Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Mighty falling

In Aotearoa/New Zealand there is much wisdom carried in Maori whakatauki or sayings. One that is in mind at the moment is:

Kua hinga te totara i te wao nui a Tane
The totara has fallen in the forest of Tane

The totara is a tall and mighty tree and when it falls it leaves a great gap in a forest. This whakatauki acknowledges when someone of importance has passed away. In the last two months two mighty 'trees' have fallen and I write to acknowledge them, honour them and in some way take heart from the gifts they have left behind.

Both my friend, Liz Bowen-Clewley, and my uncle, Ted (Neil Edward) Gallagher, were champions of those who did not have a voice. They were tenacious and unyielding in their pursuit of justice for others. They did not go around trying to please and placate, they got out there and did stuff and made a difference in this world. They worked between employers and employees, bridging what is sometimes a treacherous divide to reach solutions that met the needs of both parties. They worked in service of others, always. They cared. They cared deeply. They both loved animals. Liz loved the arts, Ted loved his sport. They had enormous respect from others in the fields they worked in, respect earned because of who they were and how they worked. They forged new ground in these fields, they were bold and if they saw a problem they found solutions. They didn't seek glory or status, having made a difference appeared to be recognition enough.

I feel that the world is poorer for the loss of these pretty amazing people. We need more people who are willing to stand and be counted, more people who will go against the tide if it is the right thing to do, more people willing to do the hard yards rather than take the easy path, more people who are committed to pursuing justice for those whose voice too often go unheard. We need more people like Liz and Ted... many, many more.

I am blessed to have had both these remarkable people in my life and they have shaped me and will continue to as I look up to them and aspire to be more like them. Perhaps in my desire for more people to be like Liz and Ted I should start with me.

Go well everyone. Love big, care deep and get out there and do stuff that matters.

1 comment:

  1. Kia ora Meg. I've just read your blog about Liz and Ted and I love this. I attended Liz's farewell bash in the weekend just gone and when it came to the tributes was at a loss for words. If I had seen this beforehand I would have asked for your permission to read this out word for word. This is a fitting tribute and all who were there would have nodded their heads in agreement. Nga mihi nui.