National | 28th Māori Battalion

East Coast community put ghosts of violence to rest

Te Aitanga-a-Hauiti in the East Coast is using Anzac Day to symbolise the community’s opposition to violence across the board but they’re starting in the homes.

Te Aitanga-a-Hauiti ANZAC chairman, Victor Walker says, “It is a time for us to acknowledge the past, while looking to the future.  Our community has had its ups and downs since the end of World War II but deep down we have known that we descend from resilient roots.”

The community’s Anzac Committee has focused on developing its Anzac Commemorations over the last five years to build momentum from the annual day of remembrance of war service and sacrifice, to also include honour and duty to family, whānau and community well-being.

Walker says, “There have been aspects of change imposed on us as a community that have tested our resolve, within our hapū and whānau, and even as Pākehā and Māori living closely together.  But the strength of our whānau and hapū is written in the history of this iwi, and the dual heritage is also alive and well.  We will symbolically enact this as part of our 2015 Anzac Commemorations.”

Planning for the 2015 Anzac Commemorations has largely been guided by local Anglican Minister and Army Padre of 40 years, Mr Bill Gray.  According to Padre Gray, “The life is in the seed but the power is in the soil.  The annual Anzac Day Commemorations to us are not just about honouring sacrifice but also about recognising potential.”

The Tolaga Bay 2015 Anzac Commemorations will also include other highlights over its two-day event and our reporter Aroha Treacher will attend the service tomorrow where Toi Karini, who served in WWI in the tunnels of Arras, will receive a special honour for his service.

Over 2000 are expected to be in attendance tomorrow.