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Blessing and Opening of Chanel Learning Hub

The blessing ceremony began with a tikanga Māori where we had three representatives from Te Āti Awa Taranaki Whānui leading the ‘awakening’. A Kawanga whare took place at school in the formal pre-dawn ceremony to officially bless and open the new building. Because the newly made building includes timber from the forests of the atua, Tāne-mahuta, there is a sacredness (tapu) in the building which has to be lifted so that the building itself can be used by everybody. Karakia took place outside where the building was named after Hato Petera Kaniera, St Peter Chanel. There were three karakia used, the first about Rātā, an early ancestor who was a carver and builder of canoes, and the birds of the forest which have to be appeased. The second karakia is to lift the tapu from the building and the tools used, and the third is an appeal to all atua to make the house stable and firm, to avert accidents and to make it a pleasant dwelling place.

Our acknowledgement and thanks to the representatives from Te Āti Awa who led the Kawanga whare, as well as the Provincial of the Society of Mary, Fr Tim Duckworth for his presence and blessing of the building.

The new Chanel Learning Hub and Library is an amazing space and we all looking forward to using the facility.