It's taken more than 50 years, but today the family of Māori war hero Toi Karini from Tolaga Bay has finally received a replacement citation to accompany his Croix de Guerre (Cross of War) medal for gallantry during WWI after it got washed away in the Gisborne floods in 1963.
It was an emotional moment for the Karini whānau who were finally able to fulfil their pāpā's wishes.
Angela Karini says, “It's so amazing for us, the family Karini, to come here and see how much love the tribe and everyone has for him.”
Private Toi Karini had tried desperately to get a replacement citation after it was washed away in the floods, but wasn't able to fulfil his desire before his passing in 1974.
Angela Karini says, “When he originally received his medal he was part of the ally's for England during that time.”
The family of Robert Walker also received a certificate of thanks for his contributions made to the safety of the French during World War I.
Eru Kaiwai says, “It is a great honour for the family but it's unfortunate for those who served alongside him that didn't receive a certificate like this too.”
Their young descendants came out in force to not only to honour these two men, but all their ancestors before them who served.