Title: Henry Lawson Among Maoris

Author: William H. Pearson

Publication details: Reed Publishing (NZ) Ltd, 1968, Wellington

Digital publication kindly authorised by: Paul Millar

Part of: New Zealand Texts Collection

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Henry Lawson Among Maoris


page 69

page 69

ahatanga ranei kinonga ranei ki[te] patu kino i nga tamariki o te kura, tera ka tae atu e* whakaaturanga ki a koe a aku ranei; a te Tiamana ranei. Heoi ano ena kupu. Kei te aroha matou ki a Tanaha, raua [ko] tona hoa wahine i muri i a raua kua motu ke atu nei i a matou. Na te Pononga aroha, te

Keepa te Hina ranginui.

Great is our liking for our schoolmaster Danahaer and his wife sent to us by you and the Government. We like them so well because they have become people to us and we are now kin to them and they to us. He is a very good master with no faults. He does not beat the children severely. He teaches them well and with kindliness and there is harmony. There is no master like Danaher for skill and kindness in teaching the children. Who can speculate if this schoolmaster to be sent after him will be as good and gentle as Danaher and his wife? Would it not be possible that this can be settled by Danaher and my chairman interviewing this schoolmaster who is coming concerning his virtues and calmness (I trust this is the case) or his other qualities, or bad points such as severely beating our school children. Then word would be sent to you by the chairman or myself. It will suffice for this matter [to say] we will love Danaher and his wife even after they have been separated from us. From your affectionate servant,

Keepa te Hina Ranginui.

But the committee were not favoured with their request: Pope's reply was non-committal: 'I was pleased to find that you think so highly of Mr & Mrs Danaher.' R. H. Beck a bachelor arrived without the preliminary inspection the chairman had hoped to give him. Beck had applied several times to get into Native education and at the time of his first application in 1879 he was clerk at a Wellington brewery. He had been employed as journalist, clerk, and book-keeper, and he had taught at Gympie and Warwick in Queensland. He was teaching at Kaituna when he applied for Mangamaunu. He was appointed the day Keepa te Hina's letter was written.

At the start he apparently got on well. Kirk reported at the end of 1886: 'Mr Beck has established himself on a good foot-

* e= he. 'The h is invariably omitted in the early texts'. Note supplied by Dr P. W. Hohepa.