This is a message of kia orana to you all, from all the five branches of William Marsters, wherever they live in this beautiful world,” said Dr Jon Jonassen, who delivered the welcome address for the laying of the Palmerston House foundation ceremony yesterday.
“We are weaving the foundation, we are anchoring the navel to the land, we are carving out a sacred ground, a Palmerston House in the shadow of sacred mountain, God is love.”
“For Palmerston it has been many years in planning and working and so it is with an even greater sense of humility that I undertake this kia orana task to be a unified voice that today extends a warm welcome to all of you on this special occasion.”
Jonassen notably thanked Makea Nui, for their family’s precious gift of land and government for ensuring that Palmerston island is included in the lot assignment.
He acknowledged with great respect those family members who have passed away.
“Watching with joy the festivities today, I remember my late father Michael William Marsters Jonassen, who throughout his 95 years constantly talked about his Palmerston and Marsters family.
“Also on this special occasion I remember my late brother Rena, who tirelessly worked with others for better representation and accommodation for the people of Palmerston; on the day he passed away, he was on his way to attend a Palmerston meeting in Auckland regarding the Palmerston house in Rarotonga.
“For us a simple dream of a Palmerston House is finally emerging, on behalf of Palmerston island and the Marsters family members past and present it is my pleasure to welcome all of you.”
The Queen’s Representative Sir Tom Marsters, Dr Joe Williams and Martha Soatini addressed those present on behalf of the Marsters families.
“The journey up to this point has been most challenging and we know their further challenges up ahead, we are a small island nation we are quietly confident those challenges can be overcome,” said Sir Tom Marsters.
He also shared the special topic of the five wives of William Marsters, and not just three as what is generally known; the announcement is “to embrace the whole Marsters clan”.
Dr Joe Williams is one of the remaining surviving great grandsons of Englishman William Marsters who settled on Palmerston island in 1863.
He shared the discussions of the designs of the “Palmerston House”, and gave tribute to the five founding mother/wives “the five pillars” of the William Marsters clan.
Dr Joe Williams presented the $10,000 donation from the people of Palmerston in Aotearoa, New Zealand.
Martha Soatini, speaking on behalf of families in Australia, also acknowledged the five special women and was proud to witness the significant event.
Master of ceremonies George Williamson (aka George George), kept the formalities flowing that was well attended with guests also taking part in placing a stone within the foundations.
Thousands of the Marsters families are expected to arrive from overseas for the opening day on July 8, the date William Marsters landed on Palmerston 156 years ago.