Tenth Anniversary of the
Arai Te Uru Maori Club
No te mea ra ia, he rakau tawhito, e mau ana te taitea i waho ra, e tu te kohiwi. (In a very old tree you may be certain that the sapwood is on the outside, while the heartwood is in the middle.)
Truly, the keenness and vigour of the younger members of the Arai Te Uru Maori Club is tempered by the wisdom and counsel of the elders in this, their tenth year of club life. Twenty six people attended a meeting in the Dunedin Public Library on 25 July. 1957 and thus began ten years of cultural, social and communal club life. It was known then as the ‘Aotearoa Maori Club’ although this name was later changed to the present name, the old name for the area bounded by the Waitaki and Clutha Rivers. The instigator behind the formation of the club was Mr J. W. Gray, who also became the first president. He had the backing and assistance of the O te Poti Maori Committee, which was chaired by the late Mr R. O. Potiki.
Initial membership of the club was 47 but this has now risen to about 200, including children. Members come from most districts of New Zealand, from Kaeo in the north to Invercargill in the south and take part in such cultural activities as carving classes, weaving and piu piu making classes, poi, stick games and action songs and haka classes. North Island judges, after watching the action songs, etc. at the South Island Maori Cultural Competitions at Christchurch and the Southland Cultural Competitions rated them among the four best clubs in the South Island and said that they could acquit themselves well anywhere in the country. In the past year, the club has been overcommitted with social functions throughout Otago, and their activities included entertaining the South African and English women's basketball teams, participating in the Mosgiel Festival, giving a reception for the Moral Re-armament group which was in Dunedin, entertaining the Hard of Hearing, and providing part of the offcial welcome to the new Governor-General.
A past president and an original committee member of the club, Mr Wi Duff gave a guide line for the future when he said, ‘Our main aim at present is to capture the hearts and imagination through Maori culture and activities and to join with our Pakeha members and friends in taking on greater responsibilities of that nature—responsibilities which, I feel, would be an asset to the whole of the New Zealanders' way of life.’
When commenting on the achievements of the club over the past decade, Mr Duff said, ‘We have established permanently, a strong, well-knit Maori community and created a new interest in Maori culture as well as establishing a body which has succeeded in raising $4,000 towards purchasing a property as a Community Centre.’
The celebrations in November took the form of an anniversary ball at the St. Kilda Town Hall, which was opened by the Mayor and Mayoress of St. Kilda, Mr and Mrs R. S. Jones.
Guests at the function included Mrs W. Tirikatene-Sullivan, M.P. for Southern Maori and her husband, and the Mayor of Dunedin. Mr. R. J. Calvert and Mrs Calvert.
Mr N. Maxwell gave the challenge to the guests and a group from the club performed a haka of welcome. Mrs Tirikatene-Sullivan spoke of her pleasure at being able to attend and of her desire to meet and get to know the people for whom she speaks. A capacity crowd spent a most enjoyable evening dancing and then on the Sunday, a church service and picnic was held at Otakou on the Peninsula.
Although the weather was cold for the picnic, the club president, Mr T. Parata, believes that the club has celebrated its birthday in fine fashion and is well launched into the next ten years of growing from strength to strength.
Each Sunday afternoon, the club meets in the Y.M.C.A. rooms and while the adults take part in their classes or practice, guided by the Cultural director Mr R. Edwards, the children under the leadership of Miss R. Mason gain a very good grounding in the skills which they will be using in later club life. In this way, the club is looking to its future in a very practical way and this concern for the children, together with the ambitious plans for a community centre, indicate that the next ten years should be both very busy and very rewarding. The club will definitely need both the wisdom of the elders and the enthusiasm of youth.
On Friday, 2 February, 1968, about 350 guests, including members of the Queensland Polynesian Association, gathered at the Souths Rugby League Clubhouse at Davies Park, in the Brisbane suburb of West End to celebrate the 128th Anniversary of the Treaty of Waitangi. The day was honoured by a cabaret supper dance with a Maori welcome ceremony.
Among the guests in this celebration were Pacific Islands Polynesian representatives from Tonga, Samoa, and Hawaii, French Polynesia and the Cook Islands. Mrs Tai Price, formerly of Gisbone represented the Maoris of New Zealand and the Cook Islands and Mr Terry Over, formerly of Auckland, represented New Zealand.
Beside the Islanders and the Maoris, the majority of the members are Australians and New Zealanders. We have a membership of approximately 300. New Zealanders, both Maori and Pakeha, who intend to visit Queensland may contact us by writing to our Hon. Secretary at the address below, as we also assist them to obtain accommodation before their arrival.
Mrs Snell,Queensland Polynesian Association,
Box 1487V, G.P.O.,
Joe Matele of Auckland—have launched a goodwill movement within a few years.
