A holiday interlude

We went to Greytown for a bit.  There are a lot of churches in small towns.  I went into this one and there were a bunch of elderly ladies having cups of teas and sandwiches.  I suppose that their dads  may have known some of the fellows on the memorial down the road.   The Greytown war memorial is an  ornamental gate with a list of names on each post.  There is a sentence about the glory of God, and at the bottom this line:  “May we be worthy of their sacrifice”.  It often seems to me that war memorials were designed by the people back home who didn’t go to war.  If the ones who came back had built the memorials I wonder  if they would have mentioned God so often.

This marae is quietly down a back road off a back road and was once a place of great moment.  I had taught my students about the kotahitanga movement, and  I felt a surge of history coming to life as I guiltily snuck around the edges taking some photos.  There was no one there of course.  At least colonial buildings on the main street set the right tone for Trelisse Cooper and fabulous antique stores, funny old maraes are so awkward to incorporate into wine and olive tasting tours.  On the main street of Greytown, and  in all the shops I  went into I realise now I didn’t see any Maori.  Which is probably why I noticed that all three guys doing the rounds on the Greytown rubbish truck were.  I’m so pleased not to live in a segregated society.

Eleanor wanted to know why we had dragged her to the middle of a field in  the scorching sun to look at  a bunch of concrete posts.  After being badgered with a series of why questions I embarked on a brief attempt at explaining a henge, until I eventually agreed with her: what is the point of building a concrete henge?  Across the road, on the other hand, was an incredibly cool, ruined farmhouse.  Perhaps when the original owners realised that there view towards the ranges was about to be  interrupted by a few tonnes of concrete in the shape of a henge they torched their house, and moved deeper into the countryside.

I think the highlight of the trip for Eleanor may have been  discovering  that the TV had Kidzone.   Whilst watching a show about a bumble bee the bee said “remember, we’re all special”, to which Eleanor responded: “We’re not all special you silly bee”.  

I was quite proud of her.

As usual.

2 thoughts on “A holiday interlude

  1. A good observation re the war remembrance. My dad fought in WW2. He never went to the RSA or any of their functions except for the dawn parade where we would stand quietly. He didn’t join the marches. Later, when I asked him why he never participated he said that they were a bunch of blowhards. He and a lot of his front-line friends saw them as false. It was only at a late age that he talked about the war and recounted horrific stories of friends being blown up and enemies obliterated. I guess that as time wore on the rawness of those memories softened and he was able to talk about it.

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