Tuesday, 31 October 2017 12:58

Jill Weyburne

Written by

   Jill Weyburne
1939 - 2017

 The death after a long illness of Jill Weyburne brought to an end the life of one of the National Press Club’s most active members. Incisive of mind, she was adept in numerous vocations that also required dexterity, notable in the crafts sphere. These threads coalesced in her remarkable ability in bridge in which she became the New Zealand individual champion.

Jillian Marie Lynskey was born in 1939 into an illustrious New Zealand/ Irish clan. She married 53 years ago Bryan Weyburne at various times a Wellington City Councillor and an enduring mercantilist figure on the capital landscape. He is the National Press Club’s long time secretary- treasurer.

Jill Weyburne (pictured) will be remembered for her energy and her ability in many diverse fields and her willingness to put these at the disposal of the individuals and the organisation that she believed to be of value to the community at large.

She is survived by her husband and their four sons.


  Warco Chris Turver
Honoured for Services
To Local Government,
Community & Journalism


National Press Club’s Chris Turver, appointed MNZM is drawn to the very different spheres of action, ideas, and public administration. He was born into strife in the industrial north of England at the height of the Blitz. He went on to become the first official war correspondent from New Zealand at the height of the Vietnam conflict.

As the New Zealand Press Association’s war correspondent of the era he was to touch down on several other conflicts of various intensities, notably in Borneo. He was embedded on the RNZN deployment to Mururoa.

Subsequently Christopher Turver (pictured, above) was to deploy here his own and still earlier experience gained as a pavement-level daily newspaper reporter in his native UK.

His near two decades as divisional editor, notably on the political desk, on Radio New Zealand brought a seasoned print-journalism level of unremittingly disciplined concision and impartiality to RNZ during its glory days before its eclipse by privatisation and then by the audience fractionalisation wrought by the internet.

At the conclusion of this tour of duty his career went anywhere but on the spike. He launched himself into local government as Kapiti district representative on the Wellington Regional Council. He became chief executive of the Royal New Zealand Coastguard Federation. He served on the district health board.

Later his public service career has embraced still further roles in which he has become president of the Paraparaumu RSA and chairman of the Electra Trust which represents district power users.

Christopher Turver JP’s Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit citation was for “services to journalism, local government and the community.”


  Death of Clare Hollingworth
Greatest reporter of
Last Century.

Clare Hollingworth, the outstanding reporter of the last century, has died in Hong Kong at the age of 105.

Her greatest scoop was the announcement of the start of World War 2.

Clare Hollingworth (pictured) was the National Press Club’s International Year of Womens’ Suffrage guest speaker. She was brought to Wellington by the National Press Club in association with the British High Commission.

At that time the war in the Balkans was underway

Miss Hollingworth in her talk to the National Press Club outlined the ethnic and religious rifts and their genesis which were to become so evident in this century.

“Just because your neighbour watches the same television programmes that you watch does not mean that they will share your opinions,” she said.

Miss Hollingworth was the first British female war correspondent.

The Foreign Correspondents' Club of Hong Kong announced her death.

''The FCC is very sad to announce the passing of its much beloved member Clare Hollingworth at age 105.”



Tuesday, 13 December 2016 09:55

Clued Up

Written by

  Clued Up

National Press Club events director Rex Benson and club stalwart David Tossman have something puzzling in common.

Tossman (above) has just completed his 1,000th crossword for the Listener.

Benson (below) meanwhile is on the edge of logging his 970th 'Kropotkin'
cryptic for the New Zealand Herald.

In Tossman’s case the crossword is a family affair.

His mother assiduously filled out the puzzle from its inception by Tossman’s predecessor, RWH, who had devised them for the Listener since 1940.

Tossman’s ensuing appointment to the puzzle in 1997 means that in relative terms he is quite new to the job.

The hirsute conundrum hustlers claim meanwhile that they never exchange, well, cross words.


Fidel Castro saved Cuba from Coups,
Coups, asserts New Zealand Eyewitness

  Cites Dictator’s emphasis on health,
education throughout Latin America

Fidel Castro was a “giant” who saved Cuba from revolving door coups and counter coups declares New Zealander Bernard Diederich who was a close friend of Castro’s since his ascent to power.

Mr Diederich and his wife were on the invitation list for the 10th anniversary of the Cuba revolution.

Had it not been for Castro, emphasises Mr Diederich, Cuba would simply be another “poor and uneducated” Latin nation.

