Newsletter Week 3 Term 4 / Pānui Wiki 3 Wāhaka 4

Kia ora e te whānau o St Annes!

Today is a special day, and it also is a day that annoys me!

Special because today is Guy Fawkes, a British celebration. This day is celebrated by many and looked forward to by many children.
Annoying because it is an anti-Catholic celebration.  Being the largest religion or denomination in New Zealand / Niu Tīreni, I am amazed it still exists.  Adding to this the risk of wildfires starting at this time of year from the improper use of fireworks, another good reason to stop this celebration.  Being Catholic, I would love to see this celebration stopped and added to Matariki or a similar NZ-based event, less anti-religion or  based UK-based. Read more about the ‘anti-Catholic’ origins here.

Special also, however sad, because today is Parihaka Day. The day of Plunder! Like Good Friday, the events are sad but will cause change for the good. The anniversary marks November 5, 1881, when Maori were evicted from Parihaka by 1600 armed constabulary and volunteers who invaded the pā (village). Farms were destroyed, women were violated and men were arrested. Previously, around 1500 people had lived at the settlement, sustained by produce grown in its communal gardens, with extra supplies used to feed thousands who turned up every month to listen to the messages of peace spoken by two respected elders. The men spoke of passive resistance, a non-violent alternative to picking up arms, even in the face of the land conflicts which had broken out in the 1860s around the province.
Annoying because it actually happened in NZ and many do not even know about it.

NZ history has not in the past been taught well in schools, but it is coming. Many of the St Annes staff know a lot about NZ history as we have been studying the not-so ‘highlighted’ stories of old. I say proudly, due to the study and knowledge staff have obtained here, we are helping almost 20 Catholic Schools in the structure and preparation of the NZ history curriculum. If you are new to Parihaka, more information is here. 

Regulations at School
Many thanks to all of those following the regulations of level two in an educational setting. Whilst many things can feel ‘annoying’ and ‘forced upon’, we have to remember our many families who have lost loved ones back in their home countries.  Many countries were hit hard early in the pandemic and compared to many NZ has had it very easy.  We must remember and be mindful of other members of our community who may have experienced firsthand what it can be like.
Also, please remember, regulations are mandated by the Ministry (Government). Please, I ask you not to direct questioning of the rules to me, our staff, or helpers of the school.  We have no say and are just following the rules as they are given to us from the Ministry. Please direct any concerns directly to the Ministry.

Swimming starts in just over a week, if you are available to assist on a daily basis and have proof of having received your first vaccination, please let us know. Thank you to those parents who have done this already, it is helping our planning. Unfortunately, the pool rules are no spectators and the minimum amount of helpers without reducing safety in other ways.

Teacher Only Day – Thursday 11 November

Picture: Parihaka

Enjoy the weekend!
Dallas and the team