  As with all Nuke Ships, monitoring for readioactivity was conducted, as well as provision of Liberty Boats.

When Haddo arrived a year later, despite the large-scale protest, she berthed too at Training Jetty..  Monowai was in port and provided two SMB's for Radioactivity monitoring on a 24/7 basis, as well as Liberty boat runs.  I was crew of Astrolabe and we were shown through the vessel - IMMENSE!!

Haddo (picture right) with full protest off Orakei Basin.  Both Survey ML's Takapu and Tarapunga (and I think Ngapona's ML) were tasked with keeping the protesters away from the submarine, largely to no avail.  We were carrying a Policeman who tasked us with grappeling any small boats that could be dragged on board - for their safety. As you no doubt understand, us sailors took to this task with relish.  Basically the Haddo was the beginning of the end to Nuclear vessels, from any country.

USS Truxton in Wellington 1976 -.Canterbury was tasked to be host ship and provided Liberty Boat Crews for the then anchored Truxton.  I was onboard for that period and felt great to see our friends in port, though we never berthed, so no dungy runs with our American comrades.

Click on the following link for audio

Truxton Soundclip Wellington

The infamous Phoenix, in Wellington (usually to be found on the mudflats in Little Shoal Bay, Northcote.)

Crew of Haddo checking the paint from protesters (as she made her way to DNB.)

Sadly the final ship visit in 1983, the Guided Missile Cruiser USS Texas, has very little historic coverage.  She did anchor in the stream and once again Monowai provided boats for monitoring and Liberty Boat runs. As it turned out, that was the last ship of any capability from the US and coincidentally the UK.  History is history and things stay the same or change.  Like the Springbok tour of 1981, the protests were a catalyst for a change of maturity of our fledgling country.

Three USS Texas  images on the internet related to the protests.

In Auckland

In Wellington

And Texas and Paea in Auckland.

Video of Longbeach arriving in Auckland.  Takapu stars. Click following text for video.

USS Longbeach

Auckland welcomes USS Longbeach with protests.

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Pinnies in Heaven written about 2003

Pinnies in Heaven

There is a salient reality to living in heaven. There are so many people (or more correctly souls) that abound in utter delight. Delight of each other, of themselves, and of the prescient force that draws them there.

One can walk, float, or fly for endless days marvelling at the wonder of the place. Stepping down every now and then to engage in conversation or to accost someone from your past life for a catch up on how things are going with yours and their descendants.

The marvellous thing above all else is the sheer weight of good people that manifest the place. A number of times I have run across friends from school and work and social circles that have made it here. And the staggering number from family circles. I knew I had a family that was intrinsically good, but to see that almost all of them were here was so awe inspiring. It boded well for my descendants to see such numbers.

Let me introduce myself. I am Shane Walker, or was in the physical life, a former commercial pilot, father, husband (twice) and finally author. I physically lived until the age of 62, whereby my contract with physicality ceased. I have one son and one daughter from my first marriage, and adopted three sons and two daughters in my second marriage.

My first wife, Sarina, left me in my mid forties after twenty years of marriage, a friendly separation mutually agreed upon due to our differing views and the fact that our love for each other had run out. After a period of 14 months, I met my second wife, Zoe, and we married after a short courtship. We were together until she died of cancer when she was 59. Ironically, Sarina also died the same year, of cancer also. Suddenly, aged 60, I was father to seven children again, as Sarina had never remarried.

Although nearly all the children were now out in the world doing their own thing, my only son Adam, from my marriage to Sarina, and Siobhan, Zoe’s youngest were both handicapped, and therefore were both living with me until I died. Thankfully, Charity, Zoe’s eldest girl, had suggested that when I go that both Adam and Siobhan could live with her, as she was a social worker, had no intentions of getting married and having children, being a lesbian, and had a genuine love for both her sibling and her stepbrother.

My life had been full, with plenty in it to ensure that I not reach heaven, but having faced up to the realities of life, and repented before the eyes of the Maker, I had changed to take on the responsibilities destined me. Although my notion of love was somewhat romantic, I tended to display my love through practical application and affection, and through the works undertaken in my authorship. I thanked everyone for the life I had been given, and didn’t begrudge anyone for pain I may have put them through at times, and the consequences of that pain. But in the end it helped me grow as a person, and to mature as a man and a father.

When my time for death came, as I knew it would, I was prepared. I couldn’t have been any more prepared. When I had my breakdown before Sarina left me, I had a premonition of my life laid out before me. A destiny and a road I would tread regardless. In that premonition was a time stamp to my expiry date, and all my efforts after coming back into reality, were directed to follow that road. Part of the premonition was my separation with Sarina, so even though it happened, and was and still is, terribly painful, it wasn’t unexpected. I had been prepared and had been given another chance to redeem myself. So when my expiry date approached, without my two wives to guide me, and Charity havingaccepted her responsibilities, I knew that I could leave this planet with good things in mind.

