E nga mana, e nga reo, e nga iwi o te motu e huihui nei, tēnei aku mihi nui ki a koutou. Kia ora
I specifically acknowledge Johnathon Lennon, John Pash, Bran Parr and all the members of the Hadfield family who could be here today.
When John asked me to become involved in today’s celebration of Darcy Hadfield’s legacy, I couldn’t very well say no – family obligations being what they are!
As it happens – Richard and I were very pleased to accept this invitation, and we are delighted to be here.
We know what the Waitemata Rowing Club has done for this community, and after a tough couple of years for us all in Aotearoa, it’s important to focus on some of the things that bring us a sense of wellbeing.
The Waitemata Rowing Club is one such place. Over the years it has been something of a home away from home for me and for my extended whanau.
In my youth I tried rowing here – briefly – my brother [name] was Commodore, and Richard and my moko have all been associated with it.
So, we feel among friends today – and we are proud to celebrate what this club does in contributing to New Zealand’s prominence in rowing.
Thank you also for what you do to encourage our rangatahi to take up rowing.
Mauri tū mauri ora – an active soul is a healthy soul.
They won’t all become champions – but they will get the satisfaction of developing strength and coordination – as well as self-discipline and valuable social skills.
There is much to be proud of in the club’s long history – not least your association with Darcy Hadfield.
Moving up to Auckland and joining this club clearly was a game-changer for Darcy. The training he did here enabled him to step up to another level and become a world-class competitor.
As our nation’s trailblazer for medal-winning performances, Darcy showed New Zealanders what was possible.
In doing so, he set the bar for the many outstanding rowers who followed him.
His is a great story that deserves to be remembered and told to successive generations.
So, thank you for putting Darcy in the spotlight and honouring his feats.
Many thanks also to Darcy’s family for providing mementos from the 1920 Olympic Games.
These will all serve to keep his story alive and inspire young men and women who join the club to do their best.
Thank you for including us in this special celebration today, and we wish everyone associated with the Club all the very best in the years ahead.