14 May 2012

Former Cooks PM Henry laid to rest

12:52 pm on 14 May 2012

A long procession of Cook Islands political and traditional leaders joined with sporting, cultural and community leaders on Saturday to farewell the former prime minister, Sir Geoffrey Henry, who died last week.

Cook Islands News reports that the funeral procession brought traffic to a halt as it travelled between Sir Geoffrey's home, the Avarua Cook Islands Christian Church, Vakatini Palace and the National Auditorium before returning to the Henry family home and Sir Geoffrey's final resting place.

At the National Auditorium, Prime Minister Henry Puna described Sir Geoffrey as a 'giant among men', a description that was repeated throughout the memorial by the opposition leader Wilkie Rasmussen and Sir Geoffrey's son Walter.

The paper reports the tributes underlined the important role Sir Geoffrey played in helping lift the Cook Islands on to the world stage, while also showing the humour, generosity, passion and doggedness of the two-time prime minister.