Yesterday afternoon, after 54 years, the Matavera Radio mast that towered above Takitumu primary school disappeared from view.
A few people from the village stopped by to watch its dismantling, oblivious to the goings-on. School kids cheerily posed for a photo waving goodbye to the mast and continued with their soccer practice.
For me, I felt moments of sadness witnessing its removal, after growing up nearby, its structure permanently soaring above the scenery.
Like all the kids, we learned to ride motorbikes on the school field beneath the mast. It wouldn’t be allowed now!
A woman recalled how men in the village had used tractors to pull the cables taut; a special mention was made of the late Aneru Tautu Snr who would climb up and down the mast with no trouble, for its maintenance checks.
Espen Torget, the project manager who led the mast’s demolition, said he too felt a little sad. It was a landmark he would always see from the ocean when paddling past – but no longer.