Pakowahi memorial centre, Ōpōtiki

The Pakowahi Memorial Community Centre in Victoria Street, Ōpōtiki, was formally opened on 19 March 1960. An estimated 5000 people attended the ceremony, organized by the Pakowhai Tribal Committee of Management. The day’s celebrations included representative basketball and rugby matches, a talent quiz, and a social and dance.

The large, well-appointed hall, designed by Mr Tua Hudson, had been built by voluntary effort and community fundraising (even the trees donated to provide timber for the building had been felled in the bush by a team of local men).

Bishop Wiremu Panapa Aotearoa, who dedicated the hall, also unveiled two bronze memorial tablets in honour of the fallen soldiers of the two world wars. It seems that these were later placed at the base of a memorial flagpole erected in front of the hall.

Well-used in its time, today the hall has a rather forlorn appearance.

See: ‘Pakowhai Memorial Community Centre’, Opotiki News, 18/3/1960; ‘Maoris Build War Memorial Centre’, Auckland Star, 12/3/1960, p. 6.

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