This tiny old church built in 1913, 100 years ago
has all of it's life, until recently, belonged to the Methodists.
I told you about it in a post on my blog about
'My Week In Russell'
Well it now belongs to the Baptist's who succeeded in tendering
for it. Recently there was a celebration
As is usual in Russell, the whole town attended, plus out
of towners involved in Baptist churches in Paihia, Kawakawa and
Doubtless Bay. There were also people from the
Baptist Association in Auckland.
There was a big crowd and lots of excitement.
There is a strong Maori element in this area and in this church...
So Maori culture and traditions are observed in lots of ways.
On this day everybody was asked to gather outside...
For the Karanga (to call) into the church.
There is a Kaikaranga (person who calls) for the Tangata Whenua
(the home people) who calls out in Maori to come.
Then another Kaikaranga for the Manuhiri (visitors) answers.
And found a seat. It's only a little church but seats about 200.
The service started with a Powhiri (welcome) and Mihi (greeting)
given in Maori by the eldest Maori male... In this case Bob
who is sitting up the front on the right with Miles the pastor.
The taumata (seat) they are sitting on is the Kaumatua's (old man's or orators) seat.
On a Marae (Maori meeting house) it is always at the back on the
left just inside the door. The Maori men of wisdom (age)
sit here. When somebody speaks there is always a Waiata (response)
usually in the form of a song.
On this occasion several people spoke and there were
several responding Waiata's.
Lifted off onto a long trestle table...
Yes... A spit roasted whole pig and a spit roasted
whole sheep... The Maori people
are absolutely first class at hospitality and
catering for and feeding a crowd...
Not 5000 on this occasion but probably 200 hungry people
Expertly carved... The crackling lifted off...
And we all went inside to tables groaning with food.
It was a very unique occasion.