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Legends of the Maori

Samoa’s Sorrow — Farewell to the Chief

page 272

Samoa’s Sorrow
Farewell to the Chief

THE following eloquent passage of lamentation and praise is from the “New Zealand Samoa Guardian”:—“During his record term of office as Minister of Native Affairs, Sir Maui Pomare had every opportunity to acquire wealth and ease had he chosen to consider riches above service, but, like Sir James Carroll before him, he died a poor man so far as this world’s goods go, but rich to overflowing in the esteem and love of his people. Whilst Sir Maui was proud of the last remaining independent Polynesian Government of Tonga and felt confident that Samoa’s future can only be assured by the restoration of the autonomy of Samoa, he realised the predominance of the pakehas in New Zealand and that the advancement of the Maoris was therefore only possible by adhering to the methods of the white-man government while preserving as much as possible the culture and traditions of the Maori people. Pakeha and Maori alike must pay tribute to the great work of Sir Maui Pomare for the restoration of the titles to the Maoris of their confiscated land, and the many other rights and privileges of the Maoris guaranteed by the Treaty of Waitangi which have been encroached on, and no New Zealand Government has ever observed or would have observed but for the persistent vigilance of men like the late Maori patriot, Sir Maui Pomare.

“Yes! Indeed, one of the greatest totara trees on one of the highest mountains of Maoriland fell on the death of Sir Maui Pomare, so also did a prince and a great man fall in Polynesia. Sir Maui Pomare is dead. Long live his line and his like. So say the Samoans.

“All of the race have reason to thank Lady Pomare and pray not only that she shall long live to fill the position which her husband has vacated in the hearts of his and her people, but also to guide her children so that the Polynesian proverb shall come true: ‘In the hearth where the warrior has fallen another warrior shall arise.’

“When he left Wellington but a brief month ago he carried as a treasured possession a Bible in the Samoan language presented by an Auckland friend from Samoa. He wrote en voyage to say how he was reading it more than any other book offering, and looked forward to returning to help poor Samoa in her hour of dire need. His voice is now silent; but what he has said he has said, and his passionate eloquence still rings and vibrates in the hearts of those who do not yet despair that some day truth and justice will prevail over ignorance and blind prejudice. Pomare is a sad loss to the cause of Samoa, but, as he would say with that lovely smile of his: ‘Manuia le mau.’”