HAERE KI O KOUTOU
COL. FREDERICK BAKER
The death has occurred suddenly of Lieut. Colonel Frederick Baker, D.S.O., E.D. Through his mother Colonel Baker was connected with the Nga Puhi tribe. He was born at Kohu Kohu, Hokianga, on June 19, 1908. He married in 1933 and had one son and a daughter.
Colonel Baker assumed command of the Maori Battalion in July of 1942, leading the unit to Alamein. It was there that he was seriously wounded, and was invalided home.
The citation for Colonel Baker's D.S.O. reads “During a difficult and a confused situation, and whilst under heavy fire, his fine and personal example was an inspiration to his men. In the attack on Point 29 on November I he commanded with outstanding spirit in a hard fought battle. Whilst doing so he suffered severe wounds Throughout, he showed exceptional thoroughness and skill.”
Since the war, he has filled the position of Director of Rehabilitation and, in recent years was a Public Service Commissioner. He was 49 years of age.
MR A. O. STEWART
Mr Albert Oliphant Stewart died at his home in Whakatane, aged 73.
Born in Whakatane on June 7, 1884, Mr Stewart was a pupil of the Poroporo School when he won a scholarship which entitled him to two years' study at St. Stephen's College in Auckland.
Mr Stewart topped the poll at the first Whakatane Borough Council election in 1917. He was a member of the Whakatane Harbour Board from 1923 to 1932. He was the first president of the Mataatua District Council and he was responsible for this council's activities being delegated to the various tribal executives in its territory.
Mr Stewart was appointed, in 1940, Maori rate collector for the Whakatane County Council. That position was unique at the time and he created collection records, yet retaining friendly relationships between the two races. He retired from this position in 1955.
Mr Stewart had been president as well as secretary of the Whakatane Rugby Sub-union. Since the formation of the United Rugby Football Club, he had been the club's patron.
MRS EDIE IRIPU WARBRICK
Mrs Edie Iripu Warbrick, a chieftainess of the Tuhourangi tribe and a guide at Whakarewarewa before the second world war, died in Rotorua recently following a fall into a hot pool. She was aged 70. She was the widow of Alfred Warbrick, one of the five Warbrick brothers who went to Britain in the New Zealand Natives team of 1888.
MR TU KAWHA
A 23-year-old Maori soldier with New Zealand's battalion in Malaya, Private Tu Kawha, has been accidently killed.
Private Kawha originally came from Opotiki though he enlisted from Wellington. He was struck by a falling jungle tree, while his platoon was helping to make a jungle clearing to be used as an aircraft landing zone.
MR PEINA K TAITUHA
The death of the former well-known rugby star, Peina K. Taituha, 56 years of age, occurred in Rata recently.
Better known to an older generation of rugby enthusiasts simply as Peina, he was in his time regarded as the rugby “find” of the period.
He played for the Maori All Blacks with his Rata club mate, W. Potaka of Mangaweka. He toured Australia with the Maori All Blacks.
The pair excelled with great collaboration at first and second five-eighth respectively and the Peina-Potaka combination became famous.
TE ARITAUA PITAMA
Te Aritaua Pitama died at Christchurch on 14 March 1958, aged 52 years.
A very well known personality in the South Island, he was noted for his work in fostering Maoritanga especially among the younger generation. His concert party made extended tours of both the South Island and the North Island.
A brilliant speaker, he was present at most of the gatherings held in the South Island.
He was a member of the Roman Catholic Church and was prominent in that Church's work amongst his people.
He was a member of the Canterbury Regional Committee of the National Historic Places Trust and also a member of the Ngaitahu Trust Board, representing Akaroa District.