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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 5, No. 2 April 23, 1942

The Maori

The Maori

One day not so long ago, I was travelling up the line from Wellington. From-where I was sitting I could see a Maori standing on the platform connecting our carriage to the next one.

Something more than space seemed to separate him from us, as he stood there, a strong dignified figure on the swaying platform.

If there was any prejudice against him as a Maori he looked it in the face as one does something mad, incalculable and carried on, knowing his own innate value among men.

I felt ashamed for us in the carriage and it seemed to me that we were hostile not only to the Maori but to each other.

At that moment the ticket collector stepped onto the platform to clip his ticket. The Maori talked and laughed, full of vitality, communicating it to the other so that he too smiled and laughed seeming to expand under his friendship.

And as I watched the Maori talking, I glanced round at my companions in the carriage and found myself wishing to God that upon their faces could appear smiles as generous as his.

—Patrick Hayman