Calling All Kiwi Heroes! Announcing The Perigo Prize!

Lindsay Perigo's picture
Submitted by Lindsay Perigo on Tue, 2007-05-22 23:55

There was a quite extraordinary fellow on television the other night. He once went tramping and got lost. For several nights he froze his posterior off. Whilst freezing he realised he and the outdoors fraternity generally needed better clothing for eventualities like this. He found his way back to town and started a business making some. Today that business is a multi-million dollar enterprise earning him a fortune, providing work for hundreds of locals, exporting all over the world. But it doesn't end there with this fellow. He was interviewed under the gaze of a huge grizzly bear, mounted but still menacing of countenance, that was mere yards away when he shot it. He has tangled with the scariest and deadliest and lived to tell the tale— and, in many instances, eat the meat: he loves meat! He is Steve Irwin with a gun. When asked what gave him the right to shoot these animals, he laughed dismissively. When told he was not very PC, he laughed even more dismissively. His incredulous, PC interviewer quoted him as saying that commercialising animals is the best way to guarantee their survival, not their extinction. I was incredulous too, though for reasons that differed from the interviewer's!

The guy is an old-fashioned hero, a rugged individualist, an archetype of whom one sighs wistfully, "They just don't make 'em like that any more."

Or do they? This fellow's real, isn't he?

He's real—and he's rare.

Singleminded, highminded dedication to rational values is as unusual as it is admirable.

Time was when most youngsters started out that way; nowadays even the young are steeped in cynicism and conformity. All that matters is getting along—with others whose heads are equally empty for fear of not getting along. The idea of standing up to be counted in any way whatsoever is as alien as the idea of melody in music. Yet—

"It is not in the nature of man—nor of any living entity—to start out by giving up, by spitting in one's own face and damning existence; that requires a process of corruption whose rapidity differs from man to man. Some give up at the first touch of prressure; some sell out; some run down by imperceptible degrees and lose their fire, never knowing when or how they lost it. Then all of these vanish in the vast swamp of their elders who tell them persistently that maturity consists of abandoning one's mind; security, of abandoning one's values; practicality, of losing self-esteem. Yet a few hold on and move on, knowing that that fire is not to be betrayed, learning how to give it shape, purpose and reality. But whatever their future, at the dawn of their lives, men seek a noble vision of man's nature and of life's potential. ... It does not matter that only a few in each generation will grasp and achieve the full reality of man's proper stature—and that the rest will betray it. It is those few that move the world and give life its meaning—and it is those few that I have always sought to address." (Ayn Rand.)

I am on the search to find one of those few and help him on his way. (I use "him" in the old-fashioned, grammatically correct, politically incorrect sense that includes "her.") I am all too aware that being a hero of the entrepreneurial kind enables one to flourish by dint of the very activity that makes one heroic; oftentimes, though, being a hero of the polemical, William Lloyd Garrison kind means being a pariah—unsung, unrewarded, villified. I want to find such a one, sing of him, reward him and applaud him.

I'm able to do this through the generosity and dedication to principle of a longtime Free Radical subscriber and quiet hero, Murray Lees, father of esteemed SOLOist newbie Mitch Lees. Murray wants to play his part in ensuring that those who make a difference in the battle for liberty and capitalism are not left to wilt under the slings and arrows of outrageous statists. He is inaugurating what I'm proud to say he's calling "The Perigo Prize" of $10,000 for a deserving New Zealand freedom-fighter. He has charged me with finding a worthy recipient. As of now, the search is on. The winning deed or deeds may not yet have been done—all New Zealanders are cordially invited to see these words as a challenge!