Nagging Doubts

Yes, nagging doubts. I had those aplenty, but in retrospect, there were only a few. As the date approached, I began to rerun my life and to think on the decisions I had made that may have serious repercussions when I ascended to heaven. I would often sit and ponder three in particular. The others, although serious in their own right, I had confessed to God and to the people involved. The decisions that had been made by each had been accepted and learnt from. But the others were grey areas I hadn’t had a chance to address, as they were only matters that I alone knew about, my dark secrets that had no bearing on physical actualities.

The first one is my own private pact I have with nature. I am an avid conservationist and naturalist. I can’t bear to see native creatures and plants being killed or destroyed to the whim of man’s needs. Often, when flying my 747-400B into either Auckland or Wellington Airports, I would see hillsides and mangrove areas being destroyed to make way for airport developments, and on rare occasions, native fauna running or flying across the runways and being certainly maimed or killed by the self same aircraft I flew. Would God welcome me to heaven considering the hypocrisy of my actions?

The second case reflected also on my time as an airline pilot. On many occasions, I had been handed memorabilia, artefacts, and airline products to be given to my children as presents. Many of these items were gained by nefarious means but due to the quality of the people donating them, I had never thought that what I might be doing was entirely illegal. That it burned on my mind indicated some guilt, and as I hadn’t confessed any of this to anyone, was I for the high jump when the time of reckoning came? As I had lovingly passed them onto people I loved or cherished, I hoped not, but that doubt was always there.

The third act, and in my mind, the hardest to disclose, was a matter of burial. It affected two deceased people I loved, my mother and father. My mother, Emma, died of cancer (I know, everyone I love dies of cancer) when she was 54, followed 9 years later by my father Gerry (of a heart attack). Mum was buried in a little east coast cemetery in a shady quiescent grove. The scene, when everyone sees it, is perfect, and a perfect place for Mum. As far as everyone was aware, it was a double plot, and that when Dad’s turn came, he would be buried with her. Unfortunately, when Dad did pass away, there were comments coming from family members from both Mum and Dad’s side, giving conflicting burial details. As there was no indication from Dad in writing, it was up to me to make a decision. In fact I will rewrite that. I took it on my shoulders to decide that Dad would be buried with Mum.

Although the decision was made, there were those who disagreed with it, due to the years of misery Dad had given to Mum, the factors involved leading to her sad passing. I knew, deeply, how Mum felt about Dad. I had talked her out of divorcing him, another decision that could have been seen as disastrous. But in the end, for whatever reason, she stayed with him. I think that her inherent caring nature couldn’t let him go. Even though they were married, in distress individually, and not really in love with each other anymore, they were destined to lead out their lives with each other.
This weighed my decision to have them buried together. Even though some argued against, and some argued for, it would be their destiny to be reunited, for better or worse.

My biggest fear, wasn’t so much the idea that god would disapprove, but the reaction I was going to get when I got to join them. I know that what I did not only came from the mind but also from the heart. As a Libran, I believe in balance, and Yin and Yang. Whatever the struggle, there is always a sense of balance at play. When the scales of that balance is tipped, sure as eggs is eggs, they’ll tip back the other way and eventually even up.

What would Emma and Gerry think?

Love Conquers All.

Well folks, God gave me the benefit of the doubt on the first two charges and said that my intentions and recognition of guilt proved that there was love in the thoughts. His profound comment that ‘your children had been passed on that knowledge through your teaching and were now conducting themselves accordingly’ is suitable affirmation that your intent has been passed on.

On the third matter, things went better than I had anticipated. I must interject here at this point and thank the lord I made it to heaven. Anyway, after being here for some days (they don’t really have days here, but you get the drift) I finally ran across Mum and Dad, sitting on a cloud (one of many) over Ao-te-a-roa (New Zealand for you foreigners) admiring all their grandchildren at work and play. I stood for a while admiring them, arm in arm with beatific smiles on their faces. For the first time in years, they looked utterly happy. Sitting next to them, but alone, was a lean hard figure I immediately recognised. Roger, Sarinas’ father, was also admiring the view below. All were passing small talk, occasionally rejoicing in merriment at some action or other their loved ones were taking.

Eventually, Mum turned toward me, and on seeing me, tugging Dad’s sleeve to gain his attention. I walked over as he and Roger turned and waved to me to come over. I bent down and gave Mum a peck on the cheek, and gave Dad and Roger a charitable hug. No one said anything for a while. The moment didn’t need it. Then Roger got up, gave me a wink, and left saying that we needed sometime together to catch up on things.

