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Archived News: May 1999

From Alan & Jan in London, England (23 May 1999)

Last Saturday (15 May) we were fortunate enough to attend the Rotuma Day celebration in Fremont, California, hosted by the Seven Stars Club. The celebration began in the early afternoon with a barbeque lunch at Elizabeth Park, a lovely expanse bordering on a lake. In addition to the local contingent and Rotumans from all over California, there were visitors from Toronto, Canada (Rejieli Penjueli, her two daughters & her mother, Sanimeli); Chicago (Muahe'ahe'a Vamarasi, his wife, Marit, and their two sons); Rotuma (Lavenia and Robert Coy); and Hawai'i (Alan & Jan).

The evening program at the Methodist United Church began with dinner, including two pigs cooked in a koua, a'ana, uhi, sweet potato, curried chicken, fekei, a green salad, potato salads, a whole table of fruits (pineapple, mangoes & strawberries) and a dessert table of cakes and cookies. Entertainment was provided by the Hef Rani band, a tautoga performed by the Seven Stars Club, and family performances of Polynesian dances. All in all it was a wonderful event, very much enjoyed by all.

On Saturday, 22 May we were hosted by Lorraine (Rigamoto) & Richard Tizard-Varcoe and their son, Bruce and daughter Tieri at their home in Sutton. Also present at the lovely luncheon of a'ana, 'ikou moa, 'ikou puat kau, salmon and other goodies were Jieni Howard, Katarina Erasito, and Luisa (Lilino) and David Copping.

On Sunday, 23 May we spent the day with Harieta (Muaror) & Sheridan Rosser & their delightful 2 1/2 year old son, David. Click here to see a photo montage of some Rotumans in England .

From Sanimeli Maraf in Rotuma (13 May 1999)

The Rotuma Day celebration was cancelled for the two days. On the evening of the 11th Captain Joe Aisea died at Ahau; his wife is Suakmasa. Because Melsa'a is close by Ahau, acting chief Gagaj Irav and the other chiefs agreed to stop everything until next year.

Our voting finished yesterday. For the Lau, Taveuni and Rotuma open seat Ratu Epeli Ganilau, Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu, and Adi Sainimeli Ului Lakeba Tuivanuavou all came to campaign on Rotuma. For the army men who are working on the high school in Malhaha, their ballot papers will come this Friday on a charter flight; their ballots will be returned on the same day.

The solar plant for the Rotuma Hospital will arrive by boat next week; it comes all the way from Sydney. Two experts are coming to install the plant. We have to do a mamasa.

We, the members of the Rotuma Hospital Board of Visitors, are thankful for all the help and donations we received. May God bless you all. My thanks also go to Doctor Winkler and Robyn, who visited the island from Nanaimo, Canada, in December 1998 and our relatives over there. Many thanks for your kind donation of the defibrillator. We look forward to receiving it soon.

We have a new nurse, Katherine Erasito. Her husband is Taka Erasito, son of Lili and Vilsoni Erasito. Mr. Erasito came to replace Naroon, the Indian man who managed the Mobil Plant at Motusa.

Reverend Langi will be installed as Talatala Kase (Superintendent) by our new Methodist President, Rev Tomasi Kanailagi at the end of May. After waiting five months for the renovations of Mairo House, Rev Langi and Rigamoto are only now able to unpack their belongings and to sort out their furniture. Mairo House is now looking good, thanks to the help of free labourer from all around Rotuma.

We just had three day tauna' la' mos ne fau (2-5 May) which was held at Hapmak. It's the beginning of combining the two sides and was an enjoyable meeting. Hapmak now has electricity for all its households.

The Noa'tau old ladies spent the day with Gagaj Maraf and Sanimeli on Friday, the 7th of May, prior to Mother's Day. Luncheon was given by Mrs Maraf. Each lady wears a fui, symbol of love. Rev and Mrs Langi were invited.

