LAC has embarked on a journey to erect a pou whenua (pou) that acknowledges our country’s unique cultural heritage while representing the story of LAC – past and present.
Pou are carved, wooden posts that traditionally marked places of significance, and acknowledge or reflect the association between the people (tāngata), the land (whenua), and the spiritual (wairua). In 2015, our two carvers, Papa Bernie and Matua Leon, extensively researched the history of LAC and through discussions with staff and students drew up a contemporary/traditional design that tells our story of “growing together, becoming one in Christ”.
Towards the end of 2015, we were blessed to be given a fallen and ancient Totara log from the quarry at the end of Walker’s Road, and through the hands and goodwill of others, had it transported and cut so that it was ready to carve.
Through much of 2016, the carving was completed by Papa Bernie and Matua Leon, with some help from students and staff. With the expertise of Papa Manu and Warren Rickard, the foundations were laid for the Pou in December 2016.
A traditional dawn ceremony was held on Friday 17th February 2017 to unveil the school Pou. Along with the L.A.C. House boarders, many visitors from the local community joined LAC for the ceremony, including Kaumatua Wiremu Te Aweawe & Papa Manu, Mayor Grant Smith and Longburn School Principal Jo Emerson with their BOT member Shanyn Hoa.
The Pou has taken us on a journey, a long one, but we all know anything precious is made from patience, determination, and faith.
Below is a short video to share the journey of LAC’s pou:
A description of the carvings symbolism can be found in the document below: