Flanders to Rome

Nicola Sciascia
Family Pilgrimage 2007

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
Autum, Tariuha
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 Malaya.

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


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Nicola's and Riria's portrait images kindly scanned and edited by Diane Taylor
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