Kōrero: Smith, John Burns

Whārangi 1: Haurongo

Smith, John Burns

1922–1974

Nō Ngā Puhi; he kaitunu parāoa, he tangata purei whutupaoro, he hōia, he tangata tākaro

I tuhia tēnei haurongo e Garry Frew,, ā, i tāngia tuatahitia ki Ngā Tāngata Taumata Rau Ko te wāhanga , 2000, and updated in April, 2014.

Nō te 25 o Hepetema o te tau 1922 i whānau ai a John Burns Smith ki Kaikohe i Te Tai Tokerau, ko ia nei tētahi o ngā tamariki tokotoru a Nīria Tākiwira (Dargaville) rāua ko tana tāne, ko Leslie John Smith. He tunu parāoa te mahi a tana pāpā, ā, i tana hokinga mai i te Pakanga Tuatahi o te Ao ka tau nei tana noho ki Kaikohe. I purei whutupaoro a Leslie mō te tīma o Ākarana ki te Tonga (South Auckland), ā, i purei anō hoki ia mō te tīma taiwhenua o Te Ika-a-Māui (North Island Country) i te tau 1912. Nō te takiwā o Kaikohe tōna māmā, nō te hapū mai o Te Uri-o-Hua o Ngā Puhi.

I a ia tonu i te kura, ahakoa he aha te tākaro, whakamataku ana te pai o Johnny Smith ki te purei. I haere ia ki te kura o Kaikohe, nō muri mai ki te kura tuarua ā-rohe o Kaikohe (Kaikohe District High School), ā, nō te tau 1935 ki 1937 a ia e tākaro whutupaoro ana mō te tīma tuatahi o te kura. I tana wehenga atu i te kura, i tīmata tana mahi i te whare tunu parāoa o tōna whānau, ā, tūhono atu ana ia ki te karapu whutupaoro o Kaikohe (Kaikohe Rugby Football Club). Nō te tau 1940 i uru atu a ia ki te ope taua. I a ia e purei whutupaoro mai ana i tētahi tākaro a te ope taua i Te Papa-i-ōia (Palmerston North) i Hepetema o te tau 1942, kātahi anō ka tino kitea a ia e te hunga mātaki whutupaoro o waho mai o Te Tai Tokerau. Nō mua atu o taua tau anō tana tino whakataetae tuatahi mō te tīma ake o te rōpū o te pirikēti tekau mā rua (12th Brigade Group), ā, nō te marama o Ākuhata i te tau 1943 i whakaurua atu a ia ki te tīma o Te Ika-a-Māui. Nō te marama o muri mai i tākaro ia mō te tīma o te ope taua o Aotearoa (New Zealand Army), e whakataetae ana ki te tīma o te Tauārangi Roera o Aotearoa (Royal New Zealand Airforce). Otirā kua tata kē nei te mutu o te kēmu, me te takarepa o te kaute waru ki te iwa, whā tekau iāri te omanga ka piro i a ia, ka riro nei i te ope taua te whakataetae.

Nō te marama o Hānuere o te tau 1944, i wehe atu ia ki tāwāhi i roto i te hokowhitu 21 (21st Battalion) ki te Rāwhiti Pū (Middle East) me te whenua o Itari. Nō muri iho mai i kōwhiria ia mō te tīma o te Ope Taua Tuarua o Aotearoa (Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force), te tīma nui whakaharahara kē nei, arā, ngā Kiwi o ngā tau 1945 ki 1946, te wā rā e whakaae ana te nuinga o te tangata ka mutu mai te ātaahua o tana momo tākaro whutupaoro. Tekau mā toru ngā kēmu i tākaro ai ia o ngā kēmu tuatahi tekau mā ono, i whakataetaetia i Peretānia, i Airana me Parani. Kāti, he pāngia nōna e te rewharewha e whā ngā kēmu i hapa i a ia, ēngari whai atu i tēnā i roto katoa a ia i ngā kēmu whakamutunga tekau mā toru a te tīma nei. He tangata hanga whānui tōna tinana, he tino kaha kē nei ōna kūwhā, me te tere anō hoki. E rua nei ōna tūranga i te tīma: ko tēraka o te toparua, topa pū kē rānei. Whakamanahau ana ngā kaiwānanga o te tākaro whutupaoro ki te tino pai o tōna amaru, me tōna pai anō ki te tataha, ki te pārai, ki te karo, me tana tino mōhio kē nei āhea rawa tukua atu ai e ia te pōro, ā, ahakoa te kaha o te whakamātoatoa i a ia hore rawa i pakaru tana wera. Huaina ana a ia ko ‘Te Rangatira’ (‘The Master’), ko ‘JB’, ko ‘Johnny’ noa rānei. He tino kaitākaro ā-rōpū nei kātahi nā te kaitākaro, ā, whakamīharotia ana ia, kaua mō te tarai i piro i a ia, ēngari mō te maha anō hoki o ngā angitu i whakatōkia e ia mō ōna hoa tākaro; ko tā te kōrero rā, whakaihuwakatia ana e ia te hunga kāre i pērā i a ia te toa.

I te mutunga atu o te tāpoitanga o ngā Kiwi, i hoki mai a Johnny Smith ki Te Tai Tokerau, ā, nō te 30 o Noema i te tau 1946, i moea e ia a Dorothy Constance Alice Robinson i Ōkaihau; tokotoru ngā tamāhine me te tama kotahi. I taua tau anō, riro ana nāna i hautū te tīma o Te Tai Tokerau, i hinga pahika nei i a rātou te tīma haereere o Ahitereiria, ā, nō muri tonu mai te kitenga atu i a ia, i tana whakataetae tuatahi mō te tīma toa o Aotearoa (All Blacks), ki te tīma o Ahitereiria i hinga nei i a rātou i Ōtepoti (Dunedin), toru tekau mā tahi ki te waru te kaute, kotahi nei te tarai a Johnny Smith. Nō te tau 1947 i taki haere atu nei rāua ko tana teina, ko Pita (Peter), ki Ahitereiria i roto i te tīma toa o Aotearoa, ā, nō te tau i muri mai, i riro nāna i kāpene te tīma Māori o Aotearoa i haere rā ki Whītī.

