William Kidd

William Kidd known as Captain William Kidd or Captain Kidd, was a Scottish sailor, tried and executed for piracy after returning from a voyage to the Indian Ocean. Some modern historians, for example Sir Cornelius Neale Dalton, deem his piratical reputation unjust. Kidd was born in Scotland. Greenock was given as his place of birth, his age as 41 in testimony under oath at the High Court of the Admiralty in October 1694 or 1695. A local society supported the family financially after the death of the father; the myth that his "father was thought to have been a Church of Scotland minister" has been discounted, insofar as there is no mention of the name in comprehensive Church of Scotland records for the period. Others still hold the contrary view. Kidd settled in the newly anglicized New York City, where he befriended many prominent colonial citizens, including three governors; some published information suggests that he was a seaman's apprentice on a pirate ship during this time, before partaking in his more famous seagoing exploits.

By 1689, Kidd was a member of a French–English pirate crew sailing the Caribbean under Captain Jean Fantin. During one of their voyages and other crew members mutinied, ousting the captain and sailing to the British colony of Nevis. There they renamed the ship Blessed William, Kidd became captain either as a result of election by the ship's crew, or by appointment of Christopher Codrington, governor of the island of Nevis. Captain Kidd, an experienced leader and sailor by that time, the Blessed William became part of Codrington's small fleet assembled to defend Nevis from the French, with whom the English were at war; the governor did not pay the sailors for their defensive services, telling them instead to take their pay from the French. Kidd and his men attacked the French island of Marie-Galante, destroying its only town and looting the area, gathering for themselves around 2,000 pounds sterling. During the War of the Grand Alliance, on commissions from the provinces of New York and Massachusetts Bay, Kidd captured an enemy privateer off the New England coast.

Shortly afterwards, he was awarded £150 for successful privateering in the Caribbean, one year Captain Robert Culliford, a notorious pirate, stole Kidd's ship while he was ashore at Antigua in the West Indies. In 1695, William III of England appointed Richard Coote, 1st Earl of Bellomont, governor in place of the corrupt Benjamin Fletcher, known for accepting bribes to allow illegal trading of pirate loot. In New York City, Kidd was active in the building of New York. On 16 May 1691, Kidd married Sarah Bradley Cox Oort, an English woman in her early twenties, twice widowed and was one of the wealthiest women in New York because of her inheritance from her first husband. On 11 December 1695, Bellomont was governing New York and New Hampshire, he asked the "trusty and well beloved Captain Kidd" to attack Thomas Tew, John Ireland, Thomas Wake, William Maze, all others who associated themselves with pirates, along with any enemy French ships, it would have been viewed as disloyalty to the crown to turn down this request, carrying much social stigma, making it difficult for Kidd to say no.

The request preceded the voyage which established Kidd's reputation as a pirate and marked his image in history and folklore. Four-fifths of the cost for the venture was paid for by noble lords, who were among the most powerful men in England: the Earl of Orford, the Baron of Romney, the Duke of Shrewsbury, Sir John Somers. Kidd was presented with a letter of marque, signed by King William III of England; this letter reserved 10% of the loot for the Crown, Henry Gilbert's The Book of Pirates suggests that the King may have fronted some of the money for the voyage himself. Kidd and his acquaintance Colonel Robert Livingston orchestrated the whole plan. Kidd had to sell his ship Antigua to raise funds; the new ship, Adventure Galley, was well suited to the task of catching pirates, weighing over 284 tons burthen and equipped with 34 cannon, 150 men. The oars were a key advantage, as they enabled Adventure Galley to manoeuvre in a battle when the winds had calmed and other ships were dead in the water.

Kidd took pride in selecting the crew, choosing only those whom he deemed to be the best and most loyal officers. As the Adventure Galley sailed down the Thames, Kidd unaccountably failed to salute a Navy yacht at Greenwich, as custom dictated; the Navy yacht fired a shot to make him show respect, Kidd's crew responded with an astounding display of impudence – by turning and slapping their backsides in. Because of Kidd's refusal to salute, the Navy vessel's captain retaliated by pressing much of Kidd's crew into naval service, despite rampant protests, thus short-handed, Kidd sailed for New York City. To make up for the lack of officers, Kidd picked up replacement crew in New York, the vast majority of whom were known and hardened criminals, some undoubtedly former pirates. Among Kidd's officers was his quartermaster Hendrick van der Heul; the quartermaster was considered "second in command" to the captain in pirate culture of this era. It is not clear, however, if van der Heul exercised this degree of responsibility, because Kidd was nominally a privateer.

