CIIC Chair Michael Henry’s Speech Notes for the Official Opening of Albert Royle Henry Pavilion

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Kia orana katoatoa,

Thank you Pastor George and welcome to our special guests here this morning – the Honorable George Maggie Angene our Minister of Cultural Development, family members of Albert Royle Henry, and greetings also to everyone else in attendance, especially our family, for this special occasion.

I am very pleased to be able to officially open the Albert Royle Henry Pavilion and Te Taua Terevete today.

I’m standing here with two hats on today – as the chairman of Cook Islands Investment Corporation but more importantly I’m here as the grandson of Papa Albert. Our family is so pleased and proud to know that the government of today through the efforts of Minister Angene has chosen to recognise the first leader of our country, Albert Henry.

He was a man with vision. Many of his efforts have come to fruition today. Thanks to him we enjoy a standard of life many of our pacific neighbours envy.

The completion of this pavilion brings with it many benefits for our community and as such I believe it is fitting to see it named in honour of our country’s first prime minister, the Honorable Albert Royle Henry, who in his time also brought many benefits to the wider Cook Islands community.

I would also like to make special mention of Minister Angene and his efforts in making this pavilion a reality – it has long been a goal of his to see this project completed and I know we are all grateful to Minister Maggie for his work in seeing this through. Meitaki ma’ata to you Minister.

A very special thanks is also due to the various CIIC staff members involved in this project – meitaki ma’ata to Anne Taoro, Vasie Poila, Sally Hosking Naea, Ripa Tauia, the Properties Team, and everyone else who has worked on the pavilion. Your efforts are very much appreciated.

It is intended that this pavilion will provide a wide variety of benefits to the general public here in Rarotonga.

We look forward to seeing anau groups using this facility as a picnic spot and also as a source of shade and shelter during future sporting events here at Constitution Park.

It is also envisioned that the pavilion will serve as a convenient focal point for other group gatherings or fundraising events.

I should add here too that the completion of the Albert Royle Henry Pavilion and Te Taua Terevete represents yet another important early step in the Investment Corporation’s plan to revitalise Constitution Park and better utilise this whole area.

Additionally, the construction of the pavilion has been positioned so as to complement future plans that are currently in place for the Punanga Nui Market to eventually be extended into Constitution Park, with portions reserved for public recreation.

With that said, on behalf of CIIC, I would like to again sincerely thank all those involved in the completion of this project, and I look forward to the many further future developments that will soon be taking place here in Constitution Park. Meitaki atupaka and kia orana e kia manuia everyone.

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