When Dawson Tamatea, a popular gym and math teacher at Palmerston North school in Wellington, New Zealand, passed away, his students and co-workers were devastated. He had been teaching at the school for over thirty years, and had touched the hearts of many. As a testament to his popularity, Palmerston North closed on the day of his funeral, and every single pupil and colleague attended the service.
As a special tribute to Mr Tamatea, the school decided to perform the Haka at his funeral service. The Haka is a traditional dance of the Maoris, the aboriginal people of New Zealand. The dance was traditionally used to intimidate enemies, and is now associated with the New Zealand Rugby Team.
The school said:
“The entire school performed the Haka during the arrival of Mr. Tamatea in the hearse. This was a very emotional and powerful performance. We are extremely proud of our boys’ performance and we know that Mr Tamatea would be too.”
Watch the intense tribute below: