HERALD WEEKLY ISSUE 608: 21 March 2012

Maria Tanner spends 5 minutes with .. Carolyn McCraken and John Boyd
The standard of a good woman was once marked as being fitted with the fine domestic qualities of Victorian culture, the ability to care for her household and family were considered crucial cornerstones of her abilities and for a long time this was how she was measured.
Ellen Hutchin, wife to one of the founding and longest serving Missionaries to the Cook Islands of the London Missionaries order JJK Hutchin, was among that group of serving women and together their great grandchildren Carolyn McCracken and John Boyd return to Rarotonga to celebrate the poignant role that each played in shaping the Cook Islands foreground and commemorate 100 years of his passing.
Chartered to be sent to the South Seas to labour as a Missionary JJK Hutchin 24, and wife Ellen Hutchin 19, arrived in the Cook Islands in October 1882 where they set about introducing and establishing the Christian faith to an unassuming community of people. “When they landed Ellen was carried ashore from the boat,” explains John Boyd, the elder of the two siblings, “there was a huge crowd and she was terrified. Back in England the islanders of the South Seas were thought to be pretty ferocious and wild, Ellen was only small and 19,” Boyd shares fitting back tears, “the crowd parted and a regal looking lady came down and put her arms around my Great Grandmother, that was Makea Ariki and from that point they were lifelong friends.”
Single handidly and whole heartedly Ellen Hutchin as a Missionary’s wife set out imparting her knowledge of the Victorian culture sharing and educating the Cook Islands women in the area of sewing. Carolyn McCracken, the youngest surviving great grandchild of the Hutchin line, pulls out an exquisite tivaevae for my inspection. Reflecting a simple colour palate the tessellated basic stitch tivaevae has kept in pristine condition and is estimated to be crafted between the years of 1890 and 1900. One of 8 that were originally made for Ellen by the women she had taught to sew, they remain stored as a family heirloom amongst the Hutchin line dating the impressive tapestry at well over 100 years old.
“It’s different from what they do now, because they were just learning. But it was made by the woman of the Church who were learning from her,” says McCracken. If the measure of good woman was to be domestically virtuous, then equally the mark of Victorian gentile could be set no higher than with the values of education and service. As a Missionary of the London Missionary order JJK Hutchin resolve for religion and faith in the Cook Islands was unquestionable and matched only by his drive to achieve higher education. “He seemed to be keen on education,” Boyd explains of his Great Grandfather. Serving 30 years in the Cook Islands until the time of his passing, JJK Hutchin learnt the Cook Islands Maori language conducting his sermons, and with the help of one other Missionary, translating the first bible in Cook Islands Maori. JJK Hutchins was also one of the founding members in establishing the Cook Islands National College, the correlation between Hutchins daughters name and its fitting meaning made it the appropriate choice in being titled Tereora. “He virtually was instrumental in setting that started,” beams Boyd. Sick on his death bed and bound for New Zealand JJK Hutchin conducted his final service, a wedding for a young couple from his bed hours before departing on his final voyage where he passed away arriving in Wellington. While he served 30 years as a Missionary in the Cook Islands JJK Hutchin was buried in Wellington and a monument was erected in his name at the Avarua CICC grounds alongside his sons graves.

Herald Issue 608 21 March
- Terms of one China Policy document should be reviewed
- Pacific Media Assistance Scheme Seeks Innovation
- Successful NZ visit by PM
- Rerekura Teaurere New Climate Change Coordinator
- News Briefs

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