Aitutaki farewelled their first and only centenarian, fondly known as Aunty Caroline, on Wednesday 18 November, 2015.
Aunty Caroline was born in Mangaia in 1912 to parents, Vaine Tutai and John Cameron, a Scotsman. Cameron had been Resident Agent on the islands of Aitutaki, Mangaia and Mauke during his time in the Cook Islands.
Whilst working in Samoa as a nurse, Caroline met a handsome Samoan Chief. Tanumafili Malietoa became the Head of State of Samoa when the country gained independence. Their two children, Tutai and Henry were brought up in Samoa and Tutai now holds the chiefly title. Eventually, Caroline married Dan Daniels of Aitutaki. After many years living and working in Tokoroa, they retired very happily to Aitutak and a more relaxed pace of life. Aunty Caroline was extremely independent and lived alone until the last couple of years of her life. She will be missed by her large extended family and many friends.
In 1961 Aunty Caroline attended my wedding to Hugh in Auckland. Forty seven years later Johno and I were proud to welcome her as our special guest to our wedding held at Tamanu Beach Resort in 2008.
Aere ra e aro'a nui.
On November 12 the Tiare Taporo sailed in to Avatiu Harbour, Rarotonga, after a lengthy refit in Lunenberg, Nova Scotia, and a long and eventful voyage via the Panama Canal.
Geoffreyna and I were delighted to welcome my two grandsons, Tiavare (Geoffreyna's Dad) and Royle.
The eight-person crew was given a traditional pe'e and welcome by young drummers.
Last evening we were blessed with a stellar performance by the Modern Maori Quartet, playing at the Empire Theatre. At times they became a quintet, with the addition of a former member of the Quartet, Jamie McGregor.
The heat, and the audience, encouraged them to strip - down to their shirts!
Thank you Glenda and Mo, of Motone Productions.
Her Majesty The Queen has recently given The Outdoor Trust permission to create walkways in cities
throughout The Commonwealth marked with Her personal Royal cypher. The Trust now plans to create 100
new walkways in the main cities of The Commonwealth’s 71 nations and territories in the next 4 years.
The Commonwealth Walkways will be within reach of two billion people - a third of the World’s population
- 60% of whom are under 30 and 37% of which are currently not active enough to benefit their health.
All the Commonwealth Walkways will be dedicated to The Queen’s unfailing service and leadership as Head of The Commonwealth for nearly 63 years and will be a lasting practical legacy that can continue to be appreciated.
The Walkways will thread together 10,000 of the most significant highlights of The Commonwealth and each will be marked permanently with a large bronze plaque which proudly displays The Queen’s personal ‘EIIR’ Royal cypher.
A beacon under each marker will provide a signal for enabled smart phones to pick up images, text and video explaining the importance of the iconic features and promoting the principles and values of The Commonwealth which can also be shared.
At the start of each walk a permanent embossed metal interpretation panel, similar to those already installed by The Trust outside Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, The Supreme Court and The Houses of Parliament in London, will be set in the ground illustrating the route, key points of interest and the relevance to The Commonwealth.
The Commonwealth Games Federation plan to promote the Walkways, through their teams of athletes in each country, as a permanent outcome of The Queen’s Baton Relay when it visits all the countries of the Commonwealth in advance of the next Commonwealth Games in 2018.
In partnership with The Commonwealth Secretariat a souvenir book will be published to promote the Commonwealth Walkways and be given to every participating Head of Government, Commonwealth
organisation, City Mayor and Commonwealth Games Athlete.
The trust hope to work in partnership with city Mayors to ensure the 100 permanent Commonwealth Walkway routes are installed by 2018 in all of the Commonwealth countries.
Each participating city will receive approximately 100 Commonwealth Walkway bronze markers to be installed in the footway locally; a bespoke Commonwealth interpretation panel to be unveiled at an official ceremony; and access to build the iconic Commonwealth points of interest database which will be promoted internationally online, through the mobile phone networks and in the souvenir book.
Victor Hugo, Chairman of the Outdoor Trust was recently in Rarotonga having talks with Hugh Graham, President of the Cook Islands Sports & Olympic Association. How exciting to envisage such a wonderful scheme for Rarotonga. We hope the Cook Islands as part of the Commonwealth will ensure a walkway happens throughout our islands.
Ariel Morales and Rochelle Allison wowed the Cook Islands community with amazing illusions, comedy and magic tricks. The Sir Geoffrey Henry Auditorium reverberated to high pitched screams and excited yells from children and adults alike. It was the beginning of a magic week for the people of Rarotonga and Aitutaki. Over NZ$7300 was raised for the Cook Islands Prostate Cancer Foundation. Meitaki maata for the generous sponsorship from Paul Gauguin Cruises who flew the Magicians from Canada to Rarotonga. Thank you to Aunty Julie from Jetsave Travel, Bob and Emile, Edgewater Resort, Mike and Kuraono of Tamanu Beach Resort, Aitutaki, Sarah and Ewan, Air Rarotonga, Krissy and her team from Island Car and Bike Hire and Lee Harmon on behalf of CIFA for their contribution towards bringing these artists to our shores.
Just as we were awed by the magic of Ariel and Rochelle, so were they absolutely stunned by the beauty of Rarotonga and Aitutaki and the friendliness of the people. They will definitely return.
When I built the home Johno and I now live in, I installed one solar panel, for hot water. Over 20 years later, we are adding ten more. But these ones are for electricity - a 2.5 kilowatt system. In Rarotonga we have net metering, so our meter will "go backwards" when the panels are generating more power than we are using at the time. We expect to pay off the costs of the system in three years or so.
Below are some photos of the installation process.
FRIDAY 27 FEBRUARY 2015 - FUNDRAISER FOR THE PROSTATE CANCER FOUNDATION
China celebrates another link with the Cook Islands. At a special handing over ceremony Prime Minister, The Honourable Henry Puna, thanked the Chinese Ambassador to the Cook Islands, Wang Lutong, for their generosity.
Brilliant orange diggers and heavy road construction machinery will be a great sight as they roar around upgrading roads in Aitutaki and the Pa Enua.
Training will be provided for the operators who will also be taught how to properly maintain the machines in the tough island environment.
We wish you a prosperous and healthy 2015.
May the New Year bring hope to your heart, grace to your spirit and peace to your life.