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27 November 2021


Bedding arrives ahead of Aitutaki bi-centennial celebrations

Wednesday 13 October 2021 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in National, Outer Islands


Bedding arrives ahead of Aitutaki bi-centennial celebrations

The Aitutaki Celebration Committee organisers and the Aitutaki Island Council breathed a sigh of relief when two containers of mattresses and pillows arrived to the island, to accommodate the arrival of visitors next week for the islands 200th bi-centennial celebration of the arrival of Christianity.

On Monday morning a blessing ceremony was held to officially receive the products; Rev Frank Williams from the Arutanga CICC praised the love and generosity of those who had co-ordinated the shipping of the much needed resources.

There was a light shower of rain prior to the blessing and shortly after the sun shone briefly - described by Rev Williams as “an omen and blessing from above”.

Mayor Tekura Bishop says, “it was a combined effort by government, the island council and the generosity of our people in New Zealand, Australia and the Cook Islands, to provide these resources; these will be extremely helpful and will make up the shortage of the mattresses, pillows, tables and chairs on the island.

“There won’t be enough, however, we are doing the best we can under difficult circumstances, and I thank all those involved for their assistance and co-operation,” he said.

“Our main concern was that shipping may have been delayed because of the lockdown in New Zealand, thankfully our prayers were answered,” said Bishop.

The organising committee, island council and Aitutaki Infrastructure staff will distribute the mattresses and pillows this week to the villages that need assistance.

Work on the dome at Orongo Park is well on track and is anticipated to be completed at the end of this week; the stage will then be constructed in readiness for the various activities and entertainment events.

 “We are all excited at the prospect of seeing family and friends who will be attending this once in a lifetime event,” said Bishop.

Donations locally and from overseas are still being received, with a total estimate of approximately $120,000; at present, they cannot provide an accurate and final amount until the event has concluded - as donations are still coming in, Bishop said.

All donations have been directed to the purchasing of goods and supplies, and to assist each village with their accommodation and catering services.