In late December of 1974 Joseph Rooke, aged 33, walked into Irene Zeier's hairdressing salon and related to her many of his life's adventures. A very few years later her son, John, came to work part time at Joe Langford's where Joseph also worked. As they became familiar John reminded Joseph that his mother had once cut his hair and at the same time claimed to have listened to a pack of lies. Lies they may have seemed but what has transpired since makes these alleged untruths seem as insignificant.
Let me firstly remind Opotiki readers that Joseph Rooke enrolled on the Maori Electoral Roll then voted for Mana Motu Hake on Election Day in the early eighties. Were John Burdett, National Party president, alive today he'd bear full witness. Angela Rooke, at about four years of age, has some vague memory of the details, embarrassing though some were to a few Opotiki residents. Winston Peters, when exposed to the truth and details by Joseph Rooke himself, at a rugby match in Whakatane, didn't believe there to be truth in the story.
In 2001 Joseph Rooke stood in the same seat as the current prime minister of Australia, Kevin Rudd, in the Federal Elections. This same candidate was several thousand feet over the electorate on his way out of Australia to be with daughters Angela and Jennifer in Dubai as the polling booths opened. Check a website and you'll note that this Joseph Rooke gained 542 votes by people he had never met nor knew anything of. Why such a big number; well, drawn number one out of the barrel is my guess?
And to finish today let the writer expose the truth of the 2007 Australian Federal Elections. Under a name granted by deed poll in November 2001, this same person hitch-hiked from Toowoomba in Queensland to the then prime minister's seat of Bennelong in N. S. W. to seek nomination. This nomination process requires acquisition of, at minimum, 50 signatures, a payment to the Electoral Commission and a presentation deadline of 12 noon on a specific day. The nomination was handed in at 1151 hours. Mission accomplished and nomination accepted, Election Day was spent driving a taxi, mainly ferrying passengers to various polling booths. Did he vote for himself, or better still, did he vote at all? Well, that's for the A. E. C. to find out! How many votes did he gain? About 90 odd is my reckoning and not so bad considering this time he was drawn number nine out of the barrel (John Howard, no. 10) and was a thousand miles away on the day. Be reminded folks, this writer may well be attempting to expose the farce of his country's compulsory voting regulation! That's all for today, Sunday, from here in sunny dusty Addis Abeba!