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Perfect day of love and unity: James and Shekinah Ah Sin

Saturday 24 December 2022 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Features

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Perfect day of love and unity: James and Shekinah Ah Sin

The CICC Takamoa Theological chapel Te Vai Ora was filled with colour, songs and joy for the matrimonial union of Shekinah Marsters and James Ah Sin.

It was the first time in 11 years that the chapel had been full of people to witness and celebrate a wedding occasion.

“Our day was perfect, a day full of love, happiness and unity,” says Shekinah.

“The whole day was an absolute dream. Perfect in every way. It was definitely a day we will never forget.”

Both Shekinah and James understand the sacred nature of the Takamoa grounds, the connection with ancestors and the amazing history it holds.

Shekinah spent a lot of time at Takamoa when she was living on Rarotonga. Her father, Reverend Tere Te Akaraanga-Marsters has been the principal of Takamoa since 2017, and she feels a special connection to the place.

“The undeniable presence of God that is felt as soon as you walk through the gates, the vintage, simple, innocent, and pure beauty of both Te Vai Ora Chapel and Takamoa,” says Shekinah.

Bride Shekinah Te Akaraanga-Marsters and Groom James Ah Sin walk the steps to the Te Vai Ora chapel at Takamoa. 22122325
Bride Shekinah Te Akaraanga-Marsters and Groom James Ah Sin walk the steps to the Te Vai Ora chapel at Takamoa. 22122325

Almost 500 people attended the wedding ceremony and reception.

“It was the perfect venue and we were humbled to have our wedding in such a beautiful place,” says Shekinah.

“We felt every single emotion, the presence of our ancestors, the love and grace of God and the pure happiness of every person that was there.”

The couple were privileged to be married by CICC president Papa Orometua Tuaine Ngametua (Papa Ngateitei) from Akatokamanava, Mauke who is also related to James.

Initially Shekinah had wanted to wear her mother Yvonne’s wedding dress, but it had been damaged from the 30 or more years of sitting in a closet.

Shekinah carefully selected her wedding dress based on its similarity to a dress her mother bought from a boutique bridal shop in Auckland.

“It was the second dress I tried on and I fell in love with it. I couldn’t part from it and felt like wearing it every day, so I knew it was the one.”

The couple both aged 25, first met at the Avarua CICC Ekalesia in 2015 when they started a friendship. They parted ways - she moved to Auckland, New Zealand and James to Sydney, Australia.

In 2016, their friendship developed and the couple fell in love, two years later, James relocated to Auckland so they could be together.

James took up HVAC engineering and Shekinah was doing a degree in criminology and Pacific Studies.

After a few years they both wanted to pursue more studies for their future.

Shekinah started a law degree after completing her BA and James began his electrician’s apprenticeship. She is now in her final year of law school and James has one more year to go to become a qualified electrician.

The groom’s parents are the late Abraham (Jimmy) Taoro Ah Sin and Frances Taoro from Akatokamanava, and Shekinah hails from the island of Palmerston, where she has lived most of her life.

Family and friends made up the wedding parties: Groomsmen were:  Best men - Wayne Chang, Ngatokorua (Sabb) Vainekeu and Tamaiva Mateariki; Bridal party Maid of Honour - Shekinah Kapao, Brigitta Ah Sin and Tatyana Vakatini

Eventually, Mr and Mrs Ah Sin plan to return home and contribute to the Cook Islands economy.