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Aitutaki Gospel commemorations continue

Thursday 30 March 2023 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Local, National


Aitutaki Gospel commemorations continue
Local and New Zealand based Vaipae Mama’s including Amiria Davey (left) get into the String Band event for the Bicentennial celebrations. PC: Bicentennial Media Crew-Blondie's Photography. 23032812

Te Arikianga o te Evangelia, the Arrival of the Gospel to the village of Vaipae, Aitutaki will be commemorated today with a special plaque unveiling to mark the date the Gospel was received on March 30, 1823.

Nuku (Gospel) performances and a special CICC Vaipae church service are just some of the Bicentennial events which will take place today in Vaipae.

The week long celebration programme started last Sunday which included a day trip to the motu, string band, social night and umu preparations.

On Monday, participants enjoyed the trip to motu trip and  had the opportunity to dig for kai (clams) and taste a variety of fresh seafood.

Later that evening the string band entertainment activity was held which has been a highlight, and over $3000 was raised on the evening.

“It's great to see that everyone had a fun time and enjoyed the music and it was a great way to cap off a fun-filled day,” said one of the organising committee member’s Regina Potini.

“Overall, Day 2 was successful and enjoyable for everyone involved.”

Although rain pelted down on Tuesday which unfortunately cancelled out the island tour, visitors were still in good spirits and enjoyed a light lunch and cool off.

The SDA (Seventh Day Adventist) bible class on Tuesday night was open to everyone and we received great feedback from those who attended, said Potini.

“Attending church can be a great way to connect with the local community and experience the culture,” Potini said.

“Everyone has been preparing for the big commemoration day, it has been great that everyone has been joining in with the team for a cuppa tea -  a great way to socialize and connect with others.”

In a statement the Vaipae Pae O Pau Bicentennial Chairman and Committee expressed their appreciation to the visiting friends and families from abroad who are participating in the historic event.

“We cannot express how grateful we are for your presence and participation, your willingness to travel and join us in this momentous event has meant the world to us.

“It will be an honour to have you witness the raising of the flags by our Ariki High Chiefs, Gospel, Government Representatives and the King's Representative this Thursday - a once in a lifetime experience.

“We hope you are enjoying the festivities and have felt the warmth and hospitality of our community.”