Veterans at official closing ceremony

Veterans from 28 Māori Battalion attend the official ceremony closing the 28 (Māori) Battalion Association at the National War Memorial in Wellington on 1st December 2012.

They had all travelled from around the country to commemorate the day.

Seated left to right: Te Puhi Patara (B Coy), Arthur Midwood (B Coy), Robert Gillies (B Coy), Nolan Raihania (C Coy and President, 28 Association), Hinga Smith (C Coy), Alfred Preece (D Coy) and Henry Norton (D Coy).

"The decision to wind-up the Association was made by the founding members themselves.  They first began talking about their wind-up a number of years ago and that kōrero was formalised earlier this year (2012) at the Association's AGM and was supported by members via a postal ballot.

Today, 25 Māori Battalion veterans survive with less than half able-bodied.  "They do not want the formality of running an incorporated society anymore - with ongoing meetings and AGMs - it takes a toll on them," said spokesman Matt Te Pou.  "None of them wants to be the last man standing and those who remain just look forward to getting together when they can, to reminisce and to share a meal."
(Ref: 28th Māori Battalion (NZ) Association Final Official luncheon booklet, p.7)


Te Puni Kōkiri
Photographer: Michael Bradley

Submitted by mbadmin on Tue, 18/12/2012 - 12:16

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