Cooki of Cooki’s Bar

Port Vila’s elderly residents who know ‘Cooki’ are advised that the well-loved local personality has passed away in the Capital before yesterday.

Jean Tranut says his funeral service will be held at the Catholic Cathedral at 2pm tomorrow.

Cooki, believed to be in his 90s, was the brother of late former owner of the former Kava Store at Anambrou, Charles Longwah and the country’s current Honorary Consul in Sydney, William Longwah.

Cooki’s name became a household word in Port Vila in the 1970s and after independence as he was the owner of well-known Cooki’s Bar which was situated where the current UNELCO Head Office is.

Cooki’s Bar was the most popular bar among New Hebrideans of the colonial era and ni Vanuatu just after independence.

The bar which had a spacious area with tables and chairs inside where men enjoyed their drinks, while the right side of the room was restricted to billiard games.

The bar went on to receive more popularity on the airwaves with the hit string band song ‘Cooki Bar’.

It was understood that after the closure of his bar business, Cooki went to live in Australia where he became a chef.

A regular returnee to Port Vila, Cooki received positive remarks from his friends because he looked just the same as when he was behind the counter at Cooki’s Bar; short, stocky in his short pants and open island shirt and always cheerful.

He will be missed by all his friends.

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