at St Faith’s Anglican Church Rotorua
There has been a Bennett behind the organ at St Faith’s Anglican Church in Rotorua for more than 80 years of its history.
The first was New Zealand’s first Māori bishop, Frederick Augustus Bennett. Bishop Bennett, who arrived in Rotorua in 1905, oversaw the construction of St Faith’s and played organ during church services.
His son, Selwyn Bennett, now 90, pressed down on the organ’s keys and pedals every Sunday and at funerals and weddings for 70 years.
So when high school student Pererika James Bennett volunteered to try his hand at the instrument in June, many members of the church’s congregation were excited to hear the 14-year-old play.