Pat Hetaraka Memorial, Clevedon

Memorial Memorial plaque

A memorial stone protected by a low wire fence stands in isolation in a field beside the Clevedon-Kawakawa Bay Road, not far from the Waitarata Bridge.

This is a memorial to Private Patrick Reuben (also known as Pat Hetaraka) of the 28 Māori Battalion. Private Reuben was killed in action at Rimini, Italy, on 22 September 1944. He is buried in the Cesena War Cemetery near where he fell. However, not long after the war his parents also built a memorial to him near the family home. This was unveiled on 22 September 1945. More than 400 people attended the ceremony. The service of commemoration was performed by the Reverend R.W. Murray, Presbyterian minister and former military chaplain. The lesson was read by Mr G. Brown. Two returned soldiers of the Māori Battalion, Corporal A. King and Private D. Jack, performed the unveiling. Mr J.A. McPherson, President of the Clevedon RSA, gave an address and laid a laurel wreath at the foot of the memorial stone.

The inscription is today badly weathered. It reads as follows:-

HE TOHU / WHAKAMAHARATANGA AROHA / MO TA MAUA / TAMAITI RAKATAHA / PTE. PATRICK REUBEN 802350 / 12TH REINFORCEMENT MAORI BTN / I MATE KI RIMINI ITALY / ITE 22 ONGA AA O HEPETEMA 1944 / PUPUHI E TE HAU IRUNGA / O RIMINI / ARA IRUNGA ITE URUPA / O TAMATOU TAMAITI TUNGAANE / AROHA-NUI. / THE DESERT BREEZE BLOWING / ON THE GRAVE SO FAR AWAY / WHERE THEY LAID OUR SON AND BRO. / ONE YEAR AGO TODAY / YOUR DUTY NOBLY DONE.  / ― / AROHA-NUI NA O MATUA / TUAKANA TUAHINE TEINA / TE IWI HOKI / CLEVEDON. / ― / ALSO IN MEMORY OF HIS COMRADES, BOTH MAORI AND PAKEHA / WHO FELL WITH HIM.

Sources: ‘Memorial Unveiled: Soldier Killed Overseas’, Auckland Star, 24/9/1945, p. 3; ‘Maori Memorial: Clevedon Ceremony: Unveiling of Monument’, Auckland Star, 3/10/1945, p. 8; ‘A Memorial to a Maori Soldier’, Hirere, no. 6, March 1994, p. 15; Cenotaph Database.

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