It's always heart warming to document a random act of kindness.
Avis Marshall dropped into the Midweek "office" (like I'll ever have an office) with a tale she just had to tell, and who can blame her?
It seems she was outside at the hospital on Thursday and suffered a fall. She had stepped off a footpath to allow clear passage for a wheelchair when she fell to the ground, hitting her head and injuring her arm. Among the on-the-spot helpers was Miriam, a triage nurse who had finished her shift and was heading home.
Miriam abandoned her plans, assisting Avis with all the expertise and compassion of her profession.
She picked her up from the ground, inspected her injuries and took her to A&E, where she waited until she had been attended to. Miriam then accompanied Avis to outpatients and, again, waited with her. Avis says Miriam spent a good hour assisting this injured stranger.
That was one random act of kindness that Avis will forever remember and one that Midweek is pleased to publish.

If the polls are anything to go by, there could be a skull and crossbones flag flying over Iceland's parliament before long.
The windy, volcanic island is going through a general election after a scandal dismembered the previous government, and there is actually a Pirate Party wooing the electorate. Running second in the polls at the moment, the Pirates are without political experience but still hope to be part of whatever coalition ends up seated in the Althingi, which is close enough to be a term you'd use when you can't remember parliament's real name.
The Pirates currently hold three of the 63 seats but they only have an electorate of 245,000 voters to seduce with their swashbuckling charm and buccaneering policies. And the fact they do hold some seats speaks volumes for their credibility.
New Zealand has had its "odd" parties over the years, and I well remember the campaign band of the Mickey Mouse Party bringing their tea chest bass and various instruments of mass indoctrination to the Four Bridges Folk Club in the 1970s. The difference is that none of our renegade political parties gained seats in the Beehive. Iceland's Pirates, however, have as good a chance as any and promise to bring a new era of honesty and accountability to the island's politics. Honesty and accountability in politics? Sounds like an oxymoron, certainly in this country.
The Pirate Party surged to third place in the election, tripling their seats in Parliament but not living up to the polls' radical expectations. Perhaps Iceland will hoist the Jolly Roger another day.

There was a tiny "oops" in last week's story about Vincent Collins, the young man heading to tread the boards at the Globe Theatre in London next year. We said he would need $6500 to make the trip - but we were out by a couple of grand. Vincent needs $8500 to do the Shakespearian deed abroad and has a Facebook page and a Givealittle page to help him do it. Just search under "get Vincent to the Globe" and help him out, please. Vincent would be a good ambassador for Whanganui - and New Zealand - and has earned the right to stand on the Globe stage. The least we can do is give him a helping hand and wish him bon voyage.

There's a new "buzz word" doing the rounds of the permanently offended. It's actually two words and they are loaded with politically correct ammunition - cultural appropriation. I get it when some ignoramus butchers the haka or tries to make it funny, or when a bunch of rugby players - brown and/or white - use it as pre-game intimidation (it doesn't work guys), but now the good old fancy dress party is in danger of being offensive no matter what you wear. Wear a costume from history, the clothes of another race, the traditional garb of another nation - and you will offend someone, usually someone not remotely associated with the race/country/historical era supposedly parodied. If you think about it, there is not a single costume that will not offend someone, somewhere, so let's do away with fancy dress parties altogether and solve the problem. Then the easily offended will have to look for another way to top up their angst.


If you're a former employee of Imlay, get your registrations in now for the centenary celebrations. There's a story on page 7 with all the details, but you'll have to be quick - you have until 4pm this Friday.