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Geddes, Annabella Mary

by Sandra Coney

Biography

I whānau a Annabella Mary Webster (Wēpiha) – ko tōna īngoa kārangaranga ko Mary (Meri) – i te 19 o Mei 1864 i Mangungu i Te Hokianga. He māhanga ia. Ko tō rāua matua ko Wiremu Wēpiha (William Webster), he kaiwhakamāori, he kaimira rākau āna mahi. Ko tō rāua whaea, ko Annabella Gillies, he tamāhine nā tētahi wahine o Ngāti Toro o Ngā Puhi. E noho ana a Annabella Gillies i te mīhana i Mangungu, he kāinga e whakahaerea ana e Hēni (Jane) rāua ko Hōne Te Rōpiha (John Hobbs), ka tūtaki rāua ko Wiremu Wēpiha. I tukua a Meri rāua ko tana tungāne, ko Arikikanara (Alexander) te īngoa, ki tētahi kura mīhana; nō muri ka tukua a Meri ki tētahi kura wehe mō ngā wāhine i Ākarana (Auckland), whakaoti ai i tana whakaakoranga. Nā te mea ko te reo tuatahi o tō rāua whaea ko te reo Māori, ka whakatipua mai rāua i roto i ngā reo e rua.

Nō te 28 o Āperira l886, i moe a Meri i a John McKail Geddes i Te Kūrae-a-Tura (Devenport). He kaiwhakauru rangatira, he kaihoko taonga tōna hoa tāne, 21 tau tōna pakeketanga ake i a Meri. Kotahi o ā rāua tama i mate, e waru ōna tau; ka mahue iho ā rāua tamariki tokowhitu. He whare rangatira tonu nei tō rātou, i te tiriti o Wynyard e tū ana, he mea tapa ko Hazelbank. Riterite tonu te mahi whakawhitiwhiti a te whānau ki tāwāhi ki ngā wāhi whakatā me ngā papahuka retireti. Ahakoa te rangatiratanga o tōna momo noho, kāre rawa i tau te noho a Meri. Aro nui kē atu ia ki te āhua o te oranga o te hunga wāhine me ngā kōtiro hoki; ahakoa kāore a ia i whakahē i te tikanga ko te mahi nui a te wahine he whanawhanau tamariki, ēngari, ka whakaaro ia, me whakakaha kē ake te reo tūmatanui o te wahine, kia rangona ai ō rātou māharahara. He hoa rāua ko Frederick Truby King, ā, he mema taketake hoki a Meri nō te peka o Ākarana (Auckland) o te Rōpū mō te Toko i te Ora o ngā Wāhine me ngā Tamariki (Society for the Promotion of the Health of Women and Children) (e kārangarangatia ana i te rā nei ko te Rōpū Plunket), arā, nō te tau 1908 i waihangatia ai. I noho hoki ia i runga i te komiti o Ākarana o te Rōpū Maru i ngā Wāhine me ngā Tamariki o Aotearoa (New Zealand Society for the Protection of Women and Children) mō ngā tau 13.

I mau tonu a Meri Geddes ki ōna taura here ki Te Hokianga me te kōrero i ōna reo e rua, ā mate noa. Nō ngā tau tīmatanga o tēnei rau tau, i whakahaerea e ia he kura hāramuramu mō te Māori i tana whare, hei ako i ngā mahi tara ā-whare. I tohungia e Reiri Taute (Stout), taua mahi āna hei tauira. Ko ana ākonga ko ngā tamāhine tonu a ōna whanaunga o Te Hokianga, ā, nāna i whakanohonoho hei kaimahi ki roto ki ngā kāinga o ōna hoa. E anganui ana tēnei kaupapa āna, nā te mea he tokoiti nō ngā kaimahi kāinga, ēngari, ko tētahi whāinga anō he āwhina i te iwi Māori me te iwi Pākehā kia mōhio rātou ki a rātou.

Kāre i pērā rawa atu te pakeke o Meri i te matenga o John McKail Geddes i te tau 1910. I mahue pouaru mai a Meri; noho ake ana ia i te noho a te rangatira tino whai rawa. Nā runga i tana tū i roto i te iwi, i ōna hononga ki ngā tāngata kaipakihi, me āna tikanga rangatira i āhei ia ki te tū hei kaiārahi mō ngā wāhine o Ākarana. I taua wā, he mea rerekē te kite i tētahi wahine he tupuna Māori ōna, e noho kē mai ana i roto i ngā rōpū Pākehā. Ēngari, māmā noa iho ki a Meri Geddes te hīkoi haere i roto i ngā ao e rua. Nō te wā o te Pakanga Tuatahi, i noho ia hei mema mō te poari o te Rōpū Tāmau Whenua, Whakamāmā Whawhai o te Porowini o Ākarana (Auckland Provincial Patriotic and War Relief Association). Ka pā mai te urutā rewharewha i te tau 1918, ka whakatūria e ia he wharekai hapori, tae atu ki ngā ratonga hei tiaki, hei whakamāmā i te āhua o ngā tūroro, ki te taha ki ngā nēhi me ngā tākuta.