Hurrah for Fiji Telecom! Only this week the PNT arrives to continue digging the line so before the month's end some of us will have a telephone connection in our homes. Fingers crossed.

Gagaj Maraf has been invited by the President as a panelist to a conference in Suva in August. While he's there I am going to Samoa with the ladies to a seminar on the theme, "Holy Spirit weave the people of the Pacific together," from 21-27 August 1999. The World Federation of Methodist & Uniting Church, women's South Pacific area seminar, will be held in Apia. There will be a First Day cover of stamps to commemorate the seminar. Only four ladies are going from Rotuma: the wives of Rev Langi and Rev Samuela, Jiuria of Malhaha, and myself.

Two guys were jailed for planting marijuana here in Rotuma. They're from Hapmak, returning from Fiji to live in Rotuma.

From Makereta Konrote Bentley in Lebanon (13 May 1999)


Se te' ne 'aus hensasiag ma o'o' Rotuam 'atakoa ne tae 'e ut tutu ne ran te' -- Noa'ia 'e mauri.

Gou le Makereta Konrote Bentley 'omus o'honit ma sasigit ne noh hua' 'e 'os hanueta 'e Fanmutia 'e Malhaha Rotuma.

Gou leu mane'am se sagavan ta Jioje ma 'on haina Sarote 'e Lepanoni. Gou ma 'oria le' fa mea'mea' ta Andrew leum 'e saiag ne rako 'e a'ofiag ne 'Epereli 1999. 'Amiar rua te' osos la ho' se 'os hanua 'e gasavat la no'an. O'hon ta Sarote la ho' ag'esea me 'amiar la as se 'oria la'riri' ta ne rou sio 'e Suva ma ia la ho' hoi'akim 'e June.

Gou a'hae la gou la faeag'ak a'lukaf te ne gou kel 'e laloag ne ao luak het ne gou noh karau ma 'inos ta 'e 'oria nohoag ta 'e Lepanoni.

'Inos ta faeag'ak se gou ut 'atakoa ne iria rua hoa' o'hon ta Nancy Mama'o Andrea 'e 'on leugam 'e faut ne of se ma 'oria le' han ta Lisa ma gou 'ua'ua'ak a'ti ne gou po ma la' ma kel tape' ma sin. Ut 'eseat ma 'amis kat po ra la hele' sin utut ne Jisu ma 'on o'rua fupu e 'e Nasareti 'e Kalili. 'Amis kat po ra la la' sin 'e reko mamar ne haipeluget ne soksok 'e hanue te'is 'e reko uake ne rere iris famor rot ne Islam ma famor rot fak Karisto. Haipeluag te'is re 'e reko lelea' Muslim pa fu'ak 'oris ri rotut se for ne 'os ri rot ti' ta (Church of Annunciation) 'e laloag ne kor te' Nasareti. Hairaksa'ag te'is kop ma kal po ra la of mij.

'Inos ta 'ea se gou ne avat ne 'ut'utum 'o la po tea'at 'on mamaru 'e reko famor rauraut ne 'amnak'ak la leu mane'am se hanua ha' ta 'e a'ofiag ne fau te'is.......2000 millenium.

Gou 'ua'ua'ak ati' se hanis 'on Gagaj 'Aitu 'e reko gou po ma leum ma kel a'fuamamau se ut ma'oi ne faefaeag'ak 'e puk ha'a. Gou 'oaf tape' ma 'e reko te ne gou kele la po la haiasoag a'ti se 'otou maur fak'ata ma garue ne rotu 'e 'otou la ho'iag se Rotuma. Gou 'inea tape' ma ne 'os kainaga la pa a'fai 'e rogrog ne hanue te'is ma te ne 'ofat se goua la gou la ho' ma faeag'akia te ne gou kele.

