Carl Perkins laid to rest

By Tema Hemi

A local reggae artist whose voice will always be treasured. Carl Perkins was laid to his final resting place today where hundreds of mourners attended to say their final farewell.

His son Te Omeka Perkins says, "Yeah it's sad to see dad go down like that but at the same time it's such a blessing that he's out of that pain because the last month its been hard to see and watch, yea bless his soul."

Carl Perkins helped pioneer reggae music in New Zealand. He was part of the band, Herbs, even helping to write one of the band's hits Long Ago.

Longtime friend, Tigilau Ness was one of the hundreds that farewelled Perkins at Te Puke marae in Raetihi this week.

Ness says, "To love one another that was the message in his music as well as to stand up strong and be who you are and be proud of who you are, to be human you know but to love one another that's one of his key messages."

Perkins went on to form the band House of Shem with his sons Te Omeka and Isaiah. The band has been working on a reo Māori album, which they hope to release this year.

Perkins says, "Yea I'm sure he'd want us to keep pushing the message out there and keep inspiring the people and keep putting those messages out there of peace and love, harmony, and keep uniting the people."

Kereama Pene a long time friend says, "Carl is kind of like a breakaway guy he fell in love with Rastafarianism. He's a follower of Bob Marley like Ruia and our other musicians but he gave his own mōrehu feel to the Rastafarian movement."

Born in Raetihi, Perkins was also a staunch follower of the Ratana movement.

Andre Meihana of the Ratana movement says, "Him becoming an Apōtoro Wairua helped shape that love and that peace that he's always talking about and singing about."

Perkins is survived by his wife Denise, and their five sons.