A special lunch for the seniors

Te Awamutu Māori Women’s Welfare League president Rosemary Murray addressing those gathered to mark Matariki.

Te Awamutu Māori Women’s Welfare League (MWWL) president Rosemary Murray described Saturday’s Matariki lunch for seniors as an “auspicious moment” for all concerned.

This year’s lunch was held in the league’s neighbouring Anglican Church hall. It had been held annually for kaumatua and others linked with the league until Covid halted it. The league decided to mark its return this year with a celebration of the new Matariki public holiday.

“This is the first one we have held for three years. It is an auspicious moment for us all to come together as one.” Rosemary said in welcoming about 40 people to the gathering.

She explained the presence of historical photographs on view, linked to the history of the MWWL, and said reflecting on those who had gone before was particularly significant in terms of Matariki.

“It is about remembering our past and coming forward to a new beginning. We want to reconnect and share our past at the same time as focusing on building our future. The League is just a small group of 17, but there are three people here keen to join and help strengthen our group. We are still looking for more wahine who want to join us… we need succession and we need young people who will help us strengthen the work wahine have done before us.”

Those attending the event were entertained by Ōtorohanga’s Jan Alz Band – married couple Janice and Allan Barclay – and enjoyed a shared soup lunch.

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