More details will follow in due course. Suffice it to say for now that, though the winner won't necessarily be an Objectivist to the letter, the spirit of the kind of hero I'm looking for is well captured in this excerpt from Joe Maurone's review of 300:

What Objectivism needs is to look to the Spartans in spirit. The Spartan lifestyle may be extreme, but it is instructive. Historically, the Spartans trained their bodies and minds against the elements, to bear pain, to stay hungry, to never surrender. Objectivists need to take this to heart. Its proponents must not hide from the fear. They must be true capitalists, yet they must not sell their souls. They must be diplomatic, yet they must not reason with the unreasonable. They must not accept the promises of wealth from self-proclaimed gods in exchange for subservience. They must remember the Spartans of their own inspirations, the Howard Roarks and John Galts, who neither served nor kneeled, who could not be tempted by the Wynands and Tooheys, who could not turn on their own ideals for a comfortable lifestyle. There is "Kira's Viking," who also neither submitted or yielded, who was fiction yet truer than any iconic heavy metal barbarian. There is a story of an "ideal” who visited those who proclaim to love her. Some betrayed her; some did not even recognize her. Some accepted her on the condition that she cease to be an ideal. Objectivism is not a game or Platonic fiction. It is a method, a philosophy for living on Earth. When you meet the idea, how will you greet her?

In my case, thanks to the good graces of Murray Lees, I'm inordinately proud and privileged to be able to say, "With The Perigo Prize!"

Come unto me, extraordinary fellows and fellowesses!

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Too bad about that. More

Rick Giles's picture

Too bad about that.

More patrons required.


Lindsay Perigo's picture

It was all dispersed, quietly, hither and thither.


Rick Giles's picture

Is this Perigo Prize still an ongoing concern?

(Sounds like Mr Lees has had a bad 2010 so far.)

Lol - Marcus, that was me

MikeE's picture

Lol - Marcus, that was me and two of my mates.

Nothing to do with STANZ, just an ACT on Campus person (Ben Smith) and a clubber (Will Seal)

Thank you

Peter Cresswell's picture

"I should say that $1500 of PP money has already gone to the FreeRad..."

And very gratefully received it was. Thank you all. Smiling

Good stuff.

Lindsay Perigo's picture

But not quite a $10,000 prize's worth.

I should say that $1500 of PP money has already gone to the FreeRad, but we've decided to keep the prize at ten grand anyway. And I'm pretty much decided as to where it should go.

That was our friend Mike

Peter Cresswell's picture

That was our friend Mike Early and his chum in (I think) the Social Tonics Association.

By the way. This story made it into the Sunday Times today.

Marcus's picture

I don't know who was responsible, but it was a good hoax that has even reached the Sunday Times' Atticus column over here in the UK.

"If you think our lot are bad . . . a New Zealand MP has written to the country’s health ministry on behalf of a constituent to ask about a possible ban on the chemical dihydrogen monoxide. The reply from a junior health minister was commendably brief: “Dihydrogen monoxide is water.”

For your consideration: NZSAS Corporal Bill (Big Willy) Apiata

Jameson's picture

Corporal Apiata was blown off his vehicle along with Corporal “D”, who suffered a life-threatening arterial wound, during a firefight against al Qaeda forces in Afghanistan. Apiata saved the life of his fallen comrade, carrying him 70m across rocky terrain swept by machine gun and RPG fire, before returning to assist in the counterattack.

Surprisingly, it’s the first Victoria Cross - the highest recognition for gallantry in the commonwealth – to be awarded to a member of the Special Air Service in any commonwealth nation.

Corporal "D" survived his wounds and has returned to active al Qaeda KASSing duty.


Jesus Kenny!

Robert's picture

Have a heart mate! I just had lunch!

Phil the necrophiliac

Kenny's picture

Phil wrote "Why I Knew I Owe Mata Hari a Good Fuck". He must be desperate! I hear that Barbara Branden is single. Smiling


Liz's picture

I appreciate the warm welcome. I recently graduated from school, so should have a bit more
time to be active on SOLO. I do consider myself an objectivist but I still have much to learn
and integrate in my life.

By the way- Santa is meant to be a compliment.
Please keep us updated on your search for the winner of the Perigo Prize. Santa.



