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No. 65 (December 1968)
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Consecration
of
New Bishop
of Aotearoa

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Surrounded by 11 Bishops, and kneeling in front of Archbishop Lesser, Rev. Manu Bennett takes his vows as Bishop of Aotearoa
National Publicity Studies

On St. Luke's day, Friday, 18 October 1968, the Reverend Manu Augustus Bennett was consecrated Bishop of Aotearoa and Suffragan Bishop to the Bishop of Waiapu in the Cathedra Church of St John the Evangelist at Napier.

He is the third man to hold this position, succeeding the Rt Rev. W. A. Panapa, who retired because of ill health, and following in the footsteps of his father, the first Bishop of Aotearoa, who was consecrated in the same spot almost 40 years before. This was the first consecration of a bishop in the new cathedral, which replaced the old building destroyed in the 1931 earthquake.

Over 1,800 people packed the cathedral for the two-hour service. The sermon was preached by the Rt Rev. Harry S. Kennedy, Bishop of Honolulu, in whose diocese Dr Bennett served as an assistant priest while studying at the University of Hawaii in 1954.

There were moving moments … the colourful procession, including representatives of other churches — one of the Roman Catholic priests present being Father David Bennett, the Bishop's nephew, recently consecrated as a priest … the presentation by Bishop Baines and Bishop Holland of

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Accompanied by Archbishop Lesser and Rev. Philip Kapa, the new Bishop is challenged at the entrance of Paki Paki marae by Hawea Tomoana

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Te Aute College boys greet the new Bishop

‘this godly and well-learned man to be ordained and consecrated Bishop’ … the Litany sung by Canon R. H. Rangiihu and pupils of Hukarere and Te Aute Colleges … the sight of 11 Bishops laying their hands on Bishop Bennett's head as the ‘Office and Work of a Bishop’ was comm-
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The retired Bishop of Aotearoa, the Rt Rev. Wiremu Panapa greets his successor
National Publicity Studies

itted to him … and Manu Bennett's first communion as a Bishop.

The whole service was telecast ‘live’ on WNTV 1, and the technicians are to be congratulated on the complete silence and minimum disturbance with which they carried out their task.

Following the Cathedral service was a reception at Paki Paki marae, Hastings, where Bishop Bennett was challenged, welcomed, and presented with gifts. Pupils from Te Aute, Hukarere and St Joseph's Maori Girls' College joined the local residents in song and haka. Tribal representatives spoke, and a large contingent of Te Arawa expressed their delight in the honour bestowed on one of their members.

Among the gifts were a pastoral staff and ring presented by the Assistant Bishop of Polynesia, the Rt Rev. Helepua, cope and mitre from the Roman Catholic Church, and a bishop's cross made in totara by trainees at the Waikeria Detention Centre, where Dr Bennett had been chaplain for four years, an experience he said he would ‘never regret or forget’.

Brief speeches were made by Mr J. F. Henning, United States Ambassador, Arch-

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The Royal New Zealand Navy Band playing ‘E Pari Ra’ in formal acceptance of the song as their official ‘slow march’

bishop Lesser, Primate of New Zealand, and the retiring Bishop Panapa.

There were moments of fun and loud laughter … a rousing haka from the Maori clergy … a challenge from Arawa as to why the Bishop of Aotearoa was only a kaimahi, a servant, to the Archbishop — ‘This has been on my mind for several years, but you can give me a reply before I go home’ … Mr Roysion Brown quoting I he remark made by a Waikeria boy when he was told he was going to Bishop Bennett's consecration — ‘I didn't know he

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Bishop Bennett's fellow-clergymen join in the hymn ‘Loving Shepherd of Thy Sheep’ as the welcoming speeches come to an end

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The Rt Rev. E. Helepua, Assistant Bishop of Polynesia, hands Bishop Bennett a staff and ring, gifts from the retiring Bishop of Polynesia, the Rt. Rev. J. C. Vockler
National Publicity Studies

was dead!’ … and Rt Rev. Kennedy's saying he was ‘glad there weren't more than seven tribes as he was getting hungrier.’

Before the guests sat down to a sumptuous meal, Commodore L. G. Carr, D. S. C., of the Royal New Zealand Navy, expressed thanks to the Tomoana family for allowing the use of the song ‘E Pari Ra’, composed by the late Mr P. H. Tomoana, as the Navy Band's official slow march. He presented a memorial plaque to Mrs Wi Huata, a member of the Tomoana family, and said that the lament would receive the greatest respect at all times and would be an integral part of the music, played on ceremonial occasions.