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Te Harinui - Great Joy

Ric Carlyon - Thursday, December 25, 2014


"But on a summer day
within a quiet bay
the Maori people heard
the great and glorious word.
The people gathered round
upon the grassy ground,
and heard the preacher say
"I bring to you this day.....
Te Ha-ri-nu-i
Te Ha-ri-nu-i
Te Ha-ri-nu-i,
glad tidings of great joy”.

 - New Zealand carol, "Te Harinui", by Aucklander Katherine Faith "Willow" Macky, QSM, written to recall and celebrate the first Christian service on New Zealand soil, Chrsitmas Day 1814, led by Rev Samuel Marsden who used the scripture, Second Chapter of St. Luke’s Gospel, tenth verse: “Behold! I bring you glad tidings of great joy.”.

The service, 200 years ago today, is generally held by historians as positive engagement between Maori and the new-comers, one of the first moves towards the beginning of pakeha settlement. New Zealand's first Justice of the Peace, Thomas Kendall, was a member of the small missionary team who, just a few days before, had arrived from Sydney.  

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