I almost didn’t make it to Willies 75th birthday celebrations yesterday, as right at the last minute the sober driver who had volunteered to drive the crew out to the Rangiriri hotel phoned me saying she was having a Water leak emergency in her house and could not make it!
Then I found out another mate was also pulling a no-show and instead was pissing about with his friggin boat.
That was on top of an earlier cancellation by team member who made some lame arse excuse about working!
I decided come hell or high water I was going. I thought about riding out there on my Bike but it proceeded to piss down!
Now I am known as a true Bogan Hard man, and Waikato Draughts most Loyal fan… even my Triumph Bonnie has Willie the Waiter on it’s side-cover (from the 70th birthday stubby boxes)… yet I admit I was not keen to end up like a drowned Rat at the pub.
Fate was clearly conspiring against me.
Thankfully one of the few reliable ‘Pukete Pissheads’ said he would drive us there and so after that bumpy start Me and Brent H were on our way.
It was hosing down Cows and sheep on the Huntly Expressway, and I was sure glad to be riding in a nice 4×4 rather than battling the elements on my Trumpy like a Mad man.
We arrived dry as toast at the Rangiriri … on time … got our first Waikato’s and wandered into the Public Bar.
There was a guy on the guitar playing tunes and what looked like a bunch of locals.
There were probably about 10 Bikes parked outside, I noticed a tribesman MC patch.
Brent was taking it easy on the beers because he was driving, which meant that I had to sink the drink to get enough stamps on the Willies handle giveaway ticket to get a 75th Birthday handle.
You need 8 stamps to get the free handle.
Half an hour or so into the 2 hour event Lion Breweries were doing for Willie, the Rep (forgot his name) started doing a few quiz questions, pulling names from a bucket (we all had put our names on a Willies 75 handle tickets for this purpose) and for about 30 minutes… one by one, attendees were called up and asked some NZ Trivia questions.
With a lot of help and laughter from the Audience and rep the contestant got their three answers right enough to go pick themselves a prize from the large stack of Waikato merch Lion had supplied for Willies birthday.
After a short musical interlude (and a few more handles) the quiz kicked off again, plus a few ‘challenges’… one was for two ‘punters’ to draw Willie the waiter with a black vivid marker. The results were quite impressive! There could only be one winner, who was then able to grab themselves a prize.
Being a bit peakish I thought I’d shout my friend a famous Rangariri Hotel burger that comes with fries… the least I could do given he had volunteered to be sober-ish driver.
He had the Chicken burger… I had their Beef Brisket burger which was excellent… gravey… gerkins…etc.
Both Brent and I eventually got our names pulled out of the bucket and answered our quiz questions… I ended up with a pair of Willie the Waiter Jandals, and Brent got himself a 75th handle!
It was all very good indeed!
Brent had another beer which managed to fill up the 8 stamps needed for me to get my free handle too!
The grand prize that everyone was in the draw for… and wanted bad… was an awesome ‘Ice-Tek’ Waikato Draught chili bin valued at over $400.00 which was won by a very happy local.
All in all it turned out to be a great day… despite being a few Drinking pals short.
At the end of the ceremonies a shout out went up for the Rangiriri Hotel and Staff for allowing Lion to use their establishment, and that is when I made a move to grab as much Waikato 75th meborabilia as I could!
I ended up with all the 75th handle tickets (80+), and the two hand drawn Willie the Waiters from the Comp, and a good size advertising poster of the event!
Very happy with that!
I guess it was fairly obvious who was the Waikato Draught maniac as the owner of the Pub came up to me and introduced himself and we had a short chat about the importance of Waikato Draught to the cultural heritage of the Waikato region and beyond.
I thanked him for holding the event and expressed hope that they would continue to do so in the future.
He is obviously a Waikato/ Willie fan himself as he asked me about handles, and if I had any double up’s and in particular if I had a spare 54th birthday handle.
For anyone who does not know ‘the 54’ is the rarest and hardest to get Handle out of the set of 25.
They started celebrating Willies birthday on his 50th with a special handle in 1995 and they have kept up this tradition for 25 years now.
For some reason Waikato Draught must have made less handles in 1999 because now the 54 is very sought after and can go for hundreds of dollars.
Unfortunately I could not help him yet recommended he make contact with ‘The Friends of Waikato Draught’ on facebook and that they may at sometime come across a 54 he could bid on.
I hope we can help him out!
Willie you old bugger!
May you enjoy fame for many years to come!
A Good tale about the birth of Willie the Waiter and the history of Waikato Draught can be found here
The Rangiriri Hotel is a great pub and dedicated to carrying on the proud heritage of Waikato Draught and so I encourage readers to stop there often for an ale… and their burgers are highly recommended!
It’s a favorite stop and watering hole for bikers.
You can sit outside in the garden and enjoy a cold one.
So it would seem that Willy the Waiters official 75th celebrations have come to a close.
Maybe a few pubs will still have a few handles to give away.
I must say this celebration at the Rangiriri and another one I attended at the Te Rapa Tavern Sports bar (another great pub dedicated to Waikato Draught) have gone a long way to alleviate my earlier fears that Lion were dropping the ball on Willies 75th.
I talked about that here.
The Rep told me they had held 6 events at various locations… well done Lion.
I hope you continue to celebrate the iconic brand you have acquired and appreciate just how dedicated Waikato Draught fans are, and how passionate they are about their/your beer!
There is nothing more Waikato… or more Kiwi than Waikato Draught!
May Lion always strive to take good care of that brand… and the quality of that Beer!
The world’s best beer we say!
I have 80 odd Willie the Waiter 75th birthday cards I can now give away to Waikato Draught fans… anyone who would like a couple can leave a comment below.
Your’s truly outside the Te Rapa Tavern.
This Blogpost is written in memory of Bruce Davies. They guy who introduced me to Waikato Draught in 1987.
7-11-66 – 4-3-18
Dear Lion Breweries… custodians of the Waikato Draught brand and Best beer in New Zealand,
The following is written with the utmost attempt at respect yet unfortunately I must express grave concern with how you have failed to do Willie the Waiter due respect for his 75th birthday.
Where is any of the fanfare and celebrations?
