2018 NZCA SS Ventnor Ching Ming Bus Trip (7th– 9thApril) - Rhonda Ding
Attended by Rhonda Ding & Lois Yee
DAY 1:From Auckland we travelled to Rawene (north of Whangarei). Visited Rawene Cemetery to view the restored Memorial site (work on this original site terminated due to unstable ground) and proposed location of the new site. Consultation Meetings with the locals and iwis.
Enjoyed a Hangi dinner afterwards.
DAY 2:Powhiri (Maori welcome) at Matihetihe Marae. Walk up to Mitimiti urupa (Cemetery) to see the magnificent Red Gateway (Memorial) overlooking the spectacular ocean. The Memorial signifies the gratitude of NZ Descendants to the iwi of the area for respecting and caring from the remains of the Chinese washed ashore following the sinking of the SS Ventnor in 28/10/1902.
Travelled to Arai Te Uru (Hokianga Harbour). The SS Ventnor was last sighted here. It sank 10 miles out to sea from here.
DAY 3:Travelled to Waipoua Forest. Also visited Tane Mahuta
(the magnificent Kauri tree).
Viewed the Ventnor Grove where the trees were donated in memory of the lost souls of the SS Ventnor. Headed to the Beach to the Burial Mound (undesignated) where the Te Ruroa Ancestors buried the Chinese remains that floated ashore. Lois and I were enriched with history of the sinking of the SS Ventnor. We mingled with the Maori Community which was a unique cultural experience. Our thanks to the Organisers for an excellent and well organized trip.