click links in text for more info

History of Norfolk Island

The history of Norfolk Island dates back to the fourteenth or fifteenth century when it was settled by Polynesian seafarers. Norfolk Island was first settled by East Polynesian seafarers either from the Kermadec Islands north of New Zealand or from the North Island of New Zealand, they arrived in the fourteenth or fifteenth century, survived for several generations before disappearing. Their main village site has been excavated at Emily Bay, they left behind stone tools, the Polynesian rat, banana trees as evidence of their sojourn; the harakeke, or New Zealand flax plant, was brought to Norfolk Island either from New Zealand directly or from Raoul Island by these Polynesian settlers. The so-called flax is, in fact, no relation of the European flax but is related to the daylily and other genera within the sub-family Hemerocallidaceae; the final fate of the early settlers remains a mystery. The first European known to have sighted the island was Captain James Cook, in 1774, on his second voyage to the South Pacific on HMS Resolution.

He named it after the Duchess of Norfolk. The Duchess was dead at the time of the island's sighting by Cook, but Cook had set out from England in 1772 and could not have known of her May 1773 death. Cook went ashore on Tuesday 11 October 1774, is said to have been impressed with the tall straight trees and New Zealand flax plants, although not related to the Northern Hemisphere flax plants after which they are named, produce fibres of economic importance, he reported on their potential uses for the Royal Navy. Andrew Kippis as the biographer of this voyage puts it as follows: As the Resolution pursued her course from New Caledonia, land was discovered, which, on a nearer approach, was found to be an island, of good height, five leagues in circuit. Captain Cook named it Norfolk Isle, in honour of the noble family of Howard, it was uninhabited. Various trees and plants were observed; the chief produce of the island is a kind of spruce pine, exceedingly straight and tall, which grows in great abundance.

Such is the size of many of the trees. Among the vegetables of the place, the palm-cabbage afforded both a wholesome and palatable refreshment. At the time, Britain was dependent on flax and hemp from the shores of the Baltic Sea ports. Any threat to their supply endangered Britain's sea power; the UK relied on timbers from New England for mainmasts, these were not supplied after the American War of Independence. The alternative source of Norfolk Island for these, supplies is argued by some historians, notably Geoffrey Blainey in Tyranny of Distance, as being a major reason for the founding of the convict settlement of New South Wales by the First Fleet in 1788. James Cook said that, "except for New Zealand, in no other island in the South Sea was wood and mast-timber so ready to hand". Sir John Call, member of Parliament and the Royal Society, former chief engineer of the East India Company, stated the advantages of Norfolk Island in a proposal for colonisation he put to the Home Office in August 1784: "This Island has an Advantage not common to New Caledonia, New Holland and New Zealand by not being inhabited, so that no Injury can be done by possessing it to the rest of Mankind…there seems to be nothing wanting but Inhabitants and Cultivation to make it a delicious Residence.

The Climate and Sea provide everything that can be expected from them. The Timber, Shrubs and Fish found there need no Embellishment to pronounce them excellent samples. Though unaware of the British intention to settle Norfolk Island, not announced until 5 December 1786, Forster referred to "the nearness of New Zealand; the proposal written by James Matra under the supervision of Sir Joseph Banks for establishing a settlement in New South Wales, stated that Botany Bay was: “no further than a fortnight from New Zealand, covered with timber to the water's edge. The trees are so big and tall that a single tree is enough to make a mast of a first rate man of war. New Zealand produces in addition flax, an object of utility and curiosity. Any quantity of it might be raised in the colony, as this plant grows in New Zealand, it can be made to serve the various purposes of cotton and linen, is easier manufactured than any of them. In naval affairs, it could not fail of being of the utmost consequence.

