Carv­ing years in the mak­ing

The Hutt News - - FRONT PAGE - STAFF RE­PORTER

‘‘This is the cul­mi­na­tion of a 41⁄ year jour­ney which started from dis­cus­sions at a par­ent hui around how we could tan­gi­bly show what our school stood for to all who en­tered its gates.’’

At first light and to the sound of bird­song an im­por­tant part of a school’s his­tory was un­veiled near the banks of Hutt River.

Bel­mont School’s new­est ad­di­tion, a gate­way carv­ing called te ko¯tuku, was wel­comed by a crowd of about 100 peo­ple early yes­ter­day morn­ing.

Af­ter the carv­ing’s bless­ing, which has pride of place at the school’s main en­trance, prin­ci­pal Robin Thom­son ex­plained that the cre­ation was more than four years in the mak­ing.

‘‘This is the cul­mi­na­tion of a 41⁄ year jour­ney which started from dis­cus­sions at a par­ent hui around how we could tan­gi­bly show what our school stood for to all who en­tered its gates.

‘‘Stu­dents, staff and fam­i­lies shared their ideas about how we might show what suc­ceed­ing to­gether looked and felt like to us, how spe­cial our en­vi­ron­ment was, how the school wel­comed, em­braced and cel­e­brated all who came through its gates, how im­por­tant it is to hon­our those who came be­fore us, cel­e­brate the present and look for­ward to the fu­ture for our stu­dents.

‘‘The ideas from all the dif­fer­ent part­ners of our school com­mu­nity have been in­ter­preted and sym­bol­i­cally rep­re­sented by a very skilled carver us­ing to¯tara.’’

Thom­son said it was a sig­nif­i­cant oc­ca­sion in the life of the school.

‘‘It’s re­ally emo­tional to fi­nally see it with ev­ery­one here. It’s not just a piece of art­work, it’s who we are.’’

The wood for the to¯tara carv­ing came from the cen­tral North Is­land. Parts of the carv­ing rep­re­sented the nearby Hutt River, the Tuku­tuku Ranges, as well as new be­gin­nings and cu­rios­ity.

The main head of the carv­ing was of the ko¯tuku bird, also known as the heron, rep­re­sented knowl­edge and wis­dom, while the top edges rep­re­sented its wing tips.

The school’s youngest fe­male stu­dent, five-year-old Sanah Kriti Prem Manoj helped un­veil the carv­ing, at dawn, then the gath­ered crowd filed past the carv­ing to help give it life, ahead of a full school as­sem­bly to wel­come te ko¯tuku.

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