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Inspiring example

Saturday 18 June 2011 | Published in Regional

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As a successful businesswoman, Te Tika Mataiapo Dorice Reid was an example for young ambitious Cook Islands women.

She was last weekend awarded the Patrons Award at a Business and Professional Womens Association event for her decades-long use of her skills of leadership, mentoring and active involvemenet and support (in BPW). She is an inspiration to all past and current members of BPW Cook Islands, BPW patron Helen Henry said upon presenting Te Tika with her plaque.

On Monday of this week, current and former executive members and presidents of the Cook Islands Womens organisations PPSEAWA (Pan-Pacific and Southeast Asia Womens Association) and BPW gathered to congratulate, celebrate and farewell Te Tika before she was to take up her appointment as Cook Islands High Commissioner in Wellington.

None of those present knew it would be her final Cook Islands function. Eleitino Paddy Walker, Henry, Mathilda Miria-Tairea and Dawn Baudinet spoke, but Walkers words are reprinted here. The womens organisations felt Walkers speech best captured Te Tikas essence.

Walker said: I find the great thing in this world is not so much where we stand as what direction we are going. These words, by Oliver Wendell Holmes, express Dorices sense of purpose and vividly her sense of courage and adventure; and her understanding of the fact that if we are to make progress forward there is a need for change. Over the many years Dorice has been in my life, her courageous attitude in the face of challenges of all kinds has aroused in me enormous admiration...We all bring you love and wish you courage this is the greatest gift we can give you. For you have shown us that nothing is more elegant than courage. I love the way you speak so positively. The way you think so positively. Your understanding that there is no doubt that what you think is what you get so you attract good things to you.

Many years ago when we were talking in New Zealand you told me you wanted to return to the Cook Islands and work with your people towards positive change for good. You have done that fully and positively - now you will continue this dream in another equally important way. You have achieved so much in your life!

Even when the props are pulled out from under you - as they have been from time to time - it gave you a positive sense of what is rock and what is sand. Take with you this little Chinese proverb and remember it came from your sisters in the Cook Islands. Keep a green tree in your heart and know the singing bird will come.

And from BPW and PPSEAWA, Aroa nui e aere ra wonderful sister to us all. We will cherish the memories of you and embrace your visions.

Woman of the Year Nadine Newnham also expressed her admiration for Te Tika, whom she considered a role model for all Cook Islands women:

Dorice was the epitome of a Cook Islands leader all grace and softness with a hint of the steel that lay beneath. She is a true mentor and role model for generations of Cook Islands women with a legacy that many will envy. A trail blazer in this life, she now goes on to prepare a new trail in heaven for us to follow.

Prayers of love and strength go out to her family and close friends. Aere ra, Eric and Nadine Newnham and family.