Posted by: jkirkby8712 | February 23, 2011

Tuesday, 22nd February 2011 – New Zealand disaster as new Earthquake strikes!!

It seems that 2011 is destined to be a year of natural disaster in the Australia/New Zealand region, because today, it was our eastern neighbour’s turn,. Or more precisely the New Zealand city of Christchurch and it’s surrounds.   A 6.3-magnitude earthquake rocked the city causing “multiple” fatalities and trapping people in damaged buildings, cars, etc  The quake hit about 12.51pm local time, and the immediate effect was scores of people trapped in damaged and flattened buildings.  The city soon ran out of ambulances to ferry injured people to hospital reports stated.  Live video footage [which we would see throughout the day and night over here]  showed parts of buildings collapsed into the streets, which were strewn with bricks and shattered concrete. Footpaths and roads were cracked and split, and hundreds of dazed, screaming and crying residents wandered through the streets as sirens blared throughout the city. People fled the city centre as emergency services rushed to the area to evacuate those trapped in buildings. Christchurch has been hit by hundreds of aftershocks since a 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck on Sept. 4 last year, causing extensive damage and a handful of injuries, but no deaths.

As always, news of events such as this always put a bit of a dampener on my day with reports appearing on the internet, and then the radio quite soon after the initial quake. Throughout the day, I listened to ongoing reports, and later this evening, managed to see some of the television coverage, which always leaves one feeling so helpless, like an unwilling spectator of an event that you personally, can do nothing about, an event where you have no ability to stop things from happening, or to prevent the terror and agony that the coverage is telling you, victims are experiencing as you watch.  Perhaps under those circumstances, the wise approach might be to simply ignore the news, turn off completely from all the tragedies and disasters that are occurring somewhere in the world, basically every minute of the day, particularly if there is nothing that do can do about it! Unfortunately, I’m not able to turn away from events in that way, and so I probably end up giving myself more ‘emotional stress’ then is at all necessary, in concerning myself about other people’s ‘disasters’.   So of course with that attitude, I will no doubt go to bed tonight, but thinking of people over in Wellington, trapped under rubble in collapsed buildings, either dead, dying and/or seriously wounded, and no doubt, terrified – will they ever be found, or will their situation be worsened as a consequence of an aftershock which apparently are happening at regular intervals. There is so much we have no power to control, but that doesn’t mean some of don’t worry about such happenings!

All of that was probably a good reason why I really didn’t feel in the mood for my regular Tuesday evening radio show, but at the same time, a good reason why I should go ahead as per normal  – as I’ve mentioned on previous occasions, music can be a beautiful cure-all, certainly at least, a tonic to take one away for a few minutes anyway from the trials and tribulations of our troubled world.  Tonight in fact, was the 275th edition of ‘Showtime’ which was in fact the first program I undertook on the local radio station. Perhaps this is an opportune moment to include in these pages, a little profile of my ‘radio presenter’ role, which appeared in the station’s most recent newsletter. The contents were based on an ‘interview’ that I gave to another of our personalities who is currently undertaking a media course of some nature.

“Bill Kirk has been with the station for over six years presenting music and spoken word programs covering show tunes, classical, jazz, folk, blues, contemporary and international music. He also enjoys any involvement with the sports area when the opportunity arises.
 He is one of the few broadcasters at 3NRG who present more than one show per week  ‘the challenges are time and commitment which I seem to manage … It’s important that you establish your priorities [as far as is possible] prior to committing to being there every week’
For Bill, one of the most important aspects of being a community radio broadcaster is providing a service to the community… ‘If you are not  providing it then there is something missing but I am not particularly
picking out community radio, I’ve been with associations like schools, church groups and other community and sporting organisations, and the same principles apply. It’s the same anywhere, you have a nucleus of people who do all the work and get involved and the others are just part of the membership. My problem is that I can’t be a member of a group without getting involved in it, which is perhaps to my detriment in some ways but that is the way I am … I would rather be an active participant of something’ 
Whilst commitment and community involvement are a primary ingredient for the community radio broadcaster the rewards are also important. ‘It is nice to get feedback … there’ll be a phone call from somebody I’ve never met before, they are over the moon because what I’ve played has brought back
so many memories in their life, it has made their day and that is fantastic feed back … you might only get it once a year but it’s terrific to hear something like that’.
 Bill is also making use of the Australian Music Radio Airplay Project (Amrap) CD’s, many of which are stored in the station library … ‘I pick out what I want from their online AIRIT program and they send me a CD of my choices. I try and do at least a monthly program using this music, usually on a Sunday afternoon, or as a Fill-in occasionally when there is no regular presenter on air.
I regard all of my programs as an education, as they have been a great learning exercise for me personally, and have substantially developed my interest and knowledge in a wide genre of music types. I love music, I love sharing what I enjoy,  and it has taught me a lot’
Bill’s programs are:
Showtime -Tuesday 6-8pm;  Sunday Classics – Sunday 7-9 am;   Sunday Music Matinée – Sunday – 4-6pm on alternative weeks – emphasise on folk, jazz, blues & world music.
 [Written by Alan James, Feb 2011]
 Meanwhile, in the World Cup Cricket, one match would be played today, involving England, and looking at the scores, England were rather lucky to get away with a win, doing so with just 8 balls left in the match!!  The result of  Match 5: England 4-296 defeated   Netherlands  6-292 (Group B) played at  Nagpur (India), Tuesday 22 February 20:00



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