John is a senior reporter at the Bay of Plenty Times

The curious case of the councillor's disappearing name

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What's in a name? Max Mason was sworn in as a Tauranga City councillor yesterday minus his name of Max. Photo/file
What's in a name? Max Mason was sworn in as a Tauranga City councillor yesterday minus his name of Max. Photo/file

It was a case of the vanishing name when the Tauranga City Council's new face, Max Mason, took the oath.

Mayor Greg Brownless hesitated slightly when he called on Max Mason to come up to the front of the inaugural meeting of the council yesterday to be sworn in.

Mr Mason then read out his oath of office, starting with his name Charles Joseph Mason. Many in the audience wondered whether they had heard correctly, or rather misheard.

A check with the new councillor afterwards revealed the fascinating fact that Max was not one of his official names.

He explained that his birth name in Rhodesia, modern day Zimbabwe, was Cedric Charles Joseph Norden-Smith. But after his father Max Norden-Smith died in a car accident when baby Cedric was only 3 months old, everyone started referring to the baby as "little Max", and the name stuck - evolving into Max when he was no longer little.

His mother remarried and he took the surname of the only man who he knew as his father, Arthur Mason.

So what happened to Cedric? "I am not quite sure what happened to Cedric. Cedric was kind of dropped when I became little Max."

- Bay of Plenty Times

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