The last of the “Gum Diggers” has passed away.
Charlie Petera, the final member of the 28th Maori Battalion A-Company has died at his home in Ngataki, Northland last night surrounded by his whanau. He was 91 years old.
Te Tai Ra Te Tai Ra
E Pari Ana Ki Hea
E Pari Ana Ki Te Kauheke Kauheke Kaumatua E
He karere tenei ki a koutou katoa nga Taangata Morehu o te Rua Tekau Ma Waru ki ona whanaunga, ki ona hoa ki a koutou e mohio ana ki tenei Rangatira.
No reira e Pa e moe.
He was born and grew up in Te Hapua and when he returned from the war after serving with the 28th MAori Battalion he settled in Ngataki, became a farmer and there he brought up his family.
Ngati Kuri Chairman Harry Burkhardt says Uncle Charlie was one of the last surviving kaumatua who was born in an era and a time that focused on hapu, that embraced our tikanga and our reo.
“Petera was a repository for Ngati Kuritanga and our reo and was a powerful orator with mana and provided significant leadership for our people over his lifetime.
“His passion was to serve his people, he was always interested in his people.
“Ngati Kuri feels the passing of our beloved kaumatua deeply”, says Mr Burkhardt.
The tangi for Charlie Petera is being held at Wai Ora Marae Ngataki with the funeral to be held at 10:00 am on Tuesday 14 June with the burial at his whanau urupa Perepetua.
Media enquiries: Harry Burkhardt, Ngati Kuri Chairman 021485985