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Mangaia Bicentennial ends on a high note

Monday 17 June 2024 | Written by Supplied | Published in Church Talk, Features, National, Outer Islands

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Mangaia Bicentennial ends on a high note
A part of the official closing of the Mangaia Bicentennial Celebration on Saturday was the blowing of the 200 cupcakes to signify the milestone achieved by the people of Mangaia. Mangaia Bicentennial Celebration/24061620

The weeklong of festivities came to an emotional closing on Saturday with thousands converging at the Bicentennial Arena for the official farewell ceremony of the Mangaia Bicentennial Celebration.

The three-hour ceremony included an official prayer service and a special acknowledgement of our Pacific brother and sisters from Tahiti and Papua New Guinea. They both had ancestral ties to the early missionaries that came in 1824. 

The island met an unexpected turn of weather and was greeted with a heavy downpour. Despite the cloudy and wet weather, the programme included speeches from the government representative, Minister Tingika Elikana.

“On behalf of the Prime Minister, it was an honour to be present in the midst of a prestigious occasion celebrating the arrival of the gospel on the island.”

New Zealand High Commissioner to the Cook Islands Tui Dewes, who was one of the special guests at the closing event, said: “It was wonderful being in Mangaia to mark the 200th anniversary of the arrival of the Gospel. Our warm congratulations to everyone involved in what was a very special and successful milestone event.”

In officially closing the event, Numangatini Tangitamaiti Tereapii Ariki challenged the people further with a question, “What next for Mangaia”.

“At the opening ceremony I challenged our people and pleaded that they come back to the island. Now, I want to ask – What next for Mangaia?”

During the weeklong event, a mere 500 people who reside on the island hosted visitors of over 1500 people. 

“The people of Mangaia laboured for love for the love they have for the work of the Gospel of Jesus Christ on our island. Our theme is Jesus is the Living Gospel for Mangaia, and this is why my people did the best that they can. Because Jesus deserves our best,” Numangatini Tereapii Ariki said.

“To date, all visitors were able to receive a ei pupu necklace and as they leave the island, they will all receive a stone necklace representing the love we have for our people living overseas and we want them to take a part of the island as they return back to their homes and work places. 

“The island has been overflowed with blessings and watching the spirit of God on the move is such an amazing experience.

“My people both overseas and on the island have been preparing for years and months have finally come to fruition. All the glory to our God.”

  • Anaseini Liku