The age-old spat between two of Māoridoms most prominent educational facilities has flared once again. Old boys from both St. Stephens College, and Te Aute College went head-to-head this weekend, at the Te Aute College Gala Day, in the Hawkes Bay.
Even though they had aged somewhat, the brotherly bonds shared between both sides was clearly evident.
Old foe against old foe. Distinguished alumni from two of Māoridoms most prestigious schools are at it again.
Les Hoerara, (Te Whānau a Tūwhakairiora, Te Whānau a Hunaara) says, “The best thing about this game is that it starts the initiative that in turn will reconnect the two schools under the auspice of unity.”
Te Aute College played host this weekend, to the many faces of St. Stephens College, at the TAC gala day. A plethora of faces arrived to uphold the prestige of their school.
"Even though we have aged, the desire to play is still evident, so are the sore legs and sore bodies!” says Arama Koopu (Te Whānau a Apanui, Ngāti Porou).
Many people turned up to Te Aute College this weekend to celebrate the occasion, all in the name of supporting pro-Māori education through sport.
Te Aorere Riddell (Ngāti Porou) says, “Although St. Stephens has been closed, it still lives on within the hearts of the old boys.”
“Gathering under the banner of our Māori schools,” says Koopu
Fundraising efforts are still continuing in an attempt to re-open St. Stephens, which closed in 2000.
Hoerara says, “Even though rugby is the main reason, there's also the fundraising aspect to support the overarching theme of the day.”
“Their hearts are open, the doors of St Stephens remain open,” says Ridell
Remembering too, the greats of these Māori schools.
“And in remembrance of my many friends who have now passed on, from Tipene. Hoani Waititi, Scotty McPherson, Te Rawhiti Ihaka, there's a lot of them,” says Ridell
Without a doubt, the onbjective of the day was achieved.
Koopu says, “Unity on the field, unity off the field, and promoting unity within the children that are currently at the school.”
Organisers hope that celebrations can be like this every year.
“The winners of the day, as is said in rugby, are both the schools.” Says Hoerara.
For the empowerment of Māori educational institutions in to the future.