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Rekindling the spirit of the past to shape the future

Wednesday 21 June 2023 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Local, National


Rekindling the spirit of the past to shape the future
1950s Tereora College students: Avaiki Aperau (left), Aumai Ariki, Papehia Aviu, Ina Herrmann and Ngamau (Aunty Mau) Munukoa reunited last December. MELINA ETCHES/22120202

In a heart-warming display of nostalgia, a group of former students from the 50s and 60s have united with a shared vision of forming an association dedicated to preserving their cherished memories and supporting their old college.

This inspiring initiative seeks to bring together individuals from decades ago and those more of late from Tereora College, eager to make a difference once again.

Four years ago, Norman George and Mike Tavioni, former Tereora College scholarship students who attended Northland College in Aotearoa New Zealand, initiated a reunion with fellow Cook Islanders.

This kick started regular gatherings and reconnections once a month with Tereora College colleagues from the 1950s and 1960s.

Last December, the former scholars invited more colleagues to reconnect with one another, share an evening of laughter, songs and nostalgia, and to recall the tough but vibrant experiences of their college days.

Avaiki Mataio said, “the initiative to form the association was encouraged by our colleagues.

“There are many stories, experiences, and perspectives that need to be documented, not just for ourselves but for future generations as well,” he said.

This evening they are launching the Former Tereora College Students Association Inc. calling its first Annual General Meeting (AGM), which will be held from 5pm at the school.

“All former students (young and old) of Tereora are invited to this  AGM,” said Mataio.

The keynote address will be delivered by former Principal of the Tereora College Tuingariki (Tui) Short who was also previously the Cook Islands Secretary of Education.

The association aims to serve as a platform for former pupils to reconnect, to reminisce and to contribute to the betterment of their college.

Bringing together a wealth of experiences, they hope to foster a strong sense of community and support for the school and its students in its programmes.