Save the whales
By NERIDA BLOK
HE MAY only be five years old, but Mahdi Manar has more than Lego on his mind.
The Wyrallah Road Public School kindergarten student in Lismore was so concerned by news reports of whales being killed by the Japanese, he spent two afternoons collecting more than 80 signatures for a petition to send to the 'boss of Australia ? John Howard'.
"I want him to stop the Japanese hurting and killing whales," said Mahdi, of Lismore.
"They were banned from killing whales and they didn't listen. I just hope this stops them."
Mahdi said he gathered the signatures for his petition after school from students at the Trinity bus interchange and the Lismore Skate Park.
He said whales were worth saving. They were 'a pretty important thing for the Earth'.
"Because they eat the plankton and the fish and without them there would be too much fish and too much plankton," he said.
While pinning his hopes on John Howard, Mahdi was not too confident about the Prime Minister's ability or leadership.
"I hope to be a better boss of Australia when I am older," he said.
Mahdi's mother Melanie Manar was not surprised by her son's display of environmental activism.
Melanie said she had received a note from his teacher, saying Mahdi had been talking about the whales for two days at school and he had been encouraging other kids to learn more about them.
"He just came home and was asking me what he could do to save the whales. I explained people sometimes did a petition when they wanted to get support to make changes," she said.
Melanie said he decided that was what he would do 'so that night I helped him draw one up'.
Sue Arnold, of Myocum, is another North Coast resident doing her part to save the whales.
Yesterday, Ms Arnold travelled to Korea in a bid to convince the International Whaling Convention (IWC) to reject Japan's push to resume commercial whaling. The IWC meeting runs for four days from Monday, June 20 to Friday, June 24.