PAUL LA BASSEE SCIASCIA
Paul La Bassee Sciascia
Eldest son of Frank La Bassee Sciascia and Maymorn Allison Taylor ( Stirling)
Born: Waipukurau 10 / 10 / 1943
Married : Sue Snooks of Ashburton,
Children : Tahi, Mathew and Robin ( twins ) La Bassee, Nathan
Moana, Paul Tahi, Max
Dakota, Denver, Mattison,
Indy, Tahi Paul, Jackson
Paul's first memories could be of following two inches behind his Father or
Uncles, or lying under the current broken down car or truck with a spanner in
his hand helping Uncle Charlie to fix it up either up the top, (at Papa Frank's
place) or at our home at No 5 in the back shed.
Paul had a full working life, leaving school early he headed to his uncle Henry
Hokianga's farm as a shepheard. Then off to Australia in the late 1950's to be a
jackaroo. On his return in the 60's he joined the Army where he met Sue while
serving twice in Malaya and then in Vietnam. His first three sons where born in
Paul and Sue then returned in the late 70's to live in Porangahau were he
established the first commercial Maori Fishing business. This occupied him and
later his son's for the next decade.
While in Porangahau Paul under took the Leadership of the Maori Committee and
worked for the Ngati Kahungunu Iwi authority on the Mana Enterprise Board which
established some of the first commercial businesses here and in our tribal area.
However in the late 1980's he and his family went off to Australia where amongst
other things he and Sue became Hoteliers in the Queensland outback at Barcaldine.
This was a demanding career change and Paul and Sue finally retired to Mac Kay
2005. Sue's Mother ( 89yrs ) and Sue's sister and family live close by. Mathew
and Tahi continue to live in Porangahau, La Bassie in Brisbane, while Nathan and
Robin are at Mt Isa.
Paul always had an adventurous spirit. As a young man he and his two mates, Mike
Sidwell and Trevor Scott owned motor bikes and would head out of Porangahau on
jaunts across the land. This pattern continued in the South Island while in the
Army when Paul would arrive at the most remote of a relative's place unannounced
for breakfast as he explored his Ngai Tahu roots. So it is no surprise to find
him still challenging new frontiers at 64yrs.
Paul has kept his connection to Porangahau, traveling home for every major
event, tangi or celebration over the years. He has always had a deep love of
family and hosted many family member at his hotel in Aussie, looking after all
those who came from home to work in the sheds in Queensland. There is a large
community of Porangahau people in the area where Paul lived. Paul provided the
sense of base ( Marae ) for them at his hotel called the The Shakespeare Hotel
or Te Wharenui as he also named it. He has also carried on the tradition of the
love of horse racing and owns his own race horse. It was a talking point in
Barcky about Paul and his Uncle Ru or brother Nicholas ( who were visiting from
Porangahau ) snoozing in the chairs at the local TAB while backing their horses
and waiting for the results. Not to mention the yahoo's when they won ( or badly
missed out )
Paul was a member of the Sciascia Pilgrimage to Italy in 1997. He remarked to me
on his return that in Italy he found a piece of himself that had been a puzzle.
He recognized the culture and behavior there as part of a missing link in his
life. One that didn't quite fit here but was instantly at home there.
Paul has felt a deep connection to our Grand Uncle Charles Te Rangiwawahia
Sciascia who lies in the land of Belgium, killed at La Basseeville. Like
Charles, Paul was a solider and he carries the name La Bassee from Flanders
where Charles died. Both names La Bassee and Te rangiwawahia have been passed
down through to his sons and now to their sons.
In 2007 Paul is the eldest male of the descendants of Frank Tariuha Sciascia.
Written by his sister Marina
Paul and family wife Sue, son La Bassie and his wife Kim and children
Tahi and son Paulie Mathew and son Tariuha