An enjoyable weekend was had by the 13 family members who gathered at Kerikeri for a shared BBQ at the Kerikeri Motor Lodge on the Friday night.
On Saturday morning we all set out for the Mangungu (pronounced Ma-ngu-ngu) Mission House near Horeke on the Hokianga Harbour. This was the site of the largest signing of the Treaty of Waitangi where on 12 February, 1840 before a crowd of up to 3000 people, more than 70 Chiefs signed and George Clarke was one of the European witnesses to add his signature. The Mission House occupies a magnificent site with a stunning view over the harbour. The weather was beautiful and the tide was in. We were met by our Heritage NZ staffer Ianthe who gave us a very informative commentary before showing us around the Mission House. Of particular interest was the middle section of the table on which the treaty was actually signed. On the table was a copy of the relevant pages of the Treaty showing the signatures of the Chiefs and of course George Clarke.
The little church below the Mission House was under restoration, so we weren’t able to look inside. After a picnic lunch beside the Mission House a group of us visited the nearby Wairere Boulders where we spent an hour trekking around these unique rock formations.
George Clarke descendants Kevin Hooker, Yvonne Clarke and Susi Thompson checking the well-being of the Kowhai planted at Te Waimate Mission in 2004.