Special gift of Mānuka saplings

Retiring Tumuaki makes gift of Mānuka saplings

At his final assemblies retiring Tumuaki Robin Sutton made a gift of seven Mānuka saplings. In explaining his gift, he said this:

“I am making a gift to Te Huruhuru Ao o Horomaka… a gift of seven mānuka saplings.

Why Mānuka? The Mānuka tree was very common in our rohe before human settlement, and gave its name to our cluster of schools – Uru Mānuka. The mānuka tree symbolises this place, your place.

Why seven?

Well, for a start, this week marks seven years that I have been Tumuaki at Te Huruhuru Ao o Horomaka.

The word or number “seven” has two key symbolic meanings: seven represents a full and complete world (something common to several of the world’s religions), and getting to seven is a linear journey from one to seven, a reflection of the fact that it is a prime number – it cannot be obtained by multiplying two smaller whole numbers together. Its only whole number factors are itself and 1.

I am hoping that these might be planted together, in a grove, a magical place that symbolises that prime number seven, and your own place as unique individuals, individuals that can only be found in you and the number one.”

Celebrating our uniqueness is a part of our journey to creative excellence, Mr Sutton commented afterwards.

Staff member Mark Sowerby (a landscape architect in another life) will work with those students in his gardening group to plant the saplings in a prominent place early in the new term.