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Smith, John Burns

by Garry Frew

Biography

Nō te 25 o Hepetema o te tau 1922 i whānau ai a John Burns Smith ki Kaikohe i Te Tai Tokerau, ko ia nei tētahi o ngā tamariki tokotoru a Nīria Tākiwira (Dargaville) rāua ko tana tāne, ko Leslie John Smith. He tunu parāoa te mahi a tana pāpā, ā, i tana hokinga mai i te Pakanga Tuatahi o te Ao ka tau nei tana noho ki Kaikohe. I purei whutupaoro a Leslie mō te tīma o Ākarana ki te Tonga (South Auckland), ā, i purei anō hoki ia mō te tīma taiwhenua o Te Ika-a-Māui (North Island Country) i te tau 1912. Nō te takiwā o Kaikohe tōna māmā, nō te hapū mai o Te Uri-o-Hua o Ngā Puhi.

I a ia tonu i te kura, ahakoa he aha te tākaro, whakamataku ana te pai o Johnny Smith ki te purei. I haere ia ki te kura o Kaikohe, nō muri mai ki te kura tuarua ā-rohe o Kaikohe (Kaikohe District High School), ā, nō te tau 1935 ki 1937 a ia e tākaro whutupaoro ana mō te tīma tuatahi o te kura. I tana wehenga atu i te kura, i tīmata tana mahi i te whare tunu parāoa o tōna whānau, ā, tūhono atu ana ia ki te karapu whutupaoro o Kaikohe (Kaikohe Rugby Football Club). Nō te tau 1940 i uru atu a ia ki te ope taua. I a ia e purei whutupaoro mai ana i tētahi tākaro a te ope taua i Te Papa-i-ōia (Palmerston North) i Hepetema o te tau 1942, kātahi anō ka tino kitea a ia e te hunga mātaki whutupaoro o waho mai o Te Tai Tokerau. Nō mua atu o taua tau anō tana tino whakataetae tuatahi mō te tīma ake o te rōpū o te pirikēti tekau mā rua (12th Brigade Group), ā, nō te marama o Ākuhata i te tau 1943 i whakaurua atu a ia ki te tīma o Te Ika-a-Māui. Nō te marama o muri mai i tākaro ia mō te tīma o te ope taua o Aotearoa (New Zealand Army), e whakataetae ana ki te tīma o te Tauārangi Roera o Aotearoa (Royal New Zealand Airforce). Otirā kua tata kē nei te mutu o te kēmu, me te takarepa o te kaute waru ki te iwa, whā tekau iāri te omanga ka piro i a ia, ka riro nei i te ope taua te whakataetae.

Nō te marama o Hānuere o te tau 1944, i wehe atu ia ki tāwāhi i roto i te hokowhitu 21 (21st Battalion) ki te Rāwhiti Pū (Middle East) me te whenua o Itari. Nō muri iho mai i kōwhiria ia mō te tīma o te Ope Taua Tuarua o Aotearoa (Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force), te tīma nui whakaharahara kē nei, arā, ngā Kiwi o ngā tau 1945 ki 1946, te wā rā e whakaae ana te nuinga o te tangata ka mutu mai te ātaahua o tana momo tākaro whutupaoro. Tekau mā toru ngā kēmu i tākaro ai ia o ngā kēmu tuatahi tekau mā ono, i whakataetaetia i Peretānia, i Airana me Parani. Kāti, he pāngia nōna e te rewharewha e whā ngā kēmu i hapa i a ia, ēngari whai atu i tēnā i roto katoa a ia i ngā kēmu whakamutunga tekau mā toru a te tīma nei. He tangata hanga whānui tōna tinana, he tino kaha kē nei ōna kūwhā, me te tere anō hoki. E rua nei ōna tūranga i te tīma: ko tēraka o te toparua, topa pū kē rānei. Whakamanahau ana ngā kaiwānanga o te tākaro whutupaoro ki te tino pai o tōna amaru, me tōna pai anō ki te tataha, ki te pārai, ki te karo, me tana tino mōhio kē nei āhea rawa tukua atu ai e ia te pōro, ā, ahakoa te kaha o te whakamātoatoa i a ia hore rawa i pakaru tana wera. Huaina ana a ia ko ‘Te Rangatira’ (‘The Master’), ko ‘JB’, ko ‘Johnny’ noa rānei. He tino kaitākaro ā-rōpū nei kātahi nā te kaitākaro, ā, whakamīharotia ana ia, kaua mō te tarai i piro i a ia, ēngari mō te maha anō hoki o ngā angitu i whakatōkia e ia mō ōna hoa tākaro; ko tā te kōrero rā, whakaihuwakatia ana e ia te hunga kāre i pērā i a ia te toa.

I te mutunga atu o te tāpoitanga o ngā Kiwi, i hoki mai a Johnny Smith ki Te Tai Tokerau, ā, nō te 30 o Noema i te tau 1946, i moea e ia a Dorothy Constance Alice Robinson i Ōkaihau; tokotoru ngā tamāhine me te tama kotahi. I taua tau anō, riro ana nāna i hautū te tīma o Te Tai Tokerau, i hinga pahika nei i a rātou te tīma haereere o Ahitereiria, ā, nō muri tonu mai te kitenga atu i a ia, i tana whakataetae tuatahi mō te tīma toa o Aotearoa (All Blacks), ki te tīma o Ahitereiria i hinga nei i a rātou i Ōtepoti (Dunedin), toru tekau mā tahi ki te waru te kaute, kotahi nei te tarai a Johnny Smith. Nō te tau 1947 i taki haere atu nei rāua ko tana teina, ko Pita (Peter), ki Ahitereiria i roto i te tīma toa o Aotearoa, ā, nō te tau i muri mai, i riro nāna i kāpene te tīma Māori o Aotearoa i haere rā ki Whītī.