Do you not know how Big a deal this month is for your loyal Waikato customers?
This 75th birthday ought to have been the biggest day in the history of Waikato Draught and yet it appears you have completely failed to do Willie justice!
There ought to have been Big things planned!
The Rock Radio should have been hired to as MCs!
I cannot believe how little you have done.
It’s like you don’t even give a toss for your brand.
Just look at the sad handles you put out this year compared to the Epic handles for Willies 70th! (picture below)…. this years handle is a disgrace.
For Willies 70th you produced special 24 pack stubbies with a free large Willie the Waiter sticker on every Pack!
For his 58th birthday you even made a special strong brew at 5.5%
What have you done for his 75th????
Talk about a marketing opportunity completely blown!
Well its not too late to make it right.
You still have a couple of weeks to get something happening.
You can go back to the drawing board and sort out a better designed handle and issue then… even if they come out late… still better than allowing this shameful neglect to pass into history.
I am writing this in the hope that you will wake up and save the day….
“Hi Tim. Happy New Year, I hope you had a wonderful and blessed Christmas. I’m just wondering if you can explain to me why you are in favour of legalizing recreational cannabis. You are obviously very informed and intelligent. As a Christian I have always believed in keeping the mind protected so that it can’t fall prey to the influences of the enemy. So that would mean alcohol is ok unless you get drunk. But the sole purpose of using cannabis is for its mind altering properties. I can’t reconcile that with my beliefs. I am fully 100% supportive of medicinal cannabis. I’m always interested in different viewpoints but it’s a very sensitive topic that always ends in abusive exchanges. Thanks and have an awesome day.”
Happy New Year ‘Eternal Vigilantes’!
The inquiry above was private message to me via Facebook from a friend, and it was important enough to inspire this first ‘Eternal Vigilance’ Blog Post for 2020.
It is a fair question, and also supplies a common explanation as to why many Christians perceive the idea of cannabis law reform as being a negative step into chaos… thus think they should oppose legalisation.
So what follows is a relatively short explanation as to why I believe such a perspective is disastrously misguided.
I hope to show why as a Christian myself I am an enthusiastic supporter of cannabis legalization… on the strongest grounds of Justice and Good Christian values and ideals.
First I suggest Christians seeking to investigate this legal matter, should ask themselves…
“Who commits the greater Evil… a peaceful person getting high… or the person who calls upon an oppressive State to throw people in jail and ruining their lives because they enjoy cannabis?”
“What basis can you justify *your personal beliefs* as being a good enough reason to call for the persecution of others who dont share your opinions?”
“Have they not an equal right to their own opinion… how would you like it if they forced their personal beliefs upon you?”
“Do you seriously believe you have the Divine right to legally persecute Pot smokers?”
“Where is Freedom and the virtue of following your own conscience in any of this oppressive politics?”
This year’s General Election will include 2 ‘peoples referendum’. One on Legalising Euthenasia, and the other on Ending Cannabis Prohibition.
So these questions are being talked about by the politically awake sections of New Zealand, the Media, Social networks, etc as people either seek to be better informed on what is at stake, or seek to sway others into similar opinions to their own.
For Me the subject of Ending the War on drugs, esp the legalisation of Cannabis is one that I have spent a large amount of time advocating.
I have been an activist seeking to End cannabis prohibition for over 2 decades, in fact this was the topic that first got me interested in Politics and freedom as I had been in the West Auckland ‘Pot Scene’ as a teenager from the mid 80s… even before I became a Christian at the age of 18.
The Drug war was in full swing back then… yet despite the oppression, Pot was everywhere in West Auckland… Prohibition certainly *did not prevent* young people from getting plenty of it… and even though The Jack booted police raids and the criminalisation of youth was very oppressive… it did not deter young people from smoking it…. it just made them more defiant… and hate the police… and the society that was treating them like scum…. Cannabis was Sociable… Cannabis was enjoyable… and that was that…. no amount of Heavy handed Draconian Police raids and jails was ever going to stamp it out…
Cannabis use in New Zealand is among the very highest of all Western Nations.
Most adults have at some stage tried cannabis and a very large portion regularly do so.
The Police have had a war on Cannabis…. and cannabis has won!
The admission that the Drug war has failed is now a matter of Global realisation… New approaches are being implemented….
Many Nations have now legalised cannabis and have regulated markets.
Cannabis is also now recognised for having many health and medicinal benefits.
Where law reform has occurred recreational use has not increased, and Crime stats have improved.
Me, Max (Then NormL co-ordinator for the Waikato and organiser of Hamilton J day), Joe Citizen(Guest speaker), And Nandor Tanczos at Hamilton J day 2008
There is a strong argument that a Legalised yet regulated market for cannabis will actually reduce the amount available to under-aged users that is currently a significant problem under prohibition… just as having Licensed alcohol sales *reduces access* to underage drinkers… it cannot 100% prevent access… yet does significantly reduce it for a number of reasons… esp that venders will lose their licences to sell if they are caught supplying underage youth.
I got arrested several times before the age of 20, and those experiences taught me that *it was the system that was Evil*… not me. I knew that smoking weed was not like Violence to others… or like Theft… ie that my Pot smoking was no different to having a few beers… and that as long as I did not harm others that it was wrong for the government to punish me for enjoying myself with my friends.
This mistreatment by the system via these oppressive laws only served to alienate the pot smoking community and make them more sympathetic towards the *real criminal community*… having been made criminals themselves by the State… and so in this way does the unjust prohibition of cannabis *cause large numbers of citizens to lose faith in the justice of that societies Law and order* and Muddies the water of clarity as to what really ought to constitute a crime… and what does not justly meet the criteria by which it should be criminalised.
Via these unjust laws, the system is *actually manufacturing criminals out of peaceful people* from a bigoted and fanatical desire to force these people to comply to the Bigots demands.
When cannabis prohibition ends this will be a massive boon to our society on the law and order front as it will fix a situation that is a monstrosity of injustice and Bad Law. in fact I predict the legalisation of cannabis will easily prove to be the greatest law reform that will make our society safer, and more just so far this millennium!
