past St. Joseph’s school the other day, I was shocked and gobsmacked to see the
wholesale ‘trimming’ of so many of the trees in and around the school grounds.
I was part of the PTA (Parent Teacher Association) so many years ago, under the
watchful eye of Sister Allyson and Bishop Leamy, and it was during those years
that we built the Punanga Marumaru, the playground in the far corner, and
planted all those flamboyant (patai) trees specifically for shade and beauty. There
were very few trees around the playground before that.
The most significant tree was chosen for the new playground,
specifically because of its long-term prospect of providing overhanging
branches to shade the kids while they played. It achieved that and more for
many generations of kids.
This week, to see a number of trees, as well as
those two major branches overhanging the playground now
cut down and removed was very sad indeed. Also worrying to see trees in general
all over Rarotonga getting the chop.
was sad to see that the magnificent flamboyant trees and the tamarind trees in
front of St Joseph’s school were given their marching orders last week.
was their crime? For looking too beautiful. Some people in this community don’t
just hate beauty but it seems they hate their own history too. Cutting down the
trees is tantamount to erasing the memory of ourancestors who planted
those trees. For the ugly people who cut down trees, it’s a form of sick
revenge for their own lack of skill, ability or handsomeness. These
magnificent trees which took 60 plus years to grow were destroyed in less than
is always easy for people who did not contribute to the building of this
country to destroy that which they did not build, in this case the trees which
they did not plant. They were not here when those trees were planted in the
1950s by the schoolchildren who grew up to become our parents.
we examine closely those people who were responsible for the actual tree
cutting, one will discover that not one of them has ever actually planted a
tree in their lives. For people with no familial or spiritual connection to our
land, it is easy to destroy that which they have no ties to.
those in charge of giving the orders: try to think about the long-term effects
of what you are doing. Our main industry is tourism. Do you think the tourists
want to come here and look at tree stumps and our boring lack of biodiversity?
and address supplied)
you look at the papers lately there are a lot of headlines about (alleged)
corruption in our high-ranking members. From the dismissal of the Puna’s, to
Henry Puna being back in the news by the Citizens Against Corruption to the
Deputy Prime Minister in court for conspiracy to defraud, it looks like there
is a big shake up going on.
news about Lee Harmon showed soccer was getting a shakeup. There is a lot of
money given out to sports and charities with many taking advantage of the
funding for themselves.
this why for years people have referred to us as the Crook Islands? Will we be
able to clean up from the top down and have an honest and transparent
democratic system in the islands?
at our neighbours and their elections and all, makes us look saintly but just
because it is not in the public eye does not make us innocent.