Reunion a cause for celebration

Monday 23 December 2019 | Published in Culture


Reunion a cause for celebration
Kariana Karika Hagai with the portraits of Papa Anguna and Mama Poroi. 19122006.

If you happened to pass by the Rakahanga hostel on Thursday at 11am, chances are you heard the singing of the Anguna-Poroi family as they reunited under one roof.

With over 155 family members in attendance, some who are new faces, their 2019 reunion is the second one the Anguna-Poroi family has had since the first in December of 2017.

The opening ceremony was at 11am, then after lunch the family tree was presented and a descendant of each of Papa Anguna and Mama Poroi’s 10 children talked about their lineage and displayed their family line.

The Anguna-Poroi family reunion aimed to educate the whole family about their ancestors and family history, so that everyone knew who and where it was that they came from.

Family member Temarama Anguna said of the location: “Mama Poroi and Papa Anguna are from Tupapa, so it’s ideal that we are having our ceremony at the Rakahanga hostel not far from where they lived.”

The focal point of their reunion this year is to share with and get to know the family members that they haven’t met before. They are coming from all over New Zealand, Australia, Aitutaki, Atiu and Rarotonga.

Some of the family members who knew family ancestors shared stories about them.

Said Anguna: “I’m very excited to meet my family today. Some of our parents have passed on, and we can remember them today when we share our stories of them alongside with our genealogy.”

Anguna said it was important that those attending be mindful that their young ones weren’t going to know everyone they were related to, or where they come from, so it was good to introduce them to the family at a reunion.

“It means that they know who they come from, and when they see their uncles, aunties and cousins around, they know that is their family.”

One of the younger members of the family, Kariana Karika Hagai, said: “For me, the reunions are important because we meet family that we have never known existed. It’s good to have a reunion because, later on when you get older, you might marry your cousin since you didn’t know that you are related to them.

“That’s the reason why I think reunions are the best. I always make sure that our family goes to them.”

On Friday, after going out on a Captain Tama’s cruise, the whole family was planning to visit the Arorangi landfill.

The trip to the landfill was so that members of the family can see where all of their rubbish and waste ends up, and that they would think more about the ultimate destination of their rubbish.

“What we want is for them to understand where their rubbish ends up going, so that they can contribute to preserving our environment and taking care of our island by changing their habits when it comes to the plastic and other materials they use.”

Anguna said it was important not just for the young ones, but for the adults of the family to be aware of the effect humans had on the environment.

The Anguna-Poroi family are set on using their 2019 reunion to highlight the importance of getting to know who your family, what your history is, as well as being environmentally conscious.

As Anguna put it, “At the end of the day, at least we know who we are, we understand our family line and we get to talk about our ancestors.”

- Hereiti File