Arorangi’s landmark business, the Friendly Mart, is back – and in a new building.
The iconic store, destroyed in a late night fire on June 4, the day of the general election, has been replaced by another building on the same site, and it was officially opened yesterday.
A sizeable crowd was there to mark the occasion, with MC George Williamson keeping proceedings moving at a good pace.
Guest speakers included the BTIB’s Rae Tupa and after the cutting of the rauti ribbon at the entrance to the business by Mii Matamataara, the rauti ribbon at the main door was cut by Mama Sue (Tua Fariu) who also spoke and exchanged a few jokes with Williamson.
The most grateful people on Rarotonga yesterday were probably store owners Doreen and Steve Boggs, who finally saw the result of months of struggle in the aftermath of the fire, at an end.
Doreen made a heartfelt speech in which she described the blaze and the far-reaching effects of the fire, before thanking the BTIB and and representatives of CITC, as well as family members and the many people in the community, who had helped get the new Friendly Mart established.