recap: After receiving the Queen's badge in Wellington I had to leave abruptly!!!
I had to catch the last ferry of the day to Te Wahi Pounamu the south island of Aotearoa New Zealand. I was on my way to N.C.O's training in Blenheim.
NCO: Non Commissioned Officer.
The trip across Cook's Straight was very rough and people were sick all over the ship. I couldn't handle it even though I had good sea legs due to many times fishing out in the Kaipara harbor with my Dad. I had to leave the passenger seating room and go up on deck to get air as the smell of through-up was too strong.
After the 42 mile arduous journey by sea we arrived in Picton a little town in the Marlborough sounds on the northern tip of Te Wahi Pounamu.
At Picton I met up with others that were going to the same training as me and we traveled by bus to Blenheim the stone fruit capital of the world, about 20 mile away. There we stayed at a local school, sleeping on cots in the school hall. As a teenager I was quite excited as their was Girl's brigade N.C.O's train there also, so we got to do many things together.
While I was there we went to a Business that did Jewelry and carving. They made Jewelry from many types of material such as Wood, Bone ( beef as well as beached whale), Pawa (Abalone shell), Pounamu ( dark Jade ) as well as precious metals and stones.
There a Master carver taught us some carving and told us that allot of the time the material has the picture within it, it was our job to see the picture before releasing it to the world. I carved a Sea horse out of wood and inserted pawa eyes in it.
Part way through the week left Blenheim and bused back to Picton to catch a bout ride to Outward Bound Anakiwa http://www.outwardbound.co.nz/. There we spent the rest of our week doing their confidence course, Ab-sailing (propelling) their 400ft rock face and meany other confidence building exercises.
At the end of the week I had the arduous 5-600 mile journey back home to Wellsford. Boat,Ferry,Train and then Bus. To this day I can't remember whether I did it all in one day or longer I just know it was a long way home.
At the age of 16, I traveled 500 miles in one night by Bus and then by Train, from the little town I grew up in called Wellsford to Wellington of Maui eka Aotearoa New Zealand.
Wellsford is a settlement off the Ora Whara and Wharehine inlet from the mighty Kaipara harbor which is the largest natural harbor in the world.
The bus journey of 50 miles was good as I managed to get some sleep. But the train journey was another story.
The Train I traveled on was the Silver fern and I was give a one person cubical. It had a seat which folded out into a bed and a stainless steal toilet and hand basin. to a commuter this would be fine, but to a 16 year old boy it was like a prison cell.
I think I lasted about 30 minutes after the train had left Auckland before I was bouncing off the walls half crazy for human company. So I left my cubical and went to the meal caboose or whatever they call it.
There I met up with some other teenagers around my age. They were going to the same event that I was going to. We play 500 for about a hour, then got up to good and bad things that teenage Boys one a train would do.
On the trip we went through a interesting rail construction call the Ruahine spiral we seamed tho travel in circles around a small mountain turning right all the way as I could see the train engine out the window, for what seemed to be ages the we went across a giant viaduct.
The Ruahine spiral is in the the King country region which is on a massive plateau, so the train had to climb up to it.
The Next morning we arrived in Wellington and were consigned our billets before touring Wellington with them. It was very strange to me that people would want to live in tight community called a city, as I was a semi country hick who loved space.
That afternoon we went to my billets home in Kandala. A suburb of Wellington, in the hills between Lower Hut and Paraparaumu. I remember they had a Welsh Corgi that could do a trick. The trick was that a cookie was put on his nose and he couldn't get it till a prayer was said. immediately after the word amen way stated he would toss the cookie in the air and catch it in his mouth.I thought it was cool.
The next morning was the big event. The event was that I was being awarded with others the highest award in the Boys Brigade called the Queen's Badge, By the Queen of England's representative the Governor General Sir Keith Holyoake, which was quite a honer. Also he presented me with the silver Duke of Edinburgh's award which I got for navigating myself and three others through 50 miles of bush over a three day weekend.
Myself and others were told that while we were at attention, we would need to shift our weight from heal to toe to keep us from fainting as we would be in that position for an hour or so. I saw 3 or 4 others faint during the event which did go on for about a hour in which I got a handshake from the Governor General.
After the ceremony we had Pupus, (that is snacks for the non Polynesian) and we got to talk freely. Sir Keith came up to me and said, that his grand mother used to call him by my name Benjamin, and so when he met me it brought that good memory back to him.
Very soon after that I had to leave the event as I had another excursion to go on that was leaving abruptly.
Welcome to Our Blog this website started after the biggest disaster happened in my wife's and my life: The fire at 1915 Kalihi Street, here in Honolulu.
The fire happened on November 14th 2013, at around 6:25 pm. I was 8 minutes away picking up my wife from work. I had just phoned my wife to tell her I had arrived to pick her up.
Then I got the heart stopping call. My Daughter was on the phone crying and I couldn't make out what she was saying. I told her to slow down and speak properly. She then said the house is on fire and Moana is still inside. I told her we were on the way.
Next thing my wife arrived at the car and I told her she should get in the car quick as the house is on fire and Moana is still in it,
We sped as best we could back home, but we couldn't reach home as the road had been blocked off by the police. We told them that it was our kids in the fire and we needed to get closer. They waived us on and we parked about 100 yards away, as there were 4 fire trucks blocking the road. We then walked as best and fast as we could to Ono's Market, across the road from our house, and found Hana our Daughter.
