The song 'Nga Whare Pa' was composed as a welcome home for the soldiers of World War I. It is performed here by Hiruharama School during the welcome for guests attending events at Uepohatu marae Ruatoria in 1947.
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.
Powhiritia a nga morehu
Te iwi, tangihia
Te mamae e, me te pouri nui
Tenei ra kura mahea
Hoki mai ra
Hoki mai ra ki te kainga
E tatari atu nei ki a koutou
Nga tau roa i ngaro atu ai
E aroha, e ngau kino nei ahau
Nga whare pa tenei huakina
Te iwi kia koea
Kua hoki mai nga tamariki toa
Ki te ao ora
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: Porikapa Awatere accompanies Governor-General Sir Bernard Freyberg at the opening of Uepohatu War Memorial Hall on 13 September 1947.
Alexander Turnbull Library. Ref: A004827.