There was a feeling among those present that Auckland was the logical place for the national headquarters of the association. It was thought unlikely that there were as many former battalion members in other centres as there were in Auckland. No subscriptions were sought from those who attended the first meeting but they were asked for donations to cover initial expenses. Later, finance would be wanted for specific purposes, but it was clearly stated that the executive would investigate all immediate sources of money.
One source was revealed as soon as the members sat down to kai after the meeting. The ladies of the wartime reception committee announced that they had a substantial sum of money left over from their entertainment fund. They were willing to hand it over to the battalion body.
Those who attended the battalion meeting were satisfied that their efforts had started something really big. They had relit the lamp of the Maori Battalion in the country. If there was one thing which they wanted to achieve it was to retrieve the identity of the battalion as a military unit. They would like to obliterate those sorrowful words which provide the ending to the official history—“Trains throughout the afternoon carried the Maori soldiers to a hundred welcoming maraes. The 28th (Maori) Battalion had ceased to exist.”
The twenty-one year jubilee of the Maori Women's Health League was celebrated in the Tonuhopu meeting house, Ohinemutu, last September.
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A new youth club has been started in Hamilton. To be known as ‘Te Rau Aroha Hamutana,’ the club has been sponsored by the Anglican Maori Mission and is open to all denominations. Chairman is Mr H. Baker, secretary, Mr R. Paparu.
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The fine new cafeteria at the Otaki Maori Racing Club is now open. A full article on the Club appeared in our issue 23.
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The Department of Maori Affairs established a new district office in Christchurch. South Island Maoris had long desired such an office which enables them to do all their transactions concerning land in Christchurch, whereas previously the Court and title records were kept in Wellington. Land development, housing, and welfare will also be conducted from Christchurch. Reserved lands at Greymouth, Hokitika, Motueka, Nelson and other areas administered by the Maori Trustee, are now also controlled from this new office which is situated in the Public Trust Building in Oxford Terrace.