Jan. 29, 2020, 10:11 a.m.
Myra Berghan, Q.S.M., helped to establish the Kohanga Reo movement in Te Hiku o Te Ika during the early 1980s starting at her marae of Mahimaru in Awanui. It was on her marae that she was joined by whānau and friends to celebrate her 90th birthday.
Myra is described as being the backbone of her whānau and community and has held many voluntary positions, such as the treasurer of Mahimaru marae, a role she has held for over 40-years and as a Kohanga Reo assessor in Kaitāia.
Tributes flowed across the marae ātea at Mahimaru for the matriarch. Faithful to Te Hāhi Mihinare, Myra has continuously played a core role in the old Awanui Anglican Church and Bishop Kito Pikaahu said she was a role model to all.
“Koia te tauira o te tika, o te pono, o te aroha. Koia ko tā mātou e whai ake nei.”
Myra started a career in nursing at 17-years-old after working the family farm and a stint at the Lake Ngātu toheroa factory. She later married Louis Berghan and had three tamariki.
In 1988 Myra received her Q.S.M. award for recognition of her contribution to the Far North community.
She has a wonderful sense of humour and still plays a huge role in her whānau and daughter, Carol Berghan said she was everyone’s ‘Mumsy’.
“I’m very lucky to have her as my mother. But she’s not just my mum. She’s everyone’s mum.”