28 July 2017 » Home > The Arahill Years
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Father Brian Arahill came to us from Hamilton in 1965 and quickly dispensed with the loud speaker in the church. He did not need one; he was one. The practice of having parish picnics continued.

The parish school enjoyed considerable success through the expertise of its teaching staff and parental help. Photos of sporting successes of that time show that the D basketball team won the championships in 1965; the same year the school won a shield and cup for athletics at the Three Kings Domain. In 1968 the school was runnerup in the A grade basketball championships, and won the B and C grades. Father Arahill encouraged the adoption of a mission station in Sigatoka in Fiji.


At a later date Namosi became our adopted mission parish in that country. The parish held fairs to fundraise and the school became involved too. The children organised talent shows and happy activities to make their contribution. It was at that time too that Joan O'Connor was fundraising to support an impoverished priest in Tanzania. She had initially been in contact with him as a pen friend but when he became a seminarian she and her family took a close interest in his progress. She was able to buy for him a motorbike so that he could visit his farflung parish. This personal and parochial tie lasted many years and on two occasions it was a joy for Father Choka to visit NZ. The first time the O'Connor family shouted him a trip here for the golden wedding anniversary of Charlie and Joan O'Connor, and the second time Father Choka came to NZ on a refresher course. So Father Blake invited him to stay at the presbytery and be in the parish which knew him. Some parishioners too were able to visit our mission station friends in Fiji.


Never shy to use his strong voice, Father Arahill began the adult choir for Christmas and Easter devotions. Petitine-Anne Croul had a particularly sweet soprano voice and on a number of Good Fridays we were moved by her rendering of "Were you there when they crucified my Lord?"

Father Arahill was promoted to St Patrick's Cathedral as administrator. He was later honoured with the title of monsignor and subsequently in charge of St Michael's in Remuera.