Letters, April 15

Footballers who set an example

WITH the recent Wayne Rooney debacle making the headlines, it was so refreshing to spend a warm spring afternoon sitting outside the caf� on Gorleston beach, being thoroughly entertained watching a five-a-side football tournament.

There were 30-plus boys aged 16-18 from the East Norfolk Sixth Form College competing in their annual beach competition. There was no bad language, they competed in a spirit of fairness and fun, and at all times were respectful to each other and the other caf� users. They were a credit to themselves, their parents and the sixth form.

Role model reversal comes to mind – these premiership divas need re-educating.


Humber Keel


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Beg to differ over so-called errors

DAVE Gahan in his letter last week says the Bible book of Leviticus has errors. However, bats, like birds, are flying creatures, so the ancient Hebrews classed them together. No error here. Also he says the text describes fowls with four legs. Not sure where he gets this from: it’s not there.

And as for some insects described as creeping “on all fours”, their two large hind legs are used for jumping. Which means they walk on their other four legs. Seems the ancients counted only the four walking parts as “legs”. Again, no error.

On another note, soon many who say they’re God’s church will celebrate the Christianized pagan festival of Easter. The Catholic monk Bede (c.673-735) said “Easter” comes from the name of the Anglo-Saxon fertility goddess Eostre.

Moreover, the Egyptians kept a fast of 40 days to honour the god Osiris. And pagans fasted yearly in readiness to celebrate the death and resurrection of the god Tammuz. Customs like these became the Roman Catholic “Lent”. But God’s church, in New Testament times, never practised Lent.

Also, the Babylonian priesthood held a sunrise service to speed the reincarnation of the goddess Ishtar (a version of the name Eostre or Astarte), the “Queen of Heaven”. Likewise, hot-cross buns and coloured eggs (the origin of Easter eggs) were used in Babylonian religion.

But God’s holy people celebrate the historical fact of the death and rising of Jesus every Sunday, the day of resurrection, when they assemble to “break bread” (Acts 20:7).

So what about you? Will you stick with this false Christianity mixed with paganism or come out and follow Jesus instead?


Albemarle Road


These allegations offend Catholics

MR Barkhuizen should not be allowed to get away with his false assertions. The allegations of a difference between Catholics and Christians and that Catholics are not Christian are both offensive and wrong.

I doubt whether he would dare assert that Shi’ites are not Muslims or Mahayani are not Buddhists. The Catholic Church is one of the ancient Churches that can claim pedigree back to Christ and the apostles. That is why I love traditional liturgy. All Catholics are Christians, but not all Christians are Catholics is all one can truly assert.

The trouble is that Christians have lost most of their roots with the destruction of eastern Christianity but Catholics have far more by definition than Protestants, since Catholic Christianity still has historical continuity.

It is wholly wrong to say that, for Catholics, the Blessed Virgin is a goddess. She was a human with that grace that no other humans have been given from the start. Catholics do not worship her but revere her for her grace. She prays for us to God in the same way, but more effectively, than other humans.

The Triune God – one God in three persons – is the only God for all true Christians. Ancient oecumenical councils of inter alia Nicaea and Chalcedon, established this doctrine for all time, which all true Christians believe.

Mounce’s Expository equates grace or charis with being highly favoured. Thus this learned Protestant book allows the Catholic use of “full of grace”to Mary. Grace enables a human to be ‘good’, which is a far more sanguine view of human nature than that propounded by Luther and Calvin. To deny what grace can accomplish is actually a denial of what Christ can and does give us.

He then asserts that the rosary was copied from Hinduism. First, this is not the case. Second, that other religions use beads for meditation and prayer, is correlation not causation. Third, are we to dismiss anything that other people use merely because they are not unique to Christianity? Such logic would leave us to dismiss the Jewish Bible, which is the heresy of Marcionism. Are we to eradicate the Golden Rule because other religions and cultures profess it too?

Love is the defining criterion of Christianity, something fundamentalists seem to regard as not necessary. Love is commended throughout the Bible but one can perhaps start with Mark 12, 29-32. No belief or action is any more than a clanging bell if we lack love: 1 Corinthians 13, 1-3. Mr Huggins is therefore right and the root Christian belief is that Jesus is Lord in Acts 2, 36 and Philippians 2, 10-11

Traditional societies, clans, and tribes with the loyalties that they entail, are far stronger than we now know or understand. It is wrong to assert that brothers and sisters necessarily demand the same meanings that we know and use. They can, but need not. What in any case it does say, is that The Blessed Virgin was intact till after the birth of Our Lord. What is more alarming is that Mr Barkhuizen denies any part of the Mother of the Saviour, a denial that will necessarily end in heresy.

We live in a very anti-Catholic country as the recent visit of the Pope promised to show, though the opposition melted away. Sadly not all enemies of the Church are outside its purlieu. This is where prayer comes in.

