Day 50 (Sunday July 9th)- Ward cruising and our Maori Members…

Bob and I wanted to get a big picture of how the church was doing on the island and so decided we would to go to a different branch each Sunday and then do some sightseeing after.  This will be our second sabbath in NZ (LDS Tools has been great to find our way to branches on the island!) and decided to visit the Bay of Islands branch.  This small branch is in Paihia.  Paihia is a very small beach town just 25 minutes from our home in KeriKeri.   The shops and hotels look like they have been mothballed waiting for the summer tourists to arrive.  It was the first time Bob and I paused to consider if it was safe to park our very obvious rental car and take a long walk on the beach.  Paihia Ward Building

This is a shop the church purchased along one of the arterial streets from the beach.  I am standing in front of the chapel and to my left is the primary/RS rooms.  There were probably 75 people in this little room.  In place of cushioned benches we sat on folding chairs.  The pianist was a missionary serving in the area…which was true in Auckland too. Though singing does not require a piano, it is still a nice touch to the spirit.  I found myself grateful, probably against his will, took those piano lessons.  It was a blessing to the small branch.  We were greeted by so many of the members as we walked in.  Unlike Kauai, I imagine they don’t get a lot of visitors to their branch.  The talks were wonderful. Though you hear it over and over again, it is true, the church feels the same, no matter where you are.  The branch was made up mostly of Maori’s.  I think there were maybe 2 or 3 people who were not Maori.  The counselor got up to conduct and you could see that he was very nervous.  He must have been new to the call but then he got up to give a talk and you realized these people cycle through talks and callings much faster than a large ward.  It is all hands on deck for these small branches.  When we settled in for the meeting we found ourselves right at home as we watched the deacons in front of us with their spinners!  Good heavens, they are everywhere!

Having just toured a museum on the history of New Zealand the day before, we were acquainted with the practice of the tribal tatooing but were so surprised to see that it is still practiced today.  Though I didn’t want to snap a picture of the couple across the isle from us at church, they both were tatooed, his entire face and her, her chin.


The Meaning of Ta Moko – Maori Tattooing. Ta Moko was like a history of a person’s achievements and represented their status in their tribe. It was like a resumé. … Ta Moko was worn by both men and women. It was applied to the face and buttocks of men, and to the chin, lips and shoulders of women.

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The makers of Moana did their homework when it came to tribal customs and what they mean…

Pauia Beach Walk

This beach is just a stones throw away from the chapel…

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