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 The Coast Watchers

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Gran
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Location : Auckland New Zealand

PostSubject: The Coast Watchers   Mon 15 Oct 2012, 07:10

These brave men were left on Pacific atolls and islands to fare for themselves and to radio any useful infomation which they may come across like passing shipping etc. they were subsequently rounded up and beheaded by the Japanese. It has be thought that because we did not want to upset the Japanese Govt. these men have not been honoured up to now, but today finally they have been named and honoured 70 years later.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/last-post-first-light/6806205/Last-Coast-Watcher-remembers
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Triceratops
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PostSubject: Re: The Coast Watchers   Mon 15 Oct 2012, 08:14

Very good article Gran.

I'll add in a video;
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nordmann
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PostSubject: Re: The Coast Watchers   Mon 15 Oct 2012, 08:48

I am reminded of Cassius Dio's commentary on the early days of Hadrian's tenure as emperor. There was some doubt about the legitimacy of his succession after Trajan (it was rumoured that it was Trajan's widow who had nominated him, not Trajan) and the man himself was off in Syria at the time. Having to think quickly and not being in a position to return immediately to Rome to consolidate his new job, Hadrian authorised a posthumous triumph for Trajan, knowing that the months it would take to organise and then celebrate would deflect public attention away from the legality or otherwise of his appointment and give him time to tour the empire on the way to Rome making sure the other generals and governors "got the message".

Cassius Dio cites this as an early example of a tendency which had grown more common in his own lifetime, and warns his reader to always suspect when the authorities decide to bestow public honours on anyone after their death, especially long after their death (such honours were always an excuse for diversions such as extra feast days and games). It is nearly always a blind to deflect your attention from a vulnerability on the part of the bestower. The more deserving the dead beneficiary in the eyes of the public and the more belated the bestowal the more the need to examine the real reason why the delay happened at all and the timing of its resolution.
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Islanddawn
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PostSubject: Re: The Coast Watchers   Mon 15 Oct 2012, 09:23

Yes, I'd agree with that Nordmann. Any belated apologies, thankyous or even accusations are to be treated with a certain amount of suspicion. Currently, the hoohaa surrounding Lance Armstrong and that ex-Beeb child groper spring to mind.
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ferval
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PostSubject: Re: The Coast Watchers   Mon 15 Oct 2012, 09:24

A timely comment Nordmann as we here read of Dave's plans to commemorate 1914. In the year of a general election and the Scotland referendum too.
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Gran
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PostSubject: Re: The Coast Watchers   Mon 15 Oct 2012, 20:13

Interesting comment Nordman, and one that did not immediately spring to mind, but our Prime Minister has to make an apology in parliament today. The deviousness of politicians leaves me breathless!!!
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Caro
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PostSubject: Re: The Coast Watchers   Tue 16 Oct 2012, 00:42

I suspect something like this would be in the planning for a long time and a date set ages ago. There did seem to be comment that NZ authorities could have done more to protect the coastwatchers who were killed by the Japanese, which may have been the reason nothing was done earlier. Or it might just be normal - there have quite a few of these memorial commemorations recently - Vietnam veterans finally recognised, soldiers honoured or officially forgiven for courtmartialled executions during WWI.

Our museum puts out a little booklet annually of people's stories (I have been working on the latest one this week) and one of those was of a man who worked at the Awarua coast station which was one of the 'parent' ones. Interesting sounding work, but they didn't know much about the signals they were sending on, apparently.
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