People and Places
Concert at Hato Paora
Present pupils and staff of St Paul's College, Parorangi, Feilding, were delighted to welcome to the College a band formed by several old boys, to take part in a concert organised to raise funds for two new classrooms recently built. The leader of the band, ‘The Guardians’, is John Ropata, who works in the Maori Programme section of the New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation. The boys perform regularly at ‘Maximes’, a Wellington Restaurant, and their pleasant music is much appreciated.
They are, from left, Joe Patea, John Ropata, Huck Ropiha, Stan White and Ron Williams.
Our second photograph shows the combined school, who concluded the concert with a bracket of songs, after the senior and junior action song groups had entertained. Those who attended were delighted with the variety and quality of the performance.
Concert Party at Bangkok
The Maori Concert Party of the First Battalion, Royal New Zealand Infantry Regi-
ment, completed a seven-day visit to Hong Kong and Bangkok on 2 April, with one of several performances. Here the New Zea- land Ambassador to Thailand, Mr I. G. L. Stewart, is welcoming the group. The ten men and six ‘service wives’ drew capacity crowds at all their performances. Next day they were due to return to duty at Terendak, Malaysia.
Padre W. Vercoe (at right), chats with Lance-Corporal R. N. Bush of Pukekohe, at the Nui Dat base of the Anzac Battalion, in Phouc Tuy, Souh Vietnam, before Corporal Bush left on his way back to Malyasia with the Victor Company of the Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment.
Padre Vercoe has a huge parish, extending half the entire length of South Vietnam, from Phouc Tuy province and Saigon in the south, to Binh Dinh province in the Central Highlands — wherever New Zealand troops or civilians are working.
He spends most of his time with the combat troops on the field, and has accompanied them on all of their major operations, coming under fire himself on a number of occasions.
Well-liked by the troops because of the way he has lived and worked with them in all conditions, Padre Vercoe has been the mainstay of the Maori Concert Party, and is also active in civil assistance work in the villages near Nui Dat. He makes regular visits to the civilian and military medical teams in Qui Nhon and Bong Son, and to the Headquarters element of New Zealand Force in Saigon.