Kamiria Violet Mullen
Story by Tony Curting (Great Grandson)
The photo attached *** to this story is of Arapera Pikiwera Thoms with two of her daughters,Miriama Ngapaki and Roka and Wirihana Rangihaeata her niece Ngawhakahua Ani Retimana .Hua's son Te Waari Kereoma katene and Rawiri Iharaia. This is the Pikiwera whanau who whangai the little pakeha girl Aunty Kami.
***Special thanks to Aunty Pipi for providing me with this detail x
Aunty Kami - is my great grandmother and I am both privileged and lucky that the Pikiwera whanau chose to whangai (adopt) my 'Nane' and raise her at Hongoeka marae after her parents perished on a ship that travelled between the north and south islands of New Zealand back in the early 1890's.
Now I know very little detail of my Nane's life as a child or even young adult, but I do know that she had a deep love and appreciation for the Pikiwera whanau and our extended Hongoeka and Ngati Toa whanau. She was also very passionate about the Maori Womens Welfare League and was always proud to be associated with this awesome group of wahine. I totally understand this, having also been raised for my younger years at Hongoeka and shown how loving, influencial and strong our aunties could be - my Hongoeka Uncles were pretty cool too. In terms of Hongoeka this is a very special place iit is a beautiful settlement but what makes it really special are the people and whanau who live, visit and gravitate to this perfect little bay north of Porirua inlet. To really appreciate this place you need to visit and just spend time there.
I was lucky enough to spend many of my younger years being raised by Nane, Nana (Molly Crozier), Poppa (Bill Crozier), Mum (Lynne Crozier) and a wonderful group of Aunties and Uncles whom I all love and respect at Hongoeka. I grew up with my younger sister Debbie and brother Dennis in Nana's house along with Mum, Nana and Poppa. Our house was just up the driveway from Nane's. In between the houses was a great big walnut tree surrounded by a grassy patch and a garden that always seem to need some work.
This story of my 'Nane' is based on my memories of times with her in her later years (my very young years) along with some information recorded by Radio New Zealand in an interview given by 'Nane' on her life at Hongoeka.
My memores of Kamiria Mullen start back with visions of her big old house which sat between our house and the roadside across from the beach.. This house had two massive trees either side of the driveway in those days my thoughts float back to visiting this property bringing me memories of beautiful warm scones (rasberry jam and real butter), pork bones and puha, kumara (she loved sweet potatoes) - and it may seem funny to some but "Fish-heads". Nane loved fish heads and my Hongoeka uncles would often drop her snapper and/or groper heads after a successful catch. I think she loved the sweet taste of the meat around the skull but I also know she loved to eat the eyeballs as well - maybe there is something in this we should all think about as she lived into her 90's at our home in Hongoeka. Nane repaid our fishing whanau by making sure everyday she took her food scraps down to the beach in front of her house and feeding the abundant schools of herring which attracted the bigger fish into the bay.
<NB This Story is a work in progress - it will take sometime to complete, as it is very important to me, please feel free to visit and read my updates, if you are an Uncle, Aunty or Cousin who would like to provide more detail to me on my nane and her life please feel free to email me on email@example.com >
Arohanui - Tony C