Mr Diederich cites Castro’s intense interest in science and religion as additional, and unrecognised, aspects to the personality of the dictator.

Mr Diederich also emphasises the way in which the Cuban leader deployed his technical people notably doctors throughout Latin America and to the benefit of the poor there.

For many year Mr Diederich ran Haiti's daily paper and was thus eyewitness to the various catastrophes in the region caused by human intervention.

Mr Diederich was for many years in charge of Time Life’s Central America coverage. He was awarded the National Press Club's Lifetime Achievement Award two years ago. He is pictured at the event in Martinborough where his New Zealand family is now based.

He hails from Wellington and is considered now to be New Zealand’s greatest living adventurer. His odyssey started early in World War 2 when he became a boy sailor on the Pamir, the square rigger seized from the Germans.

Considering this too safe, he went on to sail in tankers across the Atlantic.

After the war he hove-to in Port Au Prince, Haiti, where he started his newspaper and began a tortured relationship with the Duvalier dynasty.

Now a resident in Miami, Mr Diederich was to deal on personal terms with all the Central American dictators over the next half century and his books on them are considered standard reference works.

Early revolutionary days (below): Bernard Diederich, wearing tie, with Fidel Castro.


  Rendezvous with
Le Monde cartoonist
Jean Plantureux

In a surprise encounter National Press Club president Peter Isaac crossed paths with Jean Plantureux the cartoonist for Le Monde and who is universally known as Plantu. It was in 2007 that Plantu spoke to the club at a meeting in the New Zealand Parliament.

In recent years the cartoonist, a national figure in France, has become dedicated to promoting his cause, jointly founded in 2006 with UN Secretary general Kofi Annan, which is known as Cartooning for Peace.
Cartooning for Peace was behind the feature film The Caricaturists which includes Plantu along with a global gathering of cartoonists from around the world, notably from such hot spots for practitioners as Russia, Mexico, Venezuela, China, the Gaza Strip, and Tunisia.

Isaac said he was surprised to find Plantu at the gathering in what appeared to be the routine care of at least six police and he ascribed this to the cartoonist’s insistence that the film be publicly screened in homage to the victims of the religious fanaticism attack on the Paris satirical cartoon newspaper Charlie Hebdo.

The Caricaturists film also includes Plantu’s own role in the Middle East weaving between such protagonists as Yasser Arafat and Shimon Peres.

Isaac said that Plantu (at right, above) recalled vividly his visit to New Zealand and his meetings with local cartoonists.


The Labour Party exists
only to help poor declared
Glenda Jackson MP

 “The Labour Party exist for just one purpose,” British Labour MP Glenda Jackson told a National Press Club meeting. “It is to help the poor.”

Her comment came in the aftermath of the introduction of New Zealand to globalisation by the David Lange-led Labour government.

Miss Jackson (pictured at the time of her visit to New Zealand) was one of the very few Labour Party MPs of this era in the Westminster sphere who had sprung from an authentically working class background and having started her own career as a shopgirl.

Britain’s membership of the EU has had the unanticipated effect of being a multiplier of Britain’s intra party rifts especially within the Conservative Party.

Now though the EU in a wrenching display of the power of reverse leverage is pulling apart the British Labour Party as it strips away the layers of tarpaulin camouflage that has tenuously held it together.

Starkly revealed now are it components. There are the real poor who are those in the old rust-belts and fishing towns. Then on the other side of the Labour equation are those who have never been poor, do not intend to be, and who, in the words of UKIP’s Nigel Farage, have never held down “a proper job in their lives.”

It is this last category, mostly based within the London commuter belt, who now stand exposed. They are like the people swimming without togs when the tide goes out.

They are the ones thrilled to their marrows by the concept of Europe, especially the Latin zone such as France with its gauche de la gauche political parties and even a fully-fledged Communist Party.

It is here that an old field revolutionary such as Che Guevara cohort Regis Debray can saunter around between academia and far left political convocations expounding their views on how we live now.

Until just a few days ago the Labour Party could glue together its quite opposing components in the form of the workers and those who were not workers, quite the opposite in fact.

Now this flimsy coalition has burst apart . The non workers especially those who make up most of Labour’s parliamentary wing, were explained away by the notion that they were idealistically-driven. That they intended to use their privilege to serve Glenda Jackson’s poor.

Now though they have been revealed in the eyes of those poor to have been actively working against them.

