Other formats

    TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 7, Issue 2 (June 1, 1932)

Welcoming the Parson

Welcoming the Parson.

There is a pleasing absence of stiffness and ceremony about the country social gathering. Here is a little story which comes to me from the King Country concerning a welcome gathering arranged for the purpose of greeting the new minister in one of the townships along the Main Trunk line.

He was a shy young man, the new pastor, report said, so the ladies of the church were asked particularly to do what they could to put him at his ease and make him feel at home. It is rather difficult, perhaps, to believe that any parson can be shy, considering the fact that he is courageous enough to enter the pulpit and address a critical flock; still, I believe this youthful clergyman really was nervous.

Two girls who had a lively turn of wit resolved to do their little bit towards making the stranger feel at home. They borrowed a perambulator from next door, and enlisted the co-operation of their auntie, a plump and dimpled dame who was as ready for a lark as any of the young ones. They dressed her as a baby, inserted her into the pram—it was a tight fit—and wheeled her along to the afternoon gathering at the church.

The young parson was doing his nervous best to make himself agreeable. He came to the pram, and as in duty bound expressed his admiration of the bouncing infant therein.

“What a wonderful child,” he said, “and so fat and lovely!” He chucked the wonderful child under its well-plumped chin. “You are the mother, I presume?” he said to the smiling maiden who wheeled it. “Yes,” she replied, “and this is my sister.”

“And who is the father?” the reverend one inquired. “I really must get acquainted with all my congregation, you know.”

With a coo of delight the wonderful infant stretched out her arms to the parson and piped out, “Daddy, daddy!”

The Blessing of “Taihoa.”

The late Sir Douglas Maclean, of Napier, told me this story of the policy of patience embodied in the little word “taihoa” which wore down the “purchase resistance” of a Maori chief in the old days. His father, the great Sir Donald Maclean, was anxious to complete the purchase of a block of land for the Government in Hawke's Bay, and the principal chief concerned was disinclined to sell. He rode out to the chief's place, where he was received with the usual greetings and hospitality, and he was given the customary place of honour in the large page 39 wharepuni. He talked with his friend the chief, and repeated his offer to buy the land. He talked with the other folk of the kainga; he discussed with them all the subjects under the sun, and listened to their songs and legends, day after day.

The subject of the land was not discussed after the first day. The chief was politeness itself, as became a Maori rangatira. At last one morning Maclean called for his horse, rolled up his big tartan plaid and prepared to depart. Just as he was about to mount his horse he apparently thought of something he had forgotten. Reins in hand, he turned to the chief and said: “Oh, I suppose it is all right about that land. You'll sell it, won't you?”

“Yes, yes,” said the Maori eagerly; “take it! Take the land; it is yours.”

And so it was settled. The pakeha this time had out-taihoa'd the Maori.