Sisters celebrate major milestone

Friday May 03, 2019 Written by Published in Local
Sisters Teuira-o-te-Rangi Pirake-Taikakara (left) and Mareta Queenie Pirangi. 19042915 Sisters Teuira-o-te-Rangi Pirake-Taikakara (left) and Mareta Queenie Pirangi. 19042915

Still looking vibrant, sisters Mareta Queenie Pirangi (99 years) and Teuira-o-te-Rangi Pirake-Taikakara (90 years) both born on April 22nd, celebrated their birthdays on Easter Monday at Te Aroa Nui Hall in Arorangi.


Remarkably, they also share the same birthday as their mother, the late Ani Pirangi who was a well known nurse in the district and held the title of Io Rangatira and Neinei Rangatira.

Ani Pirangi had three children: Mareta Pirangi (father is Araitia Araitia of Tupapa), Teuira and Manoa (father is Pirake Taraare).

Longevity must run in their family genes as Tepaeru Whitta, who today is 95 years of age, is a sister to Mareta as they share the same father.

Mareta Pirangi is well known in the local community and has a love of planting and gardening and is passionate about the intricate and delicate art of tivaevae creations.

At 99 years old, she continues to hold the traditional title of Io Rangatira, Neinei Mataiapo which she inherited from her mother.

The eldest of three children, Mareta attended Papaaroa School in the late 1930s.

She married Matamua Matamua Iro Iti in 1941, they had two children, a son Tuakana Toeata (who was adopted by her aunt) and a daughter Esther Matamua Katu.

In the late 1940s they moved to Fiji for further studies, returning home to Rarotonga in the late 60s.

In 1972, they lived on the island of Mitiaro, where her husband was the government representative for two years. The family were then posted to Manihiki in 1974 and later transferred to Atiu before returning home.

Family and church life is important to her, so she devoted her life to raising her grandchildren, great grandchildren and continuing responsibilities that she enjoyed carrying out in the Arorangi SDA ministry.

At 99 years of age, Mareta is very mobile and takes care of herself with two of her granddaughters keeping a loving close eye on her.

These days, she continues to rake up the leaves in her yard for exercise.

Born in 1929, Teuira-o-te-Rangi Pirake-Taikakara is now 90 years of age, she is the fourth daughter of Pirake Taraare of Matavera and is the only surviving child.

She worked in various areas after college and on her return to Rarotonga she served as a teacher at Papaaroa School and also worked in the Cook Islands SDA mission.

Teuira married the late Nemia Menema Taikakara of Pukapuka, they have five children: Joybell Terariki, George Taikakara, Charlie Taikakara, the late Greg Taikakara and Rauruina Taikakara.

After the wedding, she and her husband moved to Samoa where they served as a pastoral family as teachers.

Returning home to the Cooks, Teuira worked at the Cook Islands SDA Mission Office as the secretary for the Church president before moving on to join the administration and finance office at JPI (now known as Vonnias).

Later, the family moved to New Zealand for employment. Returning home she again worked in the public sector, notably in the Housing Authority as an accounts clerk and a typist.

She retired from the work force while she was employed at the Electrical Power Supply (EPS – now Te Aponga Uira).

Teuira loves the outdoors, planting and gardening, growing maniota, kumara, taro and flowers. Today she can also often be seen outside raking her grounds.

Camping, fishing, sewing tivaevae and singing are among her many talents. She was a member of the SDA choir back in the day. She enjoyed sports, especially cricket.

Both sisters are strong members of the Arorangi SDA church and have held church positions for many years.

The grandfather of both women, the late John Pirangi and their great-grandfather, Tuki Pirangi, held the Tinomana Ariki title until they passed away.      

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