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WAR MEMORIAL UNVEILED. SPEECH BY GOVERNOR-GENERAL. (By Telegraph.—Press Association.) GISBORNE, Tuesday. For the great hui in progress at Tikitiki natives are present from all parts of the island, besides pakehas. A great reception . was accorded the Vice-Regal party and the Prime Minister on their arrival. In the centre of a large arena surrounded by whare3 and meeting houses were assembled representative natives of the tribes, all garbed as the Maoris of a century ago. At the entrance gates two lines of returned men were drawn up for inspection. The visitors then proceeded to a dais and were accorded a true old-time Maori greeting. Poi dances were followed by hakas, one led by the Hon. A. T. Ngata depicting the stages of the Great Warleaving New Zealand, life in the trenches, advancing to attack, and sorrow at those who never returned. All 'the leading chiefs gave speeches of welcome. The Governor-General expressed pleasure at the loyalty of the Maoris, and said it was more than 50 years ago since his father, who was then Governor, had visited the district. Twenty-three years later Hor Excellency's father, who was then Governor, had paid a visit to the East Coast. Both had been welcomed and received with expressions of loyalty to Queen Victoria. To-day they met them with the same expressions, which he would convey to the King. During the intervening years Maoris had lived side by side with the pakeha. The Maoris had taken full advantage of the educational facilities provided, and he hoped they would hold high office in State and public services. He asked the Maoris to guard their old traditions and see that their children were taught them. There was a danger that with modern education Maori children would change and forget the traditions and old arts. "I ask you to tell your children the Maori mythology and the history of the past. Tell them tales of the past." The Prime Minister said he hoped the Maoris would take note of that day. It should serve to illustrate to pakehas what they owed to the Maori people and also serve to strengthen the bond which binds them together. "You have only to look on the hill," said Mr. Coates, "and remember that when the Empire was in trouble New Zealanders offered their services as men, Maori and pakeha, and as Maori and pakeha they fell side by side. May I say to His Excellency that the King will rejoice when he hears of this day." Mr. Coates also added an appeal for the preservation of Maori arts. During the afternoon, on behalf of the natives, Mr. Ngata presented Lady Alice Fergusson with a Maori mat as a token of esteem. Dancing, singing and hakas followed, at the conclusion of which Sir Charles Fergusson thanked the Maoris for their presents. In the afternoon the memorial was unveiled by His Excellency. The returned men of the district assembled under Captain Pitt, and the Bishop of Waiapn consecrated the church. Then the Prime Minister unveiled a marble tablet on which were inscribed the names of S" Maoris who made 'the supreme sacrifice. In the evening a ball was beld in honour of Mr. Coates' first visit as Prime Minister.

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Bibliographic details

GREAT MAORI HUI., Auckland Star, Volume LVII, Issue 40, 17 February 1926

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GREAT MAORI HUI. Auckland Star, Volume LVII, Issue 40, 17 February 1926