From Randolph Bentley in Brisbane (29 September 2003)
Ken and Tivaknoa Cort of 26 Fordham Street,Wavell Heights Brisbane, along with family and friends from Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Fiji, celebrated the marriage of their daughter Esther to Gary Kearns at The Uniting Church at Chermside in Brisbane on Saturday the 13th of September, 2003 and afterwards at Riverside Receptions at New Farm. More photos
From Bruce Tizard-Varcoe in England, 29 September 2003
Congratulations to Reverend Muaror!
After a year of intensive study, Reverend Mataere P. Muaror has completed and successfully passed his MA in Biblical Studies, which he took at the University of Manchester.
From Sanimeli Maraf in Rotuma (24 August 2003; posted 10 September)
Mrs Inia and I took a few items of our Rotuman handicraft to Fiji for the Craft Fair sponsored by the Fiji Arts Council. The event was held at the Civic Centre from 7-12 July 2003 in conjunction with the South Pacific Games. There were so many lovely handicrafts displayed by the ladies of different clubs. The theme was "Craft Fiji at its Best." I must say that the Fijian crafts were outstanding; their pottery, printed masi, vakasomo mats, wood carvings, and other items you had to see to appreciate. There are so many styles, including patchwork mats, baskets, fans, trays, wall hangings, hats, etc. The Rotuman ladies handiwork that came from the western and Suva area were so beautiful it made me realize that we here in Rotuma are well behind in the knowledge of arts, of creating things out of nothing much. I brought back some samples made from unu (sinnet); there are so many things we can make from unu and so many ways we can make use of henu (coconut husks), vasvasi bark, shells, etc. It gave us some ideas about trying out different things which we will share with others. I know it is not easy here to get the materials, but we can make do with what is around and costs nothing.
A big thank you to Mrs Inia and her family for the support given during our week-long display of crafts at the centre, and to Mrs Rafai and the Rotuman ladies from the western side and from Suva. It was lovely to have met you all. Faiaksea 'e garue lelei!
Gagaj Maraf and I arrived back in Rotuma on 13 July and until today we do not have running water. It seems there is a broken underground pipe somewhere between Malie and Noa'tau. The water supply people informed us that they will start digging tomorrow (25 August). Some families only got only limited dribbles of water yesterday. We should have water running soon because a visiting team is coming from Fiji this weekend.
Mrs Marieta Rigamoto and a Ministries team will arrive in Rotuma on 1 September and will return on 2 September.
There will be a Paptea Primary School Bazaar on 19 September according to Gagaj Fonman, chairman of the school board. Noa'tau and Oinafa have organized a working bee to get the grounds filled in and ready for the bazaar and the primary school sports day that will be held there.
I would like to say a big thank you to the Rotumans in Sydney, Australia, who donated computers to the four primary schools here in Rotuma. Gagaj Maraf and I were at the Rotuma Day celebration in Suva when Mrs Maritoa Kitione and another lady from Sydney presented the gifts.
We have been having moea 'ifi since we arrived. I was told that this is the second crop this year, which is a nice blessing.
The Noa'tau people have been busy clearing out rubbish near living areas of the village, following a demand from the Health Inspector and the District Officer. This changes the outlook of the people in the village, who appreciate how good their surroundings look. Gagaj Maraf thanked the ho'aga leaders Kafonika, Sera Manueli and the others.
Last Sunday Mrs Makereta Bently Konrote came from Malhaha to the Saioni Church to share with us the Gospel topic, "The Power of Prayer." Everyone enjoyed listening to her message. God bless her.
Air Fiji comes tomorrow (Thursday, 28 August) instead of today, and Gagaj Maraf will be going back to Fiji for his Senate meeting sitting on Monday, 9 September.
Thanks to Wendy Shields of Tucson, Arizona and Estelle Seely, from Portland, Oregon, my kainaga (they are Gibsons) who attended the Rotuma Day celebration in Victoria B.C. in May. I received the photos when I returned after six weeks away in Fiji.
And finally a Happy Birthday to my daughter, Norma Rosemary Stace-Gomes of Gisborne, South Melbourne.