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No. 33 (December 1960)
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One of South Taranaki's pioneer dairy farmers died recently at Taiporohenui, Mr Tamaka Awarua, aged 92 years. Born at Oeo in 1868 during the battle of Turuturumokai, Mr Tamaka, as he was better known, became one of the first to take up dairy farming in the district.

Secretary of the Maori Land League Association in 1892, Mr Tamaka helped to bring about the return of 16,000 acres of land to the Maoris from the Government. While still a farmer he started contracting on a large scale, and he helped the development of many acres of land in the area. An ardent worker in Maori affairs and public affairs, Mr Tamaka is survived by a daughter (Mrs Hariata Mason, Taiporohenui, and a son, Mr Te Hanataua Tamaka, O.B.E., Hawera).


The death occurred recently in Waipiro Bay of Mr F. Sweeney, aged 85, after a long illness. In his early days on the East Coast he was in charge of the pressing gang of Mr A. B. Williams' shearing sheds at Takapau and Inhungia. Mr Sweeney worked hard on his farm, which is operated by his adopted son, Mr F. Tibble. He was also a noted fisherman and was president of the Waipiro Bay Fishing Club. The tangi to Mr Sweeney, held on the Iritekura marae, was attended by a large number of people. Mr Sweeney had particular associations with the Iritekura meetinghouse; when it was renovated, he supplied much of the driving force which made it one of the most up-to-date on the coast. His funeral took place at Waipiro Bay. He is survived by a wife and a grown-up adopted family.


A well-known identity of the Mangere area in the Waikato, Mr Tuwareware Pai, aged 67, died last September. Over 500 friends and relatives gathered for the tangi, making it one of the largest in the Auckland district for many years. Mr Pai as a child, was adopted by the Maori King, Mahuta. King Koroki was represented at the funeral by Princess Piki. The religious service at St. James' Maori Church was attended by representatives of the Maori Affairs Department, a number of trade unions, and the National and Labour parties.


One of the best-known Maori elders in Taranaki, Mr George Te Kahui Pokai Aitua, was burned to death when the historic meeting-house at Parihaka Pa was razed by fire last August. Te Kahui Pokai was a familiar figure on maraes throughout New Zealand. He travelled a great deal, attending most Maori meetings and made his mark as a gifted orator of the traditional type. He was 76 years of age. He was asleep in the building when the fire broke out.


Mrs Tirita Kauri Bonnington died recently at her home in Rotorua, aged 60. Born in 1899, daughter of Mr and Mrs A. Butt, sister to the late Bishop Bennett, Mrs M. Wildon and Messrs A. and E. Butt, Rotorua, Mrs Bonnington spent all of her life in Rotorua. In 1925, she married Mr R. H. Bonnington, and their five children, except one son, live in Rotorua.


The well-known Maori composer and teacher, Mr Walter Smith, died at his home in Auckland recently after a short illness. He was 77. Born in the small East Coast town of Nuhaka, Mr Smith lived mostly in Auckland. He was a naturally gifted musician and over the last 40 years had passed on his talents to many Maori and European students. Three of the best-known Maori songs he wrote were “Dear Old Maoriland”, “Land of the South Sea Isles”, and “Beneath the Maori Moon.” In his youth, Mr Smith toured overseas with Maori concert parties and it was in California that he met his wife, who survives him.


Mr Ariki Marehu (Alex) Takarangi, one of New Zealand's best-known and most highly respected Maoris, died recently at Wanganui. He was 84. Mr Takarangi, who was educated at Te Aute College, was best known because of his association with Rugby football, having been player, selector and administrator over many years. As selector, he served not only the Wanganui Rugby Union but also the New Zealand Rugby Union, was a member of the Maori Advisory Board, and at various times a selector of Maori teams to represent New Zealand at home and overseas.

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