Our people, Our places, Our stories by Tauranga Te Awanui Hauora TrustMay 12th, 2014 By Barbara Smail
Celebration is the perfect title to apply to the thirty-four personalities described in this anthology. Much care has been given to the presentation of this book which in a sense reflects the reason it came into being. The community of the Matakana, Rangiwāea and Motuhoa islands came together in March 2013 for a day of celebration focussed on their many inhabitants now in their eighties and nineties.
The book is a collection of memories of these hardworking pakeke. The recollections form a pattern covering the topics of school, home life and family connections and the reasons why each person felt they had been blessed with longevity. Having good genes was often referred to but the general feeling was that a diet of fresh kai moana, vegetables and fruit tended from their own gardens and a level of fitness played an equal role in securing their long and happy lives.
The stories are not complicated. They all relate to island life and so there are obvious similarities between them. Full page black and white photographs accompany each biography and in the final section of the book a collage of colour images taken on the day of the March 2013 celebrations are presented under appropriate proverbs.
Image by Kathein & Stefan Marks