It’s a year today since my old school teacher, Jim Okeroa, died. I still miss him.
This photo was taken when I went to Taranaki to launch my memoir, Touching Snow.
It’s a favourite book, because it tells of my childhood and the years spent with this special teacher. As a result of writing the memoir, I tracked him down. He wept when he read about himself, and the influence he had on me as a child.
His death notice in the paper ends with these words:
Po atarau, E moea iho nei
They mean ‘Now is the hour, when we must say goodbye’, and are the first lines of a well known song that is sung in both Maori and English, to farewell travellers.
It’s a fitting farewell song for my dear teacher. Here it is sung by St Joseph’s Girl’s choir.
and here by the Willow singers. I haven’t shared a video link before and can’t get it to embed, but if you click the link you should be able to hear it.