I can think of no other law reform in the past 20 years that will have had as comparatively significant improvement in social justice and redeeming such a large section of the population from criminalisation… and with it a jump in respect for law and order in general.
I know this from first hand experience as to just how corrosive suffering the sting of cannabis prohibition by the state was to my own young perceptions about the justness of society and how alienating the legal persecution of pot smokers is.
It was from these experienced based insights that I began as a young man in my 20s to start my political activism to ‘Free the weed’.
25 plus years later… after many speeches at Jay days, and blog posts, etc and the effort of countless other Activists and heroes like Dakta Green, Chris Fowlie, Nandor Tanczos New Zealand is finally going to put the question of ending the War on cannabis to public referendum, and there is every reason to be positive that the People will call for an end to prohibition in favour of a decriminalized and regulated legal use similar to Alcohol regulations.
I have many more points that I could raise on this issue, yet the points above suffice as an introduction to how I became an activist to end prohibition and some of the most weighty reasons why calling for Law reform is justified… and urgent.
Hamilton Jay Day 2014 William Mckee, Gary Chiles, Dakta Green, and Tim Wikiriwhi.
Now I would specifically like to address why I say *Christians* ought to also support the referendum to end prohibition.
I am a Christian, and the first argument I would use to convince other Christians into supporting Law reform is because *Christians are supposed to stand up for the oppressed*… not cheer for their persecution!
When the Pharisee Saul was confronted on the Damascus Road by the risen Christ (later to become Paul The Apostle of Grace) he forsook moral legalism and never again took up stones to throw at Sinners, Heretics, or infidels.
God Gave him a New Gospel… the Gospel of Grace… That Christ had taken all the sins of the world upon himself on the cross and that Whosoever will Believe the Gospel will be saved… without works…. we are free from the Law that Condemns us.
By the cross are we sinners set free.
Having been freely forgiven for our own sins how then can a Christian justify being so legalistic and judgmental of others… by supporting oppressive laws like Cannabis prohibition?
You need to grasp this important fact…. that calling for an end to an unjust jack booted law is not the same thing as endorsing any such activities!
As a Christian I support the fact that Homosexuality is no longer a crime… or that a woman can no longer be burned at the stake for witchcraft… or that Prostitutes are no longer jailed… yet in none of these cases does that mean I endorse homosexuality, witchcraft, prostitution, etc!
It simply means I do not believe it is just to use the force of the Law and police to attack and control such activities… that (like smoking weed) are all non-violent… that are all in fact matters of adult Free choice… just like choosing to follow Christ is a personal freewill choice that cannot be compelled.
I dont want people to believe and practice witchcraft, yet it is not just… nor the true Christian way for me to impose my personal beliefs upon others by force of Law… who in reality have the same and equal liberty I have to peacefully follow their own conscience on religious matters.. and questions of religious ethics… just as I do.
And I have Free speech via which I can work to persuade unbelievers of the truth.
I have no use whatsoever for Laws to compel others against their will.
The reality is that *only the feeble minded* will demand the Legal system oppress sinners and infidels because they cannot summon a powerful enough reason based argument that is able to convince others to voluntarily abandon their vises and false beliefs.
Furthermore the *need to oppress* people who do not willingly follow the same values as you do *is definitive of the vile oppressive anti freedom… anti-equality of rights mentality and unenlightened ignorance that underpins the psyche of supporters of Tyranny and persecution.
Hardly Christ like attributes.
Legalised weed in no way imposes upon Christians any obligation to smoke weed or refrain from expressing their personal views about alcohol and drug use… it merely prevents them from using the Police as some sort of Religious tool to try and force sinners and infidels into submission.
Such oppressive means as the Drug war have not only proven to be a complete failure… but also are a distinctly *unChristian* means to try and get your way!
Christianity is never going to extend its true influence by such tyrannical means!
Christianity works via the preaching of the gospel!
By the power of persuasion… and by personal example!
Christians persecuting Pot smokers in the name of Christ are doing the devils work!
You are causing the Name of Christ to stink in the eyes of those you are persecuting!
You are making them think of Christ as a source of heartless oppression… not salvation!
Woe unto you when you stand before the Lord and give account of your deeds!
The moment you abandon tyrannical moral legalism and start to practice Christian love and grace towards sinners will your whole Christian ministry cease to be like the Whited sepulchers of the Pharisees… and you will become like Christ and st Paul… who took God’s messages of Love, grace, and forgiveness to the sinners…. and instead of persecuting them… you show charity and grace towards them… showing them that they are important to God, and that they have value… instead of calling for them to be dragged off to jail!
Ie you will cease to act like their hateful enemy and start to appear more as a minster of the gospel… of Peace… of Love… of mercy.
For we Christians are not under the law!
Who among us is Holy and without sin?
who among us is worthy to cast the first stone?
Why then… if you admit your own moral failings would you think yourself Pious enough to gazed down from a higher plain assuming divine sanction to impose your own hypocritical self righteous opinions on your unwilling friends and neighbours?
The bottom line is unless other peoples actions actually do you violence… and *violate your rights* rather than mere appear immoral to your personal sensibilities … there can be no justification for passing a law against them… and so if you seek to remove certain practices from society you can only do so righteously in the eyes of the Lord *via persuasion*.
He has given you no sanction to persecute sinners and infidels.
‘If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.’ Romans 12vs8.
Thus if you can convert a sinner into believing the Bible, then that is the start for them having ‘a new life’ guided by the scriptures…. by which they will voluntarily begin to reshape their behavior in line with Christian values and ideals.
*That is How Christianity is the salt of the earth… that is how Christianity leads to a better more civil society… via evangelism and standing up for the oppressed.
*IE Christianity Flourishes in freedom*… it is Freedom that is conducive to Christian evangelism and ministry…
This being so watch how the vile Socialists are trying to outlaw Christians promoting their values!
Ref: Israel Folau
The Truth is the Christian Fellowship is not fundamentally a Political faction… but a Private Voluntary society…
Pray for Liberty!…
“Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. 3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
St Paul (1Tim2vs1-4)
What we see from the activities of the WOKE Politically correct Social justice warrior Antifa type movements is that they are *Anti-Freedom* Pro-legalistic tyranny… and seek to use Political force to impose their lunatic and ungodly perversions upon Christians, Conservatives, and Libertarians alike.
