Pride in an­ces­try

Sunday Star-Times - - FOCUS -

Like Vaughn Hum­ber­stone (Let­ters, May 27), I’m very proud of my an­ces­tors.

In fact, I’ve just fin­ished a long ac­count of their three-month sail here in 1863.

He claims his fore­bears ‘‘worked very hard . . . for the benefit of all New Zealan­ders’’ when in re­al­ity they worked very hard for their sur­vival and to make Aotearoa into a mir­ror im­age of their own home­land.

My an­ces­tors, ten­ant farm­ers from Scot­land, were told they could buy a farm here, but for­got to ask the prove­nance of the land they were be­ing of­fered.

I am still mighty proud of them. But that doesn’t stop me from un­der­stand­ing the means by which they gained a foothold in this place and pros­pered.

I can’t rec­tify their mis­un­der­stand­ings, but I can know what they were, and who suf­fered be­cause of them.

Per­haps Eu­ro­peans did have no taste for can­ni­bal­ism, but we cer­tainly un­der­stood geno­cide. Think the hun­dreds of years of Euro­pean tribal wars, or Auschwitz 75 years back. Michael Keir-Mor­ris­sey,


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