Medal citation for Pa George Karika

The citation for the Distinguished Conduct Medal awarded to Private Pa George Karika, New Zealand Rarotongan Company.

Sergeant Pa George Karika DCM

Pa George Karika enlisted in the second contingent from the Cook Islands. His command of English and the respect in which he was held by the other men saw Karika promoted to corporal when the group which became known as the Rarotongan Company left New Zealand in November 1916.

In Egypt Karika was promoted to sergeant. He served initially with the Eastern Force Ammunition Column and then, from October 1917, with No. 97 Heavy Battery, Royal Regiment of Artillery. In February 1918, Karika was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for ‘conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty while in command of a platoon.’

Karika was hospitalised in late 1918, returned to New Zealand and discharged. His DCM was presented to him in Rarotonga in March 1921. He was the only Pacific Islander in the NZEF to receive this decoration.

Pa George Karika went on to be prominent in farming, church and sporting organisations in the Cook Islands. During the Second World War he was a member of the Cook Islands Local Defence Force. He became a paramount chief on the death of his mother.

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2 comments have been posted about Medal citation for Pa George Karika

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Mareta Jones

Posted: 24 May 2013

Hi to my fellow men & mamas papas & especially to our Grandfathers who put there lives, to join the army, In due respect I am honoured,to say well done,for their generosity giving their lives for many.I like to pay my respect to all of them who served in this war.I will always carry a torch for my beloved grandfather, Nooiti Taianu, Who also served in this terrible war. May we honour them with dignity & their legacy live on in our life forever & ever. I have lived in Tutakimoa went to school in Avarua & my last home is Arorangi. I have known a lot of people in my time as a kid growing up. Kia orana ei te Atua tatou i tona aroa ua. kia manuia.

ave arii kallahar (nee name Mataiti)

Posted: 26 Mar 2012

Hi there, George Pa Karika was my grandfather on my mother's side. My mother is second born to his children. I never got to know him but I do remember knowing a little of his wife, (ngapoko) but wished I did. Me and my husband have been looking into my grandfather's history background and I'm so grateful that I have this information which have helped me a lot. I'm so proud of him and to all of the Rarotongan's that went to war. God bless them all. Kia Orana kia tatou katoa.