HAERE KI O KOUTOU
MR MUTU HIKITOA KEEPA, a member of the Wainui a Rua of the Wanganui River, died at Porirua East, aged 55. After being educated at St Patrick's College, Wellington, he farmed at Hiruharama, on the Wanganui River, until ill-health forced his retirement.
MRS TARIHIRA MARIU, a prominent member of Ngati-Turangi Tukua sub-tribe of the Tuwharetoa tribe, who died at Tokaanu, was believed to be 108 years of age.
She spent nearly all her long life at the Waihi Maori settlement on the shores of Lake Taupo and at Tokaanu, and remembered vividly the Tarawera eruption and the last stand of Te Kooti.
THE REV HOHAIA TAURAU died at the Pakanae pa, Opononi, after a long illness. He was 68.
Mr Taurau was ordained a deacon of the Church of England in 1917, and he was for many years a missionary curate in the diocese of Auckland.
MR PERE ETIKI A RANGI, who was better known as Billy Buck, and was one of the most popular Maori personalities along the length of the Waikato River, died recently.
Billy lived all his 80-odd years on the banks of the Waikato. He was a kinsman of the late Princess Te Puea, a champion canoeist, an authority on ancient Maori lore, and a keen sportsman. At river regattas he carried off many prizes.
MRS KEITA AUPOURI MILNER, of Reporua, a well-known member of the Ngati Porou tribe, who was believed to be 111 years old, died recently.
Mrs Milner could remember the history of her tribe further back than any other member.
She is survived by six sons and five daughters, of whom all but one daughter are still living on the East Coast.
MR SAM HEI, LL.B., a paramount chief of the Whakatohea tribe, and barrister and solicitor of Gisborne and Opotiki died recently. The following story of his life has been sent to us by Mr Heretaunga Pat Baker.
A leading chief of the Whakatoha Tribe of Opotiki, Bay of Plenty, and New Zealand's first practising Maori lawyer, the late Hamiora Hei died at his residence, ‘Maraehako’, near Te Kaha. He was 84 years of age. He was allied to the ruling line of the Whanau Apanui Tribe of Te Kaha through his paternal ancestry.
His mother, Maria Nikora, a high chieftainess of the Whakatohea, was a direct descendant of the mighty Tu Tamure, who, besides being a great warrior, was descended from the Kings of Rangiatea.
Tu Tamure was also a nephew of Kahungunu, the great chief who founded the peoples of Hawke's Bay. Mr Hei traced his ancestry to both the Nukutere and Mataatua canoes.
During his lifetime Mr Hei made every effort to help the Maori people, and it was due to his efforts that the Te Kaha Dairy factory, which was defunct at the time was reopened, and today is gradually placing the Te Kaha district on a firm financial footing.
He also helped in presenting the Whakatohea land claims to the Government, and the people as a consequence received compensation for land taken in the 1890's.
Mr Hei received his early education at Te Kaha Maori School, and later at Omarumutu Maori School, from which he entered Te Aute College, where he matriculated.
He took his LL.B. degree at Auckland University College, and then returned to Gisborne, where he worked for a firm of solicitors, Messrs Reece, Jones and Blair.
Following some time in practice on his own account he had a Mr Dawson practising with him and when Mr Dawson left the district he took in two young solicitors, Messrs Nugent and O'Malley; the latter is now Judge of the Aotea Maori Land Court.
After practising for a number of years in Gisborne he came to Opotiki, where he practised until his retirement in 1948.
His wife, Katerina Rangiuia, who died some years ago, was a descendant of high chiefs of the Gisborne district.
He is survived by his son Samuel (Te Kaha), Mrs Ben Keefe (Te Kaha), Mrs Kiri Kingi (Te Kaha) and Mrs Agnes McGee (Gisborne).