Hands off our park

I was amazed to read (Chronicle, November 30), that the council is again proposing to sell part of the Handley St Reserve next to Carlton Ave.

This issue was fully canvassed back in 2013, when the council decided (I think unanimously) not to sell half of this park.

In brief the reasons for retaining the reserve were and are:

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This is a well used and loved community park.

A petition of over 800 signatures was presented to council by local residents to keep the Reserve.

The proposed buyer was an oil company that wanted to build a service station on the park, a completely inappropriate use for the area and zoning.

The reserve is endowment land, meaning there would be legal difficulties in selling it. If part was indeed sold, the proceeds could not be used to repay council debt; it could only be used for reserve purposes, such as buying a similar piece of land in the vicinity for a park. This is obviously a pointless exercise involving considerable administrative costs.

There are major historical associations with the reserve. John Handley, after whom Handley St and the park are named, was the first chairman of the Wanganui Town Council in the 1850s, effectively Whanganui's first mayor. At the council meeting that decided to keep the full park intact, one of his descendants, Diane Handley, made an impassioned plea to retain the reserve and generously offered to assist council in developing it. It appears the council has chosen to ignore her submission.

This was not the first proposal to sell the reserve. About 1990 council proposed to sell it, but after a petition from the community and submissions, decided against it. The councillors who backed the sale proposal then did not stand at the next election or were voted out. However, I suspect council property managers have their own agenda, which is why the sale proposal keeps being resurrected, first in 2013 and now 2017. After such clear decisions, there appears to be an element of pig-headness and bloody-mindedness in reviving the proposal now.

I suggest to council remove it from their list of properties for sale. There are obvious benefits in selling some of the properties listed but certainly not our community park.
Continuing with the sale proposal will only cause dismay and anger among local residents.

ELWYN EVANS
Gonville


Pagan festivals

The front page of the Wanganui Chronicle (November 22) declares: "God vs Shopping" (Easter Sunday Trading Policy).

Easter is wholly pagan in origin, as is Christmas. God had no hand in either.
The fourth commandment states "... six days you shall labour and do all your work ..." i.e. Sunday (day one) to Friday (day six) "... but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work."

The seventh day (Saturday) is the only day blessed and made holy by God at the foundation of the world. No other day could ever receive that honour, being days of works.

God does nothing by accident. His work of creation was finished on the sixth day, followed by rest on the seventh. Likewise, God's work of salvation was finished on the sixth day followed by rest on the seventh. These were perfectly planned acts.

Satan is hell-bent on setting up his own kingdom on earth. He believes he can destroy God's seal of authority

By hiding the true Sabbath and using a counterfeit, the pagan day dedicated to the sun god (Sunday), Satan steals worship for himself.

If we love Jesus (our Creator and Redeemer) we'll show our allegiance by entering into rest on the specific and only day He asked us to "remember".

S H FUNNELL
Taihape


Cannibals

Paul Evans asks whether Catholics are cannibals because they believe the bread that is consecrated and eaten during Holy Mass is the body of Christ. (Chronicle, November 23)

Of course they are not eating the physical body of Jesus. Jesus is the head of what Paul of Tarsus called Christ's "mystical" body, consisting of all who follow his "mission statement" to care for others as as much as they care for themselves, just a chairman is the head of a legal body. People in older societies habitually think in a figurative,

communal, "right-brain" way. When they take part in the ritual called Holy Mass, they intuitively understand they are renewing their commitment to a way of life in which they are truly being nourished by each other.

I have met many humble caring Muslims, Hindus and atheists whom I would consider to be part of Christ's mystical body. On the other hand there are many who call themselves Christians but show no love for others. I find it difficult to see where Donald Trump and his gun-toting fundamentalist Muslim-haters fit into Christ's mystical body. As gallstones, perhaps?

Just like the 2nd century Romans mentioned by Mr Benfell, many people today have been raised to think in a literal, self-centred, "left-brain" way. This has led to enormous inequalities in wealth, breakdowns in relationships, and destruction of the earth's resources needed to sustain the lives of future generations.

Future Eaters is the title of Tim Flannery's book about those people. I see them as today's real cannibals, eating our unborn grandchildren. I trust that Paul Evans is not one of them.

JOHN ARCHER
Ohakune


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