I am aware that we are, for some, still in the holiday season, albeit at the end of it. I make this point because I know news outlets, fake or otherwise, must find getting a requisite number of newsworthy items a tad difficult. TV One News highlighted the problem by broadcasting an item that had all the hallmarks of a news filler. Being the sort of item it was, and bearing in mind what TV One News has become, I’m actually surprised it wasn’t the lead item.

It concerned a wall hanging at the Puhoi Pub. For those of you who are not familiar with this hostelry, it was established in 1879 and is probably the most interesting pub in the country to visit. It has an ambience like no other. The ambience comes from three sources, the various paraphernalia adorning the walls, the locals who imbibe there and the very friendly people who work there.

As the item on TV One pointed out, among the many colourful exhibits on the wall is a set of bullock horns. Like many other fascinating items on the pub walls they are there for a reason. They, along with other exhibits, reflect the history of the area. Many bullocks were used to haul Kauri logs out of the nearby bush.

Collins, Tudor Washington, 1898-1970, photographer Title (Bullocks pulling kauri log) Description English: Bulls wearing yoke while pulling a Kauri log through a body of water. A man is walking alongside the bulls, and is possibly holding a whip. Date: circa 1940s.

One of these bullocks, whose horns are on display, was one named SHOCK, HORROR Nigger. Nigger’s horns have been hanging in the pub quite happily for decades.

That is until the easily offended generation came into being, the ones who would cry over spilt milk; which is basically what they’re doing in this instance. These are the little petals of both sexes who, if you gave them a jar of Vegemite and suggested they use it for suntan lotion, would burst into tears and run to Meng Foon who would no doubt uphold their complaint as he has in this case. He thinks the horns should be removed. In the case of Vegemite he would probably want it taken off supermarket shelves. I wonder if one of the bullocks had the name of Honky if there would be such an outcry. If there were, it would be equally pathetic. Back in the sixties my mother had a friend who had a dog, a black terrier, called Nigger. It’s only a name for goodness sake!

One who objected, Ankit Kanpur, first objected in 2014. “Six years ago I found this offensive ornament prominently hung over the pub entry door, an implicit recognition of this vile words destructive power”, he told One News. “When I saw it I immediately felt unwelcome and uncomfortable – that’s the ongoing effect of these symbols. They are designed to intimidate.” Only if the bullock is running behind you Ankit. By the way, you’ve taken the word Nigger, on this occasion, completely out of context.

Also complaining was a Ghanaian lady by the name of Mildred Armah. She was shocked when she saw the display while visiting it for Sunday lunch. She also felt uncomfortable being in the pub. She therefore also took the word out of context. I’m unsure if she stayed for lunch or left immediately. She did stay long enough to have a forced blub for the TV cameras. I wonder if that was on request. It wouldn’t surprise me.

A little free advice for Ankit and Mildred – Warkworth is only a little further on, and Orewa just a little further back, where there are establishments that serve good food and drinks. Alternatively you could politely ask the significance of the horns and learn a little of the history of the area. Looking at some of the other artefacts on display would also assist in the learning process. By taking the name of an animal and using it to suit their own view of history these two are making themselves look like a couple of tragics. If you don’t like a name from history move on. TV One News also looks tragic, as it does most nights, for broadcasting such vacuous subject matter dressed up as news. In the item on their webpage Nigger is viewed as N*****. How frightfully PC!

The only person to come out of this pub prattle with any sanity was the pub owner, Bernie McCallion, who is determined to keep them on display. She said the only time she removed them was at the start of the Black Lives Matter movement. However, having researched BLM she put them back up. Good on her. The two complainants and Meng Foon take note. Things are done based on research and history and in context, not on the fragile PC feelings of the woke brigade.

By the way, if you haven’t visited the Puhoi Pub, you haven’t lived. It’s a must!! As Ankit did, make sure you get your photo taken with Nigger. What a memory!

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A right-wing crusader. Reached an age that embodies the dictum only the good die young. Country music buff. Ardent Anglophile. Hates hypocrisy and by association left-wing politics.