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Archived News: July 2002

From Jack George, Rotuma Parish (submitted 29 July 2002)

Ha‘ag on Gagaj Faha‘ Kaitu‘u Eliesa Joseph (Saturday, 4 May, 2002)

Gagaj Faha' ia le' Gagaj 'on ö'rua teis le Alfreti ma Jioje ne noh 'e Lomaivuna. Tape'ma mapiag Gagaj 'on Selina ma Panipasa ne noh 'e Australia.

Ia a'su 'e 17 ne Tisempa, 1970, rak 'e Lomaivuna Primary ma Secondary School. Garue Special Constable (Fiji Police). Sur se utut ne mou se Santo Visesio 'e Wailoku 1994.

Asok fuag ne Diakona 'e fau 2001 'e ran 20 May ma Ha' la Faha 'e ran 4 May 2002.

Kataog teis sok 'e Nausori Parish 'e teran Aiata ran hak ne May. Gagaj Arepikapo Petero Mataca ta asok sin garue teis, agasea ma Gagaj Faha maoi ne po ma garue tape'ma e teran ta'ag. Katoag ta hoi pau e reko oaf ne famor Rotuma ma ta tapema Gagaj Fiti ne oris le'et Ha' agesea ma 'os le' teis Rev Father Josefa Naqou Tuimavule CM, fa Gagaj ne Nadroga.

Is lelea' Rotuma roa pau 'os kat 'es Faha' ra, hailaoag me fau 25 years. Aitu tar os roaitu ma hanis 'e isa ma he'leum la sokoen teran te'. 'Os 'o' Gagaj 'Esitu' rua Gagaj Titofag, Gagaj Morar, Jeamau ne Rotuma Parish, tape'ma Gagaj Kona' ma Gagaj Tavo ma iris heua leum 'e 'os otmota Rotuma se katoag ne oafoaf teis.

Kota oafoaf ti'ut sok se 'is lele'a Rotuma ne 'os roaitu Aitu a' foi sin ma tar. Sokoaf se katoag oafoaf 'e vahiag ne Ha'ag ta, 'os ö'ö' Rotuam 'e Raiwaqa a a'sok sin ta mak fak Rotuam a'helavat ka ar ma teran ta'ag. Usa vil ma mara' ta mamaon pau ka lelea Rotuam kat a'foi ra sin, 'e ti' ne oaf ma ririaf ne tae 'e isag 'e teran ta'ag. o'hon ta Matesie ma 'öfa ta Perau ma ö'ö mamfua ne Raiwaqa ta a'sokoa haf ta. Haf ta keleag lelei pau 'e reko ti' hahareg ma maf hahareg me te' ne te atakoa te ne lelea Fiti ea Uro! ha! ha! ha!

Mias Muemue Ta: 5 MAY 2002

Gagaj Faha' asok sin on mias mumueta 'e I ran 5 ne May 'e Nausori Parish.

Teran teis ia teran a'helavat paniag ne As ta, ma famori po ma noh furmaria.

Gagaj Faha' Joseva Naqou Tuimavule on mias mumueta a'sok 'e on hanua Gagaj ta 'e Nadroga.

Vahiag ne misa, gagaj Fiti a'sok sin oris ag fak hanua, ma kota 'is lele'a Rotuma asok sin isag. Haf helav ne Raiwaqa sok tape'ma 'tautoag ta ma ririaf ne huga, o'oi ma kainaga kat paepae ra.

Os kataog teis, po ma a'sok a'vauhian ka te' ne le la' lelei pau, ereko huag pa garue ma amnak lelei ne huga ma ösös ne programme ta, 'is atakoa ua'ua'ak se ofa teisi Susau Managreve ne puer se rak ti ne Marist Brothers High School 'e Suva. Ua'ak tape'ma se ö'hon ta Reijeli ne avauhian me ö'fa teis ösösia katoag te. Na'ag ne oria aua ma hanueta ma garue a'sok sin.

Tape'ma oria ö'ö' Rotuam ne mou se oria sector 'e Nabua Parish 'e tariaf ne famor ne leuoaf se Nabua.

