A Catholic Monthly Magazine

Resolutely he took the road

When I was a student at St Bedes College, Christchurch, Fr Frank Wall was ushered in to speak to us at assembly. He had a tape recorder with him and promised to play the voice of “a Maori nightingale” which he did after his rousing pep talk. I remember the large auditorium filled with the rich voice of a soprano. It could have been Kiri Te Kanawa.

The book is a small biographical tribute (twenty-seven pages) to a legendary Maori Missioner. It is beautifully illustrated with archival photos which give an authentic context for the career of this remarkable man. Fr Frank Wall was a crusading type of one man missioner, and his ‘parish’ was the South Island of New Zealand.

The main narrative is based on his diary recording his “South Island Maori Mission Trip” for the last three months of 1970. He recorded every family he visited in brief notes. What comes through is a man of deep faith, and unbounded enthusiasm.

He loved boxing and was a talented amateur boxer in his youth. He always carried two sets of gloves with him on his mission trips, and challenged the boys to some sparring to the delight of all.

This is a very interesting read, and  while it covers in detail only one of his many missionary journeys, a reader gets the feeling that it is all there - the whole man and his mission, and his unique personality..

Fr Delaney has given us a great record of this extraordinary man, the flavour of his direct methods, and his great love of the Maori people

Copies of this publication are
available for $10 (including postage)
from the Marist Messenger Office 

88 Hobson Street, Wellington 6011

Proceeds to Marist Missions

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