Van der Heul is noteworthy because he may have been African or of African descent. A contemporary source describes him as a "small black Man". If van der Heul was indeed of African ancestry, this fact would make him the highes

G. H. Cunningham

Gordon Herriot Cunningham, CBE, FRS was the first New Zealand-based mycologist and plant pathologist. In 1936 he was appointed the first director of the DSIR Plant Diseases Division. Cunningham established the New Zealand Fungal Herbarium, he published extensively on taxonomy of many fungal groups, he is regarded as the'Father' of New Zealand mycology. In his life, he was a boxer, gold prospector, horticulturist and Gallipoli veteran. Following this colourful early life, ‘G. H. Cunn.’ joined the Biological Laboratory staff at the Department of Agriculture in 1919 as a mycologist, began a systematic survey of plant diseases in New Zealand. He began his work classifying fungi. In 1925, he published the first New Zealand work on plant diseases, Fungous Diseases of Fruit Trees in New Zealand; when the Biological Laboratory was moved from Wellington to Palmerston North in 1928 to become the Plant Research Station, Cunningham became the head of a mycology laboratory. The Plant Research Station disbanded in 1936, Cunningham become the director of the DSIR Plant Diseases Division.

Cunningham produced definitive monographs of New Zealand Gasteromycetes, Polyporaceae and Uredinales. He made major contributions to plant pathology in New Zealand with therapeutics and naming of pathogens. In the 1949 King's Birthday Honours, Cunningham was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire for services in the field of plant research and plant diseases. In 2004, Landcare Research named the rooms hosting the New Zealand Fungal Herbarium at its Auckland site the GH Cunningham Mycology Suite in his honour

Cha Kwo Ling

Cha Kwo Ling is a hill in the eastern New Kowloon of Hong Kong, the area around it. It is adjacent to Victoria Harbour and located to southwest of Lam Tin. Administratively, it belongs to the Kwun Tong District; the northeastern entrance to the Eastern Harbour Crossing is located in this area. The Cha Kwo Ling Village, described as one of the last squatter villages in Hong Kong, has a population of 2,400, it is located 1.4 km northwest of Lei Yue Mun, adjacent to the Laguna City development. It lies at the foot of the hill and stretches along Cha Kwo Ling Road, built on reclaimed land and separates the village from the coast. Cha Kwo Ling derives its name from the abundance of macaranga tanarius in the area, the leaves of which are used in the process of making cha kwo, a traditional Hakka snack. Cha Kwo Ling Village was established. Cha Kwo Ling became a major Hakka settlement after the establishment of Victoria City in 1841; the foundation of city drew a large demand of stone. Skillful Hakka people set up a quarry in the stone-rich Cha Kwo Ling.

It was one of the 13 major village districts in eastern New Kowloon. The usage of new building materials made the demand for stone drop; the population profile changed during the Civil War in China, when penniless refugees from mainland China settled in and around the original mining village, building makeshift shacks in a maze of dark alleys. At its peak between the 1950s and the 1970s, the village had a population of about 20,0000. Between 1983 and 2006, three big fires burned down many of the squatter houses and many villagers were relocated to public housing estates. There is a Tin Hau Temple along Cha Kwo Ling Road, next to Cha Kwo Ling Village. Built near the coast in Cha Kwo Ling in 1825, during the Qing Dynasty, it was destroyed by a typhoon in 1912; the image of Tin Hau was transferred to a shack nearby and remained there for thirty years. A new temple was built on the old site in 1941 with funds raised by the local villagers of Si Shan. However, the temple was demolished in 1947 to give way for the construction of an oil tank of Asiatic Petroleum Company Limited.

At the request of the local residents, a new temple was built at the present site. The current temple opened in 1948, it has been managed by the Chinese Temples Committee since then. The building is constructed of granite blocks, uncommon in Hong Kong, its roofs have been covered with brown ceramic tiles in a 1999 renovation. Two rocks stand in front of the Tin Hau Temple. Shaped like two testicles, they have been named "Fung Shui Rocks", "Child-Giving Rocks" or "Stone of Fertility", are believed to bless those who pray to them for sons. Law Mansion, located at Nos. 50A, 51 & 51A Cha Kwo Ling Road, is a village house in the centre of Cha Kwo Ling Village. Constructed in 1855 of locally quarried granite, it is the oldest surviving residential building in Cha Kwo Ling; the nearest MTR stations are Yau Tong Station. Minibus lines connect Cha Kwo Ling to the stations