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T&M Heather celebrate 50 years

Monday August 27, 2018 Written by Published in Local
Eric Elika, Faagi Elika (5) and Terangi Elika with Teariki Heather at the 50th anniversary celebration. 18082501 Eric Elika, Faagi Elika (5) and Terangi Elika with Teariki Heather at the 50th anniversary celebration. 18082501

A company which has made a huge contribution to the development of Rarotonga and the Cook Islands celebrated its 50th year in business on Friday night.

 

T & M Heather Ltd operates on family land in Arorangi that was originally used to grow plantations of oranges and bananas, and the original family home built in 1966 is still there.

Beresford and Manoa Heather began the company back in 1968 with just one truck.

“That was my uncle and my dad. I would go down after school. I was involved in the company all my life,” says director and former Cabinet minister, Teariki Heather.

Now the company also employs his two sons and daughter, along with many other family members.

The original company name was Heather Brothers and it has changed twice over the years -  first to B&M Heather and then to its current name, T&M Heather.

Teariki’s younger brother Joseph Heather says attendance at the celebration was by invite only and hundreds of family, friends, employees and former employees and their families were invited, “from all over”.

The celebration was held on the company’s premises.

During his speech, Teariki Heather said the company was all about sacrifice and patience, and running the firm had involved plenty of both in the early years.

T&M Heather now has 74 employees.

“Supporting family and friends, that’s what T&M is all about,” he said.