Back in the 1990s when our once largest circulation newspaper Truth finally went belly-up, I bought the bound pre-war copies from the receivers for $15,000.

These large volumes of broadsheet size papers make wonderful reading about an age when values were certainly different.

For example, perusing the 1941 collection, I read a report of a complaint from the outraged Wellington Society for the Protection of Women and Children at the Labour Government’s rumoured wicked intention to abandon flogging criminals.

Some of the court reports are a delight. 56 year old Archibald Stewart was described in the Christchurch Magistrates Court as “solving the problem of perpetual motion.” “The course he follows is a set one,” according to the Magistrate, “the ambit being the court to gaol, gaol to the streets, then from the streets to the court” and so on in perpetuity.

“Three months with hard labour,” the magistrate then declared.

“Thankyou Sir,” said Archibald stepping down.

Finally, a delightful American report from New Jersey of a young fellow who was almost drowned after testing his uncle’s invention, namely pills which prevent drowning.


The only sure cure for drowning is Terra Firma. It also works for fear of flying – the more Firma, the less Terra. When I was at Penrose High School, the ‘naughty boys’ all read the Truth, but only for the salacious bits of the court reports. I was too busy playing cricket and being an engineering workshop monitor for such things but obviously I did miss some good reading.


Thanks SB. Can you imagine what the folk back then would think if they read the papers of today? Extreme left, racist govt policies, rampant crime, PC woke BS, every govt entity in ‘crisis’, degradation of society & the blatant (or not so blatant) attack on democracy that those folk would have sacrificed so much to achieve. Think to, what my children will think reading the same papers of today in 20-30 years time? they would rightly ask, what happened to our once relatively peaceful society?, how did this happen?, what did my parents do to try and stop it? or did the whole country just roll over like a blind puppy and let its tyrannical leader destroy an entire country for her own selfish agenda?. Oh how far we have slipped.

Plenty of perpetual motion machines these days wandering about.

If we could just harness their energy we wouldn’t have to bother with fusion or renewable energy storage solutions.

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