|The unveilings for Ihapera Ruamamao Hardiman, my great-great-grandmother, and her great grand daughter Harriet Emma Diamond-Ogilvy took place at Ripeka Tapu, Rangi Point, on Easter Sunday 16 April 2006.
Ihapera Ruamamao Hardiman
Imoeroai Ihapera (Isabella) Pape's early life is somewhat obscure.
She was a daughter of Pape and his wife Karehu, but she was adopted by Pape's brother Chief Te Toko and his wife Kiriwehi.
From records we know that she married Robert Henry Hardiman, a sea captain from Whitechapel, London. The marriage was at Nuhaka, Pakanae, New Zealand's earliest Methodist Mission Station.
They lived at "Ohopa" for over 22 years.
By 1858 they had a family of seven children.
Annie (Ani), who married Ralph Fletcher Watkins,
Eliza (Raiha), who married Wiremu Rikihana,
Mary, who married Leopold Puhipi,
George (Hori), who married Mary Stuart Maning,
John (Hone), who married Georgina Sarah Stott,
Selwyn (Titi), who married Emily Broughton,
and Lionel (Kake).
Ihapera died at Te Mata in 1878.
Her husband Robert Hardiman died at Whanui in 1892, aged 87 years.
We commemorate her memory along with the koiwi that was brought from Te Rewa.
Few today could measure up to the calibre of these pioneers.
Ahakou Koa Pomamao - Pumau tonu te aroha.
Harriet Emma Diamond-Ogilvy
Harriet Emma, commonly known as Rita, was a daughter of James Agathos Watkins and Annie (nee Slade) Wynard, who lived at Mararaki.
She had humble beginnings having been born in a bush camp at "Te Ohu" on 8 June 1918.
Nevertheless as she grew up she worked and studied hard, becoming a trained school teacher. In this she excelled.
She married on 29 December 1944, and moved from schools in the North to the King Country, where her husband Walter Diamond worked in the timber mills.
Although she had no family of her own she had a special bond with many of the children in her care so that they became in reality like one big family.
Rita's life was full of kindly deeds. She was always concerned for others needs. She gave unconditional love, not expecting praise except knowing she was making someone happy. Her home was a haven to many who found peace in her company in their declining years.
Although widowed before retirement she continued teaching in the North, finally having a holiday abroad. After this she retired to Kaikohe where she married Claude Ogilvy, an elderly man whose parents originated from "Te Ruaki" Rangi Point, on 3 February 1992. Claude died soon after on 7 April 1992.
"Aunty Rita", as everyone knew her, passed away 3 May 2004.
Words are inadequate to describe Rita's life, nor would she wish to be praised. Her determination to be independent all through her life was remarkable. She was spiritually guided and knew her destiny in God's eternal love and promises.
Rest in peace.
An unveiling frequently takes place a year or two after the tangi, but there is no protocol regarding time. In ancient times the bones were scraped clean after being buried or perhaps placed in a tree, and then they were re-intered, often in a cave. In modern times the unveiling can mark the end of the period of mourning. The veil is lifted off the headstone. The text is read. Orations and prayers follow. Everyone pays their respects. Then there is kai.
When Ihapera was moved the bones of some others also buried at Te Rewa may have been brought with her. This is the koiwi.