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I am trying to find any information on Nawi Kira, a Maori woman who was a close friend of my father, Bill Deyo, during World War II, or any information of her family which may help me to get in contact with any of her surviving relatives. My father lived for a while at the Maori village near Rotorua and has very fond memories of the people and their kindness to him. He told me that Nawi Kira (I may not have the name spelled exactly right) was a champion free stroke swimmer. He was told that Nawi died of tuberculosis before his marine division left the area and was put under armed guard to keep him from going to her funeral. When he was later stationed in Hawaii, he received a letter from Nawi's sister asking him to come back to see them. He has wondered for many years if Nawi actually died when he was told or if it was just a plan to help him to get back to the Maori village. My father is nearly 80 and talks about his wonderful time with Nawi and her people almost every day. Can anyone help me in giving me information on Nawi or the Kira family that I may pass on to my father?
Thank you so much,
William L. Deyo in Virginia, USA
kia ora (greetings) William ,Nawi was a relative of mine from the pa(village) of Whakarewarewa she was a champion swimmer as were others of the village during the war.Yes she did pass away at that time,her brother and sisters have now,all passed on,the family is survived by the many relatives who still reside at Whakarewarewa and Rotorua area .What your father experienced whilst living at Whakarewarewa and the aroha(love)shown to him is very unique in maori society,no doubt this experience would have an everlasting effect on your dad,as a family member of Nawi please convey our absolute regards to your dad may you all be blessed with good health please feel free to make contact
Thank you so much for your message. I know that my father will be elated to hear from a relative of Nawi. Her family treated him with much love and kindness. He has so many stories to tell about his stay there. My cousin, who lives next to my father, took him with her and her husband on a trip that they were given to Hawaii, but he is due to return in 2 or 3 days. I am sure that he will have questions to ask, and I am so grateful for your kindness.
William L. "Bill" Deyo
kia ora William I have been in contact with other family members back home,according to older members of the tribe,your dad is still remebered with great affection,because many of our elders who knew your dad have now passed on,the names that they had mentioned through their life time are still revered within our tribal bounds your dad also.The family in NZ send,their sincere love and warmest regards to your dad,to all your family we extend our aroha(love)to you all.
Thank you so much for your last reply and for contacting the family in New Zealand. My father is back from his trip and is very comforted by your words. He sends his love and deep appreciation to you and to your family in New Zealand. He spoke to me of Nawi Kira's friends, Bubbles and May, who became his friends as well. He said that Bubbles had a number of children. Have these people passed on? My father had contracted malaria in the Pacific and had an attack of it while living at Whakarewarewa. He said that he was so ill that he could not stand, but the Maori women at the village cared for him until he was well again. He can talk for hours about his wonderful life with the Maori people. Thank you again for your kindness.
William "Bill" Deyo (Jr.)
kia ora William sorry about the delay in replying,now back on line.Bubbles is still alive May passed on some years ago,Bubbles retired 10yrs ago after a successful,lifetime on maori tourism her son Roku is the manager of our maori trust board,her daughter Roimata is the editor of the largest newspaper in nz.this is my email address email@example.com please feel free to keep in contact best wishes to you all