by Delly Waigeno – EM TV News, Port Moresby
The Miss Pacific Islands Pageant in Rarotonga, Cook Islands, is proving to be the place to make connections.
The small PNG contingent in attendance was treated to a welcome dinner hosted by the former 1999 Miss PNG, Roberta Ali, who is married to a Cook Islander and a resident of Rarotonga.
With this year’s pageant theme ‘Our Spirit of Adventure’, the eight beautiful contestants, including Miss PNG Abigail Havora, were traditionally welcomed on Sunday by the Paramount Chief, Queen Tinomana Ariki, at her palace grounds.
Miss PNG Pacific Islands, Abigail Havora, arrived to a rousing welcome in the Cooks Islands last Friday.
She was the first of the eight contestants of the regional Miss Pacific Islands Pageant to arrive in Rarotonga.
The official program began on Sunday with a church service at the Arorangi Christian Church.
The hearty peroveta singing resonated the Motuan peroveta singing, reminding Abigail of home, despite being sung in a different language.
It so happens that Arorangi has a long history with the Motuan villages of PNG, especially Hanuabada, having had early contact with Rarotonga missionaries through the London Missionary Society (LMS); later to become the United Church.
The Miss Pacific Islands Pageant 2015 marks 29 years since the inception of the pageant, formally known as Miss South Pacific.
The pageant began on December 6 and will run through to the 12th, with the winner to be crowned by Miss South Pacific 2014.