FOUR NEW YEAR COOK ISLANDS HONORS RECIPIENTS

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By Lisa Williams

RAROTINGA, COOK ISLANDS (December 30, 1998 - Cook Islands News OnLine)---One woman and two outer islanders are part of the four Cook Islanders named on Her Majesty's New Year's Honors list for the Cook Islands.

They are Tutakimoa resident Betty Bailey, Takitumu district's Turaratoru (Turara) Pekepo, Penryhn Islander Soa Tini Joseph and Mauke's Tautara Purea.

Tini Joseph and Purea have been awarded the Member of the Civil Division of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) honor, for services to Education and the Community.

The British Empire Medal (BEM) has been awarded to Pekepo for services to Education and the Community, and to Bailey for services to the Community, Charity Work and Non-Government Organizations.

FIRST TIME

Cook Islands News understands it’s the first time the Honors List has been made public on New Year's Eve; and that it's because New Zealand publishes the list of honors recipients today in that country. The list includes territories such as the Cook Islands, and usually pre-empts the honors announcements here a day later.

Charlie Tetevano of the Office of the Queen's Representative made the list available yesterday but embargoed any release until today.

SOA TINI

Soa Tini Joseph has been involved in the teaching service for thirty-four years on the remote island of Penryhn.

In 1972, he was appointed as the Resident Agent for the island and continues in that role as today's Government Representative.

Soa Tini Joseph is an active member of his small island community. He's been President of the Sports Organization, Chair of the Village Committee and a member of the Island Council.

He is an active member of the Cook Islands Christian Church community, having held the position of Secretary, Deacon and lately as an Elder and Life Member of the Church.

PUREA

In 1946 Tautara Purea entered the teaching profession and began a 29-year career. He was Principal of four primary schools during which time his school on two occasions won the award for the best school of the year. In 1975, Purea was appointed Government representative for his island, Mauke, a post that he held ever since except for a three-year break.

He presently holds the position of Deacon and Treasurer of the Cook Islands Christian Church in Oiretumu, Mauke, and also is advisor and Treasurer for the Mauke Growers Association and President of the Mauke Sports Association.

PEKEPO

Titikaveka resident Turaratoru Pekepo began teaching in 1943 at the age of 18 and contributed a total of 41 years, retiring in 1984. Even after retirement, Pekepo continued another ten years on a relieving basis.

He held various positions as principals of primary schools, heads of departments in two secondary schools and Deputy Principal of Titikaveka College prior to his retirement.

He is an active member of the Cook Islands Christian Church, contributing much in youth and cultural programs and activities including many community projects where his leadership is highly regarded and respected.

BAILEY

Betty Bailey has been President of the Hospital Comforts Committee from 1983 up until now and is also a member of the Cook Islands Health Committee, Cook Islands Health Board, Miss Cook Islands Pageant Association, Cook Islands Caledonian Society, Nunaha Maohi Society, and the Cook Islands Voyaging Society.

In 1996, she was awarded the Cook Islands Woman of the Year award by the Cook Islands Business and Professional Women's Association in recognition of achievements in areas of community services, attainments of personal goals, and organization and leadership skills.

The New Year's Honors recipients will be presented their awards in a special ceremony in 1999.

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