After John Smith had succeeded in a lone promotion in Queensland in 1965, members of all denominations joined from all over the North Island. Since then, charity concerts have been given all over New Zealand, two Australian trips have eventuated, and in September 1967—a step further—a successful trip to the United States.
Our party of 30 representative Maori performers from the seven tribal canoes went on a six-week goodwill tour of Oregon, giving from two to five concerts each day. Drawn from many walks of life, the members had one thing in common—a love for Maori culture. The performers paid half their fares and made nothing from the tour. Proceeds of the concerts went to United States charities.
Concerts were given in full traditional Maori costume and included action songs, hakas, poi dances, stick games, hand games, translations and explanations. Many schools were included in our itinerary—Grade, Junior and Senior High Schools, and Universities, including Corvallis. Pacific and Oregon State School Universities. American clubs and organizations extended invitations too—Rotary, Kiwanis, Y.W, & Y.M.C.A. and Church groups. The American Jaycees were to be commended for their splendid organization of the tour.
The main aim of the group is to promote friendship and goodwill with other countries and to illustrate and explain facets of traditional Maori Culture. The group emblem was designed by Canon Huata and features two golden fern fronds on a black background. Superimposed on these are two musical notes which also represent swinging pois. Below the ‘N.Z.) for New Zealand are the words ‘He Toa Takitini’ which may have two translations; ‘Unity is Strength’ or ‘Our warriors' strength is our Unity’. The significance of the fern fronds is the fact that when a fern dies, another will always take its place. This idea is expressed in the proverb, ‘Mate atu he toa … Ara mai ra he toa’—‘A warrior falls … another will rise’ ‘A chief dies … another takes his place’.
The music notes represent the deep love of music that is very typical of the Maori people. The pois denote the rhythm of life. Traced in the strings of the swinging pois can be seen the initials ‘H.S.’ for Hoani Smith, the tour organizer. Also there are the initials ‘S.S.’ which stand for ‘Service before Self’ and also ‘Service and Speech’—we have two ears and but one tongue, that we may hear much and talk little.
The U.S. tour culminated in a visit to such interesting places as Disneyland and Hollywood studios in Los Angeles, Fisherman's Wharf and Chinatown in San Francisco. Marineland in San Diego and Waikiki beach in Honolulu.
Firm friendships were established in Klamath Falls, Oregon (sister city to Rotorua), Some of these friends included Ron Smith, our Jaycee Organizer, Mayor R. Veech who treated us to an Air Display by the famous American
Thunderbirds—and Helen Hoffman who wrote the following poem about us …
Maoris, Hail and Farewell
Proud Maoris, Welcome to Klamath Fails, fair symbol of the West!
At this centennial moment, come right in and be our guest!
For this is God's own country where the sun looked down and smiled.
Where people do things naturally, and even the plums are wild!
A land of timber, spuds, and grain, and cowpoke riding high,
While caterwauling aerojets trace patterns in the sky!
We've placid lakes and waterfalls, and rivers rapid-tossed,
And some that just meander till they get themselves plumb lost!
It's cold up on the mountain peaks where skiers freeze their toes,
While in the hotsprings area, we're wearing scanty clothes!
We have game sanctuaries, protecting beast and bird,
But such shooting all around that spot is elsewhere never heard!
The reservation set aside for Klamath's Indian race
Is closed, and as new citizens, they've gained their rightful place.
Wonder at ancient petroglyphs, cut deep in canyon walls,
Only at this point, restrain yourselves! don't ask, ‘Where are the falls?’
Sure, such paradoxes should present quite enough of a riddle,
Still you saw the mountain that blew its top, with a lake right in its middle1
So if our folk are different from the ordinary kind,
Please note the trouble nature had in making up her mind.
We've churches school and business, and tourist trade galore,
With a hundred years' traditions, now who could ask for more?
Orbits circling the tired old world? Moon landings? The missile race?
Why these things seem mere trifles when our Jaycees set the pace!
So ‘Now is the Hour’. Maoris, and as true friends we must part;
But your haunting music, heaven sent, shall linger in our heart.
And if some day on Klamath streets, no citizen shall be found,
Just bet your bottom shilling. we're all New Zealarid bound!
Now join in our sone of a century, as our great state marches on!
For with God our guide. we shall safely ride, to glory with Oregon!
And forever, remember Klamath. where God looked down and smiled,
Where people do things naturally. and even the plums are wild!
EARLY ISSUES OF TE AO HOU
We are receiving constant requests from libraries and universities both in New Zealand and overseas for complete sets of the back issues of Te Ao Hou.
Anyone able to supply copies of issues—1–12, 14–17, 22, 24, and 26, please write to the Editor, P.O. Box 2390, Wellington.