Mr Raana Riwaka, of Petone recently became the first disabled civilian to complete a full-time trade-training course at the Disabled Servicemen's Centre, Wellington. He is now a qualified paua jewellery manufacturer.
He was presented with his trade certificate by Mr D. G. Ball, chairman of the Maori Education Foundation.
For Mr Riwaka the qualification was the culmination of four years' unceasing effort. He started his training when he was 17; he is now 21.
Mr Riwaka was described by an officer of the Wellington centre of the Disabled Servicemen's Re-establishment League as an inspiration to others, both Maori and Pakeha. He is incapacitated through poliomyelitis and unable to walk without crutches. After contracting the disease, which has paralysed him from the waist down, Mr Riwaka spent several years under the care of the Crippled Children Society and gained his education during that time.
The society is so impressed with his efforts and record as a pupil that it has made available a car for his private use.
The Rev. Father I. Gupwell, S.M., Rector of St Paul's College, Feilding, recently celebrated the silver jubilee of his ordination to the priesthood.
Father Gupwell has been at St Paul's since it began in 1947, and has been largely responsible for its growth. The College was started by the Catholic Archdiocese of Wellington at an approximate cost of £110,000 and 800 boys have since passed through.
Parents and old boys from North Auckland, Gisborne, Hawke's Bay and Taranaki, the South Island and other areas, were among the 1,000 people who visited the school on the occasion of Father Gupwell's silver jubilee. They took part in services of thanksgiving, ate hangi-cooked food, made presentations to Father Gupwell, and heard a Maori concert in his honour by present pupils and 50 visiting girls from St Joseph's College, Greenmeadows.
During the function Mr Tano Nikora spoke for the Maoris in Southern Hawke's Bay, Wiki Christi for Northern Hawke's Bay, Tiro Putu for the Manawatu, Hoani Haami for the old boys of the Wanganui River and Georgina Kingi for St Joseph's College. Many others joined in tributes to the Rector and staff of St Paul's College.
Mr Alec McKay, who has just retired, has been one of the pakeha officers of the Maori Affairs Department best known to the Maori people.
Mr McKay, an Irishman, came to New Zealand in 1919. Till 1930 he was engaged in sheep and dairy farming in the Waikato. During this time he became particularly conversant with the breaking-in of undeveloped land.
Soon after his arrival he became associated with King Koroki and Princess Te Puea and ever since has been the confidant, friend and adviser of the Waikato ruling family.
In 1938 Mr McKay joined the Maori Affairs Department at Wairoa, being appointed overseer at Raupunga the following year. He studied at Lincoln College in 1940, graduating with the Diploma of Valuation in Farm Management. In 1941 he went to Hamilton as Assistant Field Supervisor, but later the same year went in to the army.
He served overseas for three years with the 2nd NZEF in Egypt, Italy and Japan, and became Adjutant of the Divisional Cavalry Regiment.
On returning from overseas in 1946 Mr McKay took up the position of Field Supervisor in Hamilton. He was later transferred to Opotiki and then Whangarei. In 1950 he became Administration Officer, Rotorua, and a year later was promoted Assistant Director of Maori Land Settlement.
In 1956 he became Controller of Maori Land Settlement and in 1957 was appointed Assistant Secretary for Maori Affairs.