Nā runga i ngā kaupapa momotu iwi, i kore a ia mē ērā atu o ngā tino Māori ki te tākaro whutupaoro, pēraka i a Vince Bevan rāua ko Pene Kaute (Ben Couch), i āhei kia whakaurua atu ki te tīma toa o Aotearoa i haere rā ki Āwherika ki te Tonga i te tau 1949. Ko taua tau hoki te wā tuatahi i kitea ai tōna tino pai kē nei ki te purei whutupaoro, i te tūtakitanga o Te Ika-a-Māui ki te tīma o Te Waipounamu i tū nei ki Pōneke (Wellington). I te wā ko te tīma toa o Aotearoa i Āwherika ki te Tonga, riro ana nā Johnny Smith i kāpene tētahi tīma o Niu Tīreni i te wā i tūtaki ai rātou ki Ahitereiria; raru kē nei ko Aotearoa, e rua nei ngā whakataetaetanga. Hoki mai ana rātou, ka hangarau haere tonu a ia mō te rekoata i mahue mai nei i a ia, arā, ko ia anake te kāpene i te katoa o ngā kōrero mō Aotearoa, i mate ai te katoa o ngā tīma ko ia nei te kāpene.

I te wā o ngā tau tōmua o te tekau tau atu i 1950, ahakoa te mate taha ora, mate whara kē nei o tōna tinana, i tū tonu a ia i ngā whakamātautau mō te tīma toa o Aotearoa, mō te tīma o Te Ika-a-Māui me te tīma Māori o Aotearoa. Ko tana tarai mā Te Tai Tokerau (kāore nei he mea whakaae), i a rātou i whakataetae ai ki te tīma toa o Peretānia (British Lions) i te tau 1950, i mahue ake hei kōrero pakiwaitara i te takiwā kāinga. Taihoa ake anō i taua tau riro ake ana nāna i hautū te tīma o Te Tai Tokerau i tō rātou toa tuatahitanga nei ki te Hīra o Ranapere (Ranfurly Shield), i hinga nei i a rātou a Waitaha ki te Tonga (South Canterbury) i Tīmaru (Te Maru rānei); e rua nei ā rātou wawaotanga i te hīra, ka riro nei i a Waikato. Nō te tau 1951, i tākaro ngātahi ai a Johnny rāua ko Peter Smith i te tīma Māori i whakataetae nei ki a Whītī. Aotearoa, e iwa katoa nei ana kēmu, e whā nei he tēhi. Kore rawa i tarea e ēnei tākaro iti kau noa nei te whakaatu tōtika mai ana pūmanawa, me tōna ariā mō te tākaro nei, mō te whutupaoro. Nō te tau 1949 i riro ai ko ia te mea tuatahi i whakawhiwhia ki te kapu a Tom French, arā, te paraihe rā a te Kotahitanga Whakahaere o ngā Mahi Whutupaoro Rakapī o Niu Tīreni (New Zealand Rugby Football Union) mō te kaitākaro Māori tino kōhure nei o te tau. Ka mutu nei tana tākaro whutupaoro hiranga i te tau 1954, puta ana ia hei kaiako tino momoho kē nei, ā, riro ana i a ia te whakahaere o te tīma o Te Tai Tokerau i te tau 1956; kāti koa he kaikōwhiri anō hoki tāna mahi.

He maha kē atu anō hoki ngā tākaro i tino rawe kē nei ia, arā tonu, ko te kauhoe, tēnehi, kirikiti, korowha hoki. Riro mai ana i a ia te taitara tēnehi takirua mō ngā tama tāne, ko Allan Burns tana hoa tākaro, i te tau 1938–39. I te mutunga atu o te Pakanga Tuarua o te Ao, he putaputa tonu ake tana mahi i ngā tauwhāinga toanga matua mō ngā pakeke. He toa runaruna tākaro korowha nei hoki ia, tākaro kirikiti atu hoki. He tino toa anō hoki tana teina a Pita (rua tekau mā iwa tōna pakeke i tōna matenga atu i te tau 1954), me tō rāua tuahine, me Winnie ki te purei tēnehi. He toa anō hoki tāna tama a Glen ki te kauhoe; i toa ia i te kau tāwhai o te motu.

Nō te tau 1949 i riro i a Johnny Smith te whakahaere o te mahi tunu parāoa a te whānau, ā, nō muri mai he mahi kāmura, pōmana, hī ika anō āna mahi. I ngā tau i muri mai, ka pāngia ia e te mate, inarā te pūtake mai o te nuinga o ōna mate ko te whanatanga i tana mātenga i te wā o te pakanga i tētahi tākaro whutupaoro nei i Itari. He mate repe whakatupu anō tana mate, ā, e hia tau kē nei, ia toru marama, me haere atu i Kaikohe ki Ākarana, whakamaimoa ai. Nō te 3 o Tīhema i te tau 1974 i mate mai a Johnny Smith i te hōhipera o Ākarana, mahue mai ana ko tana wahine, ko Dorothy, rātou ko te tokotoru o āna tamariki.

Me pēnei te tohu i te whārangi:

Garry Frew. 'Smith, John Burns', Dictionary of New Zealand Biography, first published in 2000, updated April, 2014. Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, https://teara.govt.nz/mi/biographies/5s27/smith-john-burns (accessed 26 June 2019)