Avatele put their best on show for the visitors at the first village show day since the borders opened

Despite the wet and windy conditions on Saturday people still turned up to the village of Avatele for their annual show day. Cars lined up around the village green as locals and tourists turned up for the first village show day since June this year when Hakupu held their show. 

The people of Avatele did not disappoint, putting up their food stalls selling food and drinks, and crafts on the day. 

The large display of local produce was impressive in its varieties and the bounty of root crops, fruits, and vegetables on show. 

The women also showed their beautiful creative pieces from hats and baskets to hand-painted materials, the children of primary school age also had their own display of arts and crafts. 

The men’s crafts table displayed their carvings made with some of the carving tools received via a grant from the Australian High Commission earlier this year.

Australia’s High Commissioner Louse Ellerton said that this is her first time attending the Avatele show day and she had been looking forward to it since she was last in the village three months earlier to present the tools for the men’s carving group.

“I’ve been looking forward to seeing the work that comes from that project.

Australia High Commissioner Louise Ellerton with Avatele Village Council Chairperson Speedo Hetutu (PC Aust High Commission)

“When you provide grants sometimes you don’t know where they’re going to go and how useful they are, but I think this is a grant that can bring a community together to build traditional skills, and staying connected is always a good thing,” said High Commissioner Ms. Ellerton.

Also seen at the show were Judge Sarah Reeves and her mother who was looking through the rows of materials and crafts in search of a souvenir from Avatele. 

Another regular visitor to the island was former NHS teacher 84-year-old Lance Weir who taught there in the late 1960s braved the weather to attend the show day.

He told BCN News that his last visit to the island was in 2019 and couldn’t wait for the borders to open up so he can return to visit. This time he caught up with one of his former students Mele Hasini’s stall.

A regular visitor to Niue and former NHS teacher Lance Weir and former student Mele Hasini

Niue holds a special place for Weir and his family because he said that while he was teaching here he met his wife Margaret who was a young nurse at the Lord Liverpool hospital then. 

Avatele member of the Fono Ekepule Assemblyman Pita Vakanofiti thanked the people of the village for turning up to support the day and for putting on an impressive show for the visitors and dignitaries. 

He thanked the government for the support for the village projects over the past two and a half years and looks forward to continuous support from the government in the future. 

Minister Crossley Tatui represented the government at the show day saying that the government will continue to work with the villages to help them with their projects but bearing in mind that the island is slowly recovering from the pandemic with limited available resources.

Minister Crossley Tatui with Avatele farmer Tim Folekene

The next show is the national show day at Paliati NHS grounds this coming Saturday.

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