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I think they spent three days celebrating the degree and didnt really do too much about the conference.I attended the conference because there was a gap between the people at home and those people that had gone overseas and the fact that a lot of them didnt return.In the fifties it became quite obvious if we didnt take our own destiny in our own hands, one day we would not be able to keep up with the changing world.
Some years ago in 1959 I ended up at the conference of young Maori leaders.
To some extent I thought that we really had gone up there to have a free hangi and to enjoy ourselves.
The major part of the hui was when Pat Hohepa got his degree.
He was one of the first of that time and Dr Pat Hohepa got his degree.
I drew the most awkward marble because the topic I had to concentrate on was legislation.
It was during those moments that I wondered what the devil I wanted to go to Wellington to learn about legislation for.
The old man that was running the hui, Sir James Henare, said you must go to Wellington because in that area we dont have experts.
We owe a lot to them, especially the time they put in to arranging the conferences, looking for the topics and selecting people to attend as speakers or whatever.
At that time you either had to get on the bus or the train to get to the conference.