The answer to their tyranny is not an equal yet opposite form of tyranny and persecution of the Liberal left… but the advocacy of Freedom and tolerance, and a large sphere of personal choice and responsibility.
This is why As a Christian who understands the difference between Old testament Jewish Nationalism and Moral legalism, from Gods New Dispensation of grace towards us gentiles *as individuals* via the Cross and a personal relationship and walk with God whereby we ought to choose freely to embrace Gods morally… not from Political coercion… but from our love of God and our desire to live lives pleasing to him.
We are not called to act like Pharisees…. but are supposed to be messengers of God’s mercy and grace via the good news of the cross!
Now tell me how you can reconcile this true modus opperandi of the christian faith with ongoing support for oppressive laws against peaceful people?
Persecution is not the Christian way to ‘save society’… it is definitively oppressive… the way of Satan’s Tyrants.
The People of New Zealand have the opportunity this year to abolish a grave injustice that has been perpetrated against their own Youth, friends, and neighbours and improve our societies Legal system significantly with virtually no down side.
I implore my countrymen not to let this opportunity pass without boldly voting for Law reform and an end to the Nasty and failed War on Cannabis.
It’s now official… New Zealand now has the most Craft breweries in the world per capita.
And I am happy to report that such fierce competition is resulting is Pale Ales of the highest quality… utilizing New Zealand Hop verities that are in a league of their own!
We are now awash in Premium Beer!
Each of these Beers deserve a full review in their own right and hopefully i will get around to doing just that, yet I felt the need to blog these beers in a group just so that at least I have said something about their glory for the record.
I’m not a Beer Ponce!… in fact I like to start my evening off with a few cans of thirst quenching trusty dark Waikato Draught!
Then I like to kick it up a notch with a few Hoppy Ales with a bigger punch.
Waikato is a lot cheaper and lower alcohol than the craft ales and so it definitely serves a good purpose to start there…. and esp in the summertime you gotta have some in the fridge!
I’m traditionally a Dark Porter Ale guy, and that is what I have always brewed myself… and so it has taken me many years to develop a taste for IPA/ APAs…. yet broadening my palate has been well worth it.
Garage Projects ‘Chill Hop’. is Pricey… over $10 a can yet its absolutely divine… Decadent even. The price is the only indication to something special within… the can itself give no clues…
Pan Heads ‘The Vandal’… Superb. The best brew I have had from the Panhead range… Its flavor was understated bliss.
Batch brewing’s ‘Billfish IPA’
Garage project’s ‘Garagista’
Behemoth’s ‘Under Arm …Trans-Tasman IPA’
This is an exceptional Ale!
I would place it 1st equal with Liberty Brewing’s ‘Invictus’.
The others are all fine beers… top of the range… yet these two brews typify the best of two different ‘Hop’ flavours that are becoming characteristic of New Zealand Pale ales.
A lot less fruity than the Invictus (below) and Billfish… very much in a similar vein as ‘The Vandal’.
Liberty Brewing’s ‘Invictus’ is another pricey one… yet a premium Ale… the look of the can does justice to what it contains.
Top of the range.
Yet its the sort of beer that two cans in a row is enough… its special… its of what I describe as being one of a collection of New Zealand brews with a distinct and powerful Fruity sweet hops flavor… so strong in fact that you need to have other brews in your fridge of a less fruity style (like Bohemouth’s Underarm… or Panheads ‘The Vandal’… just to balance things out.
I have to do a shout out to Boundary Road’s ‘Stolen Base’ and Hoppelganger double IPas as though I believe they are not made by a small ‘Craft beer opperation’, they are still very good quality beers of higher alcohol content at a very reasonable price!
And all these things makes them very good Beers for the working Kiwi Bloke… I enjoy them oft.
Master Home Brewer and Kiwi Westy Bogan Beer Aficionado.
P,S… Myself and some friends did Dry July!
and I would like to recommend doing things like that!
I saved some money and lost about 4kgs around my waist and it has helped me get a better perspective on my drinking habits.
I definitely intend to reduce imbibing to just a couple of nights at the end of the week…. less is more!
Bruce drinking Waikato Draught and Joy (My future wife) at a friends 21st.
Below is my hastily written goodbye to my long time friend Bruce Christopher Davies, who took his own life 4-3-18.
Bruce was a fully fledged Hard-man Engineering Rebel Bogan… He had a colorful existence… Cars, Bikes, Beer, Woman, and Song.
Hard work and Hard Rock.
In the end it all took its toll…
He will be missed by his Mates, and Family.
This Blog post is to pay Tribute to this Awesome dude… my fabulous friend with a Big Heart.. loved by many.. and for those who never got to pay their respects to Bruce with his unexpected passing.
Please leave comments and photos below.
Bruce and friends at Hamilton Jay day about 2007.
My tale of Bruce Davies.
By Tim Wikiriwhi
Spoken at his Funeral.(Edited)
This story of Bruce Davies … My Story…starts at New Haven engineering, Judea Tauranga in 1987, when I had just moved down from west Auckland a week after finishing my Engineering apprenticeship…
I had a small Bedford housebus that I drove, and parked up at my mums place in Gate pa.
I was 18, and I wanted to live in Tauranga as from visiting my mother who was living there… the Bay of Plenty appeared to be a paradise!
Plenty of Hot friendly girls, sunshine and beaches!
Just one great big Holiday park!
I was not in Tauranga long before I started looking for work as an engineer.
Being an Auckland Westy, when I met the Bay of Plenty Bogan Bruce Davies who was working at New Haven Structural Engineers … we were a cultural perfect fit… though I was a Christian… we had the same Westy Bogan values … and we hit it off immediately.
Not only that… we had had similar upbringings… not known our Fathers… being raised in a single parent house by our mothers, etc
New Haven was a Structural Fabrication Workshop and We were Building Tanks and structures for the Waihi Goldmine.
Bruce was a great engineer… a great welder and fabricator… a hard man.
Heavy Fabrication Engineering is a real mans job… Not afraid to get dirty… We took pride in being Hard.
