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The Autobiography of a Maori

A Religious Revival

A Religious Revival

When a religious revival took place in the college, its results were far-reaching: One or two of the senior boys decided to surrender their lives to God. They began holding prayer meetings and reading their Bibles. When Mr. F. A. Bennett, late Bishop of Aotearoa, visited the college and spoke to the boys, religious enthusiasm was set ablaze. Students in a train on their way to play football at Napier, sang hymns instead of their usual songs and this proved rather disconcerting to people who kept their religion to themselves.

It was as a result of this revival that the Young Maori Party was launched and bands of students tramped the country, preaching the Gospel and social reform. Though there were a few who tried to damp the ardour of the young reformers, other helped them as much as possible. It was to help these young enthusiasts and to show sympathy with them that the "open door policy" was adopted both at Archdeacon Williams's home and at that of his nephew, the Rev. Canon A. F. Williams.

At first, a Christian Endeavour Association was formed in the college and this ultimately merged with page 85the Students' Christian Union. As might be expected, the Christian Union met with some opposition among the boys themselves. This opposition manifested itself in what was called the "Te Kooti Gang," one of the leaders of which was Henare Wepiha Wainohu, well-known as the Padre of the Pioneer Battalion which distinguished itself during the first World War. A fine monument which was erected to the memory of Wepiha can be seen in the town of Wairoa North.