This article appeared in the April 1992 NZ 28 Maori Battalion Reunion booklet.
No. 35671 - Major James Gerard Pera Aperahama
Born May 9th 1916 - Died July 20th 1991
Born in Tologa Bay, James was the second son of William Pera Aperahama who served in the Maori Pioneer Battalion during the First World War. His mother was Millicent Louise (nee Gerard) of St Heliers, Jersey, Channel Islands. He married Jean Clarke on November 26th 1938, and is survived by her and their two children, John and Louise.
Before the war James with his father and older brother were keen members of the New Zealand Territorials, Onehunga branch. He volunteered in 1940, subsequently serving in North Africa and Italy. During the Italian campaign he was wounded. He returned to New Zealand in 1946, and entered business for himself as a contractor in the building industry. The family after living in Mt Eden for some years, then moved to Whakatane, and finally in 1975 to Taipa, Northland.
After he returned James was appointed Justice of the Peace and also a Marriage Celebrant. In this latter field he took great pleasure, and proved popular and sought after, marrying many couples both local and tourists. For some years he organised and acted as M.C to a dance evening held in the Mangonui Memorial Hall. This proved to be very successful and popular. He also gave dancing lessons to the youth of the area. Both the family dance and the lessons were non-profit making. James regarded this as his community effort and considered the pleasure he gained from these activities sufficient reward. When Jean's health made it impossible to continue the dances it was a loss to the community as they had helped fill a gap in an area of limited amusement.
Fishing and writing were two of his main interests. He enjoyed writing and spent much time at it. He contributed to the Battalion Magazine. Due to his failing health he was unable to attend the last Anzac Day Service before his death and contented himself with committing his thoughts to paper.