Gou la a'vahia otou rogrog ne mou se Ha'ag on Gagaj Faha'a Kaitu'u Eliesa Joseph. Gou naaf 'otou ua'ua'aki se te' ne ö'ö', kainag Rotuam atakoa 'e Fiti ma Rotuma, ma raute atakoa no'aia 'e hanisi ma haisoag ma roaitu ma te' ne aus re is Kinak se Ia Aitu 'e rer Ia ta la huarak tutuen karasia se 'is tutu atakoa.

Gagaj Faha Kaitu'u 'e terani te i ia os Faha'at ne Gagaj Aitu hili, ma 'os roaitu la ia la fumou ma huag to'a la aier se on Pulio ne ne vahia.

From Daily Post (29 July 2002)

Malhaha's special day

Rotumans originally from Malhaha District (one of Rotuma's seven districts) residing in Fiji, yesterday flocked over to the Khatriya Hall in Suva to celebrate their open day.

Malhaha Day is an annual event in which people from the district living in Suva get together to remember their home.

As part of the programme participants took part in church hymns, choir competitions, traditional dances.

Spokesman Tokoara Vilisoni said they also discussed various issues and events that ocurred during the year.

"We also plan and discuss other developments that could happen and is happening back home and also here in Fiji," Mr Vilisoni said.

Chief guest at the function was the general secretary of the Methodist Church in Fiji and Rotuma, Reverend Jone Langi.

He commended all those who turned up to the function saying it was good to see a large number of people partaking in the memorable event.

The group was divided into three to represent the three main villages in the district. Each group had to take part in each of the categories within the programme.

Mr Vilisoni said the day looked like it was a success.

From Lijiana Inia in Suva (28 July 2002)

Rotuma Visit by the Australian High Commissioner and Staff, 19-22 July, 2002

The delegation arrived at Malhaha at about 12:45 p.m. on Friday, 19 July and was met by D.O. Moroivalu and the Chairman of the Rotuman Island Council. Accompanying them on the same flight was Deaconess Olivia.  The Bulou ni Ceva left Suva on Wednesday and was due to arrive Friday at 10 a.m. but was delayed. Two other staff members and myself were on board. A few dramas on board caused the delay ( one of the life rafts fell overboard and after an hour trying to get it back on board the boat one of the crew members also fell overboard; he was very lucky to be pulled back on board in time).  Fekau Langi and some other guests were also on board.  We arrived at 2 p.m. and had to proceed straight to Noa‘tau as the flight had arrived before us.

The districts of Oinafa and Noa‘tau together with the Faguta group (I was told that it was the Oinafa circuit that organised all these) performed the mamasa ceremony It was so good to see our Rotuma Council members, including the chiefs, and our kainaga again and also to see how the people all dressed up in white to perform the ceremony. Oinafa District presented a tautoga to the High Commissioner and her staff.

From Noa‘tau we proceeded to Malhaha High School at about 5.:30 p.m. where we were met by the principal, his staff, and the students of the High School. Because of the delay in our arrival the programme for the day was two hours behind; however, the students and staff waited patiently and performed for us all sorts of island dancing and it was a good feeling for me to be back at the school where I started my higher education.  We were all impressed with the school library. High Commissioner Boyd commented praised the library and presented a book to it. The funding for building a computer classroom was given the green light by Ms Boyd on Friday.

The day's programme ended at Dr John and Mrs Fatiaki‘s residence where they hosted a cocktail party for the delegation.  Guests at the party included all the government workers at Ahau and the teachers of the high school. It was so good to meet up with Elisabeth Inia; I grew up as a little girl in Savlei under her guidance and I was very happy to see her and catch up with the old times.  

Ahau hosted the Methodist Conference and there was so much food for everyone. Breakfast was from 7 to 8:30 a.m. and the service began at 9 a.m.  Rev Voi began the service and Fekau Langi presented a beautiful sermon.  The D.O. and Chairman gave the official speeches of welcome to the High Commissioner and other visitors after which the High Commissioner presented her thank you address and declared the Conference open.

