In June, 2007, Rose Teai from Tahiti and her family returned to their roots on remote Palmerston. Elizabeth, one of the daughters of founding father, William Marsters was Rose's great grandmother. It was an emotional trip and also a very memorable one which Rose says has changed their lives. In her words...
"Palmerston is so strange, so secret.I feel like a coat is covering me, a coat of love, something that makes you feel like it's home"
Rose and her family at ancester, William Marsters' grave
Inside and outside the house that William built from shipwreck timbers. Left to right in the left hand picture are : Rose with her daughter, Maylin, her mother, son, Honomai, and her Aunty Taipae and her grandson.
Left: Rose...trying to pose like founding father, William (inset), outside the original homestead.
"Hey Dad...guess what we're having for dinner?" Homanai rings home to Tahiti using one of only two telephones on the island
Palmerston is divided into three parts, with each family branch owning one of them. Rose says her branch owns the part where the sun rises.
HOME FROM HOME!
It took two nights and a day at sea to sail from Rarotonga to Palmerston. With no airport, it's the only way to reach the remote outer island and visitors are few and far between
EATING OUT THE PALMERSTON WAY
Coconut crabs literally hang out in the trees....and for islanders, they're a very tasty treat
The islanders are expert fishermen...they have to be because they depend on the abundant supplies for their daily diet. Centre: Homonai helps Joel Marsters prepare parrot fish as Rose's mother (left) plans some cooking, Chinese style.
Tavake bird on Primrose Island...the Marsters family catch and eat the birds when they're bigger
Left to right: Maylin and her cousins; Julia and Tuakanamoe Marsters (their mum is the nurse and their dad looks after the electricity supply); little Wendy Marsters enjoying the crystal clear waters around Palmerston; Sarah Marsters' adopted children, Rima'ati and Sarina
AMONG THE YOUNG
A FOND FAREWELL
Palmerston has the highest proportion of young people on any island in the Cooks
Tears from the Aunties...and Rose and her family with a collection of farewell gifts, including rito hats which are lovingly crafted from woven palm fronds and are given as a precious gift
Rose sums up Palmerston in just a few words of English and French... but they seem to say it all
"So beautiful, a real paradise...
une merveille, un bijoux"
All the photographs on this page (excluding the insert of William Marsters) have been kindly provided by Rose Teai.
Rose would love to hear from other Marsters around the world. Click here to send her an email