The have been seen in plain sight to have been encouraging the very wholesale immigration that adds up to cheap labour and thus depressed earnings.

They have been exposed to have been in fact conspiring against Glenda Jackson’s constituency by handing over much of Britain’s fishing grounds to the EU and by seeking to encourage and enable the very immigration that acted counter to the livelihoods of workers.

The game of pretence which has endured since the 1960s has finally ended.

Jeremy Corbyn, himself from a professional class background, has become quite literally its first martyr. The elastic would ultimately only stretch so far. He was unable to reconcile the irreconcilable. He had to step into the light and so did his Labour Party.


Sunday, 29 May 2016 20:37

New Zealand Trophies on Display

Written by

New Zealand trophies
On Display at

the Washington
National Press Club

The New Zealand National Press Club’s plaque and accompanying silver salver commemorating the presentation of its Lifetime Achievement Award to long time Dean of the White House Press Corps Connie Lawn are now in the lobby of the Washington National Press Club.

Miss Lawn was for a generation the Washington reporter for Radio New Zealand, a tour of duty featured in her autobiography You Wake Me Each Morning.

Miss Lawn was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006 by Hon Steve Maharey the Minister of Broadcasting at a ceremony in New Zealand’s Parliament .

She was appointed an Honorary Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit from Queen Elizabeth in 2012.

Miss Lawn has presented her New Zealand National Press Club trophies to the Washington National Press Club’s permanent exhibition collection.

President of the Washington National Press Club Thomas Burr and executive director Bill McCarren, are photographed (below) with Miss Lawn’s plaque and silver salver from the New Zealand club.

Founded in 1908, every U.S. president since Theodore Roosevelt has visited the Washington Press Club (pictured), and all since Warren Harding all have become members.

Where are they now?

Sir Anand Satyanand & Dame Margaret Clark

Rt. Hon. Sir Anand Satyanand and Dame Margaret Clark were for many years stalwarts of the National Press Club. Sir Anand relinquished his membership of the club when he was appointed in 2006 New Zealand’s 19th Governor General.

Dame Margaret was an active participant in club operations during the 1990s when it took up public positions on ethical and career issues, most notably those in connection with the tertiary education and training of would-be journalists.

Sir Anand’s vice regal appointment capped a career following his graduation from the University of Auckland as a legal practitioner, district court judge, and Ombudsman in which newsmaker capacity he joined the National Press Club.

Dame Margaret was a pioneer in the then new field of political science and lectured in the subject in the Americas and in Asia prior to returning as professor to Victoria University, Wellington.

In 2010 Victoria University conferred on Dame Margaret the status and title of Emeritus Professor in the School of History Philosophy and International Relations in recognition of her career of valued and distinguished service to the university.

Since the completion of his five year vice-regal term in 2011, Sir Anand has remained active in community affairs notably as chairman of the Commonwealth Foundation, and more recently as patron of the Superdiversity Leadership Council.

Monday, 04 January 2016 12:45

Kim Beazley Keynotes at Washington Un-Mooring

Written by

Kim Beazley Keynotes at Washington Un-Mooring

Australia’s ambassador to Washington Kim Beazley keynoted at the last farewell to New Zealand’s departing ambassador Mike Moore, reports MSCNewswire’s Connie Lawn, the only journalist admitted to the occasion.

The two former Australasian Labour Party leaders also have in common that Mr Beazley will also shortly be returning to the South Seas, having handed over to the incoming Joe Hockey.

The two larger-than-life populists share quite different backgrounds. Mr Beazley is from a dynastic political family and from an early career in academia. Mr Moore in contrast started his working life as a boy-labourer.

But this has not stopped them from sharing an infectious sense of humour characterised at one joint session by Mr Moore suggesting that Australia become a state of New Zealand.

It was Mr Beazley who bestowed upon Mr Moore the Order of Australia.

Mr Moore’s being confined by a recent stroke to a wheelchair has not curtailed his ambassadorial activities and the prognostication is that it will not be long after his return to New Zealand that he will recover full mobility.

In the photograph by Dr Charles Sneiderman Mr Beazley is shown with Mike and Yvonne Moore.

