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Preserving memories in Puaikura

Friday 15 September 2023 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Local, National

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Preserving memories in Puaikura
Lady Tuaine Marsters, Diakono Kimi Taokia, Rev. Tinirau Soatini and his wife Mama Orometua Mere Soatini, Tinomana Tokerau Ariki were given the honour of placing the time capsules in the monument at the Arorangi CICC. MELINA ETCHES/23091234

Vaka Puaikura are preserving their memories in time capsules.

Families from Puaikura have captured cherished moments and hand written letters filled with heartfelt messages which have been placed within time capsules and buried.

These capsules which were concealed earlier this month serve as gateways into the lives of the present generation.

Capsules from the four tapere (district) of Puaikura: Ruaau, Murienua, Betela and Rutaki were sealed inside the recently unveiled 200 year Arrival of the Gospel monument in the Arorangi Ziona Tapu church yard.

At the Tinomana Ariki Au Maru palace grounds, three capsules were buried from: Kopu Ariki Akaiti, Kopu Ariki Oakirangi and Kopu Ariki Te Pori a Pa.

Tangi Taoro, a member of the ‘Taeanga Evangelia Ki Arorangi’ committee said the decision to open the time capsules after a span of fifty years was deliberate.

“Some of our grandchildren who were here to witness the Arrival of the Gospel 200 years celebration, we are assuming will still be around in 50 years-time,” said Taoro.

The hope is that when the time capsules are eventually opened, these grandchildren will have the opportunity to connect with their roots, gain deeper insights into their own family's legacy, and appreciate the history of the village of Puaikura, she said.

“So, to our grandchildren make sure you are here on Rarotonga when the capsules are opened in 50 years-time please.”

Taoro said the journey of gathering mementos for the time capsules has been quite an emotional one.

“Firstly, we had our entire family photo taken for the very first time, which has been placed in the capsule.

“And writing something for our future generation was also emotional, especially for us knowing that we won’t be around when it’s opened,” she said.

Tinomana Tokerau Ariki expressed that the time capsules are very important and will offer the future generation glimpses into the present hopes, dreams, and ambitions of their families, and the bicentennial Gospel celebrations.

“One of my grandsons will be 59 years-old then when the capsules are unsealed, and we want them to think about what we have been doing in this time,” she said.

“We want our grandchildren to know what was happening in our time, then it will be their turn to learn and their turn to seal their capsules.”

Lady Tuaine Marsters was delighted to see every Apii Rutaki student name listed inside one of the capsules.

Some of these children who took part in the 200 year celebrations will still be alive in 50 years-time, they will read history written by us and it will continue, said Marsters.

In a small close-knit ceremony Rev Tinirau Soatini blessed the capsules at Ziona Tapu before they were sealed.

Lady Tuaine Marsters, Diakono Kimi Taokia, Rev. Tinirau Soatini and his wife Mama Orometua Mere Soatini, and Tinomana Tokerau Ariki were given the honours of placing the capsules in the church yard monument.

Representatives of the three Kopu Ariki tribes Tinomana Ariki were granted the privilege of placing the capsules at the Au Maru grounds.