Nehe Rihara Sadlier

Ingoa whānau
Ingoa tuatahi
Nehe Rihara
E mōhiotia ana ki te ingoa
Sonny Sadlier

World War 2

Tau Rangatū
Wāhi noho
Huanui Street, Tolaga Bay, New Zealand
Whanaunga tino tata i te wā o te kuhunga
Mrs Panihuaki (mother), Huanui Street, Tolaga Bay, New Zealand
Ngā tuhinga
Enlistment information mistakedly spelt surname as 'Sadler'

Takupu (3)

As the whanau of Sonny Sadlier - we wholeheartedly support the launch of this website and congratulate all the people involved from it's conception to it's eventual triumphant completion. Although, our widely loved father was a shy, unassuming man - he was nevertheless a great supporter of the 28th Maori Battalion tradition. We are certain that he is very happy with this amazing resource and that the legacy of the battalion will continue down through the ages.

Like so many teenage Maori boys around the country - our father was too young to enlist to fight overseas. But, that did not stop him. Even though, our grandmother's name was given as his next of kin - we know that she would not allow him to join, because of his age. He had no chance of enlisting locally in Turanga, because nan had family who would stop him. He then headed down to Poneke, but again, our nan's reach was too long. So he decided to try his luck and went up north to Tamaki. Here, no-one knew him and he managed to successfully enlist at the ripe age of 16 years! Although, he was wounded (see other story) - we are thankful that he recovered and returned home a man who became a true hero in our eyes. 

Growing up as the children of a father who served with the 28th Maori Battalion. We had very little understanding of what it all actually meant. It was not until we were older that the true impact of his membership in the battalion hit us. At times over the years our dad disappeared and returned from a happy reunion around the country. Every year at Easter we watched from the crowds as he marched in line with his compatriots - our uncles. The Bag Pipe band leading the procession down the road. We never did make it to a dawn parade. The reality of how the battalion is viewed by Maori people specifically - immense pride is something that we hold very dear, because we have a better understanding. Today, we celebrate the mana of the 28th Maori Battalion by wearing the poppy with pride, going to dawn parades, visiting the War Cemetary at home to salute our dad and our uncles. Yes! We have a better understanding.