To those bleak cliffs set in an icy sea,
Which even sea-birds shun, Ui's canoe
Drove swiftly in. The slimy weed which grew
Amid the breakers crashing endlessly
Clutched at them vainly as they ran aground
And dragged the vessel up. Beyond the reach
Of the seething undertow each looked to each,
Silent and apprehensive. Ranged around
The gaunt crags loomed, in a glowering demon-world
Of flying spume… Then proudly Ui spoke:
“Now is the ocean ours. It owns our sway
From this grim coast to where the blue waves curled
Sparkling on our paddles as they broke.
Let others follow; we have led the way.”
—G. L. Pearce
This poem is based on an ancient legend that a Polynesian chief, Ui-te-Rangiora, voyaged southward from Fiji about 650 A.D. in a canoe Nga-Iwi-o-Aotea.
During the course of the voyage he is said to have seen many wonders—a foggy, dark place not seen by the sun, bare rocks that grow out of the sea and reach the skies, a sea covered with pia (which is interpreted as scraped arrowroot), a deceitful animal which lives in great depths, and a woman of the sea whose hair floats on the waves.
These descriptions appear to refer to icebergs, floe-ice, seals or sea-elephants, and floating kelp, and it has been suggested that Polynesians reached Antarctic waters. This was doubted by Sir Peter Buck, but references to ice-bergs and floe-ice need not necessarily imply an Antarctic visit, for there is an area east of the Chatham Islands where floating ice is often sighted in the latitude of Wellington.
Other possible explanations are that Ui-te-Rangiora visited the South Island Fiords or even went further south as far as the Auckland or Antipodes Islands.
Some colour is lent to this last suggestion by a discovery on Antipodes Island in 1886. A fragment of pottery, similar to early Polynesian work and apparently part of a bowl, was found there about 2ft. 6in. below the surface. It is now in the Dominion Museum.
A REWARDING CAREER
FOR YOU IN AUCKLAND
Because of the rapid expansion of its hospital services, the Auckland Hospital Board requires more household staff for wards and food service departments.
PAY IS GOOD — the minimum wage for a five day week averages £12/11/7 gross. This is increased considerably by special allowances and statutory holiday and overtime pay.
TRAINING — is given in hygiene, nutrition and housekeeping methods. Optional courses cover subjects such as cookery, menu planning, food buying and budgeting, anatomy and physiology, furniture and furnishings, laundry methods and supervision of staff. Food service staff are eligible for the basic cookery course at Technical Institute.
OPPORTUNITIES FOR PROMOTION ARE EXCELLENT. If you have the necessary aptitude and temperament and can accept responsibility, we can provide the training to fit you for advancement to supervisory positions paying over £22 per week.
VERY GOOD BOARD is available for £2/8/8 per week. Attractive uniforms are provided and laundered free, and there is an allowance for shoes and stockings.
For further details about the satisfying jobs and good prospects available in Hospital Housekeeping, write, phone or see:
THE PERSONNEL OFFICER, AUCKLAND HOSPITAL BOARD,WELLESLEY STREET EAST, AUCKLAND. PHONE 32–690.