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Palmerston reaches out for Movember

Saturday 11 December 2021 | Written by Derek Fox | Published in Features, Weekend

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Palmerston reaches out for Movember
Palmerston men embrace Movember. 21121025

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.

Those sporting beards, moustaches and longish hair, are clipped and tidied up by the six Mamas on the island of Palmerston. SUPPLIED/21121024

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 November 30.

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.