Peter ticks off items on final to-do list

By sonya.bateson@dailypost.co.nz, Sonya Bateson


With only months to live, Peter Hirst isn't afraid of dying - he's just happy he's ticked everything off his bucket list.

Mr Hirst was told on August 16 that he had four to six months left to live, so he created a "bucket list" of things he wanted to achieve before his time was up.

At the Rotorua District Library this week, Mr Hirst ticked off the last item on his bucket list - donating books about his Baha'i faith, translated into Maori, to the library.

"It was all rather short notice, I got told on August 16 that I had four to six months to live.

"I am hoping to outlive that, but I'm not taking any chances and I want to get all my things done. I am not the least bit afraid of dying because my religion tells me exactly what happens. I'm just short of 70, so that's pretty good, I think," Mr Hirst said.

"I did my bucket list, now I'm happy."

The first item on Mr Hirst's bucket list was to get permission from his wife's family to be buried among them at their marae, which he was given.

Secondly, he wanted to organise his coffin.

"I have a thing about expensive coffins. I wanted to find a coffin for a good price. I found one on the internet at a shop called 'Return to Sender' and got someone locally to make it for me."

Mr Hirst described his coffin as a straight pine box that was lightly oiled instead of laminated, with a rail along each side for carrying, rather than "fancy" handles. It cost him $700.

The next thing on Mr Hirst's bucket list was to write the programme for his funeral. He wanted the service to be in English and te reo Maori.

"My wife is Maori and, if I last until June, we will have been married 40 years. I've been integrated into the Maori community, so I made sure my programme was half Maori and half English, and not just translated."

Lastly, Mr and Mrs Hirst visited the Rotorua District Library to donate a selection of Baha'i books translated into Maori on behalf of the Rotorua Bahai Community, of which Mr Hirst is secretary.

He said the books had first been translated from Arabic and Persian to English and then to Maori.

"The books contain very beautiful verses, it's all about how to live our lives. The Baha'i religion is a world wide religion and is the second most wide spread after Christianity. People have a right to the scriptures and teachings of the word of God in their native language - why should people have to read in English if they are African, or even Maori?"

The two Maori books donated were Ko Nga Kupu Huna a Bahaullah (The Hidden Words of Bahaullah) and Bahai Me Ta Wa Hou (Baha'i and the New Era). They can be found in the Maori section of the Rotorua District Library.

- ROTORUA DAILY POST

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