Bo Goldie - Called home to rest among his people
My cousin Bo. A big man with a big heart. I remember him as kind, generous and a gentleman.
We grew up on the East Coast, he at Te Puia and me at Ruatorea. I didn’t have much to do with him as a small child because my parents left Ruatorea for Waiomio, Northland in 1961. He would have been just 11 and me 8. Our families met from time to time, then, as a young man, he joined the Army. Farming was all I knew, certainly not war or anything military. I didn’t see Bo again till the early 1990s at Paremoremo Prison, Albany where he worked as a guard. Not many would have argued with this gentle giant, immaculate in his uniform. He suffered back problems, after prolonged exposure to Agent Orange poison while on duty in Vietnam in the 70s. I was sad when he told me. Bo became an invalid at an early age and lived out his years at Waipiro and Gisborne. He told me he was going home.
Loved by his whanau, his loyalty was unmatched for his sisters, brother and beloved niece Jeanna whom he raised as his own.
He had a hobby and that was to phone people he knew. Everybody received a call, including me. At his tangi, the tune “Call on Me” by Englebert Humperdinck was played. How fitting - connecting with others was important to Bo. I wiped away the tears at the memory.
Bo’s tangi was held at Iritekura marae, Waipiro Bay, East Cape on 16 May 2021. Iritekura is my mother’s and Bo’s Dad’s marae; brother and sister. Both his parents are buried there; Dad Phillip and his Uncle Blunt, were both returned servicemen. His sister Pani, gone before him, served in the Army too. It’s in the blood they say.
What a splendid backdrop - the marae, St Abraham’s Anglican Church facing out to sea and the Ngatiporou Soldiers’ urupa in front of the church.
Brilliant blue cloudless skies, calm sea, freshly mowed lawns, Iritekura and Bo’s comrades, returned servicemen, headed by their Brigadier General. Resplendent in suits bedecked with medals, the Last Post and Revellie played to the salute of those warriors still standing, stories told of adventure together on the fields of war; some too grim to tell, others full of mirth and memory of the soldier who returned home.
Pte Riki Hone Waipapa Goldsmith (43993)
11 November 1950 – 8 May 2021
Haere ra my cousin. “At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
we will remember them”
Cite this article
Bo Goldie - Called home to rest among his people. Auckland War Memorial Museum - Tāmaki Paenga Hira. First published: 26 May 2021. Updated: 26 May 2021.