He was also a great farmer.
As a New Guy… sitting in the New Haven smoko room full of workers and the Boss, Bruce loudly asks me… “Do you smoke Pot?”
I was shocked!
As a 19 year old Westy… OF Course I smoked pot! Yet we Westies were *secret squirrel* about such things at our Jobs… around ‘Nomies’/ trendies/etc… so I was like trying to wisper… bro keep it down!
Yet it was only a matter of days before I was smoking weed with Bruce outside his mums place in my bus… and drinking Waikato… two things that would become synonymous with our friendship that would last 30 years.
We would under age Drink Waikato and play pool at the Otumotai Trust hotel..with Bruce’s mates Al, Mark, and Guy… the five of us looked like black peas from the same pod… all would wear black Levis, black tee shirts, black jerseys, black beanies, and all were about the same height and all had shaggy long un-kept hair… and we were suspicious of anyone who did not look like us!
One day I rolled into the Trust Hotel car park in my bus and Bruce said to the boys… here comes ‘the blowfly’… referring to my green and black bus… and after that my nickname was Blowfly!
Thanks mate… it was a classic nickname… one that makes you cringe.
Me and my Bus.
I had my 21st party at Bruce’s and Nicky’s pad in Thompsons track Katikati… in a farmhouse where he was milking and farming.
I then moved back to Auckland for a few years with a pretty Tauranga Girl (Carol) and we soon had a Daughter (Melissa) … yet having got used to the Tauranga pace … the Auckland Rat race sucked and so we moved back to Tauranga… And I was soon working with Brucie again in Structural Engineering… for a company called Metal Trend… this is when my Son Jamie was born.
(Carol and I would separate a few years later… yet we are friends now)
Bruce had an affinity with cats.
He was a cool Cat! and he certainly had nine lives. He wreaked at least 50% of the vehicles he ever owned…
Bruce had his orange ginger cat ‘Russell’ who was Bruce’s best mate… “the greatest cat in the world” according to Bruce. He nick named Russell ‘Patrol leader’… Russell was always on patrol… and they spent many years together… even after Bruces great love Nicky left him for his [other] best friend.
Bruce and Cats went together.
Bruce found Joy (My Wife), Mine, and our sons grey cat Floyd as a tiny Kitten in the gutter outside the Te Rapa Pub Hamilton…One dark winter rainy nite… and brought him home to our place as at the time he was staying with us after going through another tuff break up with another lady…
And Bruce as many of you probably already know… had his last cat named ‘Tuesday’ with him in the car… and they passed way together. Tuseday is buried on site in the upper reaches of the Cormandal peninsula.
Floyd My Cat… who owes his life to Bruce.
Bruce was a romantic soul, yet like so many of us everytime he fell in love… it was followed by a painful break up… and these were the low points in his life.
I remember how happy Bruce was when he and Amanda had Michael… Bruce was a proud Father and it was devastating when He had a messy break up with Amanda, and it was virtually impossible for Bruce to maintain any contact with Michael… too painful to deal with the situation, and when Amanda moved to Australia that definitely was a barrier too far for Bruce, and Like me he would have been hoping that at some time when Mike had grown up… that they would make contact again … sadly Bruce took a heavy downturn… and now this will never happen.
Michael… You have my sincere apologies on Bruces behalf… he was a great Guy… yet he was a person who… in the end…did not like or function well according to the rules conservative society demands…
I hope you and I get a chance to talk about your old man so you get to know him better.
As the decades past we had countless good times … partying… smoking weed… and hanging out.
I got my first tattoos with Bruce at his house on a Kiwifruit orchard up Omanawa road (lower Kaimai ranges) … from a flatmate who was planning to become a tattoo artist and needed some suckers to practice on!
Bruce got a Ledzeplin wizard holding up a lantern on his arm, and the big Scorpion on his back and shoulder… Bruce was a Scorpio.
Now though some folk will not approve of this yet… as I have already mentioned smoking weed was a major recreational past time for Bruce and I.
I got busted by the police *twice* with Bruce over the years.
Both these times are quite amusing to look back on, yet I would become a staunch Libertarian activist for the decriminalisation of Cannabis… and Bruce being a Mate would help me with setting up Libertarianz party stands at Jay days etc… he would take the pics of me speaking, etc… and some of my best quality photos I have of Bruce are Libertarian activism pics… Both of us were now living in Hamilton Waikato.
The war on drugs is very oppressive for fringe-dwellers like Bruce… and myself… people who don’t want to conform to the sheepish standards that pass as ‘normal/ conservative’…
We Libertarians despise how oppressive the ‘Mob rule’ of our Nanny state democracy is, and defiantly ‘Live like its legal’… and because of righteous activism and world trends… cannabis will soon be legal here in New Zealand… as it has become in many countries around the world.
In 2002 Bruce would be the Best man at Joy and my wedding at Mc Clarens falls in the Kaimai hills above Tauranga.
It was an honor to have him as my best man.
Though I have been fortunate to have had more than one ‘Best mate’… Bruce earned the right to stand beside me on my most important day, in front of most of my other friends and family.
He rose to the occasion and was a great support…. The after party being the best party of my life… and he was a big part of that… we used his stereo for the Soundz, and he was a big help cleaning up in the days that followed.
About twenty years ago Bruce and I had another painful shock.
Bruces life long friend Mark Crosby… one of our tight Posse… killed himself in a car in a reserve on the Matamata side of the Kaimais.
I got the call from Bruce about it…. And every since then I had a fear… a premonition… that Bruce was harbouring thoughts that this was a legitimate option he had for himself.
And this has proved to be the case.
I must ask you all not to follow Bruces example!
It was a very Bad idea… Death will come calling for us soon enough and when someone takes their life… they take away any chance for Providence to shine again in their lives… The Sun will rise again if only you endure… Hold on and have faith… Don’t let the world break your spirit!
Find something that fills your life with value and meaning… I have my Christian faith…
Bruce had at least another 20 years of quality life… so many good things he will now miss… and because of what he did..we… the ones that loved him and appreciated him… will miss out too.
Now I am going to close this on a sad note.
