HERALD WEEKLY ISSUE 456 : 22 April 2009

Aitutaki Community Pays Tribute to Retiring Leaders!

Members of the Aitutaki community gathered at the Aitutaki Hostel over the weekend to honor 2 of its longstanding community leaders who have retired from public service to the people of Aitutaki. Kura Strickland often referred to as Papa Kura and Dr KoeKoe Mokotupu, have retired from their positions as Patron and Chairman of the Araura Enua Association, positions they have held for many years.
In paying tribute to these two leaders, Pae Puna said that they had made outstanding contributions unsurpassed and that they would be sadly missed. Both men were part of an Executive instrumental in fundraising and completing the construction of the Aitutaki Hostel which was opened in 1994. Both Papa Kura and Dr Koekoe were relentless in those earlier years and it is thanks to their efforts that many activities and functions were successfully completed.
A lot of sacrifices were made but these 2, along with the efforts of many of our people in Rarotonga, Aitutaki, NZ and Australia who responded in order to uphold the name and pride of Aitutaki. They have also been instrumental in providing advice and assistance to the many people of Aitutaki who have passed through Rarotonga and overseas namely in welfare, housing, financial and health related issues.
Papa Kura has a long history of community and civil service. He was a former businessman and Minister of the CIP government in the 80’s and 90’s and had been actively involved in youth, church, sports, community, business, agriculture and politics. Apart from this involvement, he has also been active on a number of other Boards and committees having last served as a member of the Higher Salaries Tribunal.
It is good to see so many of our young people take up the challenge for leadership positions and I hope that they continue to maintain the good working relationship and mana that we have established with our people in Tumutevarovaro, said Papa Kura. It’s time to sit back and let others do the work and we’ll just get in behind and support them.
Dr Koekoe is a retired medical doctor and is also sad to be leaving a position he has held and enjoyed over the years. I trust these new leaders will carry on the good work and the challenges ahead of them because times have changed and we have a new generation of thinkers and how they do things. Dr Koekoe is popularly known for his interest in manufacturing and selling honey, a hobby he has maintained for some years. He will continue his commitment to the people of Aitutaki by providing advice on welfare and health issues and will continue his visitations to the Prison in Arorangi where he provides voluntary medical and pastoral advice.
This occasion was also an opportunity for the Aitutaki community to celebrate Uirangi Bishop’s success in the Miss Cook Islands Beauty Pageant and the successful Aitutaki sports teams who participated in the Cook Islands Games last week. This is indeed a proud moment for Aitutaki and the challenge for us is to carry the name forward with pride and commitment, said Pae Puna in his closing comments.
The new Executive for the Araura Enua Association in Rarotonga are; Pae Puna Patron, Tereapii Charlie Chairman, Mona Ioane Secretary and Mike Savage Treasurer. Future projects the new Executive will focus on in the future will possibly involve upgrading the Hostel, replacing furniture and bedding and concentrating on putting up a winning team for this year’s Te Maeva Nui Festival during the Constitution Celebrations.

Herald Issue 455 15 April
- Powering the Future
- Fiji clamp down a worry for government
- Aitutaki Community Pays Tribute to Retiring Leaders!
- Cook’s to Lose Diverse Personality to United Nations!

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