Spanish royals invited to Manuel Jose family reunion

Organisers say indicators are positive for attendance by King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia.

Organisers say indicators are positive for attendance by King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia.

REUNION PLANNERS: Plans are under way for another major Manuel Jose reunion on the East Coast in two years. The group organising it include (from left) Matiria Manuel, James Barnes, John Manuel, Stephen McCabe and Edda McCabe. They are pictured with their ‘Te Whanau a Manuera o Waiapu’ flag and crest, which shows their family links to Castile in Spain and the Spanish flag.
The reunion group have organised a meeting of as many descendants as possible at the Ngati Porou runanganui’s Te Tini o Porou complex, the former Gisborne Hotel, on the Huxley Road and Tyndall Road corner. The meeting is on Sunday at 1pm. Picture by Liam Clayton

DESCENDANTS of Manuel Jose de Frutos Huerta — Manuel Jose — have started preparations for another reunion in just over two years and have invited Spanish royalty.

Whanau of Manuel Jose, who settled as a trader in the Port Awanui area near Ruatoria between 1830 and 1833, have held reunions since 1981.

“We have held three reunions now in 1981, 1992 and 2001, and two other festival events in 2008 and 2010, but this will hopefully be the biggest,” said reunion chairman John Manuel.

It is planned to hold the reunion at Rahui Marae in Tikitiki over four days in late 2017-early 2018.

“We are getting in early to get a feel for how big a response we will get to this latest full-scale reunion.”

The reunion sub-committee has invited Spanish monarch King Felipe V1 and Queen Letizia to attend.

“I met with the Spanish ambassador to New Zealand in October and through him have sent a letter of invitation to the King and Queen,” Mr Manuel said.

“If our invitation is accepted, and indications look pretty positive that will happen, we believe that will hugely boost the numbers of people who will attend the reunion.

“We believe the royal couple and their entourage would be a real drawcard.”

Reunion organisers have had an indication already that some of their whanau in Spain will attend. Manuel Jose had five wives during his life and fathered nine children, and his descendants today number in the many thousands. In 1981 the number was 16,200.

“Our aim with this reunion is to update the geneology of Manuel Jose and to update the number of his descendants,” said committee deputy chairman Jim Barnes.

“We have a sub-committee working on ‘Josetanga’ as part of our succession planning to preserve our tipuna’s geneology.

“We want to future-proof the whanau by teaching our young ones about their whakapapa links to Manuel Jose,” Mr Barnes said.

Committee member Edda McCabe said it was about teaching the younger generation how to be a ‘Jose’.

The group have another sub-committee involved in the creation of a ‘Manuel Jose marae’ in Valverde del Majano near Madrid in Spain, where Manuel Jose was brought up prior to coming to New Zealand.

“Thirty five members of his Spanish whanau came here for a special festival at New Year in 2010-11,” John Manuel said.

“His descendants in the town where he came from have gifted us the land to build a marae there in his honour and we are working with them, and the Mayor of the town, on that project.”

Jim Barnes said a ‘stylised’ meeting house-type building would eventually be built on the land.

“We are currently discussing ways the funding for the building can be obtained. It is a hugely exciting project for us.”

DESCENDANTS of Manuel Jose de Frutos Huerta — Manuel Jose — have started preparations for another reunion in just over two years and have invited Spanish royalty.

Whanau of Manuel Jose, who settled as a trader in the Port Awanui area near Ruatoria between 1830 and 1833, have held reunions since 1981.

“We have held three reunions now in 1981, 1992 and 2001, and two other festival events in 2008 and 2010, but this will hopefully be the biggest,” said reunion chairman John Manuel.

It is planned to hold the reunion at Rahui Marae in Tikitiki over four days in late 2017-early 2018.

“We are getting in early to get a feel for how big a response we will get to this latest full-scale reunion.”

The reunion sub-committee has invited Spanish monarch King Felipe V1 and Queen Letizia to attend.

“I met with the Spanish ambassador to New Zealand in October and through him have sent a letter of invitation to the King and Queen,” Mr Manuel said.

“If our invitation is accepted, and indications look pretty positive that will happen, we believe that will hugely boost the numbers of people who will attend the reunion.

“We believe the royal couple and their entourage would be a real drawcard.”

Reunion organisers have had an indication already that some of their whanau in Spain will attend. Manuel Jose had five wives during his life and fathered nine children, and his descendants today number in the many thousands. In 1981 the number was 16,200.

“Our aim with this reunion is to update the geneology of Manuel Jose and to update the number of his descendants,” said committee deputy chairman Jim Barnes.

“We have a sub-committee working on ‘Josetanga’ as part of our succession planning to preserve our tipuna’s geneology.

“We want to future-proof the whanau by teaching our young ones about their whakapapa links to Manuel Jose,” Mr Barnes said.

Committee member Edda McCabe said it was about teaching the younger generation how to be a ‘Jose’.

The group have another sub-committee involved in the creation of a ‘Manuel Jose marae’ in Valverde del Majano near Madrid in Spain, where Manuel Jose was brought up prior to coming to New Zealand.

“Thirty five members of his Spanish whanau came here for a special festival at New Year in 2010-11,” John Manuel said.

“His descendants in the town where he came from have gifted us the land to build a marae there in his honour and we are working with them, and the Mayor of the town, on that project.”

Jim Barnes said a ‘stylised’ meeting house-type building would eventually be built on the land.

“We are currently discussing ways the funding for the building can be obtained. It is a hugely exciting project for us.”

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Jose Manuel Frutos Pico - 2 years ago
Informaci?
I saw this news on a television programme a few days ago and it caught my attention.
Yo, my name is Jose Manuel Frutos, I'm born in Madrid Spain and do not know if I have any relationship with these families in New Zealand. My grandfather was called Remigio Frutos Rico, he was a bullfighter.
If you can pass this information to Edda McCabe and if she knows something, I agracezdo.
Greetings and thanks.

Julie Collier - 1 year ago
We would like to travel to Spain in the next couple of years and would like to know the area where we can find out about the history of the whanau, kia ora.

Janice Tanerau, Norway - 1 year ago
Well this is exciting times for the Manuel whanau and knowing also that they have been gifted with land in Spain to build a marae there ... Ataahua ko tenei!!
Much aroha to you all and if you want some help I'm only a quick jump away from Spain ... Mauri ora!

Elsie Kiri Collier - 1 year ago
Love, love, love . . . . Can't wait!!!!!

Kim Roia Le'Bagge - 1 year ago
We are in the process of building the first "working" marae in Hawaii. Would love to be in any way involved with connecting with our Spanish cousins. Planning a visit to Valverde del Majano with my Spanish/Hawaiian friend one day and would love to meet more cousins there. I feel so incredibly blessed to be from such a beautiful whanau.

Paul Haenga - 1 year ago
Looking forward to the reunion

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