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Archived News: September 2001

(27 September 2001)
A Japan Times article was published on 25 September reporting on Rotuma as "an unspoiled paradise," and Vilsoni Hereniko's film "Fire in the Womb."

(21 September 2001) News articles and photographs relating to Suva Itu`muta Association's recent island night in Sydney are now available on
(21 September 2001)
Vilsoni Hereniko's film, Fire in the Womb, shot in Rotuma during July and August, is now in post-production being edited for screenings. It is expected to be ready for international screenings in January 2003.
From Tomasi Sumasafu in Suva (12 September 2001)

Marieta Makarite Rigamoto, the Member of Parliament for the Rotuma Communal seat was sworn in this morning as the Assistant Minister--Prime Minister's Office.

Savenaca Draunidalo, the MP for the Taveuni/Lau/Rotuma Open seat was also sworn in this morning as the Minister for Works, Telecommunications, Energy, Road, Transport & Shipping. The appoinment may be a blessing for Rotuma since the portfolio covers the areas that are in dire need for improvement/development on Rotuma.

From Fiji Times (24 August 2001, posted 11 September)

Rotuman Soldier Shoots Bullseye

Another Fijian soldier has won distinction at the Army Regiment in Bassingbourn, England. Signaller Stephen Rigamoto was awarded a trophy and an engraved pewter tankard for the Best Shot during a passing-out parade on August 3rd. He completed 11 weeks of basic army training which included infantry skills, tactics and rifle shooting.

The 27-year old former Queen Victoria School student is now attending the Royal School of Signals for the second phase of training where he has been receiving specialist training in all aspects of military communications.

According to the Army Training Regiment, Signaller Rigamoto's performance during basic training was very impressive. "Over this period, Signaller Rigamoto was selected as the recruit who performed the best in all aspects of shooting throughout the duration of training," a statement from the regiment said.

From Bruce Tizard-Varcoe in England (17 September 2001)

Stephen Rigamoto, son of the late Victor Rigamoto and Kafoa and brother to Christopher, Jody, Jekope, Elenoa and Rosarina, successfully passed his 'Phase 1' of army training in Bassingbourn on 3rd August. He was awarded 'Best Shot' at the 'passing out parade' and has also received his 'marksman' badge and 'regimental belt' (a privilege only for prize winners to wear in Phase 2 training).

Like the three others on parade from Fiji, he not only had to endure the tough training, but also the cold British weather and a different environment. Thankfully, the warm weather of summer, glorious sunshine and blue skies blessed the day's events.

Watching in the seated area, representing the family, were his auntie Loraine and uncle Richard and cousins Bruce and Tieri Tizard-Varcoe. Cousin Fereti Semesi, on leave from his regiment, joined the whole family later on in the day to congratulate Stephen.

*Latest Update: Stephen has settled well into 'Phase 2' of his 'Royal Signals' training and is enjoying his coursework. Several others from Fiji, including a part-Rotuman, John Fatiaki, are with him also.
         Stephen Rigamoto

From Elisapeti Inia in Suva (11 September 2001)

The Methodist conference is over now, and Reverend Jione Langi has been appointed General Secretary of the Methodist church in Fiji and Rotuma. Two Rotuman ministers were confirmed, Rev Vevalesi and Rev Emotama Pene. The total amount raised at the conference was $1,401,821.40.

From Tomasi Sumasafu in Suva (11 September 2001)

Voting results for Rotuma Communal Seat, 1999 & 2001 Elections Compared


Marieta Rigamoto


Lio 'On Famor Rotuma



Total Votes -1999


Total Votes - 2001


% Valid Papers-1999


% Valid Papers-2001


From Fijilive (11 September 2001)

Rigamoto on cloud nine after poll win

New member of Parliament and Independent candidate Mrs Marieta Rigamoto says she is happy she has won her seat. She said this would enable her to finish the projects that she had started as a member of the Coalition Government and as a member of the Interim Government.

Mrs Rigamoto, who is a working mother as well as a pleasant nationalist, said she was going to pursue the many issues that she hopes will uplift the living standards of her people. She said she was thankful for the trust bestowed on her by her voters and hopes to ensure she delivers what they want in the best way she can.

Mrs Rigamoto also hopes to pursue the possible export of agricultural [products] from Rotuma to neighbouring countries like Tuvalu and Kiribati.

Apart from that, Mrs Rigamoto said it was high time the government tarsealed the runways at the Rotuma airport as this was hindering travelling possibilities for the people of Rotuma. She said that if the airport was tarsealed, it would enable the Fiji-Tuvalu flight, which is scheduled once a week, to be able to stopover at Rotuma. Mrs Rigamoto concluded that this flight could be taken advantage of and would enable more people to visit Rotuma.

Mrs Rigamoto has pledged her support for the Qarase-led government and is likely to hold a posting in the new cabinet lineup.

From Tomasi Sumasafu in Suva (5 September 2001)

Result of the election for the Rotuma Communal Seat is as follows:

  • Marieta Rigamoto: 1959 votes, 52.07%,
  • Tiu Livino Riamkau: 1803 votes, 47.93%,
  • Total number of invalid votes - 493, 11.5%
  • Total number of valid votes - 3762,
  • Total number of voters on the list - 5571.

It was also announced this morning that independent candidate, Savenaca Draunidalo, who was earlier this year sacked from the Commissioner Eastern position, has won the Taveuni/Lau/Rotuma Open seat. I was told that of the three candidates, he was the only one that went campaigning in Rotuma before the elections.

From Elisapeti Inia in Suva (1 September 2001)

Namaka choir (Nadi) under Aliti Williame, Betty's younger sister came second in the class 2 competition and second in 'nate'. The Canterbury choir of Australia came first in singing and first in nate. Mamao Konousi conducted the Lautoka choir and his son Mario led the choir from Vatukoula but did not get a trophy. Mamao should be proud of his music teaching to see three of his children leading choirs this year (Aliti, Betty, and Mario).

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