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Church History

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A Maori Deacons Quorum Duty

In the late 1800s, Church meetings in New Zealand were often held in a large Maori whare, or meetinghouse, where attendees reclined on flat mats. No sleep, however, was allowed during services. “A number of deacons are stationed in the center aisle, armed with long rods, and they occasionally poke drowsy members,” wrote a Young Woman’s Journal correspondent who visited the island. “Elders and visitors are not exempt, and, if, during a four or five hours testimony meeting, any are found nodding, a gentle . . . reminder from the deacon’s pointed rod commands attention.

“A Trip to Maoridom,” Young Woman’s Journal, Aug. 1899, 345–346