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Vaipae gears up for the ‘big day’ of Te Arikianga o te Evangelia

Tuesday 28 March 2023 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Local, National, Outer Islands


Vaipae gears up for the ‘big day’ of Te Arikianga o te Evangelia
These two ladies sang their hearts out during the Uapou event on Sunday at the Vaipae Bicentennial celebrations. PC: Bicentennial Media Crew-Blondie's Photography/23032711

Family and friends from overseas have gathered in Vaipae, Aitutaki to celebrate the 200 years of ‘Te Arikianga o te Evangelia - the Arrival of the Gospel’ this week.

On Sunday, the official opening was held at 2pm followed by a Uapou (church singing) later in the afternoon which

Yesterday, everyone including the Mamas and Papas enjoyed their day on Motu E’E, the closest Motu to Vaipae.

“Everyone was happy, people helped to gather kai (clams) and went fishing and many stayed back to prepare for dinner,” said Regina Potini, the media and administration coordinator of Vaipae Pae O Pau Bicentennial Committee, one of the organisers from Aitutaki.

Today’s programme will start with a morning church service, breakfast then a tour around Aitutaki for families from overseas, followed by Nuku practice for the big day on Thursday, March 30, the date the Gospel was accepted by Vaipae, Potini added.

The umu preparations will begin tomorrow along with other activities.

Aitutaki was the first of the Cook Islands to receive and accept the Gospel, when Christianity first arrived to the island on October 26, 1821, introduced by the London Missionary Society (LMS).

Vaipae was the last village on the island to accept Christianity – two years later on March 30, 1823.