Carving 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.’’
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.