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Tentative date for Cyclone Gabrielle fundraiser

Wednesday 22 February 2023 | Written by Al Williams | Published in Local, National


Tentative date for Cyclone Gabrielle fundraiser
Norman George attended Tereora College in the 1950s. 22120205

A committee has been formed to oversee a public appeal to support victims and aid recovery from Cyclone Gabrielle in New Zealand.

Former Speaker of Cook Islands Parliament Norman George called for help late last week in what has been labelled “Operation Tauturu Aotearoa”.

Yesterday, he received an enthusiastic response, as a group of supporters has grown to include several high profile people.

Sonny Williams was nominated and confirmed Commander-in-chief of the committee. 

He will be supported by Billy Ingram and Tony Tou, while Ngamau Tou will take on secretarial duties, and be assisted by Rose Benns.

Doreen Boggs will act as treasurer and be assisted by Kopu Aunguna.

Much of the conversation at the 12 noon meeting centred around formalising the group and co-ordinating events, while getting accounts up and running. 

In a flyer to provoke interest, George writes: “Deaths, landslides, flooding, road destruction, property damage – too many to mention. Our mission is to do what we can to help Aotearoa in their hour of need. We stood with them in two world wars. Now big Brother needs us again. Let’s respond with love, loyalty and commitment.” 

While George said he had contacted Government with a proposal to work closely with them in a combined effort to “assist our brothers and sisters in NZ”, he told the meeting he was prepared to press on, with or without Government assistance.

He recalled being part of a fundraising effort here following Cyclone Bola in 1988, which raised more than $60,000.  

It was unanimously agreed at yesterday’s meeting that a proposed radiothon be deferred to March 17, to allow time to set up a bank account, and set out key activities that need to be completed prior to the radiothon, and recruitment of volunteers to assist.

The next meeting will be held on Tuesday February 28 with a venue to be confirmed.  

Inquiries can be directed to 20241.