Movember, the programme kicked off by two Australians in 2003, whereby people focus on men’s health in the month of November – has caught on in many places around the world - including the Cook Islands.
It is refreshing to hear that the men’s health clinics
held in Rarotonga to date, and Atiu, were highly successful, with more 300 men
turning up for health checks.
Rotary Club of Rarotonga got in behind Te Marae Ora
Ministry of Health to support the health checks, contributing $10, 000
following the club’s annual Bob Boyd charity golf tournament.
Among other supporters was the Cook Islands Triathlon
Association, which held four weekly mountain bike sessions during November. And
with gold coin contributions from their riders and support from family and
friends, they raised $500.
But possibly pound for pound, and per capita, the most
touching contribution to Movember and men’s health around the world this year,
was made by the tiny community on Palmerston Atoll.
The current population is just 25.
Cajoled, persuaded by the Palmerston Island executive
officer – Arthur Neale – and with the support of the mayor Bill Marsters - all
nine resident adult males took part, and turned up for their health checks on
Those sporting beards, moustaches and longish hair,
were clipped and tidied up by the six Mamas on the island.
People who decided to sponsor their menfolk turned up
with their contributions, and at the end of the day the pot held $375.
Arthur Neale has since transferred that amount to Te
Marae Ora in Rarotonga.
A Rarotonga based family moved by the effort of the
Palmerston people – but wishing to remain anonymous – has matched the
Palmerston contribution, doubling the island donation to a total of $750.