Sunday December 6 marked a momentous occasion – a giant party marking the birthdays of the legendary Jack Cooper, “The Trader” himself, and his daughter Melanie.
Family and friends from near and far gathered at Trader Jacks to celebrate Jack’s 69th birthday (the actual day of his birthday was yesterday, December 8) and Melanie’s, which fell on the 6th.
At the party were original Trader Jacks shareholders Alistair Holden and Sonya Kamana.
“They lost their asses in Cyclone Sally, as we all did in 1986 with the original Trader Jacks,” said Cooper in his birthday speech.
“To all of you who have travelled from overseas, thank you for making the effort. I am honoured, but I am perplexed as to why people would spend so much money to get a free drink out of me.
“To all my friends, and loyal customers who have supported Trader Jacks over the years, welcome and many thanks.”
Cooper’s longstanding business partner, Chris Douglas, and “PR manager” and partner Rosa Tauia organised the birthday celebration with the help of Trader Jacks’ dedicated staff. And as Jack observed, “without you guys, Trader Jacks would not have been so successful.”
Cooper reflected on his 30 years of being the Trader as “full of humour and heartache.”
The party featured a fabulous spread of food and entertainment from legendary Cook Islands musician Jon Lindsey, as well as Rere, Puati, Mii and the Browne and the Tixier band.
The Cooper family thank the people of the Cook Islands, close friends and the patrons who have been “served” in more ways than one, courtesy of Jack’s unique sense of humour. – MC
“To my extended Cook Island family, I love you all,” he said. – Melanie Cooper