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Pacific media salute Tamarii Pierre

Tuesday 9 March 2010 | Published in Regional

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Regional journalists have come together through online forums to celebrate the life and achievement of the late Tamarii Pierre.
News of the 19-year-old’s tragic death in a car crash at the weekend has generated a flood of condolence messages and the sharing of stories on how the energetic and aspiring young television reporter touched their lives.
“We all know how cheerful and friendly our brother was when we were in Villa (Vanuatu),” writes Fiji Sun reporter Christopher Chand.
“The first night we met we acted as if we had known each other for years – the singing, dancing and laughter we shared.
“We were from different countries but it felt like we were family. I remember calling up Tamarii to tell him that I would meet him again at the Mini Games in Rarotonga in September.
“Tamarii would bring his car to pick Charles and myself from the stadium because we had difficulty with transportation. He would stay up late with us while we filed our stories.
“It still feels as if I had just met him yesterday. Those fond memories still fresh in my mind.”
Tamarii attended the PINA (Pacific Islands News Association) Media Summit hosted by Vanuatu in 2009 where he easily made friends with his fellow reporters.
“Tamarii was easy to spot at the PINA conference in Vila for his zest for journalism and life,” says seasoned Fiji reporter Samisoni Pareti.
“I remembered thinking, that must have been how some of us had looked a decade or so ago. “So ready to take on the world with all its troubles and opportunities.
“My condolences to Cook Islands TV, the media fraternity in Raro and family of Tamarii.”
Cook Islands journalist Lisa Williams-Lahari also remembers Tamarii’s energy and enthusiasm at the Vanuatu PINA conference.
“Those who were in Port Vila for PINA 09 would not fail to remember the energy and smiling face of Cook Islands TV cameraman Tamarii Pierre,” says Lisa.
“As anyone who has been to Rarotonga knows, when bright lights like Tamarii are taken so soon, the whole island is covered in tears.”
Former Cook Islands News reporter Florence Syme-Buchanan shares the story of how Tamarii got his nickname T2.
“Tamarii was named after his Dad and all his friends knew him by his nickname T2.
“His Dad (Tam) told the story on Saturday evening after the home prayer service about how T2 got his nickname.
“Mother Ipu wished to have him called Tamarii – but Tam had no wish for him to be called Junior, which often happens here in the Cook Islands if a son is named after his father.
“I never believed that T2 was my ‘junior’ and never wanted him to be called that because he is his own person, not my ‘junior’,” Tam said during the family service. --Matariki Wilson