Kia ora whanau me nga whanaunga on this Anzac Day for 2017.
Left my house here about ¼ to 6, complete with my tokotoko and my torch but no one had arrived at the marae yet so I kept on going on to Te Tawa where Russell was ready to leave for the marae as well. He is the flag person and raises and lowers the flag at the appropriate times while Bella, Mina’s daughter plays the Last Post on her huge cassette player.
We had quite a large contingent of locals and some of the Ngatiwai whanau from Ngaiotonga Marae as well as several from the Russell RSA.
Kanuta Puru was present and I asked him to do the karakia followed by a welcoming mihi to everyone by Hohepa, Auntie Ka’s son. Hone Matenga, the local Apotoro opened with a prayer followed by Kanuta Puru who conducted the Lord’s Prayer in Maori as well as in English. Binnie (Shirley’s sister) from Russell arrived with two wreaths made by her and nga mokopuna which added to the solemnity of the occasion. Mina had also laid a wreath she had brought over for display. It was a lovely still morning, not cold but just nice, not shivery weather!
My mind went back over the previous years when Russell RSA would arrive with all their grog, either in the two buses or by launch – they would also bring their musical instruments and we’d have a jig around after breakfast – such lovely memories. But then as time went on, the Marae trustees at that time disallowed alcohol on the marae, so that tradition was wiped!!
I thought of our previous kaumaatua – Uncle Walter, Uncle Kawhi, Uncle Mac, Uncle George, Uncle Arthur,the cousins from Russell RSA and so many others, then after breakfast, we’d all invade the Russell RSA so that was a lost day or two for this kuia!
Now, in our diningroom at the marae, we have a Roll Board of Honour with names of many of our relations who served in previous years. I got Uncle Arthur to explain who they all were to me, and I thought I would list them out because they are relevant to our whanau from home here, and it’s just good to view them and see who they all are. I’ll do them on a separate page.
No reira e te whanau I’ll forward this on to Anya to send to you all and I’ll finish off the names listed on the Memorial Board and send them to Anya to forward on.
No reira e te whanau heoi ano taku Ripoata mo tenei Ra Whakamaharatanga moo o tatou whanaunga/ maatua, tuupuna i haere ki te Pakanga i nga ra o mua.
Noho ora mai kotou i raro i te arohanoa o to tatou Matua nui i te Rangi,
Na te kuia nei x x x