More powerful than words: students pay a beloved teacher last respects

Dawson Tamatea was one of the most popular teachers at the Palmerston North Boys' High School in Wellington, New Zealand. He taught gym and math for over 30 years, leaving an indelible mark on generations of students. When he died, the students planned a special tribute for his funeral to show their respect for him. They decided to perform a Haka, a traditional war dance of the New Zealand aboriginals, the Maori. This dance was originally performed by the Māori to intimidate enemies and it has since been embraced by Kiwis of all backgrounds to celebrate their national heritage. The school was only open for a half day so that the entire student body and faculty could attend Mr. Tamatea's funeral. This moving performance must be seen:

The school wrote: "The entire school performing the Haka during the arrival of Mr. Tamatea in the hearse. This was a very emotional and powerful performance. We are extremely proud of our boys' performance and we know that Mr Tamatea would be too." The passion with which the students danced and chanted reveals the depth of their admiration for their teacher. Teachers have such an important role in the life of a community. What a powerful tribute to a man whose legacy will live on for a long time through the many lives he touched.


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