The casket carrying the late Ariki Makea Vakatini Joseph Tepo Ariki was carried through the streets yesterday, in a procession led by his grieving widow Shirley.
The first service was held at the Taunga Manu Palace Vakatini palace at 9 o’clock in the morning.
The funeral procession and pall bearers carried his casket to the nearby Cook Islands Christian Church service for the final service.
Makea Vakatini Joseph Tepo Ariki was then carried back to the main road with several changes of pallbearers through to the entrance of Taputapuatea to the burial ground near the church.
Flags draped over his casket included the Cook Islands flag, and the Cook Islands Police Service flag – recognising his long connection to the police.
He was born on June 7, 1937. He passed away on July 16, at the age of 83.
Makea Vakatini Joseph Tepo Ariki was invested with the title in 1997; he is survived by his wife Shirley, his five children, Robyn, Rosanna, Jo-Ann, Joseph, Phillip and their families.
Soon after his burial his son Phillip was invested as the new Makea Vakatini Ariki.
A feast was served at the Sinai hall nearby.