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.

*Full ver­sion is avail­able on­line

Gabes will be re­mem­bered by all.

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