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Archived News: April 2004

From Bula News (28 April 2004)

Rotuman Exhibition and Fashion Show

An exhibition and fashion show commissioned by the Pacific Islands Culture and Arts Foundation (PICAF) will be held at the Fiji Museum Verandah on Saturday, 26 June, 2004. The fine art exhibition on Rotuma will consist of a fashion show, paintings, 500 guests, plus contemporary craftwork from various Rotuman Artists. For more information please contact Mr. Wilson Hoerder on phone: (679) 3318236, fax: (679) 3318237 or e-mail:

From Sanimeli Maraf in Rotuma (22 March 2004, posted 14 April)

On 15 March the government boat, Natokaulau, anchored at the wharf at Oinafa bringing Isireli Leweniqila (Hon. Minister for Youth, Employment Opportunities and Sports), Kenneth Zinck (Hon. Minister for Labour, Industrial Relations and Productivity), Marieta Rigamoto (Hon. Assistant Minister, Prime Minister's Office), Losena Salabula (Hon. Assistant Minister for Women, Social Welfare & Poverty Alleviation). Also aboard were Mrs. Marseu Rafai, Ms. Seniloli Tora, and Luisa Sumasafu, who came for the ladies workshop. Arriving with them was our district officer, Mr. Luke Moroivalu, who went to Suva for three weeks. Our Rotuma Island Council Chairman is still in Suva recuperating from his illness. We wish him well and for his early to Rotuma Island.

The Rotuma Women's Workshop was held from Tuesday through Friday, 16 - 19 March, at Motusa Hall. Gagaj Markao of Itu'ti'u gave permission to use the hall. I must say that all the women enjoyed themselves and we learned a lot from Ms. Seniloli and Mrs. Rafai. These gifted and talented women shared their experience with all the women here. The theme of the workshop was "Trash for Treasure." I realised that we're sitting on a gold mine here -- the vasvasi, the unu, the seashells, the nuts and seeds. All these can be turned into useful crafts that can be sold to help families.

We have a new lady coordinator for the women, replacing Moira Vafo'ou. She is Mrs. Seini Kauyaca, the wife of the minister of the Seventh Day Adventist Church. We look forward to working together with her and to sharing ideas; I am sure she has a lot to share with our women.

A big thank you for all the help and sharing during our four-day workshop, not only from Mrs. Rafai and Ms. Seniloli, but also from the government ministers. I believe they all went to the bush to check the work that was done repairing the roads with cement, which was the help given by the Fiji Government to the people of Rotuma. This makes it easier for the cars and motorbikes, and also makes the people's lives more enjoyable.

On the closing day of the workshop the Hon. Kenneth Zinck gave out certificates to the ladies.

From Alan & Jan in Honolulu (12 April 2004)

Gagaj Poar

It is with great sadness that we learned today of the death of Gagaj Poar in Nadi, Fiji. Born Jione Fatiaki in Oinafa, the sixth child of Fesaitu Mamatuki and Ahaesesoko Tiu, he was given the title Poar in 1990 at a ceremony that we attended.

Gagaj Poar was a man of great dignity and kindness--a model Polynesian chief in our opinion. We visited with him and his wife, Fanifau, whenever we returned to Rotuma and will never forget their hospitality.

He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

From Pacific Media Watch (7 April 2004)

Indigenous Language TV Station Mooted

SUVA: A Fiji Broadcasting Corporation (FBCL) initiative to set up a Fijian language television station will not only carry programmes in Fijian but also the languages of Rotuma and Rabi islanders. more on this story

From Mika Taito in Santa Barbara, California (1 April 2004)

Noa'ia 'e mauri!

On Saturday, 6 March, Seven Stars of Rotuma Club (for the Seven Districts of Rotuma) held our first meeting for 2004 at the home of Pedro & Makereta Rigamoto in Stockton.

We sadly remembered one of the Seven Stars founders, 'Emeli Herena Hay, who passed away Saturday, 27 December 2003. A moment of prayer was offered on her behalf and on behalf of her family. 'Emeli is missed by the Rotumans and other communities in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Seven Stars discussed the upcoming Rotuma Day 2004, which will be held on Saturday, 15 May in San Mateo California. This year's celebration will be at the Martin Luther King Center. Tickets are being sold at $20 and of course donations of any amount will be much appreciated. A tautoga will be performed by Seven Stars members and friends followed by the ever popular Mainland Fijians band from El Cerrito California.

We are fortunate to have Marieta and Pene Samisoni (very talented composers from Fiji) be our purotu for the tautoga and our first dance practice was held with much success and lots of fun on Saturday, 27 March in Fremont, Califronia.

Seven Stars will be honoured to have  Dr. Hiagi Wesley of Orem, Utah as our guest speaker for Rotuma Day and Dr. Bruce Richmond of Watsonville, California as Master of Ceremonies.

Our Chairman 'Eliesa Osotonu and members of Seven Stars wishes to extend an invitation se ta kainag Rotuam ne noh 'e Mereke ka tape' ma se ut tutu ne ran te' to join us this year for Rotuma Day. Our Chairman can be reached on his cell phone (650) 333-6040 or by email at <>

Seven Stars of Rotuma a'hae la naaf 'otomis hanisi ma  hea'hea' lelei se te' ne hensasiag Rotuam 'atakoa ne Mereke ma  rante' hun se Rotuma Day 2004.

Here is the invitation and directions to the Celebration Hall

Rotuma Day Celebration
Dinner & Dance
Featuring : Mainland Fijians Band
Saturday, 15 May 2004
5:00 pm to 11:00 pm
Dinner: 6:00 pm to 8:00pm

Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Community Center
725 Monte Diablo Avenue
San Mateo, CA. 94401

Directions from San Francisco (NORTH)

  • Take US-101 (towards South)
  • Take Popular Ave Exit
  • Turn Slightly Right onto Popular Avenue
  • Turn Left onto N/Eldorado Street
  • Turn Left on Monte Diablo

Directions from San Jose (SOUTH)

  • Merge onto I-280 North
  • Merge onto CA-85 North towards Mountain View
  • CA-85 North becomes US-101 North
  • Take 3rd Ave West exit toward DOWNTOWN
  • Merge onto East 3rd Ave
  • Turn Right onto S/Fremont Street
  • Turn Left onto Monte Diablo.

Faiaksia ma fu'uomus.

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