Rev Father Noel T Delaney, SM, BA. Rector 1965 - 1971.
Pa Delaney was the second Rector at HPC. Father Tomasi wrote the following
in the 1973 College Jubilee Magazine about Father Delaney;
"There is one gift above all others which won affection and admiration - his
love of and knowledge of music. Singing and music became part of the school in a way that it had never been before.
He composed the English and Maori Mass that we have, a number of songs and hymns and it would be fair to say 'Hey Boy' became
a rallying song for the school."........
"Father Delany gave his utmost to Hato Paora College. They were demanding
and exacting years but I feel he found, as so many others who have been associated with the college, that at the finish he
gained more than he had given".........
I didn't grow up in the era of HPC under Father Delaney's stewartship.
But I certainly knew that his contribution to the kura had been significant from the many stories I heard and the constant
reference to his name during whaikorero on our marae or in general conversation. It was clear that there was much respect
and affection attached to his name.
So when Roger Fitzgerald (Lower Hutt) started pinging emails around our network
to tell us that Michael Starkey (Blenhiem) was bringing a Tokotoko over to be presented to Fr Delaney, I started wondering
what sort of oldboy attendance that would pull together.
Roger circulated words of some of fathers waiata and even organised a practice at
Pete Kalivati's place (Cheers Pete). 'Hey Boy', 'He Tapu' and a few Paora waiata were the order of the day. For
those of you who are not aware, Pa wrote the music and score to our play "Paora", with assistance from aunty Aggie Nahona.
So on the day about 15 oldboys fronted and managed to give a more than credible rendition
of the 'Kororia" which even with quite a few pratices, is hard to crank out, but not so this day. Tau ke nga tuakana.
The presentation came during the mass and culminated in the singing of 'Hey Boy'.
Once again no signs of cobwebs as the guys belted out a great couple of verses. Mike Starkey exaplained how father Gledhill
had visited him one day and suggested that Mike might like to organise a taonga for presentation at some stage to Father Delaney
and how he could not live with himself if he didnt carry through with that request. So cheers Mike for getting that
all together and then coming over the rocky cook straight with your sister to give the taonga over for presentation.
Michael explained the design on the Tokotoko and also the Taonga Tohora given to
Father Tomasi at the same mass. Father Delaney suggested that he didn't need the tokotoko yet and maybe he would lend
it to Father Tomasi who seemed to be much more in need of it than him at this time.
Some of father Delaneys whanau and other parish members from Te Kainga were on
hand, together with Oldboys wifes and children.
father Delany's nephew Bernie Aitkins (a nephew also of Father Bernie Atkins
from kura) spoke of the very very close affiliation he and all of fathers whanau have with the college. he spoke of
the fact that his whanau know all the Paora waiata off by heart and how it had always been a dream of there whanau for the
play to be taken to the international stage, such is the special nature of 'Paora' to them. A wero to us e tama ma!!!!.
So All in all a great day and well deserved. The ramblings above hardly do
justice to the efforts our Clergy have put into the kura and presentations such as this to those who have worked so hard for
the kura should not stop here with Pa Delaney. Dont leave it till its too late to acknowledge those who have done right
by you guys. Its too late when they are not here any more. If there are others who might be similarly moved to
acknowledge others then you will definitely attract a ready made support crew.
Thanks to Michael Starkey, Roger Fitzgerald, Pa Gledhill and all those Oldboys, whanau,
parishners who attend on the day. And last but not least to Fathers Delaney and Tomasi for all the efforts on our behalf.