'E 'otou noh karaut ma 'inos ta gou po ma kel tape' ma 'e mamar ne hanue te'is Lepanoni. 'Amis a'fai se to ne 'ahai fer ne pelu ma 'u ne tagfanua 'e ran ma pog. Gou po ma hele' 'e utut ne 'os jaujia ne Fiti noh mata'ue, ma haipoag ma iris le' fa Rotuam he his 'e ut ne iris garue. 'Os la'riri' fa Rotuam ne te'is 'e Lepanoni 'e 'on 'i hete' te'is:
  • Capt. Francis 'Aisake
  • WO1 Feskato'a Ravai
  • Sgt. Kaitu'u Manao
  • Cpl. Visanti Vasea
  • Cpl. Varomue Tinvao
  • Pte Rupeti Tiu
  • Pte. Lusiano 'Ieli
  • Pte. Muriraki Saufo'ou
  • Pte. Pio Fagmaniua
Fapufa Itu'ti'u
Sauhata Oinafa
Maftoa Itu'muta
Farema Malhaha
Maftoa Itu'muta
Losa Itu'ti'u
Hapmafau Itu'ti'u
'Elsio Malhaha
Maftoa Itu'muta

'Os la'riri' fa Rotuam ta 'e te'isi iris ne'ne' lelei ka 'e reko mamar ne hanue te'is ma sousou ne o'o'i ma kainaga ma gou 'inea ne av ma'oi iris hea'hea' se totoak ma helav ne 'os 'atmot ta 'e Rotuma. Iris far'ak la gou la ho' ma foar 'oris hanisi se te' ne o'o'i ma kainaga ka a'ti' se la 'ua'ua'ak se 'omus ro'aitu ma hea'hea' lelei.

Gou po ma kel tape' ma se utut 'e 'Headquarters ne Fiji battalion" ne jaujia Isirel ta vil'ak pamu 'e 1996. Iris 104 famor ne Lepanoni ne al 'e laloag ne riit ne 'os jaujia ne Fiti nohoe. Jaujia Fit he his 'esea ra'ra' ma gou aier'ak ne te' ne ro'ait ne a'hae'akim iris kat vil vavar ra. Famor ne hanue te' kat po ra la taf se ne po 'e tese ta 'os jaujie kat 'es le'et ra al. Noanoa se famor 'e la iris la 'inea 'on fuaga 'e reko mea'mea' pau iris ne rot fak Karisto 'e utut 'e South Lebanon.

Gou a'hae la 'ua'ua'ak tape' ma se te' ne kainag 'atakoa ne po ma na 'omus ava ma a'hae'akim sagavan te'is Jioje 'e 'omus ro'aitu. Gou kel ka 'on garue te noanoa pau ka gou aier'ak ne 'omus ro'aitu a'mahmahan 'on nohot 'e laloag ne hanua mamar te'is.

Gou hanis ti' pauof se te' ne 'aus kainag gagaj ne la po la hat 'e rogrog luak hete'is ma 'otou 'ua'ua'aki leuof tape' ma se 'aus kainag ma'oi ne a'hae'akim 'otou leugam se te'isi 'e ro'aitu.

Fu'omus ma hanis ne 'os Gagaj 'Aitu

From Daily Post (13 May 1999)

Judge orders bank to release documents

SUVA High Court Judge Justice Mr Peter Surman has ordered National Bank officials to release documents pertaining to charges against former National Bank of Fiji chief manager Visanti Makrava. And Justice Surman has also questioned the credibility of the bank in not releasing documents that would help in the case.

The documents are said to include a letter with attachments of cash flow projections, income and expenditure with an attached invoice from the shipping company that is involved in the alleged scam.

Makrava faces one charge of official corruption and an alternative charge of embezzlement by servant. He was alleged to have received a $50,000 payment from Bula Piscatorial Limited for allowing the company a loan of $400,000 from the bank.

He denied the charge saying it was a loan with which he was to have purchased a piece of land in Rotuma. The $400,000 was to be used to buy a fishing vessel, gear and working capital. While on sworn evidence Makrava said he received the documents alone with the application letter for a loan dated 24 October 1994.

