99-year-old remembers her life with the prophet

By Tema Hemi
  • North Island: West Coast

The Ratana movement remains as strong as ever almost 100 years after its inception.  99-year-old Ngā Haerenga a te Mangai Noa Nicholson takes a moment to reflect back on life and growing up within the religious beliefs of the Ratana Church.

Nicholson will celebrate her 100th birthday in March and was just five when the movement began.

The elder now observes the younger generations as they take on the different roles of the church. 

She has witnessed many changes in her time and looks forward to coming back to Ratana next year.

"The children of today are raised in our native tongue and learn from our learning nest.  They are very fortunate from the time they are infants they know how to speak our language.  That's why I'm so proud."

Souljah Niania Puha, a junior of the Te Reo o Hamuera band from the Hawkes Bay says, "The mangai said, 'this is your responsibility and that is his or hers'.  I take up this position upon my love for my family.  I play this instrument for the mangai and God so that the sun may shine on you all."