Saturday, August 11, 2012

Raukokore Anglican Church

Raukokore Church
Rounding yet another bend on our journey, (see last 3 posts), was yet another picture postcard scene.  This beautiful little Anglican church was a brilliant white reflecting the morning sun.  It is isolated on what looked like a small peninsula and appeared to be sitting right at the water's edge.  Its design looked somewhat out of place and in sharp contrast to the red carvings on the outside of typical Maori maraes, (sacred meeting places), that dot this part of New Zealand.  The church was one of several built in the area by Captain Duncan Sterling, a pakeha, (generally translated to mean a New Zealander not of Maori descent), from hand sawed timber.  Eventually he was married there in 1896 to Mihi Kotukutuku.  Mihi became the chief of Te Whanau-a-Apanui, (her Maori tribe), and she and Duncan had 10 children.  Stirling knew very little Maori, but connections between the Anglican Church and the local Maori people were strengthened through their marriage and Duncan's skill as an architect/builder.