Mailnews_old

Views 82 Votes 0 Comment 0
?

Shortcut

PrevPrev Article

NextNext Article

Larger Font Smaller Font Up Down Go comment Print
?

Shortcut

PrevPrev Article

NextNext Article

Larger Font Smaller Font Up Down Go comment Print
austraLasia #2979

For Samoa: Friday 30 December 2011 will simply  not exist!

APIA: 30 December 2011 -- It is once in a lifetime we can bring you a news item like this! For Samoa's 186,000 citizens, and that includes not a few Salesians, anyone born on December 30th will see their birthday cancelled. It's thought there are about 755 of them involved. What's worse is that employers will have to pay workers for a day that did not exist, but on the bright side, hotel guests will not be charged for an extra night.  Why all this kerfuffle? At midnight tonight, Samoa and Tokelau switch to the other side of the dateline. Samoa, currently 11 hours behind GMT, 21 hours behind Eastern Australia and a further two hours behind New Zealand, will be one hour ahead of Wellington and three hours ahead of Sydney after the switch. The final hour of Thursday 29 December will see carols, prayers and a speech from Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi as the nation prepares to jump straight to New Year's Eve.

So let's hear from Fr Nick Castelijns, a long-time Salesian missionary in these islands. Nick has been quiet for a year - they made him Rector and that seems to have slowed him down :-), but he has 'opped up' again and is again writing in his inimitable style.  We might even run the rest of his newsy letter later this week, but for now, let's hear him out on what a small island can do with time....

"Daylight saving - ever heard of daylight saving in the Tropics? (only in Samoa ….) was supposed to end on Sunday April 2nd, but we were surprised to hear on Saturday April 1st that we were back to normal time. And it was not an April joke either (only in Samoa ….). Everyone was quite happy to see the end of it, quietly wishing it would go away and die a quiet death. But NO, daylight saving returned in September. It seems to take the Samoan body clock about a month to get used to it,
especially in the morning, when it comes to buses travelling to Apia from the country villages. A much bolder move was the Act of Parliament to move Samoa to the Western hemisphere, to the other side of the date line. Instead of being 21 hrs behind Australia we will then be 3 hrs ahead and the day starts with us! It makes eminent business sense, as Samoa loses about three business days a week over the weekend.
We will be on the same day as our trading partners Australia, New Zealand, Tonga, Fiji – and don’t forget CHINA! -
When will it happen? On the 29 December (actually on 30th December 02.00 hrs). We will skip Friday 30th and go straight into the 31st. So In Samoa the last week of the year will have only 6 days, the month of December 30 days, and 2011 364 days.
And don’t ring or email us on the 30th: we won’t be there! Like the road switch two years ago it is well publicised, and apart from those having a birthday on the 30th there will be few disturbance.
Banks have let their clients know that they will not be disadvantaged".

And then a little Christmas cheer from Nick:

"Somehow the 23rd of October is etched in my mind. It was the day the rainy season started – a few weeks late – and the beginning of the Christmas season according to Mr Business. The first Christmas songs belted out in the market and in the  supermarkets. Not the kind of music I like. Jingle bells, the drummer boy, I’ll be home for Christmas, we wish you a merry Christmas, Feliz Navidad, etc in any rhythm and beat and boom boom boom – and you can hear the cash registers ringing in the background! Fortunately the churches provide a more spiritual and serene preparation befitting the upcoming Feast".