HERALD WEEKLY ISSUE 591: 23 November 2011

Congratulations Mrs Mii Quarter

Congratulations to our Woman of the Month nominee Mrs Mii Quarter, whose dedication to arts and craft have paved her career throughout the community.
Mii Quarter who comes from a large family of 6 boys and 5 girls is the eldest daughter of Amanaupu Pere and Ngavaine Upupere. Mii Quarters education took place in the Cook Islands as she started primary school in Mauke and Atiu, and in 1962 she enrolled at Avarua School in Rarotonga. Mii Quarter then enrolled to Tereora College between the years of 1965 to 1968 to complete her secondary schooling and it was there that her love of arts and crafts first began. Mii took a home economics class that concentrated largely on cooking and sewing because she wanted to know how to do these types of things, at the time she was also in the Tereora College Culture team that formed a dance group so knowing how to sew her costumes was something she was interested in. At the young age of 15 Mii was offered the opportunity to further her home and economics training in Fiji, and decided “No I will follow my heart, my boyfriend at the time and father of my children instead,” she laughs to me. In 1968 her and her partner moved to New Zealand but she didn’t stop doing her arts and crafts there she carried on with her sewing and it was when she formed a dance group that consisted of hers and her partners family members that saw her travelling around the world and back to the Cook Islands to recruit dancers to perform with her and her group in Australia. During that time Mii Quarter was still continuing her
passion for arts and crafts and would create the elaborate costumes for her and the dance group to perform in, “those days were good,
entertaining and dancing but because I never stopped doing it that’s how I continued with my passion,” Mii shares. During the 1980’s Mii Quarter and her family returned back to Rarotonga, when the Te Maere Nui celebration first started Mii was there continuing to
produce her handy craft products like ei katu. During her time Mii also opened her own business in the hub of Auckland city, the store which was located on K’rd was an islands arts and crafts store that sold many of her own products. Culture playing a large role in her every day she decided at the time to enroll her 2 daughters into Richmond Rd Primary School, a bilingual unit school in Auckland, to continue their classes in Cook Islands Maori.
During her youth she was part of the Takuvaine Youth Club and Aitutaki dance group which played a large role in preserving and contributing to her Cook Island heritage, “now when I think of all the years that I’ve been doing this I’ve never really left culture I’ve always been doing my crafts.”
Returning back to the Cook Islands in 2000 due to her parents
situation and wanting to be closer to keep an eye on them, Mii says that she moved her business here to Rarotonga with her and set up her stall at the markets selling her arts and crafts, pareu,
clothing and ei katu headwear, “there’s
always money to be made in Rarotonga but you have to go look for it, there’s opportunities here every day you just have to do it.”
The most important thing that Mii has learnt is that she doesn’t rely on other people, “if there’s somewhere I want to be then I have to do it to get there,” she tells me,
having fundraised to
create the funds to travel and produce beautiful dance ware. Mii would like to thank all the people who have helped her throughout her time and feels
grateful for being
nominated Woman of the Month.
Congratulations Mii Quarter for your added experience and knowledge in arts and crafts to our community. -Maria Tanner

Herald Issue 554 09 March
- Norm exposes Trio of Doom
- Briefs from PM’s media conference Tuesday
- Tourism Industry ponders $5 million draft strategy
- Norman George resigns from Cook Islands Party
- Letter of Resignation from CIP
- Norman selfish says Prime Minister

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