Amazing Bro! by Rei Sciascia


What an amazing day in history that we were privileged to be part of starting the night before.

8610383The day I am talking about was the farewell of a Maori icon called Parekura Horomia.

But firstly I wish to thank Ivan Maurirere for asking his cousin Jason and his wife to allow us to witness this event from their level by opening their home for us to stay over the final part of their uncle Parekura’s send-off.

After initial introductions and the honor of attending the casket closing ceremony at 5am we were constantly introduced to the whanau and it was becoming apparent that this whanau operated with wit and laughter, which would end up being a key ingredient of this day.

After four days of constant work with a bit of help by the army and wardens, the stress of so much to do was never a worry and if any tension crept in it was quickly overcome with well aimed quips to create the laughter to dispelled that tension.

Witnessing these happenings behind the scenes it was incredible to see that it had also morphed to the front with the key whanau spokesman Wayne Ngata reminding us not to be too grim by making us laugh at the many jokes and funny stories that involved Parekura and his whanau.

Then we were entertained by the whanau minister who again told us about light hearted times he and his friends had with Parekura. After our final farewell to Para at the urupa we were invited to participate in a Hakari fit for many kings.

But the reason I labeled this article Amazing Bro! was because of the many dignitaries that were present who were intoxicated by the whanau laughter and how they had just relaxed into being a Maori who had come to farewell a man of high esteem.

I felt that they had left their political robes and thoughts outside the gate and accepted this time to be who they really are, and that is Maori.

So thank you to Parekuras many whanau from the aunties at the gate at 4.30am to the cooks that fed us and the bro Jason with his wife for allowing me to witness this day from their whanau level, but most of all making me feel so proud to be a Maori.

Rei Sciascia




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