Wellington hub records War stories of loved ones

By Numia Ponika-Rangi

As a way to reflect on wartime memories, a caravan has been set up near the Pukeahu National War Memorial in the capital, inviting Wellingtonians to record their stories.

Yesterday, there was a new talking hub to gather interesting war stories.

Billie Tait-Jones from Tūhoe and Te Arawa says, “It's used to gather public opinion on matters relating to the city, like health issues. But today for the first time, it's being used to gather war stories of loved ones who never came home.”

Hohepa McDougall from Ngāi Tūhoe has heard many stories about his two koro, Tahae, and Ihaia Trainor.

“Although I have limited knowledge about my koro, I've spoken about the stories told to me about those elders who did come home, and what I could get off the internet.”

Ātene Hillman Andrews from Ngātin Porou also supported the concept of parking a caravan in the middle of town and giving people the opportunity to remember their elders' contribution to the wars.

“My ancestor was Tāre, Tāre Heremana, Charlie Hillman. He's the topic of the stories that were told to me, my family, children, and grandchildren.”

Most of the stories have been passed down. However, the main thing is that they are being told, heard and grasped by the listeners, and will be treasured.

“It's important that the world, the country, our children, and grandchildren know these important matters and how they shaped the way our communities turned out and the way we lived,” says McDougall.

When the caravan finished up yesterday, their stories were recorded. They were given their copies, which are available on the radio station and on their website.