But before I could voice anything, Mum said to me ‘Don’t worry anymore Shane, you did the right things.’

Dad smiled too, the first time I had seen that smile since before his breakdown in the ‘70s’. Then, for the first time since being here, I noticed that I didn’t need medication anymore. I no longer had a mental disorder. Dad winked then, and said ‘Me neither’.

It was only when I saw my nearest and dearest that I suddenly realised that everyone hear was no longer unwell! Mum had all her natural colour back and the joy in her face hinted that pain was a thing of the long distant past.

We sat a chatted for ages, but I had two questions I had to ask them, one for each of them. These stemmed from situations that had occurred in my life and that would help me to close my understanding of my destiny. I also had one question for Dad that pertained to his father.

But before I could even frame the questions, Mum stood up and gave me a hug and said that ‘yes, she had been present when little Adam was in hospital when he was there for nine months, and that she had also been present several other occasions later, when his life was close to expiring. That was his destiny. And yes, your father helped you through your breakdown and was in you when his brothers came to visit that time. That’s why you felt like you were talking to them as their older brother, and that is why they were frightened. However, Shane, do not raise the other question with your father, ever. His saddest moment has been the sudden realisation that his father is not in heaven. Suicide victims and murderers do not come here.’

I was shaken and ecstatic at the same time. Mum had answered as she always had. Poor Dad, having to live with the fact that he will never see his father again. But what of his mother? There is plenty of time and I am sure Dad will speak his mind when he is ready.

Mum asked me if I had spoken to Sarina and Zoe yet. I said I hadn’t and had been trying to find them all over the place. She suggested I try looking on the clouds over Barbados, they’ve probably taken time out from New Zealand and the kids to look after their own pastimes. She told me (as she always did) to toddle off and go and find them. I bade farewell to both of them, and to Roger who was returning to the cloud. He gave me a wan smile, and asked me to get Sarina to come and see him sometime, with Zoe and myself, for a little chat. I asked how Conny was getting on as she must be all of 84 by now. He laughed heartily, saying nothing changes with her and is currently annoying the heck out of her new neighbours. And before you ask, Nan and Arvie are still alive and badgering each other in the Selwyn Village Rest Home, in fact Nan just celebrated her 108th birthday and still doesn’t look like pegging out.

I thanked him for the information and caught a transcendental meditation soul carrier to Barbados to meet the last of my destiny.

Oh, I’m Going To Barbados.

The transportation was swift up here and in a matter of moments I reached the clouds geo-stationary located over Barbados. The cloud was densely populated with souls, many thousands mingling in a potpourri of colour. Suddenly the enormity of souls struck me as odd. Everywhere I had been so far, had been heavily populated for sure, but usually there was room aplenty to travel through. But here, the crowd of souls was tightly packed together, as if in a rock concert. I managed to start squirming my way through the throng, each soul moving aside as I entered the throng. Everyone was euphorically calm, and then the reason started to enter my mind. Barbados was the perennial home away from home workplace of one Roger Waters. I also knew that a good deal of famous West Indian cricketers came from there as well, but West Indian cricket wasn’t as highly regarded as Mr Waters.

Scratching my memory cells, I realised that Roger had died 2 years after Sarina. It was highly likely he had chosen Barbados as his eternal dwelling space, as the two albums that brought him critical world-wide acclaim, “Ca Ira” and “What Do You Think” were both record and produced there.

It also stood to reason that Sarina and Zoe would be here. Both were avid fans, as I was, but their avidness far outweighed mine. Theirs bordered on devotion to the man. Mine was linked to his inspiration for creativity. Being a writer, which was first ignited by the Roger Waters BBS where I posted as TheCummersCream, I knew how inspirational he could be. I yearned to write as he wrote in his songs. My two former wives simply loved him as a demigod.

My measured pace into the throng started to slow as the centre of attention drew near. Suddenly, the throng parted and I walked out into a small space a few metres across. The strains of Pigs on the Wing thrown out by a raspy velvety voice located directly in front of me. I stopped and looked about me, noting the faces in close proximity all smiling. I then saw across the ring the two I sought. Both saw me at the same time and waved me over, but before I could, the singing ceased and a voice replaced it.

Whao, haul it back in,
TheCummersCream committed no sin,
See for yourself folks,
The bard of the board,
See he too comes
To the strings without chords,
See he too comes
cause he likes my words.

So Cummer, What do you think?”

I looked around embarrassingly, then turned back to Roger and said,

Thanks Roger, well met. If you don’t mind, I’ll catch you later maybe. I need to talk to both my wives over there.”

