Note: Obit dated 12 Apr 1957 Ru ROGERS
Death of a Great Humanitarian
Died on Sunday aged 65yrs
Born at Maketu in 1892 and apart from war service lived all his life in BOP
As a young ma he was outstanding rugby player and represented the Bay of Plenty on a number of occasions. He was a member of the Bay tea which almost wrested the Ranfurly Shield from Hawkes Bay, being beaten 17-16.
After returning from war service with the First Maori Contingent, during which he was commissioned and received the Military Medal for gallantry in the field. Mr Rogers was one of the servicemen settled on farms at Ohinepanea, and from that time forward devoted his time and energy to his race and ex-servicemen.
He was a foundation member of the RSA and gave his whole life to its cause. At the time of his death he was on the Te Puke executive. Mr Rogers was a member of the small committee set up to raise funds and build the War Memorial Hall.
Between the wars, his strong character was responsible for carrying the Te Puke RSA through many difficult periods. He took an active interest in the affairs of the Arawa Trust Board and the welfare of the Maori people and at the time of his death was a member of the Maori Farming Committee. Mr Rogers was given the honour of representing Te Puke at the last Dominion Conference of the RSA and reported back that it had been his most wonderful experience.
Neighbours and friends have always respected his forceful humanitarian nature. He had a helping hand for everyone and whatever he did was done wholeheartedly and cheerfully.
Mr Rogers is survived by his wife Katarina, three daughters May (Mrs Hudson), Kathleen (Mrs Gray) Ani and four sons, Augustus, Patrick, Noel and Johnny. Another son Willie predeceased him four years ago. A brother is farming at Ohinepanea and as sister Mrs Williams resides in Tauranga.
A large number of mourners attended an impressive service which was held in the War Memorial Hall on Wednesday. The service was conducted by Rev W S C Stephens and the Rev Rangiaho. The cortege then left for the Maketu marae where it was welcomed by Major Ray Vercoe who speaking on behalf of the relatives thanked the RSA. There, members of the RSA paid their last respects and the Last Post was sounded. A large number of members of Mr Rogers company from the Maori Contingent were present at the service in the Maketu Church in the afternoon and acted as pall-bearers to conduct the body to the Rogers block just outside the church where it was interred.
Pall bearers at the Memorial Hall were Messrs R Evans, A Flinn, J Anderson, J Pattie, F T Fenton, and S E Winters and in the meeting house, Messrs Anderson, Pattie and four members of the Rotorua RSA.
St Thomas's Maketu
16/354 2nd Lt Augustus Rutakewhenua ROGERS
d 7 April 1957 aged 64 years
Given Name Augustus
Category Nominal Roll Vol. 1
Regimental Number 16/354
Rank Private Body or Draft First Maori
Unit or Regiment A Company
Marital Status S
Last NZ Address Onslow Rd Epsom Auckland
Next of Kin Title Charles
Next of Kin Surname ROGERS
Next of Kin Address Maketu
In 1920, the block now known as the Ohinepanea Soldier Settlement, originally owned by the MacDougall brothers, was bought by the Government from Mr Hoskings. It was divided into nine sections-five on the inland side of the railway for European ex-servicemen and four on the beach side for Maori soldiers. The Europeans successful in the ballot were R. R. Evans, A. Flinn, W. Graveson, A. Key and L. Barnard. Mr Barnard sold his farm to B. Lyon in 1925. The beach sections were taken over by the late Major Vercoe, and two brothers, Kuku and Ru Rogers. On Major Vercoe's section the Hoskings' homestead still stands.. After farming it for several years, Mr Vercoe sold his property to the Rogers brothers. Mr Kuku Rogers farmed his land for many years before selling most of it to Mr T. Anderson. Mr Ru Rogers, who won the M.M. in World War 1, farmed his land until his death. Mr Rogers was active in many projects for the district, especially the school. His farm has been sold except the house section where Mrs Rogers still lives.
Sergt NZ Pioneer (Maori) Battalion
London Gazette 28 January 1918 p1406 Rec No 1621
For especially good work and devotion to duty in the St Jean area during the period 8/20th October 1917. Sergeant Rogers has consistently and wholeheartedly devoted himself to getting the best and the most work out of his men. By his initiative and example under fire he cheered and encouraged his men, through the trying work of getting Field Artillery guns forward through almost impassable places where horse teams had failed. His coolness under fire enabled him to extricate his men from dangerous positions, and his experience was invaluable in keeping his men together and getting them back to work when shelling ceased.
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