About the time that Joy and I were expecting our son Roman, Bruce and I had a falling out… and I decided to stop visiting him and focus on my new responsibility as a Dad.
I was hoping Bruce would turn up one day and we would talk things through and get things settled and we would carry on as normal… I lost contact with him when he moved… yet always hoping… sadly the years quickly ticked by… and Bruce never showed.
I am very sad that we never managed to get it sorted.
I am angry that he chose to pass away without trying….
And I carry Guilt that I did not act upon my thoughts several years ago to track him down and sort it out.
I am sorry my friend for not being there when you needed me… not being there to tell you to get your shit together like I did many times before.
I hope you forgive me.
I hope you are in a better place… maybe with Mark, and Pat, and your Mum.
Good bye Mate… and thanks for everything.
With consent of Bruce’s family , We… his friends took Bruce the day before his funeral up into the hills overlooking Raglan, and gave him his ‘last rites’ Bogan style.
We Celebrated his life…. we had our last Beers with him, our last games of Pool… and spent all night laughing and telling hard case yarns about our Bro.
Girls turned up and wept over his coffin, and we transported him in style in a Holden Panel wagon with Triumph Bonneville Escort.
He was dressed in a Black Beanie, Shades, Pink Floyd Dark side of the Moon tee shirt, Blue Jeans and Black Army Boots.
We played his friend Paul Goughs’ Original ‘K9 Convention’ song… absolutely Unique… Rockin… and a track Bruce loved.
I know a lot of people will be bummed out they did not get the chance to see him off… things happened so quickly.
We hope all his mates approve of our send off… It was done in the best Bruce style.
Thanks to everyone who made it to pay their respects, and help make it worthy.
Special thanks to Brucies People in the Waikato.
And there will be a commemoration for Bruce in one years time somewhere appropriate with the idea of perhaps spreading his ashes, and this will be another opportunity for Bruce’s friends to pay their respects.
Maybe McClarens falls… first weekend in March… as Bruce was a part of The Kaimai community and so many of us had great times with Bruce in the Hills there.
Please check this post for updates.
Heaps more Photos of Bruce’s Celebration and Funeral go to my Facebook page … could not fit them into this post Here
Knowing my tastes and ‘Fringe opinions’, a friend of mine insisted I read a Book by Hunter S. Thompson…. Kingdom of fear.
He knew that I would like Him…. and he was Right!
It’s an amusing autobiography about a truly interesting American
Radical Journalist, Biker, Hedonistic Drug Aficionado, Hunters writings are a mixture of Raw Truth, Insanity, and Libertarianism… A Critic of the death of American Freedom…. the slide towards absolute slavery and conformity.
He talks about how the War on Drugs and conscription for Vietnam ‘Criminalised a Generation’.
He hit the Big time after writing a book about the Hells Angels.
Many people may not have herd of Hunter, yet will be familiar with the Whack movie ‘Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas baced upon Hunter’s alter ego ‘Raoul Duke’.
I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they’ve always worked for me.
If E. Jean Carroll’s biography Hunter: The Strange and Savage Life of Hunter S. Thompson is to be believed, then drink and drugs certainly did work for HST. Carroll begins her memoir with a list of Hunter’s daily intake of drink and drugs:
I have heard the biographers of Harry S. Truman, Catherine the Great, etc., etc., say they would give anything if their subjects were alive so they could ask them some questions. I, on the other hand, would give anything if my subject were dead.
He should be. Oh, yes. Look at his daily routine:
3:00 p.m. rise
3:05 Chivas Regal with the morning papers, Dunhills
3:50 another glass of Chivas, Dunhill
4:05 first cup of coffee, Dunhill
4:16 orange juice, Dunhill
5:11 coffee, Dunhills
5:30 more ice in the Chivas
5:45 cocaine, etc., etc.
6:00 grass to take the edge off the day
7:05 Woody Creek Tavern for lunch-Heineken, two margaritas, coleslaw, a taco salad, a double order of fried onion rings, carrot cake, ice cream, a bean fritter, Dunhills, another Heineken, cocaine, and for the ride home, a snow cone (a glass of shredded ice over which is poured three or four jiggers of Chivas.)
9:00 starts snorting cocaine seriously
10:00 drops acid
11:00 Chartreuse, cocaine, grass
11:30 cocaine, etc, etc.
12:00 midnight, Hunter S. Thompson is ready to write
6:00 the hot tub-champagne, Dove Bars, fettuccine Alfredo
Impressive. But as Hunter also said:
Anything worth doing, is worth doing right.
And who can argue with that?
Wikipedia says… Thompson died at Owl Farm, his “fortified compound” in Woody Creek, Colorado, at 5:42 p.m. on February 20, 2005, from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. His son Juan, daughter-in-law Jennifer, and grandson Will were visiting for the weekend. Will and Jennifer were in the next room when they heard the gunshot, but they mistook the sound for a book falling and didn’t check on him immediately.
I look forward to reading his first book on the Hells Angels, my friend said I can have it when I return Kingdom of Fear.
I intend to do a Blogpost on Kingdom of fear when I’ve finished.
I used to do things, and I’d say things, and Jesus I was evil
Fake things and break things and Jesus I was evil
I never shook babies
I never beat no ladies
I used to crash parties and Maserati’s and Jesus I was evil
Go places and pull faces and Jesus I was evil
I never shook babies
I never beat no ladies
But Jesus I was evil
Jesus I was e-vil
(he never shook babies, he never beat no ladies)
Now I help old ladies cross the street and I
Now I shine the shoes upon my feet and I
Now I grow the food that feeds the homeless in the streets and I
Comb my hair one billion times a week and I
Say my prayers before I go to sleep at night
It has been with great sadness that over the past year I have witnessed my fellow Libertarian Blogger Richard Goode change tack and sail off course, and now become an apologyst for Socialist Statism.
This has been evidenced by his entire behaviour in relation to the Psychoactive Substances Act, and particular with regards to Synthetic Cannabis.
To make my point I refer you to all his Blog posts on this subject in which he consistently demonstrates that he believes all the Negative hype about the dangers of Synthetics… which is in my view incredulous considering the history of Prohibition, and it’s reliance on Lies and phobia about drug use, as supposed vindication for the Governments perpetration of a highly oppressive war upon it’s own citizens.