Morning tea was served at about 10.30 a.m. and than the choir competition began between the Oinafa, Malhaha, and Motusa Circuits.

During the lunch break the visitors toured the hospital and it was amazing how clean and well maintained the medical staff had kept the place.  It is one of the oldest rural hospitals in the country.  The Australian High Commissioner announced funding for a backup generator for the hospital. Noa‘ia Ms Susan Boyd. The funding comes from the Direct Aid Programme and an amount up to $5000 has been approved for the project.

Lunch was served and during which the visitors, the church leaders, and the chiefs got to know each other and it was very relaxing.  There was spectacular view from Ahau towards Itu‘muta and Maka Bay.  The day was beautiful with the sun shining and a lovely breeze blowing towards our ri hapa.  There were so many bananas hanging everywhere and fruits in abundance.  Breakfast and lunch was prepared by the people from Gagaj Tukagsau's area up to the D.O.'s residence.  After lunch mak fak rani was presented by the three circuits in Rotuma and the host village.  Oinafa Circuit presented the first hafa, followed by Malhaha Circuit, Motusa Circuit, and Ahau, and it was good to see some of the visitors from Suva, Australia, and United States taking part in the the tautoga.

Motusa circuit performed a beautiful tautoga and took it all, the choir competition and the mak fakrani. 

The following are the results from the competition.

  • Motusa Circuit: first in both choir and tautoga
  • Oinafa: second in choir
  • Malhaha third in choir

The amount collected at the end of the day totaled $13,400.76

Dinner was served at around 7 p.m. and the other half of Ahau from DR Taukave's area towards Ruth prepared the dinner.  We had a seafood dinner and everyone was impressed at the layout of the table. The people of Ahau this year hosted a most successful event.  The theme this year was unity and reconciliation of the church, the government, and the hanua, and we could see and feel the unity in the people.  The host this year showed an example. Ahau has five different churches, yet all these families got together to host this year's function. I also could see it in the various dance groups, with Catholics, Methodists, AOG, and Seventh Day Adventists dancing together as one group.

On Sunday, after breakfast, the whole island got together at Ahau for the Thanksgiving Service conducted by Rev Samuela of Churchward chapel and Rev Voi, the superintendant of the Rotuma Division. Lunch was served by the people of Ahau.

The High Commissioner and her group than proceeded to Motusa and with the assistance of DR John Fatiaki went around the island to visit historical sites and sightsee.  In the evening the host families, Mr and Mrs Visoni Atalifo, Mr and Mrs Mojito Pranjivan, and DR and Mrs Fatiaki served up a barbecue dinner for the group at the Atalifos' residence.

With the early departure of the boat at 8 a.m. on Monday, the group had to be up early to pack luggage and get to the boat. At 10 a.m. everyone flying back to Suva had to be at the airport. It was sad for us to say good-bye as everyone had a wonderful time; the hospitality of the people and the beauty of the island will always be remembered.

A big faiaksea to District Officer Moroivalu, to Chairman of the Rotuma Council Makrava, and to the Chiefs and the people of Rotuma, not forgetting the four families who accommodated the group: To DR and Mrs Fatiaki for accommodating High Commissioner Boyd and Assistant Defence Advisor Katja, and for all the arrangements and assistance you provided for the visit; to Mojito and Mata Pranjivan, to Visoni and Olivia Atalifo; and to Rev Irava and Maria Fatiaki—Noa‘ia! Everyone enjoyed your hospitality, your warm welcome, and will never forget the lovely experience we all had during our visit to Rotuma.

From Elisapeti Inia in Rotuma (26 July 2002)

In a telephone call from Savlei last Sunday Elisapeti reported that the Methodist Conference held at Ahau was a great success. The pavillion was beautifully decorated (see below) and the performances were excellent, with Motusa circuit sweeping all the top honors, winning first place for their entrance, mak pel, and tautoga.