From the MSCNewsWire reporters' desk

Saturday, 21 November 2015 12:52

Moore on the move

Written by

Moore on the move

Mike Moore, the National Press Club's most frequent guest-speaker, is on the move again. In the history of work nobody traveled quite so far as the retiring New Zealand ambassador to the United States.. His working life began as a Northland boy labourer and it reached its pinnacle when he was the titular head of the Planet's business. As head of the World Trade Organisation.. In his typically tell-it-as-it-is style Mike Moore sent this letter, to a wide circle of friends and associates in the United States . . .

20 November 2015

To All Staff and Agencies Washington DC; US Posts and Hon Cons

Yvonne and I are giving notice to MFAT that we will be leaving the Post just before
Christmas on the 16th December.

Minister Murray McCully and MFAT have been very generous and kind to us.

We have lost a couple of weeks because of tests and surgery that I have had and we will not be able to have the kind of thank you’s that are normal so we will combine the Staff Christmas Party with our farewell to you.

Yvonne and I have made a lot of very special and lasting good friends here and their support and compassion has been wonderful.

I am now the longest serving continuous Ambassador to the US. I didn’t seek this job but felt I should do it because great issues were at stake. The time was ripe for it.

On a security level things have moved up several notches. You are aware of the many exercises we do together and the important contribution we are making in the struggle against ISIS. TPP was the second part of the job and we have worked to getting acceptance for this by Congress. I believe it will be forthcoming. It will be a question of time.

I hope to get around most of you in the next 2 weeks to thank you personally. In my political life I have always been in the wrong place at the wrong time but the mission I was given here was correct and the timing was right.

I want to thank you and your families for your commitment and to apologise for walking past you in the building full of ideas and full of hope.
If I forgot to say hello or thank you that was my mistake.

We will go home content that we did our best. Pity the old body gave up.

With love and affection always

Mike and Yvonne

Monday, 05 October 2015 10:03

Amazon Picks Up

Lifetime Award

Laureate’s Book

About The Pamir
BernardD 151002

New Zealand’s greatest living adventurer Bernard Diederich has seen his long incubated book on the four masted barque Pamir published by Amazon. During World War 2 Pamir was seized as a prize of war by the New Zealand government while in port at Wellington. Diederich shipped out on the vessel which under the New Zealand flag sailed to San Francisco and Vancouver.

Later in the war Diederich sailed on T2 tankers carrying fuel to the allied war effort in the Pacific, and subsequently became bosun on cargo vessels sailing between Europe and Africa.

He credits the evocative Pamir as the most enduring trademark of his own sea fever, as he describes it.
PamirDiederichs 151002On a subsequent exploratory sailing jaunt to Haiti he decided to stay there becoming at one and the same time a newspaper publisher and friend and foe of a revolving door catalogue of Central American despots whose tyrannies he chronicled also in a number of books. Only his friend Fidel Castro survives.

He was for many years the Time-LIFE Central America bureau chief. The Miami resident was presented with the National Press Club’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014. He is pictured at the time of his investiture.


Monday, 05 October 2015 09:23

Where Are They Now

Written by

Where Are They Now?
Graham Sawyer
From Studio To Pulpit

Sawyer 151005Graham Sawyer began his working life as a schoolteacher but succumbed to the lure of the air waves and became a broadcaster for the BBC World Service. After describing the world Mr Sawyer after several years decided to see it for himself first hand and his journeys eventually took him to the South Seas and to the newly emergent independent New Zealand radio news channels.

He joined the National Press Club and was soon elected to the committee. Mr Sawyer’s BBC-style diplomacy was much valued at this time when the club was embarking on a new role in public advocacy. Specifically the club was intervening in the issue of journalistic training which it saw as being dangerously packaged by the tertiary education industry together with public relations.

In the event Mr Sawyer, perhaps seeking more tranquil pastures, embarked on an entirely new career, this time as a cleric.

After early pastoral work in the Horowhenua area, Mr Sawyer returned to Britain and was ordained by the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams at Newport, Wales.

Meanwhile Reverend Sawyer now vicar of Burnley, UK. finds his New Zealand journalistic experience valuable in penning his sermons and also in writing his autobiography, provisionally entitled Surplice to Requirements.

The Reverend Sawyer is pictured (at left) talking to Tim Barnett MP at a National Press Club reception for Lord Tebbit who is in the background talking to Mark Burton MP. Television New Zealand’s Jim Greenhough at far left.

Monday, 01 June 2015 12:47

Life Member Honoured

Written by

Life Member

Gavin Ellis, a Life member of the National Press Club, was appointed ONZM in the Queen's Birthday Honours List.