While he calls himself a Libertarian, He has in reality swallowed the Socialist lie that Harm Minimisation is a legitimate function of Government and has attempted to formulate an argument for this >>>Here<<<, yet it is a tragic testimony to his having put the Cart before the horse.
While Libertarianism has many pragmatic advantages over Socialist tyranny, Libertarianism is firstly an Individualist Ideology.... a philosophy which embodies clear principles of Law and Justice which protects the sovereignty of Individuals from tyrannical Government, and the pragmatic advantages for society... to the degree that there are any... are merely the By-product which flows from these principles.
The Free society is a far more Humane and enlightened civilisation than socialism, and the type of Self reliant- self responsible, and charitable citizenry it fosters, and the peaceful Social interaction which spontaneously generates in a coexistence free of political coercion and advantage... are all extremely preferable ... pragmatically speaking.... yet to mistake these benefits as being the vindication for it's principles is utterly false.
The Vindication for Libertarianism is in it's *Justice* for Individuals, and it's defence of the Individual's self-ownership, and it's Principled limits to political power... whether the will of a Monarch, or 'The mandate of the Majority'...the will of the largest Mob.
Ie Libertarianism protects Individuals, minorities, and even Majorities, from Social arbitrary Law.
That is what vindicates Libertarianism... not its pragmatic social advantages, and certainly not any idea of 'Harm minimisation' for the individual.
Libertarians ought to have social concern for others, yet that is an utterly foreign principle to Libertarian ideology... It is in fact a definitive *Socialist* political lever, and pseudo-justification for Political intervention...and it is here where my friend has gone so far astray...
Libertarianism embodies voluntary community action.
Believe me when I say that I sympathise which how he was lured down this road... It was because the Anti-Prohibitionist movement (in particular Cannabis Law reformers) whom were never Libertarians began to argue for an end to prohibition... not on the basis of Individual rights, but on the basis that Cannabis was safer than alcohol.
This was the socialist 'Harm minimisation' Doctrine... which sought to win over the socialist parliament by convincing a big enough mob that by allowing legal cannabis, they would be helping to reduce the Evils of Alcoholism which have been exacerbated by its monopolistic Legal Status.
These arguments are thoroughly aimed at a socialist pragmatic mentality which prevails both within New Zealand's parliament, and in our society as a whole.
It is a Utilitarian mentality which has abandoned all ideological principles of justice in pursuit of 'The Greatest Happiness'.
Under this philosophy the Government can do whatever it pleases with individuals as long as it can convince a majority, that it's actions are conducive to the collective well being of society as a whole.
Thus Individuals have become the property 'of society'.
Society may overstep a persons individual liberty and self-responsibility either under the pretence of protecting the Hapless individual from himself, or the pretence of minimizing 'problems' that individual choices can have upon Society at large... esp Financial strains upon 'social services' which are run by the government and funded collectively via taxation.
Druggies are deemed to be an inexcusable burden upon the system.
It is under these pretences that modern Socialist judges have no compunction against Jailing peaceful old Pot smokers whom refuse to submit to the Political will of Nanny state.
*Jail is deemed to be for their own good, and the Good of society as a whole*
They believe the ruinous effects upon an individuals life of incarceration are in fact preferable to ‘allowing him’ to continue in his drug use, and that society is safer while drugs are actively being suppressed by the Police.
*Freedom is dangerous* *Nanna Knows Best* *Etc*.
Now it is not the place here and now for me to argue why this whole socialist perspective is utter tyrannical, or why Libertarianism denies it is the proper duties of government to provide social services like public health care.
It ought to be enough to point out how utterly at variance with Libertarianism, this whole approach to ending Cannabis prohibition is.
I shall proceed to explain how my Brother Blogger took his wrong turn and has now wandered so far off track that he has crossed the line and is no longer worthy of the Name *Libertarian*.
My explanation is not written to vilify, but to show how easily this deviation occurred.
Not only do I sympathise with my fellow blogger, but hope that after contemplating what I have written that he will correct his course back over to the Libertarian side.
Many years ago many Kiwi Libertarians, including myself, as members of the Late Great yet struggling Libertarianz party, were supportive of a proposal written by Richard Goode for having a Transitional policy for Drug Law reform, which was accepted because it provided a rational pathway of least resistance to ending the war on drugs.
Our previous policy of simply legalising all drugs was too much for the voting public to swallow and had absolutely no hope of ever being adopted in totality, and so the new proposal presented to the voting public and parliament, was that the War be de-escalated starting with de-criminalising the softer drugs first, and then as fears were alleviated by having legal highs, that support could then be gained for further reforms, with ultimate end being an absolute end to the war on drugs.
We would devour the Prohibition elephant one bite at a time… leaving the boniest portions till last.
And what defined ‘soft drugs’ was their perceived ‘safer than alcohol’ status.
The virtue of this policy was that it was idealistic, yet also realistic as means to our ultimate end because it was far more popular with the People… there was already support for Cannabis Law reform and our definition of cannabis as a ‘softer drug than alcohol’ was met with great enthusiasm from the Socialist faction of Cannabis Law reform movement whom are by far the greatest majority in the movement.
I have no doubt that Richard ‘liberated’ his definition for ‘soft drugs’ for the Libertarianz party transitional drug policy directly from the Socialists.
Richard’s policy was genius, as it unified Idealism with pragmatical realism, and popularity.
He ought to be proud of it.
Unfortunately though, in the years that have since past, and with the de-registration of the Libertarianz party, and Richard joining and now representing the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party, which is still predominantly a Socialist Party, He has obviously lost his Libertarian bearings.
He has forgotten that The Libertarians supported his transitional policy because of it’s progression of Justice… not because it’s starting point of legalising softer drugs was in any way supposes Libertarians endorse the socialist idea that Governments ought to concern themselves with ‘harm reduction’.
It is only in the light of these sorts of consideration that as Libertarian I had anything good to say about the Psychoactive substances act.
