nd economic reasons.
He always greeted people with a huge smile and the familiarity of a close friend.
“At our last visit with him, just last week, he was at his usual evening routine –smoking a cigarette, sipping his whisky and listening to the radio,” friend Jean Mason said.
“He had lived with the effects of stroke for more than 10 years but had largely overcome it to carry on his work.
“His last major task was presiding over the Turama at Araki cemetery on the night of November 1 even though he had difficulty standing during the service. Such was his commitment.”
Mason added as a person Fr Rovers had a huge heart and a good mind adding he was always upbeat and happy and utterly devoted to his adopted home island.
“May God have mercy on your soul, Father John, and on all the souls of the dearly departed of the Cook Islands whom you served with kindness, humour and devotion. Aere ra ki toou akangaroianga.”
Fr Rovers will be dearly missed by all his friends especially Kairae, Paparongo, Chapman and Mason families of Rarotonga, Mauke, Atiu, Tahiti and New Zealand.
He was laid to rest in the early hours yesterday on Mauke.