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Sir Geoff was a mentor to many during a time when our country saw its good times and also its dark times.

We did not have a direct mentor relationship where he would sit and impart pearls of wisdom but rather one of stealth where I would observe, listen and watch what he did whenever I was around him.

One lesson learned is to grow a thick skin –ignore the petty critics and stay focused on the job.

One learned as much about how to do things as how not to do things when you were with Sir Geoff.

His dealings with all walks of life from grassroots people to foreign leaders showed the consummate ability of the man as a supreme communicator.

He was at his best when things were at their worst.

His willingness and understanding to impose critical reforms during the 1996 economic crisis resulted in the Cook Islands today having one of the highest standards of living compared to other countries in the region.

Along with Sir Michael Somare, he is one of the last of his generation of Pacific Leaders that emerged in the post colonial era. Aere ra Sir G.