Millie is an old friend and a living treasure in our church.
She gave me permission for her image to be printed here and I ask that you gain my permission before copying it.
Two years ago Millie attended the last of well over a decade of attendances at the Presbyterian Council of Assembly. She was being replaced as Moderator of Te Aka Puaho (our Maori Synod) – by her son Wayne! As a former Convenor of COA I was asked if I wished to submit some words of farewell.
Here they are:
Millie Te Kaawa – there are some things I have to say about her!
Tena koe Millie.
Millie, I have seen you as the head kuia for the PCANZ since the passing of Mona Riini. Millie – always available for a chat and a laugh after a tough few hours of a meeting.
Millie – can spot and value the heart in a person even if their words sometimes come out all wrong.
Millie – always offers the right word at the right time in the right way.
Millie – sings karanga mai [welcome] and lives karanga mai.
Millie – offers many gifts and the greatest gift she offers is herself. And our lives in this church have been enriched by Millie’s gentle, humble, generous presence.
Millie decides to retire this year – so has Archbishop Desmond Tutu just retired. Thus she is in good company.
Ma Ihowa koe e manaaki, Millie.
Ma te Atua koe e whakau, ki to pono me te hari.
The Lord bless you, and may God fill you with truth and joy.