Po­ran­ga­hau re­mem­bers the lost

CHB Mail - - Property Brokers - BY RANGIWHIUA NGATAI Con­tracts and Ven­dor Re­la­tions Ad­vi­sor - NZ Defence Col­lege

The com­mu­nity of Po­ran­ga­hau did them­selves proud, work­ing to­gether to re­vive their World War Memo­rial town hall.

The day be­fore the open­ing, the com­mu­nity spirit shone through as the Hall Com­mit­tee mem­bers Heather Tu­taki, Carol Slingsby, Jan Saun­ders and David Darby were dress­ing the ta­bles in red and black, with pop­pies.

Red harakeke roses made by Roseanne Tahu­pare were placed throughout the hall and pho­tos of World War I and World War II soldiers from Po­ran­ga­hau po­si­tioned on a ta­ble. Food for the day was gath­ered by div­ing for seafood and pro­duce from lo­cal farm­ers.

In the evening Paul Sci­as­cia and I tested the flag poles that had been stropped to the front bol­lards, im­pro­vis­ing un­til the lo­cal coun­cil in­stalled the poles that will stand for many more cer­e­monies — the fi­nal ad­di­tion to the hall’s out­side up­grade de­sign by Ni­cola Hen­der­sen.

The next day the lo­cal Vol­un­teer Fire Ser­vice were set­ting up the out­side in their No1s, po­lice­man John Singer in his uni­form with a Peace Keep­ers’ beret and the lo­cal women adding the fin­ish­ing touches to the hall.

Matu Steven was the Mas­ter of Cer­e­monies. As peo­ple gath­ered at 10am, the sound of kaikaranga ini­ti­ated the be­gin­ning of the cer­e­mony and their cries of re­mem­brance of loved ones, our tı¯puna could be felt.

Ran­gi­tane Tipene opened with karakia, then fam­ily mem­bers shared sto­ries of an an­ces­tor who fought in the wars.

Paul Sci­as­cia shared the mean­ing of his name La Bassee (Bel­gium) where his great un­cle Charles Sci­as­cia was killed in 1917.

I spoke about the sign­ing of the Armistice on the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month 1918 and a little his­tory of the Western Front.

I then touched on all the ko¯ rero from each of the re­spec­tive speak­ers. The last speaker, who fought in Malaysia, talked of how the fight for them never ended and fol­lowed them home.

I talked about PTSD and the ef­fects it has on soldiers, their fam­i­lies and the cy­cle that past wars may have cre­ated and af­fected lives, whether it be World War I, World War II, Malaysia, or Viet­nam.

I also spoke of the two flags — con­fed­er­ated flag of the United Tribes and the New Zealand flag — fly­ing side by side and how the com­mu­nity re­flected these two flags by work­ing to­gether to achieve a com­mon cause, demon­strat­ing one com­mu­nity ko­tahi­tanga [to­geth­er­ness].

I had the chil­dren who were to read the names of the war he­roes af­ter the low­er­ing of the flags. At 11am the flags were low­ered fol­lowed by two min­utes’ si­lence.

Stu­dents from CHB Col­lege — Tau­rito Hu­tana, Anna Dou­glas, with Tan­garoa Tu­taki and So­phie Hunter plus two Flem­ing­ton School pupils read the names of those who died.

From there ev­ery­one moved through the en­trance of mem­o­ries, which was a col­lec­tive vi­sion by Carol Slingsby, chair of Hall Com­mit­tee and Su­san Hig­gin­son.

Then a few more for­mal­i­ties and kai to bring ev­ery­one back down to earth and en­joy the day of re­mem­brance.

Thank you Whaea Ma­rina Sci­as­cia (Lady in Red) for the op­por­tu­nity to share the day with the Po­ran­ga­hau town­ship. It was both an hon­our and a priv­i­lege to tau­toko the Po­ran­ga­hau Re­mem­brance Day 2018.

Ma­rina Sci­as­cia, Rangiwhiua Ngatai, Rev Har­riet Cut­bush, Rev John Flavell and Ahuriri Houka­mau who ded­i­cated the foyer, with guest speaker y, Air Vice-Mar­shal RNZA John Hamil­ton.

The newly re­fur­bished memo­rial foyer at Po­ran­ga­hau’s War Memo­rial Hall.

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