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Papa Tahu

It is with great sadness that I let the wider Rutherford Community know of the passing of one our kaumatua, Reverend Papa Tahu Williams. All of our students who have attended Powhiri at the start of their journey at Rutherford would have heard Papa Tahu speak. Papa Tahu has been hugely supportive of our kura and our tamariki over many years. He would regularly attend events with our Te Kotuku Roopu to support the Kaupapa of what they were attending on behalf of Rutherford College.

As a sign of our respect for this kind, gentle and humble man approximately 80 of our whanau from both Rangeview Intermediate and Rutherford College travelled to his Marae in Ahipara to attend his tangi on Thursday, 25 October.  His wisdom and mana have had a great influence on those people in the community who were in his presence. I remember him as a man of few words but when spoken were words that were always relevant and made an impression with me.

“Kua hinga te Totara i te wao nui a Tane

The Totora has fallen in the forest of Tane”

The above Maori Whakatauki (proverb) epitomises the perfect metaphor to express the deepest sadness in our hearts for the passing of Papa Tahu Williams.   A Totara is a large tree that lives for hundreds of years, and when one of them falls in the forest, it is a great tragedy.

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