Post Office to the rescue after youngsters hit by arson attack

Susie Cooper with students of Avatea School

Susie Cooper with students of Avatea School

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Two large parcels full of books and stationery items have been distributed to a primary school and college in the Cook Islands, thanks to the help of Isle of Man Post Office’s sponsorship committee.

A block of classrooms at Avatea School and Nukutere College on Rarotonga were arson attacked and burnt to the ground.

The students of the classrooms that were destroyed lost all of their books, art equipment, musical instruments and years of school work among other things. While the buildings can be replaced through insurance money, the equipment and books cannot.

Susie Cooper who lives mainly on Rarotonga, but also spends time in the Isle of Man, has played an instrumental role here in the island with an appeal for books and stationery items to send to the students on Rarotonga, and ensuring the transportation of these with assistance from the Post Office.

The school and college were delighted to receive the two parcels and were overwhelmed with the support provided by the Post Office.

And interestingly there is actually a Manx connection between Avatea School and the Isle of Man in that three of its students are in fact direct descendants of Fletcher Christian.

Fletcher Christian was master’s mate on board HMS Bounty during William Bligh’s voyage to Tahiti for breadfruit plants. In the mutiny on the Bounty, Christian seized command of the ship from William Bligh in 1789. His family had Manx links.

Susie Cooper said: ‘The schools’ grief at losing their libraries of books was genuine, as is their gratitude to the people of the Isle of Man for their kind donations. It would have taken a long time for these to be replaced. There is no way that I could have transported the books and stationery back to Rarotonga without the help of the Isle of Man Post Office, thank you so much.’

Sarah Read, chairman of Isle of Man Post Office Sponsorship Committee said: ‘We were glad to help Susie in her quest for support for the school and college following the ordeal of the arson attack and impact of this which included the loss of books and other important items.

‘The sponsorship committee aims to support a variety of local initiatives throughout the year and is always keen to hear from individuals and organisations looking for support which we may be able to help with.’ To find out more about the appeal visit the ‘Lifestyle Blog from Rarotonga’ Facebook page.

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