Encouraged to write and tell their stories through good writing, the students were challenged to produce their original memoir - an important genre that records the fine details of culture.
The competition had three sections; Year 7-8, 9-10 and 11-13, with each having a Maori and English category. The winning entries of each section were announced on September 8 as a part of literacy week. Last week CINews published a memoir by Poe Tiare Ruhe-Tararo who won first prize in the Year 11-13 English category.
Here are more of the winning memoirs.
Year 7-8 English Category
I was on the plane to Mangaia, my home. I was only four years old and didn’t know what was going on.
My mother was weeping. I didn’t know why because I did not know what passed away meant.
It all started when we were in New Zealand. The phone rang. My mother picked up the phone.
‘Kia orana… aue… taku Papa?’ she questioned.
As she broke the news to the family, more weeping echoed through the house.
I still didn’t know what the heck was going on, until I tracked my mother down. She was alone talking to herself, sitting next to a long box with Dad lying in it. So peaceful, so sleepy, so cold.
A new day dawned. Everyone was rushing everywhere having a shower, wearing nice clothes. My mother put me into a nice rainbow dress. We went on the pickup to a place with cliffs. A man in a long black dress was saying funny words out of his mouth. They put that long box in the ground and covered it with dirt.
Why are they dirtying Dad’s new bed and hiding it, I wondered?
Back home again my mother pulled me close.
‘Darling that was not a bed, it was a coffin. Passed away,’ she said, ‘means he’s dead.’
As she pulled me closer, I shed my tears.
Year 9-10 English Category
The afternoon winds blew normally, the afternoon sun still in the sky, nice and high. I made my way to the field with the breeze on my face and the road beneath my rubber tires. With the traffic racing by me, I continued cycling with food stuffed in mouth. Yum. Chicken and chips taste delicious.
I arrived at the Titikaveka rugby field to see that the boys were training very hard. Sweat dripping like water from a tape.
“Hey Ioane!” they called to me.
“Yo, wat’s up?” I replied with actions. Slipping my rugby boots on, and moving like Flash to where the lads were.
My coach called me over and gave me an envelope. He said to give it to my parents and to make sure that they read it, and then delivered it to the Cook Islands Football Association.
As training went on the sun’s rays beat down on me and the lads with our legs shaking. Aha, a sign of weakness. Eus, eeus, the sound as the lads hit the shoulder pads.
‘O gee, what’s the time?’ I ask.
‘6.20pm,’ my cuz, my friend replies.
‘Gotta go. See yous boys tomorrow.’
I hopped on my bike and journeyed home through the dark. I was dying to tell Dad. I gave him the envelope and watched his face light up.
‘Good luck son.’ He smiled.