She said that the Australian High Commissioner, who had flown in from Suva to attend the event, brought her the first copy of Kato'aga: Rotuman Ceremonies, just published by the Institute of Pacific Studies at USP. The official book launching will be in Suva in September.

From FijiVillage (26 July 2002)

Members of the Rotuman community have started preparing for a big feast following the appointment of High Court Judge, Justice Daniel Fatiaki as Chief Justice.

Big celebrations are planned at Justice Fatiaki's Suva home tomorrow. Plans are also in the pipeline for another big party in Rotuma.

Justice Fatiaki is currently handling some High court cases in Labasa and could not be reached for a comment. He arrives in Suva late this afternoon.

From Daily Post (25 July 2002)

Fatiaki named Chief Justice

High Court judge Justice Daniel Fatiaki has been appointed Chief Justice succeeding Sir Timoci Tuivaga, whose term expires at the end of this month.

His appointment was made by the President Ratu Josefa Iloilo on the advice of Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase and consultation with Opposition Leader Prem Singh.

But the NGO Coalition on Human Rights has come out strongly against the appointment.
Coalition chairman Reverend Akuila Yabaki said they objected to Justice Fatiaki’s appointment because of his role in giving advice to the President that supported the purported abrogation of the Constitution on May 29, 2000.

He said the Fiji Judiciary needs a Chief Justice who is not controversial, is independent of the two factions in the Judiciary and able to restore the reputation and solidarity of our Judiciary.

“We believe Mr Fatiaki is an able judge but he is not the person who can restore the independence and integrity of Fiji’s Judiciary,” Rev Yabaki said in a statement.

He said Justice Fatiaki had been politically controversial like retired Justice Tuivaga.

“Mr Fatiaki’s advice to the Army Commander, accepting the abrogation of the Constitution, abolishing the Supreme Court and raising the retirement age for the Chief Justice are good enough grounds for disqualifying himself from accepting such a promotion to the important Constitution office under the 1997 Constitution.”

Justice Fatiaki could not be reached for comment last night.

Rev Yabaki said Fiji needs a Chief Justice appointed from outside Fiji who has not been tainted by the consequences of the events of May 2000.

The Citizens Constitutional Forum (CCF) had also objected in April 2001 to the appointment of Justice Fatiaki to hear the CCF vs. the President case on the grounds of possible bias.

Justice Fatiaki rejected the CCF argument but stepped down from the case.

The Coalition also says the Prime Minister should wait until the court delivers its opinion on the Opposition Leader’s appeal in the Supreme Court against his appointment.

The High Court earlier ruled that FLP’s Krishna Prasad won the Nadi Open seat on recount and that Mr Singh had lost his.

Rev Yabaki said Prime Minister should wait for the court’s opinion because of the possible legal invalidity of such a recommendation.

“The CCF intends to challenge the constitutionality of the appointment of Mr Fatiaki to be Chief Justice, should the ruling of the Supreme Court be against Prem Singh. A ruling against Prem Singh would mean he has not been an MP and Opposition Leader since February 2000.”

News from Nadera, Suva (19 July 2002)

The Nadera/Nadawa Methodist Women's Fellowship group organised a retreat at the Raintree Lodge—Colo I Suva from 14 June to 17 June 2002. There were 27 participants, including ladies from Vatukoula (Maria and Tamara) and Lautoka (Rachael and Jiurie) and Reverend Samuela Isimeli of Churchward Chapel. The theme was: La‘ut’akia ma a'ne'ne 'akia maur fak'at ‘on o'o'haina. Ma la rakoa ma sakiroa 'amnak 'on aitu se maur 'on o'o'haina ‘e rak puk ha'a, faksoge ma ro'aitu..

There were a number of guest speakers who elaborated on different topics. Reverend Samuela Isimeli spoke on the importance of being in fellowship with God, prayer, and fasting. Reverend Jione Langi and Mrs Rigamoto Langi were also present. Mrs Langi spoke on the theme, "Who am I?"and the role the mother plays within the family. Deaconess Olovia Nataniela spoke on "New Discovery"—Maurit ma Karisto ia maur fo’ou. Han hua ta Rutagrere Sanipati spoke on a mother’s role is to ensure that Christian teaching is taught within the family.

