If friendship was made up of colours, ours would make a rainbow!
What better way to spend Sunday morning than with friends.
We welcomed home Kay and Ian and said Kia Orana to Sue who taught at Tereora in the mid 80's.
We wished Sue and Robbie bon voyage - they will visit Pasha in Pohnpei, fly to Las Vegas to see the sights, then on to Portland Oregon. Karleen and George have visited annually for the last 24 years. Dave and Kathy from Homer, Alaska have returned each summer for 15 years. Martin and Cynthia from Beccles, Suffolk, return each January to dive and snorkel. They all depart on Saturday, until this time next year. Aere Ra dear friends.
My counting was a little out of kilter so at the last minute there was a hurry and scurry to add a couple of extra places to the two tables already set. However, all 19 guests were soon seated and the fun began.
Johno and I were totally but happily exhausted, and spent the rest of the afternoon lazing at the lagoon edge, under the shade of the wild hibiscus trees.
Santa Claus must have visited in the wee hours of the morning, as both Papa Johno and I were pleasantly surprised to find our stockings filled with all sorts of goodies. The milk and biscuits had been eaten by Santa and his helpers, and the dishes even washed and put away!
By 9.00am the house was filled with the sounds of laughter from excited and noisy children.
All Stuart's gang arrived:
Eldest daughter, Tei and her new husband Mike, with their daughter, Tauariki and son, Epa. He is the one with the bright red hair!
Daughter, Tamara, partner Ali and their three extremely lively boys: Alista, Dominic and Tunui.
Son, Steven and his girlfriend, Maraea.
Daughters, Liana, and Moanaarrii and son, Tetaura-Raru Yes Stuart is the Dad of 6 kids.
Nicky at 6ft 2 inches( in green T shirt) towers over his Dad, Nicholas.
Croissants, Christmas mince pies, toast and coffee for the adults. And a sugar rush for the children.
They loved the fruit kebabs, filled with marshmallows and smothered with lashings of whipped cream, chocolate and strawberry sauce
After opening their presents we sent them on their way to visit their other grandparents where, no doubt, they caused havoc, as they were on such a high!
Our Christmas festivities continued with a fabulous luncheon enjoyed with close friends. Karen set a magnificent table, Mal carved the turkey and ham, and their guests popped more and more bottles of champagne. We had a right royal feast and an amazing fun filled day. Meitaki maata to our hosts Karen and Mal in their beautiful home at Muri Heights.
TEAL BAY WEDDING
LUANA AND MATT, RAROTONGA - April 2014
In April the picturesque Maire Nui Gardens in Rarotonga, were the setting for the marriage of Luana Bosanquet Heays to Matt Scrowcroft. Luana, who was brought up in the Cook Islands, refers to herself as “the white inside of a coconut”. Luana performed a beautiful dance for Matt and his parents who had flown from England for the ceremony. Proud parents, Peter and Jolene hosted a grand gala event.
OUR DAUGHTER JOANNE MARRIES MATT DAVIDSON
AITUTAKI WEDDING OF THE YEAR
My eldest granddaughter, Eikura, and her teenage sweetheart Messine were married in simple ceremony overlooking the panoramic Aitutaki lagoon. Their two children held aloft a banner as they escorted Eikura and her extremely proud Dad, Michael, along the petal-strewn path. I presented Eikura with the lovely satin horseshoe Hugh and I had received at our wedding 53 years ago in 1961. I can only hope they have as much love and good fortune in their marriage as Hugh and I had, and now Johno and I have.
The wedding was followed by a traditional “Ora Toroka” drive around the island with villagers dancing singing and presenting flowers, pareu and gifts to the couple.
TEI from Mangaia ties the knot with MIKE from Muri
Stuart walked his eldest daughter, Tei, towards a beautiful archway and the waiting groom, Mike Nia. The sun was sparkling on Muri lagoon and a wild wind swept off the beach, blowing cobwebs away and showering the young couple with happiness. The short service was followed by a fun photo session before the reception. Johno likened the event to a 3000-piece jigsaw puzzle as we fitted people into their relevant families. Many years ago Johno and I met Tei’s grandmother Mama Tua at her 70th birthday celebration and at this wedding we renewed our friendship.
FUNERAL OF TUPUI ARIKI HENRY
Flags were flown at half-mast at Parliament Buildings and around the island in respect of the passing of elder statesman and former politician, Tupui Ariki Henry. Papa Pui was the eldest son of Sir Albert and Lady Elizabeth Henry, and hence my brother-in-law. He was a former cabinet minister during the early development of the Cook Islands.
Covered with a beautifully embroidered Tivaevae (bedspread) the casket was carried on the tray of a flat bed truck to the simple church service at the main Cook Islands Christian Church in Avarua.
Tupui was laid to rest in his wife’s family burial plot.
He was the last of his generation and it is now up to my children, nephews and nieces to fulfill the dreams of their grandfather, Sir Albert.
My relationship with Hugh developed over the years. Eventually my future Father in Law decided to have a chat with me. “Do you honestly love Hugh?”, he asked. I was a flighty young 19 year old and mumbled, “Yes, I suppose I do”. “Well, one day Hugh will wish to return to live in his homeland. He will hear the call of the Cook Islands and the Pacific. Are you prepared to leave your Mother, your family and your home to live on a tiny island, a dot in the Pacific Ocean?” He was a man of great wisdom. Many years later those questions were answered when we decided move from New Zealand and make our home in Rarotonga.