'Te reo o Taiporutu' performed by the Taiporutu Maori Club from Rotorua at Uepohatu marae in 1947. The Club was founded in 1944 by Henry Taiporutu Mitchell to revive the language, customs and performing arts of Te Arawa. Members also contributed to the community; visiting hospitals and performing for distinguished visitors including members of the Royal family and Eleanor Roosevelt.
The events held at Uepohatu on the 12th and 13th of September included cultural competitions with local school children, 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.
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Image: Nga Taonga a Nga Tama Toa Trust