To the degree that it did allow a special dispensation to some products to be legally available, and also allowed a convoluted means (in theory) for other products to eventually make it to Market… having run the ‘regulation gauntlet’, it was supposed to be an improvement on the ‘Ban everything as they appear’ prohibition-ism which was the prevailing ‘socialist wisdom’ at the beginning of the rise of synthetic dugs which are now being manufactured to bypass existing prohibitions.
The thing was that Richard had now utterly lost all sight of what Libertarianism is about, and swallowed the socialist ‘Harm minimisation’ pill that he actually condemned the PSA for being too Libertarian!
*He was thoroughly in the Socialist Camp that it is the governments duty to decide what Citizens are allowed to ingest*
He was outraged that Peter Dunne was not acting Nanny Statist enough… because in his mind it was committing a crime by allowing dangerous and untested Synthetic Cannabis to be legally sold!
He relentlessly fanned the fires of Anti-Synthetic Cannabis hysteria… much to the joy of many of his Pro-cannabis Socialist mates, and condemned the Legal highs industry as evil profiteers at the expense of Hapless sheeple.
He told them to voluntarily remove their products, and castigated them for not heeding him… saying that a backlash was growing which would result in their products being banned.
I said that I didn’t think that would happen, yet I was wrong on that count… and I am sure he experienced euphoria when…. being an election year… and with all the Media sensationalism surrounding the Anti-legal high lobby that via the ensuing shysterism/ party politicking of the powers that be.. that the Libertarian portions of the Act got blotted out, and the means by which products could be deemed safe and thereby legalised… was virtually shut.
(Read my post on this >>>Here<<<)
This was a leap backwards in the struggle to End Drug prohibition as it re-invigorated Prohibitionism.
The world was watching and prohibitionists everywhere celebrated.
Having Legal highs in New Zealand... they say... proved to be a failure.
Mark blames the Government for all the supposed troubles experienced by Legal high users… as if they have no personal responsibility.
I have no problem with Libertarians believing certain drugs to be dangerous… even if they are getting their information from patently Dubious sources.
Of course there can be dangers involved in taking drugs.
Alcohol is dangerous… yet to say their Dangerous nature justifies Prohibitions is patently Un-libertarian and socialist!
The philosophical war they have declared is a Socialist Jihad against Individual Rights and Liberties!
Richard’s last blog post attempts to be an argument for the government socialist interventions
He by passes the fundamental Libertarian principles which clearly define and articulate the legitimate function of government as being strictly limited to defending Rights and Liberties of individuals, and instead substitutes that with his bogus Pragmatist doctrine of ‘Harm minimisation’ which is pure Utilitarian Socialism … not Libertarianism.
To say that he is going ‘Back to basics’ could not be further from the truth
He attempts to smoke you readers by saying harm minimisation is a legitimate concern of Government with the bogus rationalisation that preventing ‘itself’ from putting people in Jail… which is harmful … as being a form of ‘Harm minimisation’ when in reality the principles involved are no such thing!
He has stitched up a sophistry which is in complete contradiction to Libertarian limited government.
The Legal and just principles against unjust imprisonment are keeping constitutional restraints forbidding the State from stepping outside it’s legitimate and just functions and encroaching upon our legitimate liberties, and violating our Rights which it has been instituted to protect!
This is black and white… lines not to crossed…. spheres of liberty, personal ethics, the pursuit of happiness, and self-responsibility… not to be encroached upon… not even for ‘harm minimisation’.
There are Powers never to be usurped… and they are not contingent upon whether or not Nanny State’s dictates are harmful or beneficial to either society or Individuals themselves.
It could very well be that some Laws could prevent idiots from harming themselves… yet to the Libertarian… that is no justification for passing oppressive laws…. which treat everyone like idiots… and gives the State paternalistic powers.
Harm minimisation is an endorsement of social interventions, not Libertarian self- ownership and responsibility.
Libertarians say that to allow the Government to legislate to protect people from themselves is to people the world with Fools.
Read my Blog post on this >>>Here<<<
Richard... the Philosopher... no doubt assumes the Libertarian principle of having an arbitrary demarcation for being of Age of 'Adult consent and culpability' (in regards to being allowed to purchase alcohol without Parental permission) as being a form of 'Regulation' and 'Supply control'... which is again Bullshit.
By that way of thinking All Laws are 'Regulations'... and that therefore the only 'Free market' can exist is under Anarchy.
That R18 Principle of Law is necessary in regards to Legal parental rights and responsibilities, and custodianship , yet a young person ought to be able to apply for Adult Status earlier.
Libertarianism is not Anarchy.
It recognises a limited legitimate sphere for Government, yet these do not include 'Licensing products'... like alcohol, FDA approval, or Taxes, or 'Harm minimisation' etc.
The only 'License' Libertarians would support is an R18 age restriction on the purchase and sale of liquor, etc with those whom violate this condition being criminally liable and negate their right to sell.
If parents allow their own kids to enjoy alcohol, Pot, etc at a younger age, that is their own business.
If Parents want to try alternative treatments on their sick infant children such as Cannabis... they have that fundamental right.
I brew some booze yet I also buy Alcohol, and pay taxes on it.
It does not mean I support the Status quo.... yet I still believe it is better... more Libertarian than outright prohibition.
The same with proposals to 'Educate', 'Tax', and 'Regulate' Cannabis.
Again I dont say that is the Libertarian Objective, yet it is better than current Prohibition.
Richard and Mark have utterly abandoned Libertarianism and become Socialist Statist Prohibitionists.
You have abandoned principles of Justice in favour of Socialist Utilitarian Pragmatism.
To recover yourselves and to restore yourselves into the Libertarian fold is simple, and it does not require you to drop your opinion about the Safety of Synthetic Cannabis, or mean you must cease arguing that you think Real cannabis is safer.
All it requires you to do is to stop arguing that 'Harm minimisation' is a legitimate concern of governments, and desist from supporting any prohibitions on drugs.
If on the other hand you think the War on P, on H, and on Synthetics is justifiable, and legitimate, will them please desist from calling yourselves Libertarians.
It has only been a few weeks since Synthetic cannabis was taken off the shelves, and yet My InLaws reported seeing a bunch of people sniffing glue in the Park.
So much for Harm reduction!