News Release

French Polynesian President Honours two Latter-day Saints with Highest Citizen Award

Two members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have received the highest citizens award of French Polynesia. The awards were presented by Edouard Fritch, President of the country, during the annual Autonomy Day celebration on 29 June 2022 in Pape’ete.

President Fritch raised eight people to the rank of Knight of the Order of Tahiti Nui (Chevalier de l’ordre de Tahiti Nui). Among the nominees were two members of The Church: James Tuhoe, a lay leader of his local congregation in the Punaauia Stake and Noelline Parker, volunteer communications director for The Church in French Polynesia.

In making the presentations to each of them, President Fritch cited their numerous contributions to the country.

James Tuhoe has been an employee in the Department of Equipment and General Services for more than 20 years and distinguished himself during the COVID crisis. Temporarily assigned to the Department of Health, he volunteered to strengthen the logistics unit of the Emergency Anti-Covid Centre (PC-CRISIS) where he also helped organize territorial continuity flights.

He also assisted in COVID prevention programs with ground transportation for people placed in quarantine in dedicated centres and put together the logistics for the very large vaccination campaign.

In presenting the award, President Fritch said, "From the start of the crisis, you volunteered to serve at the Emergency Anti-Covid Centre (PC-CRISIS), and subsequently in the public health department, where your service helped create better health for the entire population. In view of your remarkable commitment and involvement in the field of health, and in the service of French Polynesia, I make this award.”

Noelline Parker was recognized for her more than 40 years of service devoted to the youth of French Polynesia. She worked as a teacher in public education almost 30 years and while doing that, she began serving the community through the Scouting and Girl Guides programs where she held many leadership positions including International Commissioner. She was the first woman to serve on the Executive Board of the Council of the South Pacific Scout Associations (CSPSA) as its Vice President since 2018.

Before presenting the Order of the Tahiti Nui award to Noelline Parker, President Fritch speaks of her many accomplishments. French Polynesia, June 2022Photo courtesy of Tahiti Zoom

She also served as Chief of Staff for the Ministry of Youth and Sports and was the first woman president of the Polynesian Youth Union, and a leader in international sporting events in Fiji and Tahiti. She is presently serving as President of the Organizing Committee for the Pacific Games which will take place in Tahiti in 2027 involving 24 countries, 5,000 athletes and 4,000 volunteers.

Noelline has always found the time and the energy to serve in her church. She currently serves as National Director of Communication for The Church in French Polynesia where she works with media, and with government, community and interfaith leaders. Projects for children, youth and young adults have been part of her church assignments including the first four editions of the ‘Especially for Youth’ (EFY) conferences from 2010 to 2013.

As he presented the award, President Fritch said, “Your civic commitment is closely linked to your religious convictions. As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since the age of 14, you are driven by the principle that in ‘serving others, you serve God.’”

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