New swing

It was pleasing to read in the Chronicle that sense has prevailed regarding the proposed return of the swing rope at Mosquito Point.

The swing was always a feature of that area and enjoyed by many in the past.
In the 1970s, my neighbours and myself formed the Aramoho Community Association, the purpose being to organise various activities for our suburb.

We had communal walks over the hills, picnics in the park, craft fairs in the old church hall at the Aramoho shopping centre and one year we won first prize in the Christmas Parade.

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We also raised enough money to install a flying fox in Aramoho Park which, at the time, badly needed something a bit more exciting than the existing swings and roundabout.
The neighbourhood children loved the fox, but sadly someone decided it was too dangerous and informed the council of the day. The fox was subsequently removed, much to everyone's dismay.

Today the park still has the original swings and the roundabout, plus a very small climbing frame.

The council has instead put money into the play equipment at Churton School, now the centre of community activity and well used, I believe.

FIONA M DONNE
Aramoho


Facts and racism

When did facts written by well-educated people who were there at the time become racist? Potonga Neilson's denials of the truth are an embarrassment.

Just look at what's happening to Sir Bob Jones — 60,000 brainwashed children want his knighthood taken away for making a statement based on fact. Everyone has colonial ancestors.

"I am the river" — no, you're not. Rainwater runs downhill and always will — it was there long before we turned up, it will be there long after we are gone, no matter what childish fairytales you make up about things.

R PEARSON
Feilding


Bible research

In his letter to the editor (March 23) Richard Peirce wrote of Christians being exasperated by the lack of intellectual stimulation and leaving the churches. He looks for biblical scholarship, history and theology and scholarly debate.

I spent Easter with some books I bought at a recent book sale.

One was about who killed Jesus. After studying the Gospels and background information carefully, Bryan Bruce concludes that John's Gospel was written at the end of the first century. The Jews did not kill Jesus. Pilate killed Jesus.

And millions of Jews have died "because a Theology of Hate was constructed from a Gospel of Love".

Another book tells me that in 1980 bulldozers uncovered a tomb in Talpiot, Jerusalem. There were 10 ossuaries in it, containers in which the bones of the departed are gathered and stored. One has the inscription, "Jesus son of Joseph". Another is inscribed, "Maria" a Latinised version of Miriam. And another has "Joses" on it, a brother of Jesus. See Mark 6:3.

A third book I read is about the Dead Sea Scrolls, the story of their discovery and the subsequent battle for access to them. They are a window into the first Christian century, a time when the Jews lost their temple and the followers of Jesus were turned into a new faith by the impact of Paul and his teaching. I have a translation of the Old Testament from the Hebrew scrolls of that time.

Plenty here for thought and discussion.

TOM PITTAMS
Whanganui


Eyeless in Gaza

Here I am standing on the sideline wondering what on earth can the Gazans do to have some notice taken of them.

They are concentrated into a sealed camp and that mythical international community does not give a damn.

What if they adopted the tactic of mass demonstration by wearing a camp uniform? And everyone, literally everyone, began walking about their daily business in these camp clothes? Once a week they could file silently around the perimeter of their camp, perhaps looking through the camp fence, at the outside world, if they are allowed. No stone-throwing, no David-and-Goliath slingshots.

In what way would Israel go ballistic? Would it mow everyone down with machine guns?

Would it put everyone into prison? Would it drive them into the sea? Would it turn the level of deprivation up from malnutrition to mass starvation? Would we see the Israeli army back in Gaza administering every neighbourhood and instituting a morning roll call?

Would we international bystanders find ourselves looking into the Gaza camp at skeletons in camp uniforms, some crawling, some dying, some dead?

The question has to be asked: does Israel actually know to what depth of fascism it is prepared to sink? Would it even see the irony?

Or would the real international community get the point and refuse to co-operate with the United States, which would, of course, be blaming the victims for their outrageous bad taste?

ROD SACH
Castlecliff


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