We are bound to have disagreements because we are humans. It is where our love is tested. However in disagreements it is dishonest to ascribe views to one’s ‘opponents’, which they do not hold and then attack them for those supposed views.

It is ironic that it was Pope, who wrote that a little learning is a dangerous thing.


Victoria Road


Christ appeared to 200 people

RE the subject of Christ’s resurrection from the dead (Mercury Letters, April 8). Mr Gahan suggests that Christ only appeared to a handful of disciples after his resurrection.

He appeared to no less than 200 people before being taken up into heaven so that they could not be accused of being deluded or mad.

If you doubt the Bible, that’s up to you Mr Gahan, or anybody else that thinks its full of fairy stories and not to be trusted. But I believe it to be the Word of God, written by man yes, but inspired by the Holy Spirit.


Turin Way

Hopton on Sea

Our college has so much to offer

I FEEL it necessary to comment upon the negative publicity which has recently appeared in the local press regarding the unfortunate circumstances which Great Yarmouth College is currently experiencing.

Having had the privilege to study there twice in recent years, I have nothing but gratitude and admiration for the dedicated and talented faculty who are a credit to the Further Education sector.

Thanks to Yarmouth College and its amazing access courses we have many mature students, myself included, graduating from universities with degrees that range from forensic psychology to social work. It is also providing first class teaching qualifications for those of us who aspire to enter this often thankless profession.

Year after year, the college is tapping into the talents and dreams of our young people providing them with hope, confidence and futures. I really believe we should get behind the college and show our support for this local and unique institution.

I would urge anyone considering either a career change, a short night school course or any kind of further education, whatever age you are, to take a look at the college’s prospectus or talk to one of their excellent advisors.


Kitchener Road

Great Yarmouth

Dispensing drugs is huge operation

OVER the last three years I have been a patient four times at the James Paget Hospital.

I speak very highly of all aspects of my stays. Whilst a patient, I did notice many patients were discharged only to find they could not leave or be collected for some time because they had to wait for their drugs from the pharmacy.

On occasions this could take up to three hours. Although I was aware the hospital pharmacy is very busy with the large numbers of drugs it has to prescribe, I wondered if the discharged patients could receive their drugs sooner, thereby allowing their beds to be vacated. I have visited the pharmacy a few times and seen the little service window which gave me the impression the department was quite small.

I was given the opportunity to visit recently and be shown around by chief pharmacist David Todd. My first big surprise was to see how big it was, and to learn there were more than 40 staff. This includes pharmacists, technicians and assistant technical officers, all of whom are fully trained.

He explained the procedure of processing requests for drugs and accepted they have one or two comparatively quiet periods but more than likely many demands were made at the same time. For instance, in the morning the doctors’ rounds could take two or three hours, and afterwards they would update the patient records, this could result in the discharge of perhaps 10 or 20 patients, creating a sudden demand for drugs. He estimated one drug issue could take around six minutes, so any one issue could easily take an hour or more.

Obviously, everything had to be cross checked for safety. And in the event of any discrepancy, the person prescribing the drugs would have to be contacted before they were issued.

The robotic machines were most impressive. There are two. They are able to receive supplies sort them and store them in there allocated racks. Conversely, they were very quick to locate and dispatch any drugs from stock. I learned how the department had around 3,000 lines in stock at any one time and how stock control was applied. There are about 1,000 items per day issued by the dispensary.

I understand they do their utmost to limit the time it takes to prescribe drugs. Probably, if further computer programmes were introduced, involving surgeons, doctors and other staff, they could help to decrease the times of medicines being supplied.



I owe my life to hospital staff

WHENEVER I read anything in the papers concerning the James Paget University Hospital, it tends to be negative, so I would like to set the record straight.

I was taken ill on Christmas Day with what I thought was an asthma attack. Friends called an ambulance and fortunately for me it was a Waveney and District Ambulance and the driver asked me where I wanted to go! People who live in my area are automatically taken to the Norfolk and Norwich, so it was wonderful to be given a choice. As I have two friends who work at the James Paget, I didn’t hesitate in chosing to go there.

When admitted I actually heard one nurse way to another “What’s she doing here? She should be at the N&N,” and if I had been able to talk I would have told her I chose to come.

It appeared I had Strep A which got into my blood stream, plus epiglotitis, pharyngitis (and then pneumonia as a result of being on the life machine), and was put straight into the Intensive Care Unit. An emergency operation was carried out in the early hours of Boxing Day. It appeared I was allergic to penicillin and whatever combination of antibiotics I was given, seemed to cause a different reaction. Suffice to say my family and friends were told to say goodbye to me as I was dying.

However the microbiologists didn’t give up and finally came up with the right combination of antibiotics and I pulled through. My church (St Peter’s, Strumpshaw) had had a special short service of meditation and prayer, and prayed for a miracle, which is what happened. I was in the ICU until February 27, before moving on to Ward 15 and finally Ward 18. As you can imagine, I have very little memory of what happened but my family and friends tell me the care and attention given to me in ICU was absolutely wonderful.

