Boyd Remembrance

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‘We have come too far not to go further.

We have done too much not to do more’.


By Dave Moran

These words by the late Sir James Henare* were repeated on the shores of Whangaroa Harbour, Northland, New Zealand on Saturday 5 December 2009 in a speech during the Remembrance events of the Boyd Incident.

In December 1809 a group of Maori led by Te Pahi attacked the at anchor brigantine Boyd in retaliation for the mistreatment of a Maori chief’s son during the ship’s voyage from Sydney.

Of the 70 crew and passengers on board only four survived the attack. The most recorded survivor was two-year-old Betsy Broughton. In her adult life she finally settled in Sydney where she raised 17 children. Some of her descendents were guests of honour at the function which attracted over 500 people.

There are not many functions you can go to in New Zealand that are commemorating an historical event that happened 200 years ago. The day’s events began with three waka entering the bay opposite the Marlin Hotel. This was followed by a stirring haka, speeches, singing and finally cannon fire.

For those attending it was a time to reflect on a day when there was a dramatic clash of cultures which for many descendents, both Maori and Pakeha, left deep scars that are still felt today.

In his speech, Mike Hayes (a Boyd Remembrance Committee member) repeated the words of Sir Henare. For me and I guess for many there, these words are words of hope. Words to help the healing and in coming to terms with what happened 200 years ago and to continue the journey of two cultures, Maori and Pakeha, in this beautiful country.

Note: In March there will be another Remembrance event in the Bay of Islands to acknowledge Te Pahi and his people who were attacked and killed supposedly for their involvement in the Boyd incident.

For full details of coming events visit:

http://www.boydremembrance2009.co.nz

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