Mai i te l9O6 ki te 1925, i noho ia hei mema i runga i te poari o te Rōpū Karaitiana mō ngā Taitamāhine o Ākarana (Auckland Young Women's Christian Association). Nō tana urunga hei perehitini mai i te 1913 ki te 1919, ko te wā tēnei i kaha ai te whānui o ngā whakahaere o te rōpū nei. Nōna ka whakawhiti ki tāwāhi, i mīharo ai ia ki ngā whare ātaahua o te Rōpū Karaitiana i reira; hoki rawa mai ia, kua mārō kē tōna whakaaro ki tētahi whare pērā ki Ākarana. I riro nāna tonu i kōkiri te whakahau nā reira nei i kōputu ai tētahi tahua moni rahi tonu nei e oti ai te whakatū i te whare nei. Taka rawa mai ki Oketopa o te tau 1918, ka riro nāna i whakatuwhera te whare maretuna, whare hou nei i te waharoa i Horotiu (Queen Street), nā te kaimahere rongonui rā, nā William Gummer i hoahoa.

Kātahi ka whai atu a Meri (Mary), te mea pakeke o ngā tamāhine a Meri Geddes pakeke, i tana whaea ki roto i ngā mahi o te Rōpū Karaitiana; nā Meri paku i whakatū te Kaupapa Takuahi (Hearth Fire Movement). Nō te tau 1915, i whakatūria ia hei hēkeretari ki Poihākena (Sydney) mō te wāhanga mahi mā ngā kōtiro o Ahitereiria me Niu Tīreni. Tae rawa ake ki te 1920, kua uru tahi te whaea me te tamāhine ki roto ki te komiti takiwā o Niu Tīreni (New Zealand Field Committee); nō mua te komiti nei i te whakatūranga o tētahi rōpū motuhake mō Aotearoa, wehe kē mai i Ahitereiria. Ka uru ko Meri paku tētahi o ngā tokorua i haere i te tuatahi hei waha kōrero mō Aotearoa i te hui a te Rōpū Karaitiana mō ngā Taitamāhine o te Ao.

Ko Meri Geddes pakeke tētahi o ngā waha kōrero, arā atu anō ētahi, o te Rōpū Karaitiana, i kaha ki te whakaora i te Kaunihera Wāhine o Aotearoa (National Council of Women of New Zealand) i Ākarana i te tau 1917. I whakaputaina e ia tōna aroha ki te kaupapa kaitohe mana wahine, i tū rawa ia ki te kōrero i roto i ngā hui tūmatanui. Nō te taenga ki te tau 1919, ko ia tētahi o te rōpū i toro atu ki a Tā Hōhepa Waari (Joseph Ward) ki te akiaki i a ia, kia whakahaerea he ture e āhei ai te wahine ki te tū hei mema Pāremata. He pou a Meri nō te Hāhi Perehipitīriana; whakaputaputa haere tonu ana ia i ōna whakaaro ki ngā take whanonga tika, arā, me pēhea te pakeke o te tangata, kātahi anō ka mana te moea e te tāne, e te wahine rānei. I te tau 1918, e whakakākahu ana ētahi o ngā rangatira o ngā toa hoko pūeru i ngā pakoko o roto i ngā wini, e kitea tonutia atu ana e te tangata, ka haria e ia te take nei ki te peka o Ākarana o te Kaunihera Wāhine. Ēngari ko te mea whakamīharo kē ko tana akiaki i te Rōpū Karaitiana kia whakaaetia e rātou te mahi kanikani, he mea whakarikarika hoki tēnei ki tēnei momo rōpū karaitiana nei; ka mutu, i tautoko ia i te whakaakoranga i ngā kōtiro ki ngā āhuatanga e pā ana ki te mahi ai.

Nō waenganui o te tekau tau atu i 1920, ka mutu te mahi a Meri Geddes i roto i ngā rōpū wāhine; huri kē ana ia ki te Hāhi hei arotahi māna i waho atu o tōna kāinga. I te wā o te pūhore o te tekau tau atu i 1930, ka raru te mahi kaipakihi a te whānau; koinei te take i hokona ai a Hazelbank ki te kāreti o te whare wānanga o Tāmaki-makau-rau (Auckland University College) i te tau 1939; nō muri nei, ka hurihia hei kāinga mō te kura toi o Elam (Elam School of Art). Ka heke a Meri Geddes rātou ko tana tamāhine, ko Meri paku, me te hoa, me Wilhelmina Keller, ki Remuera. I mate ia i tōna kāinga i te 5 o Tīhema 1955, e 91 ōna tau. Ka mahue āna tamariki, tokorua ngā mea wāhine, tokorua ngā mea tāne.


Hononga, rauemi nō waho

Ētahi whakaaro puaki, takenga

    Coney, S. Every girl. Auckland, 1986

    Macdonald, C. et al. , eds. The book of New Zealand women. Wellington, 1991

    Obit. New Zealand Herald. 7 Dec. 1955: 12


Me pēnei te tohu i te whārangi:

Sandra Coney. 'Geddes, Annabella Mary', Dictionary of New Zealand Biography, first published in 1996. Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, https://teara.govt.nz/mi/biographies/3g4/geddes-annabella-mary (accessed 3 July 2020)