“Akamaroiroi tatou na e akaketaketa no to tatou nei au tangata, e te au Oire o to tatou Atua, e na Iahova e rave i tei meitaki iaia ra.”
“Be strong and courageous! Let’s fight hard for our people and for the cities of our God. And may the Lord’s will be done!” – 2 Samuel 10:12
Courage. It’s an attribute our organisation has needed in order to get to where we are today. Although it’s one word, the weight of what it means varies across our people both in the present and in the past. For our ANZAC soldiers it was leaving their families to stand in solidarity with the Crown and New Zealand. For our grandparents, and even great-grandparents it was leaving the Cook Islands in order to raise their families in a western world that was often lonely and isolating. For some of our young people it’s learning how to drive for the first time, and for our pepe’s it’s trusting that if they let go of our hands, that they won’t fall as they wobble through that first step. Courage is not the same for all of us, and yet in our everyday lives we are constantly displaying it in our own ways.
The month of April has seen our organisation continue to embrace courage in its many forms to get on with the work. Cook Islands Language Week has been confirmed for August 4th – 10th, with the opening launch set for Saturday 3rdAugust in Tokoroa. Our sporting communities came together to workshop with Auckland Council’s sports policy writers to assess where in South Auckland was the most need for our communities; more sporting facilities was highlighted. A small team was part of the Pacific Trades and Invest ‘Path to Trade’ Show that featured many Pacific entrepreneurs and products. We’ve also secured the contract to operate the Papakura Netball Centre Cafeteria for another season. CIDANZ has also taken on the contract to deliver the very first Pasifika focused Pink Shirt Day on May 4th, and as of today Wednesday 24thApril, will be hosting the ANZAC Commemoration for 2019.
With New Zealand on high alert we are of course concerned about the safety of our communities. However, like those of our Muslim community who knelt in the open in prayer at the Mangere Christchurch Memorial, the commemoration will go ahead. To some it may be an act of courage, but for the last 100 years we had forgotten our ANZAC Tupuna’s – holding the ceremony was our way of continuing to remember them.
“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear” — Nelson Mandela