The beautiful song ‘Arohaina mai’ performed by students from Manutahi School during cultural competitions at Uepohatu marae in 1947.
'Arohaina mai' was composed by Tuini Ngawai after the farewell to soldiers at Waiparapara. “On her way home … overcome by the emotion of the occasion, sat down by the roadside to rest…the words came to her mind, complete. She wrote them down then and there.” (Soutar, Nga Tama Toa, p.73)
It is sung to the tune ‘When Love Walked In’.
The marae hosted events held on the 12th and 13th of September that included cultural competitions with local school children, the opening of the Uepohatu War Memorial Hall, a reunion of ex-service people (including members of the Maori Battalion), a concert and the opening of the Uepohatu War Memorial Hall. The hall was built to commemorate East Coast soldiers who died during the two World Wars.
At an investiture ceremony held on the second day, seventeen decorations were presented to servicemen and women who had served abroad and on the home front.
The gathering was an important one, attended by thousands including the Prime Minister Peter Fraser, the Leader of the Opposition Sidney Holland and other members of Parliament. Sir Bernard Freyberg, the Governor General opened the hall and unveiled two memorial tablets inside.
Arohaina mai, e te Kingi nui
Nga mamaetanga me nga pouri nui
Nga hapu katoa o Aotearoa, e,
Great King! Bestow Thy love upon them all;
Our pain and sorrow great and all they be
Ye many tribes of Aotearoa
Sound file from Sound Archives Ngā Taonga Kōrero. (43115). Any re-use of this audio is a breach of copyright. To request a copy of the recording, contact Sound Archives Ngā Taonga Kōrero.
Image Nga Taonga a Nga Tama Toa Trust