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No. 67 (July 1969)
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Huria's Rock

Old now these bones of mine and one leg with a stick to help it, old now. He sits, this old one with his stick, on the beach and the agar about him all spread to dry. It is good, the stick, to turn the spread agar and to poke the ashes around the big camp oven.

She makes the camp oven bread, my daughter, in the morning early, as did the mother before her. Good bread, this of the camp oven, and the work of this old one to poke the ashes and turn the spread agar with the stick.

Too old now these bones and this leg for the work of young days, and so they go, those of young days to collect the agar from the sea, while this old one he tends the fire and with the stick turns the agar to dry. His work too, to guard the little one who sleeps there in the tent. A great-grandson this, who sleeps on his rug in the tent. He wakes, this young one then it is the work of this old one to wave his stick for the mother to come and tend him. But no — sleeps the little one, Sleeps he.

Soon they will return, those who gather agar, with kits full and backs tired. Back to camp to rest and eat, then before night-fall to pick up the dried agar and tramp it into the bale. Then to get ready the beds in the tent and then to sleep, for it is much work this gathering of agar.

Many years now since last we came to camp and gather agar here. Young days then I, and the leg without a stick to help it. Two good legs then, and a back strong. Two good eyes, and the hands to pull the agar from the warm sea.

But a sad time that, when last we came to this place. She died here, my wife, when last we came. Drowned she, under crayfish rock, now named Huria's rock for her. No more to that rock since then for crayfish. We leave it to her, to Huria — it is her resting place.

It was big, the crowd that came that year for agar. A good tide that day — the day she died — and the top of crayfish rock showing above the water. Many were there gathering the agar in shallow water, but Huria she took her kit and started out to crayfish rock and took our boy with her. We who picked the agar could see the boy sitting on the rock with the kit, and many times Huria came to him with crayfish.

A good day for crayfish this, thought I. A good day and a good time.

Then looked again to the rock, and the boy he stood looking into the water. Waiting and looking, with the crayfish from the kit crawling about him on the rock. To the rock then I, calling her name. The others, they left the agar and came behind me for they had seen the spilled crayfish and the boy waiting and looking down into the sea.

A sad time this. Caught in a crack of the rock we found her, and much work it was to free her for we who mourned.

Lonely years since then for this old one who sits now on the beach. But she will come soon, Huria for the old one with the stick. She will come for he who looks to her rock and thinks of her, while those of young days gather agar from the sea.

Look now, to Huria's rock thinking of Huria, and now I see her sitting there on the rock. Look away then I, for they are old now, these eyes. But then back again to the rock and still she sits. It is Huria. She has come.

‘For me then?’ I call. But her head is turned away.

‘Huria, Huria,’ but she looks not at me.

‘It is time then, for this old one?’ I say.

But she moves then, Huria. Puts out her hand to the tent, looking at the tent. To the tent then I, quickly, with the stick working for the leg. Into the tent. But he sleeps, the little one, sleeps peacefully. Out then

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and looking to the rock, and still she sits Huria, still she looks to the tent.

‘Sleeping, the young one,’ I call. ‘Come not for the young but the old.’

Then stands Huria, and moves nearer, looking to the tent.

Quickly then I to the lagoon where they gather agar, and wave my stick. She waves, the mother of the little one and comes to me.

‘He is sick, the little one. Go to your baby,’ I say.

Drops the kit of agar then, and runs to the tent.

‘He sleeps, Grandpa,’ she calls from the tent.

‘Go to him,’ I say. ‘He is sick. Huria, she comes for the little one.’ I show her Huria but she does not see.

‘You sit too much in the sun Grandpa,’ she says. ‘And you think too much of Huria. It was wrong to come to this place for agar. It was bad to bring you here.’

‘Huria she is close,’ I say to her, and I pull her into the tent with me, to the little one.

Screams then, and pulls my stick from my hand.

‘The spider Grandpa — the katipo,’ and beats at the blanket where sleeps the young one. Beats and beats the katipo with the stick. Picks up the little one then as he wakes and cries.

‘Safe my baby,’ she says. ‘Our Grandpa has saved you. Safe now,’ says she.

Out then I, to look for one who gave us warning. But gone, Huria. Gone she who helped the old one guard the young.

But he is tired, the old one, Tired. And soon she will be back. Huria, for the old one with the stick.

Soon she comes.

Fashion Award

A young Taumarunui Maori fashion designer, Mrs Anne Rupe, is making her name on the national scene.

At the New Zealand Fashion Showcase ‘69, an annual event for New Zealand fashion designers and manufacturers, she won the award for the coat and suit section.

Mrs Rupe's entry was a street length winter coat in orange and white wool with a cone shaped skirt beneath. The skirt had an inverted pleat in the back and a set-in belted waistline with two flat pockets.

The material for the outfit was hand loomed in a twill pattern by Mr Bill Penny, Tokirima, to Mrs Rupe's design.

Mrs Rupe designed the gown and suit worn by Mrs Martha Taiaroa when she won the Mrs Taumarunui title in the local section of the National Plunket Society — sponsored ‘Mrs New Zealand’ contest.

Mrs Rupe has a selection of garments she designed, being displayed on a cruise ship and in South America by a New Zealand model.

The Highway

Hemi drives the bulldozer
How easily he handles
the huge machine.
It revolves
in its own length.
With a roaring motor
it attacks the boulders,
and the tree stumps.
Clouds of dust rise.
Stones roll across the soil.
The unreclaimed ground
smoothes out like a blanket.
Future generations
travelling swiftly —
in comfort —
will not know Hemi,
but they will say,
‘This is a fine highway.’

Marie Andersen