Salient: Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 30, No. 5. 1967.
Newsmen Were aghast last week when the Mayor of Wellington (Sir Francis Kittschester) announced his intention to fly to the moon in a dustbin. Sir Francis, who is 94, said he intended to make the attempt this year in a New Zealand-made dustbin with the intention of publicising the Hastings Blossom Festival and proving that the Age of Stupidity is not dead.
When asked what safety measures would be taken Sir Francis (who is 94) answered that for several weeks now he and his loyal retainer Neville Puker have been practising an escape procedure. This requires the 94-year-old Sir Francis to scream and kick violently on the inside of the dustbin whereupon the everpresent Puker will whip off the lid in two and a half hours flat.
Questioned whether there are to be holes in the dustbin Sir Francis, who doesn't look a day above ninety although he is 94, quipped "All New Zealand-made dustbins have holes in them, I should say that our dustbins are the best ventilated in the New Zealand Empire and that includes Petone!"
The finance for this project, is said to be in the region of £10,000, and has come from an unnamed source. Press reaction has been as follows:
"The people of this fare country, this Welfair State jewle set in a shimmering sea, saloot this Flying Dustman and say "MAy god be with you on your jurny, may ...' "
"It will be noticed that Sir Francis in using an unlicensed dustbin is rendering himself liable to fifty demerit points. Clearly this is absurd and the Legislature should have foreseen this particuar difficulty. Here we will have a situation where a tried and tested public figure will be lectured to by an eighteen year old Health Department official and be told that if he tries to go to the moon in a dustbin once more he will amass enough points to be removed to the Porirua home for lunatics. (Maybe there is something to be said for this or not as the case may be)."
"He is a courageous old twit who ought to know better."
In a statement issued today Mr. Holyoake commented "I am delighted that Sir Francis (who is, according to my information, 124 years old) is going to the moon. I am sure he will be remembered with affection by every rose grower in the south of the North Island.''