On Saturday evening, the families were invited for an evening of sharing. The Men's fellowship and the youth group organised short dramas and dances as well as the ladies. It was an evening filled with laughter and I was surprised to see the amount of talents we have been blessed with. The "Adi Kalavo" skit took the cake with the best performance from Maria of Vatukoula.

On Sunday, the ladies fasted and prayed the entire day. They broke their fasting with a service in the afternoon.

On Monday, the ladies had a repeat of the short skits from Saturday. Thank you speeches were said and everyone headed home after a very emotional farewell.

The Nadera/Nadawa Methodist Women's Fellowship group would like to thank their husbands and families for the kind contributions in the form of food and money, thus enabling them to organise a retreat. May God bless you all!

Participants from the West: Sitting—Tamara Alfereti
Standing—L-R (Rachael, Jiurie, Maria and
han puer ne rot haian ne Nadawa/Nadera

The group that performed the "Adi Kalavo" skit
which got everyone off their seats!

From Hanuarani Atalifo in Rotuma (20 June 2002, posted 18 July)

The weather has just improved after a very wet and windy month. Everyone is getting ready for the Methodist Church Conference next month and the dancing practices have been full on. The Australian High Commissioner will be opening it. They will have a mamasa and faoa first at Noa'tau Hall and then the Conference at Ahau.

The L.D.S. container finally arrived and we had the presentation on 5 June. The presentation was done by the church elders to the Council of Chiefs, the D.O. and the doctor. We invited about 60 guests and read out all the help and donations from all of you kind and generous people around the world. Everyone had a good lunch and the Hospital Board of Visitors distributed the goods all around the island to the needy. The hospital now has enough good equipment to last for a long time.

L.D.S. Church elders Wanamaker and Chase presented to goods to the Chairman of the Rotuma Council (Visanti Makrava), the chiefs and district representatives, the Hospital Board of Visitors and Dr Ane Atalifo on the hospital grounds. Unfortunately, the chairman of the Humanitarian Service, Mr Taniela Wakolo, and his assistant, Mr Peter Hussein, could not come as the once-a-week flight could not cater to their busy schedules. The container was opened for viewing and Chairman Makrava received the goods on behalf of the chiefs and people of Rotuma. He gave a very moving speech. I then thanked the church elders, Mr Wakolo and Mr Hussein at the Mission Service Centre in Suva, for their generosity and the great work being done by the church members all over the world. DR Atalifo then thanked the special guests, the Chairperson of the Hospital Board of Visitors and the Board members for their hard work. The people of Rotuma were filled with joy and tears of happiness for all the help and donations received from abroad—from the Tefui Club in Honolulu, the Seven Stars Club in California, the Methodist Rotuman Group in Auckland N.Z., Mr Paul Chan of Office 2000.

The chairlady thanked DR Sakio Varea, DR Eric Rafai, DR Lepani Wagatakirewa, and the Ministry of Health for making this project a success. We then broke for lunch and enjoyed a home-cooked meal with lots of homegrown greens provided by the D.O. and the families in the government station, including: DR and Mrs Taukave, Ruth (the D.O.'s secretary), and Sgt. Pene Eliesa and his wife. The goods included: defibrillator, patient monitor, autoclave, walkers, I.V. pole w/stand, computer system, electric typewriter, pallets of general medical stuff, pallets of clothing for children, and a desk and educational things for preschool kids. Thank you, all the donors around the globe, for your love and contributions that will make it possible for the people of Rotuma to live comfortably while in the hospital. May God bless you all.

I would also like to extend my thanks and appreciation to my assistants, Ms Makereta Bentley Konrote, Mrs Sani Maraf, Mrs Kava Viliame, Mrs Kafoa Inia, Mrs Winnie Pio, Mr Taito Fatiaki, and our clerk, Mrs Aliti Raturaobe for their trust and help in all our projects, especially fundraising and gardening flower plots for the hospital. Keep up the good work.

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