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November 22, 2006

State funeral approved by Canadian House of Commons

State funeral approved by Canadian House of Commons

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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

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The House of Commons approved a state funeral for the last standing World War I veteran Tuesday. Three of them are still alive, Percy Wilson, who is 105 years old, Lloyd Clemett and John Babcock, both 106. They are the last three living veterans among the 619,636 Canadians who served between 1914 and 1918.

The motion, introduced by the New Democratic Party, was favored by all party leaders. The motion was prompted by an online petition by the Dominion Institute, a national organization which promotes Canadian history.

State funerals in Canada, by tradition, are reserved for prime ministers and governors general. This bill, which is now in affect in Canada, means that state funerals are not only for prime ministers but for people who have served the country.

“We want to thank the tens of thousands of Canadians who signed our petition in support of state funeral,” said Rudyard Griffiths, the director of the Dominion Institute. “By passing a motion to offer a full state funeral today the Parliament of Canada will allow a grateful nation to pay proper tribute to our last Great War veteran on his passing and honour the over 600,000 Canadians he served with under arms from 1914-1918.”

Australia, also held a state funeral for the final veteran of the Battle of Gallipoli. A State Funeral was offered for Steve Irwin in September 2006, but the offer was declined by his family’s wishes. Canada is the fourth country to have a funeral honoring the last war veteran that served in any war.

“We won’t be able to look them in the eyes anymore and thank them for their service the way we should for everyone who is willing to serve our country the way they did and our armed forces personnel still do,” NDP Leader Jack Layton said.

Since November 6, around 100,000 Canadians had signed the online petition.

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November 5, 2006

“Condi” effigy burned at Lewes Bonfire night

Sunday, November 5, 2006

The traditions of Bonfire Night peculiar to the Sussex area were once again observed in Lewes on November 4th.

Consistent with the town traditions in the East Sussex county of England, effigies of various figures were carried through the town, and later burnt. The effigies this year included George Bush, Condoleezza Rice (as Wonder Woman) and Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin.

As per tradition and local fame, effigies were carried through the town and burned on huge fires. These include The Pope, Guy Fawkes and other unpopular figures. One of this year’s unfortunate guest appearances was also rendered as a hugely grotesque likeness of the U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. The unflattering effigy clutched a tattered U.S. flag in one hand, and a miniature Tony Blair in the other. Crowds shouted “Burn it!”.

Smaller scale effigies, and so called ‘enemies of bonfire’, were also represented. This year’s enemies included British Transport Police, whose attitude and handling of Bonfire night is an issue of local contention. Transport police were quietly represented by a pig head wearing a police helmet.

The event was not without incident. Six arrests occurred in respect of criminal damage and public order offences, but the event was less rowdy than in previous years and eras in the history of the Bonfire.

Superintendent Cliff Parrot of the Sussex Police said, “The event passed safely and was a resounding success with fewer arrests than last year, People were well behaved and acted responsibly, which in turn allowed everyone else to enjoy the celebrations.”

The steep streets of the small town, located one hour south of London, were filled during the chilly winter evening with crowds carrying burning torches, with police, and with alcohol consumption accompanied by loud deafening bangs. The air was thick with woodsmoke.

In addition to effigies, flaming crosses were carried in recognition of the town’s 17 Protestant Martyrs. These preceded elaborate costumed parades where participants dressed as Vikings, Antique firemen, Mongol warriors, and Zulus (including for the first time at Lewes, a female chieftain). Arthurian Knights and pirates were also featured. The pirates towed a cannon which they fired and shocked the crowds.

The traditonal striped jerseys worn by various Bonfire Society members were also in evidence.

Sources

  • “BLAST OFF FOR BUSH AT BONFIRE”. lewestoday.co.uk, November 6, 2006
  • “Lewes Borough Bonfire Society”. LBBS, November, 2006


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September 13, 2006

Australia stingray deaths possible revenge for Steve Irwin

Australia stingray deaths possible revenge for Steve Irwin

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Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Following the days since Steve Irwin died of a stingray attack, at least 10 stingrays have been found dead on two Australian beaches, with their tails cut off. While it was reported that fishermen occasionally cut the tails off stingrays they accidentally catch to avoid being stung, however, state fishery official Wayne Sumpton said that this practice was “uncommon”.

It is suspected that these killings were done in revenge for Irwin. “That’s the last thing Steve would want,” said Michael Hornby, a friend of Irwin. However, other sources point out that fans of Irwin would generally not commit such actions.

In general, stingrays are not aggressive and will not attack unless provoked.

Meanwhile, a public memorial service for Irwin is planned next week.

Related news

  • “Crocodile Hunter’s Steve Irwin dies at 44” — Wikinews, September 4, 2006

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September 8, 2006

Motor sport legend Peter Brock dies in rally

Filed under: Australia,AutoArchived,Obituaries,Sports,Steve Irwin — admin @ 5:00 am

Motor sport legend Peter Brock dies in rally

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Friday, September 8, 2006

Organisers of the Targa West Tarmac Rally have confirmed the death of Australian motor sport legend Peter Brock, 61, as reported on Australian Media.

Brock died after his Daytona Coupe left the road and stuck a tree, shortly after 11:50AM today near the small town of Gidgengannup in Western Australia. His co-driver, Mick Hone was injured and taken to a nearby hospital for treatment.

Brock had admitted earlier in the day that he was “still coming to grips with the car” on radio. Spectators report seeing the rear of Brock’s car sliding out as he negotiated a corner. They say he was going no faster than anyone else.

Race organisers and the Confederation of Australian Motorsport will conduct an investigation into the accident once the civil authorities have completed their investigation.

Brock was one of Australian motorsport’s most significant figures, having won the Bathurst 1000 nine times. His death comes only days after the death of fellow Australian celebrity Steve Irwin.

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