The ceremony, which was attended by people from all over the Cook Islands, featured an address from Bishop Paul Donoghue who spoke about various aspects of Father John’s life and service to the Catholic Church. He also read a message from Father John’s family in Holland.
It read: “When Father John was 11 years old he was very sick.
He spent some time in hospital and when he came out, his parents asked if he wanted to go on with schooling.
“He said no, he wanted to be a priest, a missionary. Years later he went to England to learn to speak English and then six months later, he was on his way to the Cook Islands.
“Every five years he came home to the Netherlands for a holiday, but his heart was always in Mauke.
He loved Mauke and the people. Mauke was his real home.
“Thank you for honouring him with this unveiling ceremony.”
Father John died last year, at the age of 88.