In 1786 the British government included Norfolk Island as an

Weston, Clevedon and Portishead Light Railway

The Weston and Portishead Light Railway was conceived and built as a tramway to link the three small North Somerset coastal towns of Weston-super-Mare and Portishead in the 1880s. It was a standard gauge light railway, it was 13.8 miles long with 19 halts most of which had a small shelter and no platform. The line ran through level countryside. Most of the locomotives and rolling stock were bought second-hand from various sources, making a varied collection; the section from Weston-super-Mare to Clevedon opened in 1897, the extension to Portishead in 1907. The railway was built with economy in mind and there were no major station buildings or bridges. After years of financial struggle, the line closed on 18 May 1940; the WC&PR was proposed as a standard gauge tramway in 1884 by the Weston-Super-Mare, Clevedon & Portishead Tramways Company to link the three small coastal towns. The line was planned to run on the street along the Boulevard in Weston-super-Mare and from there off-road apart from numerous road crossings all of which were to be on the level.

An Act of Parliament to authorise the construction of the railway was passed on 6 August 1885. Building of the Weston-super-Mare to Clevedon section of the railway began in 1887 but due to various legal and financial problems, progress was slow, the time limit of the Act expired requiring further Acts to be passed on 25 July 1890 and December 1891. Due to these delays some of the track had to be re-laid before the line opened because sleepers had rotted; the track along the Boulevard in Weston-super-Mare was taken up before the line opened due to complaints from the council. The section opened on 1 December 1897. Two years after the opening, the tramway was designated a light railway and the name was changed to the Weston, Clevedon & Portishead Light Railway Company; the extension to Portishead had been planned from the beginning, but financial constraints delayed its construction. It required another Act of Parliament, passed in August 1899, There were many objections to the proposed extension, one of, that the line was to run through the streets in Clevedon.

These objections were overcome. The extension to Portishead was built as a light railway and opened on 7 August 1907. Links to the Great Western Railway were provided at Clevedon and Portishead, in 1915 a short branch to a wharf at Wick St. Lawrence on the River Yeo was built. Sidings served three stone quarries in the Gordano Valley; the finances of the railway were always precarious and became serious by 1905. It entered receivership in 1909 and was in decline up to the outbreak of World War II, not helped by the increase in road traffic, it had relied on the transport of stone from the Black Rock quarries and the decline in this business made things worse. The railway spent 31 of its 43 years in the hands of receivers. Col. H. F. Stephens took over the running of the WC&PR in 1911, he was known as the'Light Railway King' because he ran a number of similar railways, though he got the costs under control, the financial situation remained poor. After his death in 1931 W. H. Austen followed him as manager.

Due to an ever-worsening financial state, the Company applied for a Court order to close the line. The Great Western Railway purchased the line to use it for storage, for a short time up to 200 coal wagons were stored on the line, it was decided to remove the track for use in the war effort, it was cleared between October 1942 and late 1943. The legality of the ownership of the land was a long-running issue, never properly resolved. Due to the lack of major infrastructure, there are few obvious remains of the line. Still surviving is a small bridge over a rhyne in Portishead, the remains of a bridge over the River Yeo, the wharf. Much of the route of the track bed survives, a small part of which can be walked on Weston Moor reserve in the Gordano Valley. There are plans to convert some of the track bed to a cycle path as part of the National Cycle Network; the WC&P Railway Group was formed in November 2006, to attempt to preserve what was left of the railway. WC&P Railway Group Weston, Clevedon & Portishead Railway Weston, Clevedon & Portishead Railway Maggs, Colin G..

The Weston Clevedon & Portishead Light Railway: The Oakwood Press. ISBN 0-85361-388-5. Mitchell,Vic and Smith, Keith. Branch Lines to Clevedon and Portishead. Midhurst: Middleton Press. ISBN 1-904474-18-7. Redwood, Christopher; the Weston and Portishead Railway: Sequoia Publishing. ISBN 0-905466-42-X. Scott-Morgan, John; the Colonel Stephens Railways: A Pictorial Survey. Newton Abbot: David & Charles. ISBN 0 7153 7544 X. Smith, Martin; the Railways of Bristol & Somerset. Shepperton: Ian Allan. ISBN 0-7110-2063-9. Strange, Peter; the Weston Clevedon & Portishead Railway: Twelveheads Press. ISBN 0-906294-19-3

Dale Houston (tennis)

