“From that point on, there would be no hugging, no kisses, no shaking hands – things we did every day, so it was going to take some getting used to.”
Then came the announcement from government that all Pa Enua flights would cease.
The Ma‘uke Island Council organised a meeting with government departments and businesses to form plans to protect the community.
Eileen Story is the Ma‘uke station manager for Air Rarotonga. She told the meeting of the safety measures the airline had in place.
“And I reassured the island that Air Rarotonga would not leave the people stranded; freight runs could still be organised as well as emergency flights.”
Owner of Kato’s store Aunty Francis asked people not to panic buy and she would ensure the shop would always be well stocked.
“Here in Ma‘uke, we are concerned, but not panicking.
“Our kids are still playing volleyball every afternoon and swimming in the harbour.
“We are grateful in the fact that we will be isolated on Ma‘uke, where we can survive off the land if need be.
“From us here in Ma‘uke Akatokamanava, we send love and prayers out to our people all over the world, Te atua te aroa.”