Nā runga i ngā kaupapa momotu iwi, i kore a ia mē ērā atu o ngā tino Māori ki te tākaro whutupaoro, pēraka i a Vince Bevan rāua ko Pene Kaute (Ben Couch), i āhei kia whakaurua atu ki te tīma toa o Aotearoa i haere rā ki Āwherika ki te Tonga i te tau 1949. Ko taua tau hoki te wā tuatahi i kitea ai tōna tino pai kē nei ki te purei whutupaoro, i te tūtakitanga o Te Ika-a-Māui ki te tīma o Te Waipounamu i tū nei ki Pōneke (Wellington). I te wā ko te tīma toa o Aotearoa i Āwherika ki te Tonga, riro ana nā Johnny Smith i kāpene tētahi tīma o Niu Tīreni i te wā i tūtaki ai rātou ki Ahitereiria; raru kē nei ko Aotearoa, e rua nei ngā whakataetaetanga. Hoki mai ana rātou, ka hangarau haere tonu a ia mō te rekoata i mahue mai nei i a ia, arā, ko ia anake te kāpene i te katoa o ngā kōrero mō Aotearoa, i mate ai te katoa o ngā tīma ko ia nei te kāpene.

I te wā o ngā tau tōmua o te tekau tau atu i 1950, ahakoa te mate taha ora, mate whara kē nei o tōna tinana, i tū tonu a ia i ngā whakamātautau mō te tīma toa o Aotearoa, mō te tīma o Te Ika-a-Māui me te tīma Māori o Aotearoa. Ko tana tarai mā Te Tai Tokerau (kāore nei he mea whakaae), i a rātou i whakataetae ai ki te tīma toa o Peretānia (British Lions) i te tau 1950, i mahue ake hei kōrero pakiwaitara i te takiwā kāinga. Taihoa ake anō i taua tau riro ake ana nāna i hautū te tīma o Te Tai Tokerau i tō rātou toa tuatahitanga nei ki te Hīra o Ranapere (Ranfurly Shield), i hinga nei i a rātou a Waitaha ki te Tonga (South Canterbury) i Tīmaru (Te Maru rānei); e rua nei ā rātou wawaotanga i te hīra, ka riro nei i a Waikato. Nō te tau 1951, i tākaro ngātahi ai a Johnny rāua ko Peter Smith i te tīma Māori i whakataetae nei ki a Whītī. Aotearoa, e iwa katoa nei ana kēmu, e whā nei he tēhi. Kore rawa i tarea e ēnei tākaro iti kau noa nei te whakaatu tōtika mai ana pūmanawa, me tōna ariā mō te tākaro nei, mō te whutupaoro. Nō te tau 1949 i riro ai ko ia te mea tuatahi i whakawhiwhia ki te kapu a Tom French, arā, te paraihe rā a te Kotahitanga Whakahaere o ngā Mahi Whutupaoro Rakapī o Niu Tīreni (New Zealand Rugby Football Union) mō te kaitākaro Māori tino kōhure nei o te tau. Ka mutu nei tana tākaro whutupaoro hiranga i te tau 1954, puta ana ia hei kaiako tino momoho kē nei, ā, riro ana i a ia te whakahaere o te tīma o Te Tai Tokerau i te tau 1956; kāti koa he kaikōwhiri anō hoki tāna mahi.

He maha kē atu anō hoki ngā tākaro i tino rawe kē nei ia, arā tonu, ko te kauhoe, tēnehi, kirikiti, korowha hoki. Riro mai ana i a ia te taitara tēnehi takirua mō ngā tama tāne, ko Allan Burns tana hoa tākaro, i te tau 1938–39. I te mutunga atu o te Pakanga Tuarua o te Ao, he putaputa tonu ake tana mahi i ngā tauwhāinga toanga matua mō ngā pakeke. He toa runaruna tākaro korowha nei hoki ia, tākaro kirikiti atu hoki. He tino toa anō hoki tana teina a Pita (rua tekau mā iwa tōna pakeke i tōna matenga atu i te tau 1954), me tō rāua tuahine, me Winnie ki te purei tēnehi. He toa anō hoki tāna tama a Glen ki te kauhoe; i toa ia i te kau tāwhai o te motu.

Nō te tau 1949 i riro i a Johnny Smith te whakahaere o te mahi tunu parāoa a te whānau, ā, nō muri mai he mahi kāmura, pōmana, hī ika anō āna mahi. I ngā tau i muri mai, ka pāngia ia e te mate, inarā te pūtake mai o te nuinga o ōna mate ko te whanatanga i tana mātenga i te wā o te pakanga i tētahi tākaro whutupaoro nei i Itari. He mate repe whakatupu anō tana mate, ā, e hia tau kē nei, ia toru marama, me haere atu i Kaikohe ki Ākarana, whakamaimoa ai. Nō te 3 o Tīhema i te tau 1974 i mate mai a Johnny Smith i te hōhipera o Ākarana, mahue mai ana ko tana wahine, ko Dorothy, rātou ko te tokotoru o āna tamariki.


He whakaaturanga anō

Rārangi pukapuka

    Chester, R. H. et al. The encyclopedia of New Zealand rugby. 2nd ed. Auckland, 1987

    McCarthy, W. ‘Johnny Smith’. In New Zealand rugby greats. Vol. 1. Auckland, 1975

    Obit. Northern News. 5 Dec. 1974: 11

    Obit. Rugby Almanack of New Zealand , 1975: 223–224


Me pēnei te tohu i te whārangi:

Garry Frew. 'Smith, John Burns', Dictionary of New Zealand Biography, first published in 2000, updated April, 2014. Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, https://teara.govt.nz/mi/biographies/5s27/smith-john-burns (accessed 20 June 2021)