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The Autobiography of a Maori

Mr. J. H. Pope

Mr. J. H. Pope

Mr. J. H. Pope, inspector, paid one visit to the school before it closed. I do not know what I learned at school, but at least I knew what a lake was in English. Mr. Pope held up a large piece of paper and, pointing at it said, "Land is here, land is there, and land is all round, what do you call the piece of water in the middle?" Nobody knew or understood, but I had an idea of what he was driving at, so, after some hesitation, I cried out, "Lake." I was correct and I have never forgotten my triumph.

That was my first meeting with Mr. J. H. Pope, and, at Te Aute College, I met him several times. I have an undying admiration for the man although it is some years now since he went to his rest. He was of a lovable nature and so perfectly transparent that he won your respect and confidence on your first meeting. He was a big man and I never cease to wonder how he managed to travel all over New Zealand and much of it on horseback when the roads were so bad and many rivers unbridged.