Maori craft

A BEAUTIFULLY crafted chair which was given as a gift by a Maori tribe has now found a new home in a Huntingdonshire church. Stanley Bish is to donate the chair to the church in Wistow where he was born – 40 years after bringing it home from New Zealand.

A BEAUTIFULLY crafted chair which was given as a gift by a Maori tribe has now found a new home in a Huntingdonshire church.

Stanley Bish is to donate the chair to the church in Wistow where he was born - 40 years after bringing it home from New Zealand.

The 81-year-old has kept the distinctive chair in his home for much of its stay in the country - apart from a spell at the New Zealand Embassy in London.

Mr Bish was in the merchant navy for 22 years and befriended a Maori tribe during one of numerous tours around Australia and New Zealand.

"It really is a marvellous chair. It is very distinctive and a fantastic gift to receive from the Maori," he told The Hunts Post. "The craftsmanship is superb and my commanding officer did not want to let it leave the ship after we had transported it home."

He added: "I had never travelled so I decided to join the merchant navy and ended up staying in it for 22 years.

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"I must have travelled 'Down Under' about 50 times during my spell in the navy and thoroughly enjoyed each trip to a fascinating place.

"The New Zealand embassy was interested in taking the chair back, but I wanted to make sure it stayed in local hands."

Mr Bish, of St Luke's Close, is currently making arrangements for the transfer of the chair to Wistow Church.

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