How brave friends are to sift through all our conversations and keep only the good. When life ends only the good rises up. Time and time again only the good lasts. The effort we made to support others, the times we visited when there were problems, the way we held the ground for others. Good survives and reigns.
Friendship is Art, Art is friendship. I have just written a eulogy for Ngawai Te Hinga Mc Intyre who was 88 years old. A beautiful Maori woman who lived as a monk. What was it about our friendship?
After a day of note taking and sorting pictures of many events, I put the video together and tomorrow it will be used in the service for her.
She was tiny and had a huge spirit. She was multicultural and held a world view on everything.
She had a black belt as her defence and she went to court to prisons, to councils, supporting her whanau`s legal problems. She meant no harm to anyone. She had trained as a minister of the church, one woman amongst 35 men. She then married a wealthy man and travelled the world. When that marriage ended, she became kuia to the New Zealand Children`s Art House around the country.
She got lost in the world of children and danced and sang with them. Now everyone remembers her smile, her joy, her laughter.At 60 she looked 40. At 80 she looked 60. She was forever young.
I am left thinking of her self- dignity, her discipline and her friendship to me. She made me feel I was her bestie, and I know that everyone felt like that. Her best friend. Dismissing complaints, shame pain, blame and the culture of complaint, Nagwai turned tables on so many people with her warmth and smile. Ngawai served humanity without complaint.
I send you her recent picture and her story as a friendship token for your FRIENDSHIP & FRIENDSHIPOLOGY work.
About Shona <www.shonahammondboys.com>
I am a New Zealander. I was born at the end of the war, in Te Kuiti, in the King Country and my earliest days were spent in Pureora forest. I grew up on a farm in Kio Kio near a marae. It was on the border of the King Country and the Waikato. I attended school in the predominantly Maori village of Kihikihi. In my earliest years in Hairini, I was educated in Maori history and I understand the bond with the environment that runs deep in Maori.
That same bond is very deep within me. I am passionate about my native land. I love the stories about the legendary inhabitants of the bush wrapped in cloaks of flax and fern and having sometimes extraordinary powers to meddle for good or for evil in the affairs of humankind. I was lucky enough to be a first scholar at Waikato University and Teachers Training College and developed strong associations with Marae and Schools across New Zealand. I have travelled and taught around the world but New Zealand is my home.
I went to USA for the first time in 1963-1964 on an American Field Service Scholarship. This cemented the significance of the Maori people in my life because I saw many different cultural groups and studied the different races living in New York.
In New Zealand I qualified with distinction as a teacher in 1967 and later in 1989 as an artist majoring in Figurative studies and portraiture. I held the appointed Government position for the Northern Regional Arts Council of the Queen Elizabeth Arts Council and as an artist, I was invited to go to Waitangi to make many sketches of the diverse Maori groups there for the 1990 ceremonies held for the commemoration of the 150 years since the Treaty of Waitangi signing. This was a government commission.
Pirimi’s World, a series of five readers by Shona Hammond Boys QSM, results from her studies of gifted and talented children in The New Zealand Children`s Art Houses of which she is National Director and Founder. Shona was awarded the Inaugural World Children Award 2015, by International Child Art Foundation for her services to children`s art worldwide. Shona`s CV is available on her website and these books are also on line at www.shonahammondboys.com The books are filmed and set to music by He Tangata Digital Media Systems Limited www.htdm.maori.nz with Laban Freeman as voice over.
- PIRIMI`S HOMEWORK: Pirimi`s kapahaka whanua is a collection of portraits of his family. He draws this for homework instead of writing and essay. It shows relationships and an extended family life.
- PIRIMI`S PEOPLE: A collection of portraits about Pirimi`s neighbours who come from all walks of life and the globe.It includes a map of the neighbourhood and where they all live.
- PIRIMI`S NATURE STUDIES: The natural life around him is a subject of great interest to Pirimi. He shares his knowledge of the local animals and creatures in his immediate environment.
- PIRIMI`S EXHIBITION: Pirimi`s solo exhibition is to raise money for a Children`s Art House. He puts up 80 portraits of friends and family .He uses his talents to advocate for others.
- PIRIMI`S GARDEN AND THE BEES: This reveals Pirimi`s true concern for the environment, the global future and shows how our attitude to the environment matters. Pirimi has a bee hive and advises everyone to stop using sprays and chemicals and to look after the bees.
Billy’s Comments: I met Shona at the 2015 World Children’s Festival sponsored by International Child Art Foundation in Washington D.C. . She was the first person who approached me and inquired if I belonged to a Friendshipology Organization. I answered “No, but how about we explore together to create one ?” We thus became “Bosom Friends”. Indeed, I feel most inspired by Shona’s dedication to Art and the KINDNESS she has practised, taught, and promoted around the world.