Excited Penrhyn Island Omoka school students were happy to receive their brand new life jackets last week. HELEN LINA KIRIKAVA 20090701.
Students of Omoka School on Penrhyn were excited to receive 47 life jackets last Monday.
Police patrol boat Te Kukupa arrived at Penrhyn with the water safety jackets for Omoka School students kindly donated by Rongohiva Watersports.
School principal Napa Sonny was pleased and quite amazed that the water safety jackets arrived so soon, considering she had only asked Tuaine Papatua for assistance while he was visiting the island earlier in the year.
“We were very lucky to have met Papatua then, and we didn’t expect to receive a favourable response so soon,” said Sonny.
On his return to Rarotonga, Tuaine Papatua approached a friend, Dr Teina Rongo, for help and advice.
Papatua said he was happy that Rongohiva came on board for the project.
The children will use the life jackets in the sailing programmes and science boat trips to the motu’s.
A blessing ceremony which was attended by Infrastructure Minister Robert Tapaitau and his wife, the executive officer and the mayor of Penrhyn, was held last week.
Dr Rongo also has ties to the island. His first cousin Rangisaruru Rongo is the pastor of the Cook Islands Christian Church there and also attended the occasion.
On behalf of the students, teachers and committee members, Helen Marsters, the chairperson of Omoka School, thanked Rongohiva Watersports for their support.
“Thank you, we really appreciate their sponsorship, it is an absolutely wonderful blessing.”
The other members of Omoka School committee are secretary Noo Mataora Marsters, treasurer Marion Marsters; Tepangoa Tekena, Kaiatia Taia, Metuakore Marsters, Arikisau Isaaka, Mere Woonton, Teremoana Viniki, Teupoo Mamia and Rev Rangisaruru Rongo.