Blessing of Tomokanga and Facilities at St Peter’s College

WelCom October 2020 Kevin Shore Kia ora koutou, On September 10, St Peter’s College, Palmerston North, hosted a special event to re-dedicate our Tomokanga (entrance carving), which was recently restored…

WelCom October 2020

Blessing of Tomokanga and Facilities at St Peter’s College Archdiocese of Wellington
Tomokanga re-dedicated at St Peter’s College on a special morning.
Photo: Supplied

Kevin Shore

Kia ora koutou,

On September 10, St Peter’s College, Palmerston North, hosted a special event to re-dedicate our Tomokanga (entrance carving), which was recently restored by carver Craig Kawana at Massey University, and to bless our new Administration Centre and acknowledge the completion of a long cycle of re-building at the College.

The origins of our Tomokanga began in 1998 when Pā Doug Mohi, Pā Wi Kaipuke, Craig Kawana, Rex Begley, Tari Matenga and then-principal Ron O’Leary created the concepts for a beautiful Tomokanga to sit at the entrance of our College. The carving incorporated many integral elements of our Catholic faith as well as key Māori missionaries of different iwi who were responsible for spreading the Word of God in Aotearoa. The Tomokanga is uniquely Rangitāne and of our place. It incorporates the concept of ngā hau e wha (the four winds) to highlight that St Peter’s students come from, and go into, all parts of Aotearoa.

Cardinal John Dew was very gracious in agreeing to come up to Palmerston North to participate in the re-dedication ceremony of the Tomokanga and to lead the blessing liturgy in the new Administration Centre. 

Wiremu Te AweAwe and Hohepa Isacc-Sharland of Rangitāne facilitated the ceremony starting at 5.30am on a very damp morning, followed by a whakatau in the whārenui before breakfast. It was a beautiful occasion where love, connection and partnership were significant themes in the mihi. The College is very grateful to Craig Kawana for restoring our wonderful taonga and for the generosity of the Rangitāne iwi.

After breakfast, the blessing liturgy started with unveiling the ‘Legacy Wall’. It was created by builders who saved a section of an exterior wall from one of the College’s oldest original buildings, demolished in the rebuild. The wall section was plastered and affixed with the College’s original foundation stones from 1974. 

Cardinal John Dew blessed the Legacy Wall and completed the Blessing Liturgy in the Administration Centre. The beautiful liturgy involved scripture reading, reflections from Cardinal John and Mons Brian Walsh, waiata, prayers of the faithful and student participation. Actively involved in the liturgy were Mons Brian, Mons David Bell, Deacon Danny Karatea-Goddard, Vicar for Māori Pastoral Care, head students Lily-Rose Fraser and Jared Jackson, Br Doug Dawick representing the Marist Brothers, past-principal David Olivier, Yr 13 student Klem McJarrow-Keller and Korty Wilson our Kaiwhakarite Māori Apostolate. 

I thank all of our guests, whānau, parents, past and current board members, staff and students who all contributed to making this a special morning in our College life and a day to be proud of our legacy in Catholic education.

Ngā mihi nui.