Family celebrates a second reunion

Friday December 29, 2017 Written by Published in Local
Descendants of Tuatai William and Elizabeth Greig Rongo Kea pose for a photo at Rutaki School on Wednesday. Fifty-four family members from New Zealand, Australia and Rarotonga are attending the reunion, which has included activities ranging from a genealogy session through to a walk across the island, with a golf contest also scheduled. 17122706 Descendants of Tuatai William and Elizabeth Greig Rongo Kea pose for a photo at Rutaki School on Wednesday. Fifty-four family members from New Zealand, Australia and Rarotonga are attending the reunion, which has included activities ranging from a genealogy session through to a walk across the island, with a golf contest also scheduled. 17122706

With hundreds of Cook Islanders living in New Zealand, Australia and other countries returning to the Cook Islands for their summer holidays, it’s the season for family reunions

 

Descendants of Tuatai (Tutu) William and Elizabeth Greig Rongo Kea are holding their second family reunion at Rutaki School this week – the first was in Auckland in 2014.

Tuatai and Elizabeth had 11 children, and all of them are alive today.

A total of 54 people attended the reunion, ranging in age from babies through to the eldest, Tuatai, who is 70. And they certainly made the most of their time, entering a team in Tuesday’s touch tournament, conducting a genealogy session and enjoying a lagoon cruise together, as well as plenty of fun, laughter and reminiscing. They even organised a walk across the island, scheduled for yesterday, and a golf Ambrose.

“We really enjoyed the touch tournament, but put it this way, we didn’t make it into the top four”, a spokesman for the group said, laughing.

“It’s been great having the reunion based at Rutaki school – it’s fantastic and I would encourage anyone planning to hold reunions on Rarotonga in the future to consider this location. There’s lots of space for the kids to play and for sports activities.”

Tuatai and Elizabeth’s daughter Nireka, who lives in New Zealand, says her parents were married on Rakahanga in March 1946 and later lived on Rarotonga. They moved to New Zealand in 1983 after one of their children fell ill and needed specialist medical attention. Elizabeth died in Auckland in 1986, while Tuatai lived until 2002, also passing away in Auckland.

Nireka, 64, has lived in Auckland for 46 years and says she is part of a very large extended family with links to Atiu, Rakahanga and Manihiki on her late father’s side, and Manihiki, Rakahanga, Aitutaki – “and Scotland,” on her mother’s side.

It’s actually the second family reunion the family has held – the first was in Auckland in 2014.

She says it’s amazing that all 11 siblings are in good health, with children and grandchildren of their own.

“Not everyone was able to be here, but we have certainly been having a great time.”

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