Taitamariki Mihaere

A friend passed away last night. He was a respected man who did a lot for the Maori students at the Polytech and in the community. I think he was younger than me chronologically.

He was a quiet man, but wise. His health hadn't been too great, however, for quite a while.

Once I ran into him a while after I left the Polytech, and he asked me how I was. I told him I was trying to become a weaver, and he asked me how that was going. I told him I loved it, but I'd never be rich. He laughed softly and said , "Oh, kind of like being a musician, then." He told me he used to be a musician.

Back then, I also offered to teach Japanese to Maori students for free, if there was ever any interest. He came back to me perhaps four years later, but by then I was deep into this weaving thing and I couldn't deliver. I don't think I've seen him or spoken to him since. That was about three years ago.

I can just see him walking around quietly in his next place; I hope he doesn't need a walking stick where he's gone. I think he still has a youngish family, so my thoughts are with them.


Ben Nakagawa said...

He was a very wise, calm and reliable man. Yesterday, I had first news that he was hospitalised. It wasn't fist time. I recall last time was few years back and I hoped he's getting well soon. I had this final news today and soon felt a exceptional sadness. Huge loss in our organisation, community and circle of friends.
He will be remembered by lots of people, that is sure.

Unknown said...

Yes, he was a lovely man. Many hundreds of us who knew him paid our respects at Whakatu Marae yesterday. A group of family members and supporters left Nelson with Tai's body at around 2am today destined to take the 5am ferry from Picton. They'll travel to Te Hauke in Hawke's Bay where I guess a full tangi will be held. He had heart problems and I think he was only about 60,61.

Meg said...

Oh, darn... I thought his body was going to be at the Marae until the end of today and then get taken to Gisbourne. I missed the boat.

But what you say is interesting, because before his LAST heart attack, which was this side of 2000 from memory, I had thought he was younger than me, because he sure had lots more spring in his steps and sparkle in his eyes than moi.

It is very like him, though, to slip away quietly. And once again, it makes me want connect to everybody that's still around while they're around...