Thomas reunion

Last Labour weekend the Thomas whānau held their annual reunion at Waihao for the ninth year in a row. Whānau got together and socialised, meet the locals, renewed acquaintances and kinships, caught up on family news and spent their days whitebaiting at the Waihao river and rabbit hunting.

Eight members travelled down from Levin, three came over from Australia, while the rest came from all over the South Island.

Local families who had been friends with the Waihao people over the generations were represented by Peter and John Hughes who came to dinner on two occasions and also Murray, Lorraine and Gary Bruce. Peter Hamilton, his partner Dawn and their son also came to join us for dinner one night.

The snow on the Hunters Hills didn’t dampen the warmth and companionship of the days together. Some good days whitebaiting at the Waihao river saw Graeme Thomas catch several kilograms. The North Islanders took enough back home to keep Uncle John happy. Uncle John stayed behind to care for his wife and for the second year in a row missed the opportunity to cruise the paddocks looking for rabbits to supplement the diet back at the hall.

It’s ‘kind of funny’ seeing Uncle Dave and Uncle John, aged 88 and 90 respectively trying to outdo the younger generation at bunny shooting. We can only assume that volume of firepower is the only reason that the younger ones have more success. It’s worthy to note that these two are the last of the ten Waihao servicemen to have served overseas during World War II. With Uncle John’s absence this year, Uncle Dave took some of the younger ones shooting but with limited success as the number of hares and rabbits this year was lower than usual.

Dave Thomas sitting patiently waiting.

Oral archives

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Waihao whānau, share your events and stories with us in this pānui. Please provide your text and photos to the rūnanga office by the deadline notified on the Google-group emails each month. If you miss the deadline, don’t despair, it’ll be in the next pānui.

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Rūnanga office contact
Contact: Steve Boyd
Phone: 03 689 4726
Address: 26 Māori Road, Morven, Waimate
Web: http://www.waihao.Mā

Bushtown bonfire night

Te Rūnanga o Waihao were invited to sell food from their kai cooker and barbeque at the annual Bushtown bonfire night. The night was a success for the rūnanga who had to send out for more bread and sausages to sell. Although it was cold and raining, with snow on the nearby hills, the evening was enjoyed by all who came along.

The entertainment included; the local fire brigade spraying the already wet grass with even more water, a traction engine, and young ladies displaying dance routines using fire. There was also a dress the guy competition. Fewer people attended the annual event, due to the weather, but it was enjoyed by those who did go along.

(see the calendar page for events, meeting dates and Te Pānui Rūnaka deadlines)
Email: [email protected]

Waihao food stand in new marquee.