HERALD WEEKLY ISSUE 599: 18 January 2012

Uirangi Bishop bids farewell
It is time to say farewell to the Cook Islands’ golden girl of dancing, Miss Uirangi Bishop. Bishop flies out Wednesday night for Melbourne, Australia, to join one of her sisters, Teerui Bryant, who already resides there. Bishop says she has always wanted to go to Melbourne, but has decided to make the move now as she is ready for a change in life. She commented, “I just want to go out there and experience a little bit more.”
Bishop is probably most known for her incredible achievements in dancing. Since 2001, she has been crowned Dancer of the Year eight times, in her respective categories. She was Junior Dancer of the Year in 2001, took out the Intermediate title twice and topped that off by taking out the Open category in 2005, 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2011. She is also well-known for her success in the Miss Cook Islands pageant, which eventually took her to represent the Cook Islands in Miss South Pacific in Samoa last year.
She says of her journey over the last few years, “I’m just so happy and so glad that I have had all these opportunities to represent my country my family. To be honest, I will do anything for dancing. It’s always been an honour to do all these things. Just being out there for your people - especially with the Miss South Pacific in Samoa. I don’t know how to explain it but it was great to be known as a Cook Islander and to carry the Cook Islands flag.” She says dancing is her number one passion and is one of the reasons she is so proud of the Cook Islands culture.
In Melbourne she will likely study. “Mainly I just wanted to go there and check it out. [But] actually what I’m going for is to see if I can study there. I’ve always wanted to do business and management.”
While she plans to visit home regularly, she plans to return home to live. But for now, she is excited by the move. “I like it, being independent. On your own it helps you to learn to get out there and stand on your own two feet.” She says it is her dancing and her culture that will be a constant reminder of home while she is away. Bishop’s focus is set firmly on achieving more. “To me, yes it s a good opportunity to go out - not just to stay here. But when you do so, just make sure that you’re not just getting up and leaving for nothing. Make it worthwhile. And if you decide to come home - there is always home to come back to.”
Bishop’s parting words? “I just want to say – take up any challenge. Never look back! If you say yes to it, go for it! Everything is always possible. Just believe in yourself and do it with pride. If it’s for your country – do it with pride.” -Ngariki Ngatae

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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