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Archived News: February 2002

From Marieta Inia in Suva (7 January 2002, posted 14 February)

Rejieli Ragafuata Rigamoto who carried out her research for her Masters thesis in Rotuma graduated in December 2001 with a MSc in Biology from the University of the South Pacific. She was awarded a gold medal for her thesis, titled: A Floristic Survey of the Coastal Littoral Vegetation of Rotuma. A copy of her thesis has been deposited in the University Library where readers can have access to it.

Rejieli made important recommendations in her thesis, including the urgent need to plan and instigate restorative measures to Rotuma's coastline and its coastal vegetation. People in Rotuma should be made aware of the long-term economic, social, and ecological importance of existing floral diversity and the problems associated with its loss. This awareness can be made by conducting regular workshops at the village level and teaching conservation as part of the curriculum in primary schools and the high school.

Landowners can be reminded constantly of existing laws, which prohibit the cutting of large trees within a 50 meter distance from the high tide mark, and fines or penalties should be imposed on those who violate these laws.

We, the entire Rotuman population, both locally and abroad, and friends of Rotuma, should be encouraged to play an active role in the design, management, and monitoring of all the restorative measures mentioned in her thesis.

I think Rejieli deserves our congratulations and best wishes.

She and her family are moving on to greener pastures in Hawaii at the end of this month.

From Hanuarani Atalifo in Rotuma (18 January 2002, posted 5 February)

It's feeling very quiet after a very hectic Christmas. The Oinafa youth came over, including my son Barry, and we did a lot of fishing. There were lots of problems with the boats and planes, as usual.

The Latter Day Saints Humanitarian Section has approved and released the container, which is now in Suva. I received the bill of lading last week and we are so flabbergasted with all the goods.

The Samabula Ward from the LDS in Suva came over for Christmas and did some project services for the people in the island. Mr Vamarasi Ieli was the youth leader. Our sympathy goes out to him for whilst visiting he lost his beautiful young wife Marie (daughter of the late G/Tuipeua and his wife). She went back for a couple of days and died in Suva. Her body was flown back to Hapmak and a beautiful, touching ceremony was conducted by the LDS missionaries: Elder Bayles, Elder Young, and Marie's brother-in-law. Bro. Farpapau Sosefo. Hymns were sung by the only six members of the LDS in Rotuma and a few members from Suva who accompanied the body.

The PWD workers are back at work in Oinafa hoping to finish work on the wharf in February.

Dr Amae Atalifo has been posted to Rotuma. She starts on 2 February 2002. She is a new graduate we we're waiting to see how the people will take to her. She is very young.

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