Pictured left to right: Burt and Rachel.
Taken in the early 70’s at a function. Photo donated to Tapatoru by Moi Ihakara prior to Moi’s passing on 14 July, 2009.
HAKARAIA - RACHEL (B) 1948 - (D) 29.12.81
One of Karen Te Wao's closest friends passed over on the 29th December 1981. We celebrated her life in our "TATOU" December 2012 issue with a personal reflection from Karen about her. Here is the extract from the issue
Rachel Hakaraia aka Rachel Peron.
Rachel and I grew up in a small country town north of Wellington. Although there were a number of years between us our lives would connect later in years.
Rachel had left home when she was about sixteen and moved to Wellington to find herself. She was living in Devon Street with Robena, Ingrid and Moi and was working at Carmen” Coffee Lounge on Vivian Street for Carmen.
In those days you were either a Carmen queen or a “Sunset” queen. Rachel was both! She lived with the “Sunset” queens while working either at the “Coffee Bar “or at the “Balcony”
Rachel loved big cars and back in the day owned Ford Falcons and would drive home to see her grandfather.
Rachel’s mother, Rachel and her sister lived with her grandfather most of their lives. On both side of her grandfather’s house was his daughter and whanau (Rachel’s Aunty) and on the other was her Uncle.
While Rachel love living in Wellington she was extremely close to her grandfather who was living on his own. When he became sick Rachel made the decision to move home to care for him. While Living there our paths crossed we were like minded people and after awhile I went to live with Rachel and her grandfather for about two years.
The time that we lived together was some of the best years of my life.
Rachel’s grandfather was the “patron” of the local racing club and because of that we would often go to different race meetings around the region and would be invited to attend the “Presidents Luncheon” which was a banquet fit for a king.
“Father Dear” is what I used to call him and he would call me “Pet” we would share many long hours of him telling me about his life in earlier years growing up which fascinated me.
Rachel and I would often drive to Wellington and visit friends including Carmen and Chrissy Witoko and then drive back on the Saturday.
Living in a small country town we would mix a lot with Rachel’s cousins and would sometimes go to Levin or to Foxton to listen to bands that were playing at the local pubs. Those were the days of famous Maori bands such as “Trinity”, ”The Shadracks”,”The Maori Volcanics” “The Quin Tikis”, “The Howard Morrison Quartet” and The Maori Hi Fives.
We would go there and drink raspberry and lemonade as one of us was always driving. Rachel was very close to her sister and her children and we would often go there for lunch and dinner and baby sit the kids.
I returned to Wellington and Rachel followed not long after her grandfather passed over.
While we were still close we started to live our own lives again and would meet every now and then for a coffee and a catch up.
Then one morning I got call to say that Rachel had passed away. The first thing I did was to hitch home to be with her. She was laying to rest at her sister’s home and then they took her to the marae to lie. Most of the sisters from Wellington all came to pay their respects to this beautiful amazing woman who had a lot to give to others.
May you rest in peace?
Whenever I go home I always try to visit Rachel and her grandfather at the urupa (cemetery)