Privilege to be inside Hinemihi

I have just return from my trip to the UK to Prince Charles' 70th Birthday at Buckingham Palace and Sharryn and myself visited Hinemihi at Clandon Estate while we were there.

Having saved many during the Tarawera Eruption it was quite a privilege to be standing under the heke.

Barry Grouby

Editor's note: Hinemihi is a Maori meeting house originally from Rotorua that now stands in England.

It was carved by Tene Waitere and served as a hotspot in Te Wairoa for tourists visiting the Pink and White Terraces in the early 1880s.


More than150 people died in the eruption of Mt Tarawera on June 10 1886, which was 132 years yesterday.

However, many lives were saved by those who sheltered from the eruption inside Hinemihi.

It was taken from New Zealand in 1893 when Governor General William Hillier Onslow bought the meeting house for fifty pounds as a memento of his time in New Zealand.

It was shipped to England in 23 pieces and resurrected on the grounds of Clandon House in Surrey where it now stands.

Why you should wash your hands

150 years ago, in the Age of Enlightenment, surgeons didn't wash their hands between operations on patients.

They saw no need because they believed germs evolved spontaneously within the bodies of their patients.

Enter Joseph Lister, Quaker and fanatical follower of bible doctrine: he asserted that due to God ceasing His creation on Day Six, it was impossible for germs to evolve anew.

Instead, Lister proposed that they were transmitted to the patients by means of dirty hands and dirty scalpels and such.


Lister, a chief surgeon himself, required his fellow surgeons to wash their hands and he instituted the first modern antiseptic hospital.

The Age of Enlightenment didn't like it and he was mocked in all the atheistic universities and considered a fraud: until the results showed that his patient mortality was about 5 per cent that of the Enlightened hospitals.

As most of Lister's patients were women in childbirth, it can be seen that the Bible is beneficial to women.

Today we teach our kids to wash their hands, like the Bible teaches people to wash their hands regularly, especially before meals.

Perhaps we should consult the Bible a bit more often?

GJ Philip