One shining star remembered by many
Gabriel Wharehinga was fighter, a warrior, a leader.
The 2015 Taupo-Nui-a-Tia head boy inspired many people with his courageous attitude to life as he came to terms with cancer.
It claimed his life on August 7 and more than 1200 people attended his funeral last week at a marae in Taupo, something his parents Dennis and Eunice drew great comfort from.
Last Friday Dennis logged onto Gabes’ Facebook account and saw there were 500 messages from people whose lives had been a touched by Gabes.
‘‘I didn’t even know he had that many friends,’’ Dennis said.
Gabes was 19-years-old when he died. He had an older brother Sabian and two younger brothers Brodie and Lance.
His parents said Gabes showed signs of leadership, even at primary school.
He set his goal to be a college head boy when he was still at intermediate. His hard work payed off when he became head boy for Taupo-Nui-a-Tia in 2015.
Gabes was also involved with kapa haka, rugby, basketball, and the drama room was his second home. He was very involved in Youth Town.
Gabes had friends from rugby and drama friends and even adult friends. Hardly any of them intermingled, their only thing in common was Gabes.
But life dealt Gabes a blow in 2015 when he was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma. He was just 17 years old.
On the last day of school for 2015, Gabes got the good news he had beaten cancer.
But Christmas 2016, a fews days after running around playing basketball, the pain was back.
During this tough time for the family, the support from the Taupo community has kept them going.
Taupo-nui-a-Tia welcomed Gabes to lie in their Marae for a day and a night and when it came to be taken to his family Marae he was taken to the drama room for one last time before being place on stage – a place where he shone bright.
A haka was done with him on stage.
With his love of drama so strong, Taupo-nui-a-Tia will forever remember him, when they pray to their drama god – who is now Gabriel Wharehinga.
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Gabes will be remembered by all.