Monday, November 30

Atiu Dancers at closing ceremony

I’m back on the rock after a six-week holiday to Singapore, England, Canada and Hawaii, so I missed all the action in October and November.
Gospel Day (26 October) this year was celebrated at Takamoa Theological College. The 170-year-old mission building there has had a million dollar facelift and it was opened on Monday. Usually Gospel Day is celebrated by the six ekalesia on Rarotonga performing biblical dramas, nuku. This time the ekalesia along with Takamoa students put on various items including specially composed songs. (For more details check the Cook Islands News website here.)

The Catholic church’s blessing of graves, Turama, took place on Saturday 31 October instead of All Souls Day (1 November) so that it didn’t interfere with Sunday church services.
On the sporting front two of the year’s big events happen in November.
Early in the month the Sevens in Heaven rugby sevens tournament was another great success with underdogs Waimiha Rebels defeating defending champions Tauae Bulls in an exciting final. Sevens legend Eric Rush said he was impressed with the level of games during the tournament and he looks forward to seeing some of the outstanding young Cook Islands players on the international scene.
The annual Vaka Eiva (outrigger canoe) festival has just finished and by all accounts was bigger and better than ever with up to 1500 paddlers and supporters on the island. This year there were more young teams competing, a sign that oe vaka is a growing sport.
All that happened while I was overseas so there’s no video coverage this year (newcomers to this blog can check last year’s events to see what it’s all about). If I come across any videos online I’ll add links to them later.
This week’s video is a longer look at one of the dance groups that performed in the closing ceremony of the Pacific Mini Games. I think the dancers were from Atiu – if I find out differently I’ll make the appropriate changes.
Now I’ve got to look at footage from overseas. Taking a holiday can be hard work!