As I pointed towards them, Roger mumbled “good on ya” and carried on singing. Both Sarina and Zoe started edging around the circle of souls, joy and elation on their faces. (Was that for Roger, or me I thought) But as I remember, everyone in heaven is happy so it didn’t matter. As we closed each other, I smiled towards both of them, an apologetic smile if truth were known. God only knows they died before I did so I got the most out of life on earth, but they got the best.

We formed a circle on meeting, hugging each other warmingly. Platitudes passed and soon I suggested we go somewhere and renew our old acquaintances and chat awhile. Zoe agreed, with the proviso that it was over Auckland, which Sarina readily agreed to, so we could see what the kids were doing. We all set off through the crowd, now parting more readily due to the frontal visible approach, and very soon were sitting on cloud nine over Auckland, Ao-te-a-roa.

Life Goes On.
And it does! All the kids are doing really well. Sure they are having their struggles and every now and then divine intervention is required (which really is fun for an angel). The lessons taught are being followed, the mistakes made, learnt from. Up in heaven, we do our best. I now have a little crowd on my cloud, listening to stories and poetry I come up with from time to time. Every now and then, young Adam gets some inspiration from his Dad, and his writing is really taking shape. Young Siobhan, through her mother Zoe, has also been receiving inspirations for her poetry.

Sarina keeps busy, with the kids, Roger, Zoe, and myself, as well as my Mum.

Zoe, keeps up with everyone. She’s that sort of gal.
Heaven really is so cool. Thank Roger Waters

Monday, 12 March 2018

Warming up for the Race for 18 Centuries

As we are well aware, both Ross Taylor and Kane Williamson are poised to surpass our legend Martin Crowe.  First off I will post Martin's Eden Park records.

I missed Martin's memorial on 3rd March (2 years ago)  RIP

Martin Crowes Eden Park Records Runs Years Not Out

2 1982

16 1984

84 1985

0 1986

23 1986 1

10 1987

104 1987

78 1988

9 1988 1

24 1990

113 1990

45 1992

56 1992

31 1993

25 1993

16 1995

14 1995
Runs 650

Average 38.24

 And now Ross Taylor's last 10 innings and Eden Park records.

Player Last 10 Innings Not Out Eden Park Record Year
Ross Taylor 11
19 and 3 2013

3 and 41 2014

102 1




15 1



107 1

Runs Total 558 3

Innings - NO 7

Average 79.71

 And now Kane Williamson (Captain Terrific)

Player Last 10 Innings Not Out Eden Park Record Year
Kane Williamson 53
91 and 1 2013

104 1 113 and 3 2014








54 1

Runs Total 606 2

Innings minus NO 8

Average 75.75

Pretty much self explanatory, a neck to neck race to 18 100's.  Based on Kane's 2 high scores at Eden Park (one ton) I'm plumping for him to get there before Ross.

Kane odds (from me)  1.80
Ross 1.90

A Surprise memory from Martin Crowe. Enjoy.

Thursday, 8 March 2018

The 200+ Cricket Club - Blackcaps history.

The first 200 score for a  Blackcap batsman was M Donnelly's 206.  Between 1949 and Crowe's arrival with his unlucky 299 only 5 batsmen had passed the magic 200.  Since Martin's knock we have had a dearth of records. Since 1991 there have been 13 doubles and a 300.

Several batsmen have done the feat on two or more occasions.

On the following tables, one is sorted with scores and the other sorted in years.

Our first 200 member Martin Donnolly


Batsmen Score Year
B McCullum 302 2014
M Crowe 299 1991
R Taylor 290 2015
S Fleming 274* 2003
Young 267* 1997
S Fleming 262 2006
G Turner 259 1972
K Williamson 242* 2015
G Dowling 239 1968
B Sutcliffe 230* 1955
B McCullum 225 2010
G Turner 223* 1972
N Astle 222 2002
R Taylor 217* 2013
M Sinclair 214 1999
M Donnelly 206 1949
S Fleming 202 2004
B McCullum 202 2014
J Ryder 201 2009

Batsmen Score Year
M Donnelly 206 1949
B Sutcliffe 230* 1955
G Dowling 239 1968
G Turner 259 1972
G Turner 223* 1972
M Crowe 299 1991
Young 267* 1997
M Sinclair 214 1999
N Astle 222 2002
S Fleming 274* 2003
S Fleming 202 2004
S Fleming 262 2006
J Ryder 201 2009
B McCullum 225 2010
R Taylor 217* 2013
B McCullum 302 2014
B McCullum 202 2014
R Taylor 290 2015
K Williamson 242* 2015

And our latest - both in 2015