More Top Stories


Bigger and busier 2023: PM

31 December 2022

Other Sports

Double gold for Darts

21 January 2023


Covid-19 cases stable: TMO

10 January 2023


Population policy endorsed

10 January 2023


PM Brown vows to change law

23 January 2023

Rugby league

Moana target 2025 World Cup

11 November 2022


We’re halfway there!

16 November 2022


From the river to the ocean

18 November 2022

Message in a jar discovered in church

Thursday 30 June 2022 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Local, National


Message in a jar discovered in church
Image/CICC Church Avarua

A message in a jar written by the late Eric Vincent Browne (known as Papa Man) nearly 30 years ago in 1995 was discovered in the Avarua Ekalesia CICC when workers were stripping upstairs of the church.

The message written in Maori is from the time when Browne was the Tauturu Orometua (assistant pastor) at the church.

In the message, Browne writes about himself, the date of June 8 when the church renovations started that year and who the lead carpenter was - Potiki Mataora.

The glass Best Foods jar holding the note was discovered by Apiianga Saungaki Rasmussen last week.

Tuaine Unuia of the Avarua Ekalesia kindly returned the note to the Browne family in Tupapa.

“We are very thankful and appreciate the CICC returning the note to us, Papa Man’s family. None of us knew about this message he had left behind and he never told us before he passed away in 2003. It’s in good condition, we will frame the note and display it,” said a family spokesperson.

Browne left his family the legacy of Avarua Bakery.

The message in a jar written in 1995 by the late Eric Vincent Browne, known as Papa Man. Photo: Melina Etches/22062711

In 1966, he took over Avarua Bakery from his father-in-law Glassie Strickland (Papa Glassie), Browne was married to his daughter Jancey.

Like his father-in-law, Browne had vision to expand Avarua Bakery in a new building – since the existing bakery at the time was over 40 years old.

Plans were in place to start the new building when sadly, Browne passed away on August 31, 2003.

Today, Avarua Bakery Ltd stands three times bigger than the old original building and services the people of the Cook Islands from the top North in Manihiki right through to the South in Mangaiia.