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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 11, Issue 4 (July 1, 1936)

The Last Long Climb

The Last Long Climb.

The manner of Mr. Holland's passing hence was dramatic and intensely touching. He and many other pakehas, including Ministers and Members of Parliament, attended the burial of the late Waikato high chief King Te Rata, the son of Mahuta, who was the son of famous King Tawhiao. The burial place was on that steep conical hill at the base of Taupiri Mountain, where the Waikato River makes its glorious sweeping bend, willow-fringed, through the gateway of the hills. The sacred hill, the ancient resting place of Waikato's dead chiefs, had to be climbed on foot from the roadway, and Mr. Holland's friends, knowing his frail state of health, tried to persuade him not to attempt the ascent. But he was resolved to witness the last rites over Rata, who had been an old friend of his. He climbed the difficult way, and stood by the graveside. Mr. Jordan, Mr. Langstone, the Right Hon. Mr. Coates and other fellow-members stood near him. Those watching him saw him smile faintly a moment, then he silently fell back and was supported in the arms of his faithful friends and colleagues. He was able to walk down the hill, supported by his friends, and he was taken to the home of the Mayor and Mayoress of Huntly, Mr. and Mrs. George, where his fluttering heart presently ceased to beat.

The pathetic Maori tangihanga over Mr. Holland, who was greatly liked by the Maori people, will long be remembered in Waikato and Wellington. The body of the white chief was taken to the hall of mourning in the kainga at Waihi and laid in the place occupied a few hours before by the dead King of Waikato. The Maoris, in their generous and loving way, insisted on bringing the remains of the leader to Wellington themselves, and handing it over to the family, the Labour Party and Parliament; and with this tender mark of respect Harry Holland came home, to the mourning note of a multitude who loved him greatly.