Three Cook Islanders Receive Prestigious Queen’s Honors

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Papa Bill, Jon Jonassen, Mrs Teao receive OBE, MBE, BEM respectively

By Ben Chapman-Smith

RAROTONGA, Cook Islands (Cook Islands News, June 3, 2014) – Three Cook Islanders have formally received awards after being announced as recipients of Queen’s Honours at the start of the year.

William John Hosking, Dr Jon Jonassen and Vaine Noopuapii (Mrs Teao) – who were all named in the New Year’s Honours list – attended a formal ceremony at Government House yesterday hosted by Queen’s Representative Tom Marsters.

The Medal of the British Empire (MBE) was awarded to composer Dr Jonassen for services to the Cook Islands culture and the public service.

Jonassen is a professor of Political Science, and former secretary of Foreign Affairs, secretary of Cultural Development, and High Commissioner to NZ, Australia, Fiji and Papua New Guinea for the Cook Islands.

Among the more than 500 songs he’s composed are the famous Cook Islands love song ‘Mou Piri’, and ‘E Tai Roimata’.

Jonassen has also written several articles and books on Cook Islands culture.

Hosking, known as Papa Bill, has received the Order of the British Empire (OBE) award, for public service and services to the community.

Now retired, Hosking was secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture for 12 years before taking up a position as the chief extension officer at the Totokoitu Research Station.

Mrs Teao has received a British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to the community.

She travelled over from Mauke to attend the ceremony yesterday.

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