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.

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