Lindsay Perigo's picture

Bless you too! I note you've been a member for over a year. Don't be such a stranger! Smiling


Make My Day

Liz's picture

This gave me goose bumps upon reading.
This is why SOLO is here.

Bless you Linz


Jameson's picture

How long did you spend trying to make that work Phil?

> an extra point for any

PhilipC's picture

> an extra point for any American who can pronounce Wainuiomata correctly.

Why I Knew I Owe Mata Hari a Good Fuck

Captain Sir Richard Francis Burton

Suma's picture

Hi Jameson,
KASS explorer indeed. I had read an abridged "for kids" biography (with lots of beautiful illustrations) long long ago, which was why I checked out the movie. I remember that as a kid I was most impressed by his visit to the Kaaba in disguise - it is an original spy story. I found an unabridged audio version of his biography by Byron Farwell, and it is on my audible next listen list - should make for good workout listening.

Hi Claudia,
I'm with you on the scars. And yes, those types do seem to test the limits of human endurance - physical and mental - and reading about them is the best pick-me-up I know of. I recall that after seeing the movie I had to do something physically strenous right away; exploring Africa was not an option, so I ran ~10 miles. I was reviewing his entry on wikipedia yesterday; I think one can make 4 or 5 awesome adventure movies based on his life.


"Do what thy manhood bids thee do, from none but self expect applause..." Captain Sir Richard Francis Burton (Source:

Video online

Peter Cresswell's picture

Ah, here's your man:
He looks like a some sort of Scottish Viking, striding through mountainous terrain with his long blond hair and his kilt. But Davey Hughes is from Wainuiomata and he is a Kiwi bloke, through and through.

See the video online here: 'The Wild Man From Levin.'

Oh, and an extra point for any American who can pronounce Wainuiomata correctly.


Cheers, Peter Cresswell

* * * *

**Setting Brushfires In People's Minds**

**Integrating Architecture With Your Site**


Peter Cresswell's picture

Bravo to Mr Lees! And his own son must surely be a candidate for this year's prize?

Cheers, Peter Cresswell

* * * *

**Setting Brushfires In People's Minds**

**Integrating Architecture With Your Site**

Hi Suma...

Olivia's picture

Mountains of the Moon is brilliant. Full scale adventure and passion for life. It's one of my favourite films ever. It always impresses me how these types of men barely escape horrible deaths - only to plan another adventure as quickly as possible! And the scars, oh the scars... terribly sexy aren't they. Eye

Captain Sir Richard Francis Burton

Jameson's picture

He's one of my heroes, Suma, arguably the KASS explorer of all time! The movie is indeed magnificent - one of my all time favourites, so good in fact it inspired me to read his biography. The film is quite accurate (covered in one extensively detailed chapter of an extraordinary and adventurous life) although they did combine his two expeditions into the African interior. The cover portrait sports the scar on his cheek that he received when Somalis attacked his camp and tossed a spear through his face, splitting his palate and knocking out half a dozen teeth. In true swashbuckling style Burton bit down on the spear and proceeded to defend himself with pistol and sabre, surviving a total of eleven wounds. Can we award the Perigo Prize posthumously?

Checked out the 60 minutes.

Suma's picture

Checked out the 60 minutes. Davey Hughes does indeed remind one of Richard Burton (as portrayed in the movie, "Mountains of the Moon"), the explorer who almost discovered Lake Victoria, the source of the river Nile. The movie is very good. I'm not sure how historically accurate it is: but it provides a glimpse of 19th century England, when explorers were like pop stars, and women would line up to listen to their stories and see their scars!

All the Kiwis I know are computer engineers/scientists; other than Edmund Hillary, who I met when I was a kid.


[Edited: Changed 18th century to 19th century]

Claudia and I saw him too...

Jameson's picture

racing across the mountain tundra in his kilt with musket in hand... Davey Huges is his name! You can watch the 60 Minutes item online. A truly inspiring character indeed...

Way to go Lindsay and Murray! Great idea! When's the cut off date for entries?

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