In May 2014 Ngati Porou historian Dr Monty Soutar led a large contingent to the lands where our tipuna fought during World War One and World War Two, to Tunisia, Italy, Greece and Turkey.Originally the pilgrimage was to take place last year, to mark the 70th Anniversary of the Battle of Tebaga Gap where 2/Lt Te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa Ngarimu won the Victoria Cross.
The majority of the participants were descendants of C Company of the Maori Battalion. For many it was an emotional pilgrimage and the realisation of a long held dream to pay homage to their tipuna who did not return home. For some, including the large representation of rangatahi, it was an education about the contribution and sacrifices of our Papa. For those who were not on the journey, the Ngarimu VC Pilgrimage Europe 2014 Facebook page provided up to the minute coverage with postings made by members of the roopu and connected people to what was happening.
Leanne Tamaki who works alongside Dr Monty Soutar at the Ministry for Culture and Heritage was on the tour and shared the following images and korero on behalf of Monty and the group for Nati Link. Leanne administers the 28th Maori Battalion website and welcomes contributions to the website. The tour group will meet again at the opening of the C Company House and launch of the te reo Maori version of Nga Tama Toa on November 15th.
Download the August 2014 edition of Nati Link to view more images and korero about the recent Ngarimu VC Pilgrimage.