Kaiwhaiki Marae 25 August 2013

To complete a momentous weekend in the history of the Sisters of St Joseph in Whanganui, the two busloads of Sisters, both from Whanganui and further afield, were welcomed to Kaiwhaiki Marae on the Sunday afternoon.

The entry of Makareta Tawaroa rsj to the Congregation from this marae has been hugely influential in the Sisters bi-cultural journey and in the links that her membership has opened up with the tangata whenua.  The other strong link has been the assistance given the people with teaching in preparation for the annual Hui Aranga, in which earlier Isobel Hepburn rsj and latterly Barbara Cowan rsj have been involved.

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After the solemn powhiri, all were invited in to Te Kiritahi, where there was a sharing of our histories and stories ably led by Piri Cribb, a former pupil of Sacred Heart, Morvin Simon and Makareta rsj.   Whanganui Sisters shared their stories of connections with the people through the schools and other ministries over the years, and responses of gratitude and admiration were made by Anne Derwin rsj and Colleen Keeble rsj

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Rousing singing and actions accompanied all the visitors as they entered the dining room and enjoyed a wonderful meal.  The music and entertainment was presented by Taikura, ‘the teenagers over 55 years’, and went on throughout the meal with great action, warmth and energy.  

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The poroporoaki at the close of the meal and before departure was made by Barbara Cowan rsj, who spoke with great feeling of the depth of the relationship she had experienced in her involvement with Makareta and with her people.   She offered thanks on behalf of all present for the warmth of the welcome all had received.
With a sense of delight Prof Morvin Simon recited a poem he had penned for the occasion entitled “A Thought to Bear…” 
Congregational Leader Anne Derwin rsj was called upon to receive a gift from Morvin of a full set of his books giving the history and stories of the Marae on the Whanganui Awa.

With music and song still ringing in their ears all Sisters rejoined the buses and were transported back to the city.   This had been a very special way to honour our informal ‘fusion’ with the people of Nga Paerangi, Kaiwhaiki, over the years, and our formal fusion with The Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart. 

And so we continue to live into Te Kiritahitanga, our Fusion…

More Photos in Gallery – Kaiwhaiki visit

Gallery / Whakaahua

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