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Resort staff gather for memorial

Tuesday February 05, 2019 Written by Published in Local
Thomas Riley’s close friends and managing director Tata Crocombe at the memorial service on Sunday. 19020435 Thomas Riley’s close friends and managing director Tata Crocombe at the memorial service on Sunday. 19020435

Many gathered at the Rarotongan Beach Resort and Spa on Sunday for the memorial service of the resort’s two staff members who recently passed away.


Tearoa Paia, the resort’s Human Resources Manager passed away on January 31 after a short illness and was laid to rest over the weekend.

Fijian National Thomas Riley passed away after succumbing to injuries from a motorbike accident on January 30.

Paia was a well-respected human resources manager and had been a valuable member of the management team for more 15 years.

She was recently presented with a Long Service Award at Rarotongan Resort Reunion in appreciation for her commitment and dedication.

Managing director, Tata Crocombe said Paia started her work in the kitchen department and worked herself up to the maintenance, purchasing, housekeeping and onto HR.

He described Paia has a fair and strong woman, caring and loving.

 “She was a 100 per cent dedicated to her work, family and staff.

“Her contribution was outstanding, amazing, it was treasured and respected,” Crocombe said.

Speaking on Riley, Crocombe said: “The day that Thomas walked into our restaurant everything was good, the guests loved Thomas, the staff loved Thomas.”

 “Thomas was someone who was simply amazing. For one person to make such a big difference for so many people so quickly. We never had one complaint if Thomas was in the restaurant.”

He said both Riley and Paia believed in their work and took ownership of their work.

A Give a Little page was created to assist Riley’s family back in Fiji with his burial.

Crocombe acknowledged all who were gathered at the event and hoped that they felt some comfort on the messages shared by family and friends of both Paia and Riley.

Also present at the service was Lady Tuaine Marsters who gave her condolences to both the families of the deceased on behalf of the Queen’s Representative, His Excellency Sir Tom Marsters.

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