Tuesday, December 19, 2023

Clive Bibby: The best of the best

At a time when the radical leaders of just about every racial group  in this country are spewing hate of this, that and the next thing, my wife and l were privileged to be part of a function that simply demonstrated why we as a nation, need to focus on the things we have in common rather than the things that drive us apart.

Why do we have to put up with this constant barrage of elitist separatism when our multi-cultured heritage suggests that each one of us has something to contribute towards a common goal?

The memorable occasion l am taking about was the recent Anglican Kaumatua Ball held at Te Poho-o-Rawiri Marae in Gisborne.

This was a grand occasion where the Pakeke folk of our vintage were being recognised for their contribution to communities throughout Te Tairawhiti region.

There were many aspects of this gathering that made it special but for me, the most striking was the dignified way Maoridom treat their elderly citizens when the rest of society are quick to dismiss too many of their older people as no longer relevant.

While watching the awarding of commemorative medals to those who had spent a lifetime of often unrecognised service, it was a humbling experience - as much as anything, because it showed just how good Maori in particular are at taking care of those who are reaching their twilight years.

It is why you rarely see or hear about homeless or destitute Pakeke Maori.

And that is because these people remain part of their respective families and communities until they pass away.

Thankfully, the younger generations who have taken over leadership roles in our society, see this respectful recognition as a responsibility they have inherited which is also part of who THEY are. It is such a pity that the rest of the country will not have the opportunity to see the very best of Maoridom on display - instead the media tends to repeatedly promote a side that looks good in the headlines for all the wrong reasons - Parliament’s opening being one of the worst examples and no doubt Waitangi Day will provide more of the same.

However, getting back to the Kaumatua’s Ball - the best of what this function was all about was the deliberate acknowledgement of those who had made and, in many cases continue to make, selfless contributions with no monetary reward for their labours.

Given it was a church organised celebration, readers will forgive me if l use one of my favourite parables from the Bible when describing those contributions made in the context of the modern age.

It is the story of the widow’s mite.

This analogy was used by Christ when contrasting the “look at me, holier than thou” activities we have witnessed so often by those who want to divide us  from the decent folk they claim to represent.

Jesus was referring to the Pharisees - the community leaders of his day, which he contrasted with the widow’s contribution when it came time to make her offering.

The Pharisees who had amassed fortunes, mainly off the backs of poor workers, made a show of their large contribution, which in monetary terms was quite a bit but in reality only a fraction of their personal real worth.

In comparison, the widow’s mite was all she had to give!

I believe the Kaumatua’s ball was Maoridom’s way of saying thank you to those often unheralded members of society who had also given their all.

My thanks go to all the organisers and caregivers who supported the stars of the show.

It was an example of living that is unfortunately too often in so short supply these days.

Well done Tangata Whenua. We owe you one !

Clive Bibby is a commentator, consultant, farmer and community leader, who lives in Tolaga Bay.


Anonymous said...

Nice to see credit where credit is due Clive. What a pity Māori elitist/radicals can’t give due credit to their majority Scottish etc ancestry.

Robert Arthur said...

Some maori treat some elderly well. But with large families the norm the load is shared and offspring are less likely to be locked into very demanding jobs with no m.d.os. Many elderly have effectively fostered grandchildren, nephews etc so two generations have a considerable debt to repay.
i have observed the sad old age of many colonists without families.
Can Clive provide any background on the Tokomaru Sport club strife?