‘Humble’ fire victim will be missed

Saturday June 22, 2019 Written by Published in Local
Here Makita. 19062135 Here Makita. 19062135

Jean Marie Williams will miss the weekly calls he used to get from his nephew Here Makita, who perished in a house fire in Australia’s Northern Territory on Wednesday.


Despite being a thousand miles apart, Manihiki resident Williams said Makita always kept in touch with his families in the Cook Islands.

Williams said the deceased comes from a humble family and they were saddened to learn about the loss.

“The deceased was a gentle fellow and an awesome social worker with the Aboriginal communities,” Williams said.

“I will miss him, he calls me almost once a week just to say ‘uncle much love to you all’. May he rest in the love that we have shared for years.”

Tributes have been flowing in from the devastated friends and family who described him as a “friendly soul”.

Makita was well known in the community of Tennant Creek for his work as a support worker at the sobering-up shelter run for the past 20 years with the Barkly Region Alcohol and Drug Abuse Advisory Group.

Close family friend Sharon Kinraid said she had known Makita for 23 years and he was always a “quiet achiever”.

“He loved his job at the sobering-up shelter as a support worker who worked most of his time on night shift from midnight to 8am,” she said.

“Makita loved the people he dealt with on a daily basis. He never had a bad word for anyone.

“His job was difficult at the best of times but he took it in his stride.

“He was diligent. He did not like bludgers and expected people to be there beside him, to help and look after the people who came in time and time again to the shelter.

“I feel like a very big part of me has gone with him.”

Chief executive officer Pauline Reynolds said their close-knit team had been left reeling by his sudden passing. “We would like to extend our sincere condolences to his family.” 

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