Sir Geoffrey Henry died at his home in Takamoa in the early hours of Wednesday morning surrounded by family and friends.
Sir Geoff’s colourful political career spanned some fifty years beginning in 1965 when he entered parliament as an MP for Aitutaki. He later moved to Rarotonga and served the Takuvaine electorate for many years until his retirement in 2006.
During that time he was twice prime minister, first for a short time in 1983 and then for ten years between 1989 and 1999.
Tributes at the funeral by prime minister Henry Puna, opposition leader Wilkie Rasmussen and master of ceremonies JJ Browne detailed Sir Geoffrey’s career and the huge impact he had on the Cook Islands and the Pacific region. On the lighter side they also recounted parties where he could enjoy playing the ukulele playing and singing.
But the tribute from his eldest son Walter was the most moving. He talked about his mum and dad, brothers and sisters, family life.
While the others spoke about the statesman and politician, Walter showed that behind the public persona Sir Geoff was a down-to-earth human being, a much loved father and husband who will be sadly missed.
Cook Islands News has full coverage of Sir Geoffrey’s life and the state funeral, with articles, odes and tributes. There is also the opportunity to add your own thoughts, tributes and condolences to Louisa Lady Henry and the family.