Ancestor’s story wins
Nathan Tarei, 11, thought he was no good at writing but his national genealogy writing competition win proved otherwise.
Nathan entered the 2015 Schools Genealogy competition and won the year 1-8 written section.
The NZ Society of Genealogists competition drew more than 100 entries, mostly from primary schools across the country.
The topic was: What did you do in the war, Grandy?
His extension class at Putaruru Primary School had to write a piece about one of their ancestors who went to war.
His win was announced in his first week as a Putaruru College student.
‘‘I was happy but I was with my friends so I tried not to cry.’’
Nathan wrote about his great uncle, Wiremu Temete, who went to World War I.
‘‘We had this medal on the wall [at home] and I asked about it.’’
It took about three weeks of research through his family, online and in the library.
He found out Temete did not make it far into the war as he died from influenza.
‘‘Back then it was really bad,’’ Nathan said.
One of the judges, Triona Williamson, said it was his journey through the research that won it for him.
‘‘I think for Nathan it was a voyage of discovery.
She said his research led to a compelling story of his uncle’s battle with influenza before he made it to war. ‘‘I think that’s quite moving.’’ Williamson said Putaruru Primary School’s librarian, Lynne Richards, helped make his success a reality.
‘‘Without that sort of encouragement from the school, it’s a huge ask to ask a student of this age.’’
Winning pieces have been put up for display on the wall at the Family Research Centre in Auckland and published in the society’s magazine.
Talented Writer: Putaruru student Nathan Tarei, 11, used his skills to win the written section in the 2015 Schools Genealogy Competition.