Dale Houston is a former professional tennis player from Australia. Houston played his junior tennis in Queensland. In the early 1980s he took up a tennis scholarship to Witchita State University in Kansas. After graduating in June 1984 he competed for two years on the professional tour. At the 1984 Australian Open, just months after turning professional, Houston made it through to the third round, where he lost a competitive match to the defending champion Mats Wilander. Playing as a qualifier, Houston had straight set victories over Craig Miller and former Australian Open winner Mark Edmondson, which put him up against the Swedish second seed in the third round, he managed to take Wilander to four sets, winning the second 6–2 and getting to a tiebreak in the third. Wilander went on to win the tournament. Following his performances at the Australian Open, he gained entry to Grand Prix tournaments in Sydney and Melbourne, for a first round exit in each. In Melbourne he competed in the doubles with John Frawley and made it to the quarter-finals.

In 1985 his appearances were restricted to Challengers, although he made it to the second round of qualifying at Wimbledon and played doubles at a Brisbane Grand Prix tournament. Mid-year he reached his highest ranking, 280 in the world, his loss to Mark Kratzmann in the Australian Open qualifying round that year was his final professional match. Dale Houston at the Association of Tennis Professionals Dale Houston at the International Tennis Federation

Portland Gas & Coke Building

The Portland Gas & Coke Building known as the Gas and Coke Building and Gasco Building, was an administrative building located in northwest Portland, United States. It was constructed by Portland Gas & Coke in 1913 as part of a manufacturing plant, in which the company coked gas and fuel from coal; the building was vacated in 1957 due to contamination issues, demolition of the building began on September 12, 2015, with the demolition project completing in November 2015. The Portland Gas & Coke Building was an administrative building located along U. S. Route 30, just south of the St. Johns Bridge in Portland's Northwest Industrial neighborhood, it exhibits Gothic architectural style. The building was constructed by Portland Gas & Coke in 1913 as part of a plant to manufacture gas from oil. With the arrival of natural gas in the 1950s, the company shut down the plant, vacant since 1958; the administrative building was the plant's longest-remaining structure. It was listed on Portland's Historic Resource Inventory until NW Natural's removal request in August 2012.

The company announced removal plans in December 2013 due to a "federally mandated cleanup effort in the area". NW Natural outlined the following concerns with the structure on their website: Unfortunately, time has taken its toll on the building, it is unsafe and structurally unsound. It is contaminated with asbestos and other material. Additionally, it sits on contaminated property that we are required to cleanup and is adjacent to a federal Superfund site. Further, it is zoned industrial and is located between two of our company's secure operations – a water treatment plant and a natural gas storage operation. A community group called Save the Portland GasCo Building attempted to raise $2 million to preserve the building, but their efforts were unsuccessful and resulted in only $4,000 from T-shirt sales. After learning of NW Natural's plans to proceed with the demolition, the historical preservation group's leader made plans to rally supporters at Skyline Tavern and said, "Portland is moving so fast these days—we're ripping out old Portland, this is one of the last icons.

This would be a relic. We call it an industrial cathedral." The group confirmed plans to fly drones over the building to record footage for preservation and to stream video of its demolition via a 24/7 "GASCO cam". Architecture critic Brian Libby said of the building's demolition, "Shame on them, shame on all of us."NW Natural began demolishing the building in September 2015. According to the company, many people submitted requests to photograph the building. Requests were declined due to the building's dilapidated state, but NW Natural displays professional photographs of the structure on their website; the demolition was completed in November 2015. The Gas & Coke Building is featured on the cover of Colin Meloy's 2012 novel, Under Wildwood. Meloy was a supporter of the preservation efforts for the building

Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs (Qatar)

The Qatari Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs is a Qatari government agency known as the Ministry of Endowments and Islamic Affairs and the Qatar Awqaf Authority, created in 1993 with the stated aim of “ensuring that all areas of modern life comply with the principles of Islam.” Despite the Ministry’s contributions to the promotion of Islam in Qatar and abroad, some of its investments have proved controversial. The current Minister is Ghaith bin Mubarak Al Kuwari; the Ministry’s mission includes collecting donations, increasing awareness and practice of Islam amongst Muslims and non-Muslims, supporting Islamic clergy, building and maintaining mosques. Many of the Ministry’s missions are carried out through the Qatar Islamic Cultural Center; the center is known as Abdulla Bin Zaid Al Mahmoud Islamic Cultural Center. The name was chosen in reference to the center’s missions to “act as a guiding light to mankind”. Abdulla Bin Zaid Al Mahmoud Islamic Cultural Center's Education Center offers courses in Arabic as a foreign language, Shariah Law, Islamic arts and calligraphy.