His appointment to the Order was for services to journalism. He is a former editor of the New Zealand Herald.

Saturday, 27 June 2015 08:35

Randal Jackson Was the Last of His Era

Written by

Randal Jackson Was the Last of His Era

The death after a short illness of Randal Jackson ended a career spanning half a century. His death put the final full stop on an era of journalism. He was the last of the street- level reporters who followed the story wherever it took him regardless of the day, place or the hour.

Randal Lee Jackson was born into a determinedly Labour Party household. He was named nonetheless after an eminent surgeon of the time.

At the earliest opportunity Jackson signed on under the old apprenticeship scheme with the Evening Post in Wellington. With its strong sports emphasis the Evening Post was also to present Jackson with plenty of opportunity for his own sporting passions. He continued to play rugby actively well into his 50s. Later still, he would turn out on the field for any cricket team that called him.

This was the epoch of the high water mark of horse racing which was a huge feature in the daily press of this time and which spawned numerous specialist periodicals. With his nimble mind and his ability with permutations and combinations Jackson was to make his mark in what was also a compelling pastime.

Seeking wider fields he transferred to Australia where he further honed his craft skills in all aspects of reporting. Returning to New Zealand, Jackson sought further challenges and he proceeded now to chance his arm in the more entrepreneurial aspects of journalism and publishing. The results were mixed.

It was now though that the defining opportunity of his career was to present itself in the form of IT journalism. He signed on with Computerworld which in several forms and under several proprietors was to remain his journalistic mother ship.

He became the signature IT journalist of the era bringing to this specialist sector the skills he had acquired as a general reporter, and, as it turned out, a racing reporter as well. He was on top of every major IT story from INCIS to Novopay.

He saw these and other such sagas in terms of track and turf. The IT implementations so often looked winners, paraded on the field as winners. But somehow once the starting gate was up so many with their jockeys and trainers revealed themselves as money-guzzling nags requiring immense additional infusion from the punter-taxpayers in order to eventually flog across the finishing line.

Jackson's full ability as a journalist flowered too under the editorship of Don Hill on CIO a glossy full colour magazine in the Computerworld stable. It was here that Jackson was able to give full rein to his grasp of technology in relation to social and commercial imperatives.

An unreconstructed fellow, Jackson's preferred place of business in later years was the smokers' balcony of Wellington's D4 Irish Bar the natural confluence of those who make the news and those who report it. By now a storied figure himself, there he would sit at the same corner table and on the same seat, looking out over his beat on Featherston Street.

He was thus a fixed point in the shifting sands of the capital's information business. People would come and go all day long, Jackson listening impassively, venturing an opinion or comment here and there.

Many assumed that Jackson's shunning of things like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn meant that in a practical sense he was not technical. The truth was that he needed to deal with people directly, in person. He savoured the nuance of the personal encounter and what it revealed.

He was under full power until just a few days before his death. He will be remembered for his diligence, precision, generosity of spirit and for his sustained ability to listen to someone for a long period of time without any interruption at all.

He never wanted to get in the way of a story.

He is survived by a daughter and a son.

Monday, 11 May 2015 16:04

National Press
Club Stalwart
Addresses Poland

Krystina Tomaszyk (pictured) has addressed the Polish Parliament on the topic of the post World War 2 diaspora of the nation’s peoples. She addressed the Senate, the Upper House, on the divergence of Polish peoples in different parts ofthe world. Krystina Tomaschyk Mrs Tomaszyk spoke of the variables affecting the groups in terms of geographical location and the differing attitudes of the communities in which they now found themselves.

During World War 2 she was among those forcibly deported from Poland by the Soviets to Siberia. Then via Isfahan, and through the influence of the Polish legation in Wellington, eventually arriving in New Zealand.

These experiences and what followed are related in Mrs Tomaszyk’s autobiography, Essence. In her adult career in New Zealand Mrs Tomaszyk continued to cross boundaries becoming a pioneer marriage guidance counsellor and in other areas of community health. Along the way she became a publisher, and it was in this capacity that she joined the National Press Club.

In her address to Poland’s legislature she warned that neither Poland itself nor its dispersed peoples could be complacent about their future. Past threats could recur she warned, and become present dangers.

She has been prominent in a number of internationalist associations, notably that of United Nations. She married in 1952 the late Czeslaw Tomaszyk a hero of the Polish resistance movement.