Topic: ANZAC

Brothers born into a legacy

By Taroi Black

A group of young Air Cadets took to the streets of Auckland alongside their war heroes.

One boy in particular, Ihaia Asher West, carries the name of a pilot who was also part of the Royal New Zealand Air Force in 1942.

He was born into a legacy.

Ihaia Asher West says, "Koro Ihaia was in the air force and this is the air cadets, so I feel like I have this connection to him and also because I carry his name. So it's sort of like I’m leaving something behind as well that can be in remembrance to him."

His great great grandfather Ihaia William Trainor fought for the Royal Air Force. He was killed when his plane was shot down in France in 1944. 

“He was supposed to meet the French resistance for what I was know, giving intel.  But sadly he was shot down. He had a brother Koro Tahae who was named after my brother too,” says Ihaia Asher West.

Both boys will travel to France and Italy next year to retrace their namesake's journeys.

“When I started to learn about it at H.S I realised it was more than just Anzac cookies and all that. So people fought so that we can have what we have now and not be under some dictatorship,” says Ihaia Asher West.

Angie Asher says, “I'm proud of my son and all his efforts. He knows the story behind his name and the connection to his koro.”  

With a great legacy to explore, Ihaia marches on.