Makrava said he was not aware of what happened to the original documents until he was shown the papers by police during a caution interview. He said he had initialled the documents and made a note on them forwarding it to the NBF Samabula branch for consideration and processing.

"I did make a copy for myself though and the originals were received on October 24 and was sent," he said. Makrava told the court that when he sent documents approved by him he had expected the bank to process the documents.

Makrava continued saying he signed on another set of documents in November because the originals could not be located. "I requested then to maintain a copy for Asset Management Bank and to fill the same particulars on another form for me to attempt another signature on it.

"I also told them when they did locate the originals, they were to attach it to the latter," he said. Makrava said the matter was then handled by NBF Samabula branch manager Tony Bidesi. "It was the duty of him and his lending staff to see that all requirements were met," he said.

Makrava again denied the money received was a "kick-back", reward or corrupt payment. "Whether it came from Asset Management Bank, BPL account, from Alex Lovell's (executive of BPL) own pocket, all I know was that it was a loan.

When asked why he did not ask for hard cash Makrava said: "There were options that I could have taken but I decided to take a cheque and in our discussions (Lovell and Makrava's) I told him I preferred a solicitor's account cheque to clear myself on any suspicion that the money I was getting was corrupt," he said.

The case is expected to continue today.

From Hawai'i (9 May 1999) 

The Tefui Club celebrated Rotuma Day yesterday at Kailua Beach Park. It was a wonderful event, well attended by club members and invited guests, including members of the Fijian community. Visitors included the Haihanisiga Band from Vancouver, who helped to entertain (including Homer Bentley and Kamoe Fatiaki); Alfred Bentley from Sydney, Australia; Aitu and Bruce Richmond from the Seven Stars Club in the San Francisco Bay Area; and Fred Sampson from Fort McMurray, Canada. As usual there was plenty of food, including a koua and fekei. The Tefui Club danced a tautoga and additional entertainment was provided by members of the Polynesian Club of Castle High School, who performed Hawaiian and Samoan dances. Nicole Dumas organized children's games and we also played volleyball. A special feature was display boards made by the children on the theme, Rotuma is... The results were lovely and encouraged the children to learn more about their parents' home island.

Tefui Club tautoga on Rotuma Day

On Monday, 10 May, Maria (Matalena) Dumas received a Bachelor's Degree from Chaminade University with a double major in Elementary and Early Education. Daughter Nicole will receive her AA degree from Windward Community College on Saturday, 15 May.

Maria Dumas at graduation

Ian Osborn reports from England, where he is in the midst of writing a final year's honour's dissertation, that he still has some 80 copies of his spectacular photo book entitled, Rotuma: Fiji's Hidden Paradise. For information on ordering copies (they make great Christmas presents) see the display in the publications section.

From Katarina Atalifo in Suva (6 May 1999)

Rotuman Paddlers Don National Colors To Guam South Pacific Games

The Fiji National Outrigger Canoeing Team for this month's South Pacific Games boasts the inclusion of three Rotuman paddlers bound for the Guam games. Marieta Fatiaki, Frances Paul and Johanna Mitchell were included in the sixteen-member squad to represent the country. Marieta is the daughter of Lusie and Aisea Tigarea of Losa, wife of Dennis Fatiaki, and mother of Sina and Saurafu. Frances is the son of Jone and Maraia of Pepjei. Johanna is the daughter of Drs. Robin and Rosemary Mitchell of Lami--and the pride of Malhaha. We are deeply proud to have three of our very own represent Fiji in the Games and we extend our wishes for a successful national outing to Mareta, Johanna, and Frances. On behalf of all Rotuman outrigger paddlers in Fiji, we would like congratulate the trio.

Fiji has launched the South Pacific's largest website, containing more than 20,000 pages of news and information. Fijilive is a project ot the Review Group of Companies, publisher of a monthly Fiji news and business magazine. The site provides news and sports reports. The URL is <>

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