We were all crying as our son Moana was still in the house now totally aflame. My wife was screaming for her son, only to have them say later, that they had found our son and he had passed away.
Our hearts felt like they had being ripped out of our chests; Our 22 year old autistic son, had died in the fire (identified by me via camera image shown by Coroner.)
This website is in dedication to him, my stepson / son of 12 years.
I have had many friends and acquaintances ask us what they can do for us, as we lost everything in the fire.
A good suggestion that was carried out by my Sister in New Zealand, is to put in the signature of your email " Check out this cool site I found polynesiatreasures.com " this will post on the end of every email you send out.
Also don't forget to click through to
Shop New Zealand for your gifts and wishes, as we make a commission on all sales that way. This will help keep this site going.
The saying goes: "Give a man a fish and he will feed for but a day or, teach a man how to fish and he will feed for a lifetime"
Mahalo ( Hawaiian: Thank-you ) Meharo ( Maori: Thank-you )
A Stranger is: A friend, Brother/Sister you haven't met yet.
While growing up, even though I have no Maori blood in me, my father a fourth generation New Zealander ( Tanga te whenua o Aotearoa ) taught me Maori ways naturally. When we fished we would always share our plenty. (Koha) Whenever we saw a Maori word my father would always translate it to English for us kids and many other things, thus I grew up loving the Maori way.
When one of my electives offered at High school ( Rodney College ) was Maori language I jumped at my chance to learn. My teacher was Tai Naramu whom I respect greatly. He while also teaching the language, showed us his Raku Whakapapa ( Genealogy stick ) which he was carving, he explained it's meanings and that high respected elders would wield their Raku Whakapapa when stressing highly important information on the Marae. He went on to say that by owning a Raku Whakapapa, it made you recognizable as having much Mana, one to be respected. Tai Showed me that if ever I needed a stick, that I should carve it with my history, so as anyone who saw it would know and show respect for me and my lineage.
My Achilles was torn in December 2006 and I was given a Cane to walk with which was put aside as my leg got better. It was only in June 2011 when my Pelvis gave out, that I needed the cane continually. So then started the carving. That was my first cane that I had.
The first cane ( Raku Whakapapa ) started with my Tiki ( Head slanted to the left showing NgaPui(North-land Maori) ) then New Zealand Aotearoa out set on the curve then a Eagle out set coming down the stem. Next Hawaii islands, My wife and two children. then on the other side of the stem I made a kowhaiwhai design outset.
With all the outsets I had, made the cane weaker. Thus when My Autistic son had a episode in Sam's club where I had to take control, the curve of my cane was broken and lost. So I had to remake another top. Then months later while trying to fend my Son away from something he was going to have “come hell or high water” my cane was snapped, causing me to have to start again. I kept the old one as a remembrance.
The second cane I had, I decided to make most of my carvings inset to keep the strength of the cane. This cane ( Raku Whakapapa ) I have now and can be seen on this website. polynesiatreasures.com The old cane went in the fire with my Son.
You can now have me build you a Raku Whakapapa at Raku Whakapapa Builder I have options setup for you.
While growing up children get up to all sorts of antics, and I am no exception to that rule.
My friends and I walked everywhere.
One day we walked down Prictors road to a culvert and were throwing stones into the water, trying to see who could make the best fart sound as the stone hit the water. Then one of us noticed some fruit on a tree in a paddock some distance from the culvert, for young lads like us it was total temptation. So we jumped, yeah right! Climbed the barbed wire fence and headed off to the tree.
When we got there, we noticed that there was a orchard of fruit trees, we couldn't believe our fortune. We quickly climbed the next barbed wire fence and climbed a pear tree in the middle of the paddock as the pears were ginormous.
Unbeknown to us there were cattle in the paddock and once we were up the tree they came around to eat the pears we were knocking down out of the tree, while we were stuffing ourselves silly. We suddenly got afraid as us townie boys couldn't tell the difference between Heifers and Bulls so we thought they were Bulls. We started throwing pears at them which did the opposite to what we wanted them to do. That attracted more cattle. After a long while, we plucked up enough courage to make a run for it, which we did as fast as we could go for the fence, long jump or high jump call it what you will but we cleared that fence with room to spear. Laying exhausted on the other side of the fence, we finally sat up to notice the cows still at the tree in the middle of the paddock munching on pears.
Years later I was reading an article in the paper. It was about my great uncle Bert Davies who had hidden the orchard when all the other orchards were being bulldozed and burnt due to a disease scare that had been propagated by some Australian’s, possibly a bit of industrial sabotage to knock out their Kiwi competition. It went on to say that the orchard had breeds of pears that had been thought as lost. So now this orchard is famous.
As I have written in the past, the Maori way Koha (sharing of your plenty) doesn't just apply to just fish. It applies to all things in life. that is why if you are a artist and live anywhere in Polynesia you can submit pictures or sounds of whatever your art is to me through e-mail on About page, and I will look at possibly promoting you or your art, or even selling it (at a small commission) on this website and my link on Facebook.com
Of interest: Hawaiian word for Koha is Lokahi