It delivers Introduction to Islam classes in a number of different languages, including Filipino, Sri Lankan and English. The center publishes the Muslim lifestyle magazine Baseera, distributes free Islamic books in multiple languages, live-streams English-language sermons online every Friday; the Ministry has invested in the construction of the cultural center and a large number of mosques, but holds shares in various Qatari corporations including Al Jazeera Finance, a Sharia-compliant financial institution established in 1989. Former minister Mohammad Abd al-Latif al-Mana was dismissed from the cabinet in 2005 following allegations that he had been involved in the illegal trading of Qatar Natural Gas Transport Company shares. Mohammad Abd al-Latif al-Mana was a co-founder of Retaj Marketing and Project Management in which the Ministry still owns a 20% stake; the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs has solicited the radical Sa'ad Ateeq al-Ateeq on several occasions. On Ramadan in 2010 the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs invited al-Ateeq to give sermons.

On May 2011 the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs invited Sa'ad Ateeq al-Ateeq to give sermons. One of his sermons is listed on the media section of the website of the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs. On February 2014 the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs tweeted that the Imam Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab Mosque was hosting another sermon by al-Ateeq. Sa'ad Ateeq al-Ateeq has called for the destruction of Shias, Christians and Jews and called for Muslims and Islam to be exalted in Qatar's Imam Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab Mosque on January 2015; this was advertised on the website of the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs and on the official Twitter account of the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs. Facebook page

Vacuum Oil Company

Vacuum Oil Company was an American oil company known for its Gargoyle 600-W Steam Cylinder Oil. Vacuum Oil merged with the Standard Oil Co of New York known as Socony Oil to form Socony-Vacuum Oil Company, is now a part of ExxonMobil. Vacuum Oil was founded in 1866 of Rochester, New York. Lubrication oil was an accidental discovery while attempting to distil kerosene. Everest noted. Soon after, the product became popular for use in internal-combustion engines. Ewing sold his interest to Everest. Vacuum was bought by Standard Oil in 1879, it originated the Mobil trademark in 1899. When Standard Oil was broken up in 1911 due to the Sherman Antitrust Act, Vacuum became an independent company again. Vacuum Oil and Standard Oil of New York merged in 1931, after the government gave up attempts to prevent it; the newly-combined entity, Socony-Vacuum Corp. was the world's third-largest oil company. During World War II, the Tschechowitz I & II subcamps of Auschwitz in Czechowice-Dziedzice provided forced labor for Vacuum Oil Company facilities in Poland which were captured and operated by Nazi Germany.

In 1955, the company became Socony Mobil Oil Company. In 1966, it was renamed Mobil Oil Corporation shortened to Mobil Corporation. In 1887, founder Hiram Bond Everest and son Charles M. Everest were charged with conspiracy to destroy competitor Buffalo Lubricating Oil Co, it was alleged that, having sold a three-quarter interest in their company to Standard Oil, they were attempting to destroy their rival's refinery, preventing it from manufacturing petroleum products, from acquiring Vacuum's skilled employees. One employee who had left Vacuum to work for Buffalo was Albert A. Miller, bribed to sabotage the new company's plant, causing an explosion. Hiram and Charles Everest were both found guilty, but there was insufficient evidence to prove the allegation that the Everests had acted under instructions from Standard Oil. In 1907, Vacuum Oil, Standard Oil, New York Central Railroad, Pennsylvania Railroad were all indicted for violations in Inter-State Commerce laws. Vacuum Oil was charged with shipping 228 cars of petroleum and petroleum products to Standard Oil at unlawful rates, via the New York Central and Pennsylvania railroads.

Documents and clippings about Vacuum Oil Company in the 20th Century Press Archives of the ZBW