Helen was born and raised in New Zealand - a "kiwi girl". At the young age of 15 she fell in love with Hugh, a handsome Pacific Island boy. They married in 1961, a time when mixed race marriages were far from the norm.
When the Cook Islands’ gained independence in 1965, Helen’s father in law, the late Sir Albert Henry, became the first Prime Minister. Four years later Hugh and Helen moved to Rarotonga, the capital island of the Cook Islands. Helen quickly involved herself in raising their five children as "island kids", as well as in local community and business activities. Helen's life has, and continues to be, full of challenges, adventures and passionate love.
Although her friends thought she would last no more than five years, Helen has now lived in Rarotonga for over forty-five years.