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Donated books big boost for Avarua

Friday August 12, 2016 Written by Published in Local
Avarua School principal Engia Baxter joined John and Tuaine Bailey for a photo yesterday. 16081208 Avarua School principal Engia Baxter joined John and Tuaine Bailey for a photo yesterday. 16081208

There was plenty of early morning energy at Avarua School yesterday as students sang songs in their appreciation of books donated to the school by John and Tuaine Bailey


The couple made these donations to the school in commemoration of the school’s 100th year anniversary.

Tuaine, an ex-pupil of Avarua School said she was delighted to be a part of the school’s landmark celebration.

“I went to this school between 1949 and 1955 before attending Tereora College.

“For a short period of time in 1965, I taught at Avarua School before taking up a position at School Broadcasting, preparing and recording radio programmes for transmission to schools throughout the Cook Islands.

She joined the staff at Nikao Teachers Training College in 1969 and worked in schools throughout the Cook Islands.

Her husband John also worked in schools on many of the Cook Islands between 1968 and 1969 as a teacher-trainer.

The couple also recalled the unforgettable day when students from Avarua School sang several songs for them on October 29, 1969, when the couple got married.

“Celebrating 100 years of education is a special time and an opportunity to reflect on those who have gone before us and contributed to what makes Avarua School so special,” said Tuaine.

“We thought we would help support the students and gift some library books for them to enjoy.”

The Baileys said they were aware teachers and the Ministry of Education were encouraging children to read books both at school and at home.

“In addition to the library books, we have a number of copies of Say It in Rarotongan for the school, written by my father Mana Strickland,” said Tuaine.

“The Cook Islands language and culture were important to my father and whenever he visited us in New Zealand, his stay would always be short as he couldn’t wait to return to his much-loved country,” she said.

Tuaine added that thankfully, all of her father’s children had a deep understanding of the Cook Islands language and culture which had proved valuable in New Zealand especially when interacting with New Zealand Maori speakers.

The couple wished the school well in its 100th year anniversary and asked the children of Avarua School to hold fast to their language and culture, saying that if they don’t do it, they will lose it forever and that will be a great tragedy.

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