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Opinion

Papa Ezekiela celebrates 90th at Are Pa Metua

Friday 2 September 2022 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Local, National

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Papa Ezekiela celebrates 90th at Are Pa Metua
Are Pa Metua regulars, the birthday boy 90-year-old Rongo Ezekiela, Nga Mokoroa (left) and Tepaeru Teaukura nee Nicholas. 22090107

Ninety-year-old Rongo Ezekiela was thrown a surprise birthday party last week at the Are Pa Metua, hosted by the centre and his family.

Born on the island of Aitutaki on August 26 1932, Ezekiela has lived most of his life on Rarotonga.

He is sharp, agile and active and a regular member at the Are Pa Metua centre, which provides a respite care programmme for the elderly.

Keeping trim and fit for a person of his grand old age, Ezekiela says he doesn’t drink beer “and I like working at home doing something”.

There are 21 active Are Pa Metua members who attend the centre three days a week. Most of the time Ezekiela is the only male, surrounded by bright, vibrant females.

“Usually I’m the only man here; now and then another man comes along to join us. Sometimes I think I have a lot of work to do at home, but I enjoy being here,” he said.

Are Pa Metua coordinator Moana-O-Liliuokalani Marsters says every birthday is celebrated.

“Papa Rongo’s birthday was wonderful. His kids were also here and the Prime Minister Mark Brown came along as well for our special papa.

“We would be delighted to have more of our elderly join us during the week,” said Marsters.

The centre has a van which provides a pick up and drop off service to the Punanga Nui Market on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Call Moana on 73519 or 51283 for more information.