I received the same care and attention from the nursing staff and physiotherapists on Wards 15 and 18 and finally came out of hospital on March 29.

All too often the “backroom” staff are ignored, with praise tending to be given to those on the front lines. I just want to say thank you James Paget for giving me my life back.


Via Mercury website

Footpath is for people on foot

I HAVE heard a silly rumour that Yarmouth council is planning to provide safe places where pedestrians can walk without being attacked by cyclists and electric scooters. I believe the plan is to call them “footpaths”, but I don’t think it will ever catch on.

I find it impossible to make the short journey from Southtown across Haven Bridge without being threatened, attacked or abused by cyclists, who would much prefer it if I got off the path so they could race faster.

Am I the only one who is fed up with this anti-social behaviour? We have cycle lanes, why can’t they use them?

Having said that, one of the worst spots is by Matalan, where the bus stop has about two feet of width, the rest is for cyclists, with no space for pedestrians at all. Then the cycle lane ends, but that doesn’t seem to matter to cyclists.


Via Mercury website

Act now to keep your coastguard

WITH the consultation over the reforms to the Coastguard coming to an end on May 5, I urge all residents who value the coastguard and who wish to retain the station at Havenbridge House in Great Yarmouth to respond to the consultation.

Coastguards who take emergency calls actually take charge of the call and direct operations meaning local knowledge is put to good use. The reforms reducing the number of local stations, including Yarmouth (to be closed in 2012/13), will inevitably mean this local knowledge is lost and lives put at risk.

The consultation document is available at http://www.dft.gov.uk/mca/consultation_on_the_proposals_for_modernising_the_coastguard.pdf


Willow Way


Horrors that will never go away

RECENTLY I, and one other student from East Norfolk Sixth Form College, took part in the Lessons from Auschwitz Project, a national initiative involving students from across the country.

We visited two of the largest camps around Oswiecim, Poland. Auschwitz 1, the first camp we visited, was a converted Army Barracks which was later used as a labour camp for mainly political prisoners and Polish nationals.

We then went to Auschwitz-Birkenau, the purpose-built extermination camp. Auschwitz-Birkenau housed mainly Jews and Gypsies. An estimated 1.1 million people died in the gas chambers at Auschwitz. When talking about Auschwitz it is easy just to focus on the victims as numbers but we must remember they were all individuals.

Sadly, far-right parties and groups have been making gains across Europe as exemplified by the Front National in France.

Discrimination in all contexts is inherently wrong. So I would plead with anyone contemplating involvement with a far-right party or movement in this country to remember the holocaust, as extremism can lead to events that cast a dark shadow on history.


Address withheld

Apologies for this confusion

BRADWELL Parish Council would like to apologise for any confusion that arose regarding its “extra rubbish collection” arrangements on April 9. The arrangements were publicised correctly within the council’s own publication, The Bradwellian, which went to every household in Bradwell.

However, additional information was later placed in both the 7.4.11 edition of the Anglia Advertiser, and the 8.4.11 edition of the Yarmouth Mercury, by a third party, over which this council had no control – both articles stated that the event would take place “tomorrow”, which was incorrect in the case of the Advertiser.

Also, neither article stated the need for people using the service to bring a copy of The Bradwellian with them, as the service was only intended for residents of Bradwell (since their parish rate contributions paid for the service). The council apologises to those who turned up on the wrong day, and to those who failed to realise that they should have brought their publication with them on the correct day.

The council wishes to thank Great Yarmouth Borough Services for once again providing a really efficient and cheerful service to the people of Bradwell on the day.


Parish Clerk

How many buses coming our way?

I AGREE with Ruth Keller’s comments on the cutbacks of certain First Bus routes in the Great Yarmouth area, and I don’t blame her for wanting to contact Anglian Bus to see if they could provide a replacement service on her route.

Passengers using the number 2 and 5 routes may well be considering the same thing.

Despite all their cutbacks and recent fare increases, First Bus have just spent �160m on 955 brand new buses, 200 of these to carry passengers from the outlying areas of London and beyond to and from the Olympic Games next year!

Out of the remaining 755 buses, how many will First Bus allocate to improve the cutback-ridden services in Great Yarmouth and surrounding areas?


Don’t treat local people like idiots

AFTER many months of reading about the Portland cranes, now that they are going, will Mr Freeman and his company stop treating us as idiots by stating it is because of the downturn in container business.

If this were true, would the London Gateway be going ahead? This project will be the largest in Europe and the cost is billions, not millions. It was good to see at least the wind element, although short term. I hope the Yarmouth Mercury will be first to advertise the new job creations if they happen. When will the gates be open so we can use the peninsula again?


University Close


Sums up our town

ON a recent visit to Great Yarmouth, I saw a seagull with a broken wing eating a dead rat. Has anyone seen anything similar that sums up our once great town?


Via Mercury website