Sir Apirana Ngata closes proceedings and the gathering again sing the national anthem 'God save the King' at the reunion for ex-service people held at Uepohatu Marae in 1947. See the programme here.
The marae hosted events held on the 12th and 13th of September that included cultural competitions with local school children 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.
A reunion of ex-service people (including members of the Maori Battalion) was also held.
At the investiture 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.
Ngata: Tenei ra te mutunga o tatau mahi. It’s been a bit long. You can’t regulate a proceedings when there are politicians present.
Sir Bernard Freyberg: [Laughter] I didn’t speak very long.
Ngata: You have Mr Chairman a privilege to put the bell on it. The concert although delayed will be on in the new hall tonight. His Excellency and party will enter it presently by the side door, not the front door which we will not cross until tomorrow. We’ll try and carry out a concert hereafter and I’m sure you thoroughly enjoyed the reunion. And I have certainly appreciated His Excellencies remarks especially his objective characterisation of the wit and humour of the Maori. The late Mr Coates all begged part that we should send some Maoris with the Third New Zealand division to the Pacific. He said “for godsakes send some Maori to make the Pakehas laugh”. If that’s our mission in life your Excellency it’s not a bad one.
I ask you now to rise to sing “God save the King”.
The gathering sing:
God save our gracious
Long live our noble king
God save our king
Send him victorious
Happy and glorious
Long to reign over us
God save our king
Sound file from Sound Archives Ngā Taonga Kōrero. 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: Crop of programme from the Special Reunion of ex-service personnel. See full image.
National Library of New Zealand
005 - Papers re Uepohatu hall and a reunion, 1947
Reference Number: MS-Papers-6919-0163. Sir Apirana Turupa Ngata Collection, 1874-1950 : Papers (MS-Group-0941)