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Archived News: July 2005

From Jeannette and Vili Hereniko in Cambridge, England (30 July 2005)

The Land Has Eyes is being distributed by Ronin Films of Australia throughout Oceania. The film opens in Samoa on Friday, 29 July, at Nu'uuli Place Cinemas in Pago Pago, and in Suva on 8 September at Village 6 Cinemas. It is scheduled for screening in Australia and New Zealand in November.

From Fiji Times Online (29 July 2005)

Ni sa moce Rev Dr Langi

This item has been transferred to the Life Stories section of the website

From Fiji Times Online (29 July 2005)

A life so full of love ends

by Verenaisi Raicola

The late Methodist Church president Reverend Jione Langi died on the same date as Reverend Thomas Baker, who was eaten by the people of Nubutautau in Navosa during early missionary days.

The final farewell ... church dignatries pray as Mr Langi's casket awaits being entombed at Davuilevu yesterday

Mr Langi is the first to be buried in a tomb at the ground beside the Baker Memorial Church in Davuilevu.

More than 3000 mourners including the President Ratu Josefa Iloilo, church leaders and other dignatries flocked in great numbers to farewell a leader they obviously respected and missed.

Methodist Church assistant general secretary Tuikilakila Waqairatu said the site would probably be used from now on as a burial ground for church presidents.

Reverend Thomas Baker, who was killed and eaten at Nubutautau by the Navosa people, coincidentally died on the same date (July 21st).

Mr Waqairatu said the church's Standing Committee had decided to bury Mr Langi near the church but on whether it would be used permanently for presidents would be decided at the annual conference.

"At this point the decision has been made by the standing committee that meets between conferences, any other permanent decision would come from the conference.''

In the funeral service at the Centenary Church in Suva acting president Reverend Laisiasa Ratabacaca said Mr Langi's death brought the church together to honour a leader who was unique.

From Fiji Times Online (28 July 2005)

Church to farewell Reverend Langi

HUNDREDS of people are expected at the Centenary church in Suva today to pay their last respects to the late president of the Methodist Church of Fiji, Reverend Doctor Jione Langi.

Assistant general secretary of the church, Reverend Tuikilakila Waqairatu expects a lot of members to pay their respects to their late president today.

Rigamoto Langi, wife of the late Reverend Jione Langi, by the casket of her husband at Jubilee Hall in Toorak.


His body leaves his Pender Street residence at 9.30 am for the Centenary church. His relatives from Rotuma will be the pall bearers. The church service starts at 10am. Acting church president Reverend Laisiasa Ratabacaca will lead the service along with the two former presidents Reverend Tomasi Kanailagi and Reverend Manasa Lasaro.

Representatives of the Rotuman community, the Government, Free Wesley Church of Tonga, Methodist Church of Fiji, Unity Church of Australia, World Methodist Council and Fiji Council of Churches are expected to pay tribute to the late president.

Minister for Home Affairs Josefa Vosanibola will represent the Government on behalf of Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase who is at the Great Council of Chiefs meeting. The eulogy will be delivered by a representative of the Rotuman community before the president of the Indian Methodist Community Reverend Emanuel Reuben reads the messages of condolences.

Reverend Doctor Ilaitia Tuwere, a former church president, will deliver the sermon. Dr Langi will be laid to rest at Davuilevu.

From Elisapeti Inia in Rotuma (3 July 2005, posted 27 July)

Emi, one of the sisters who founded the Sisters' Enterprise at Oinafa, died on 9 May and her body was flown to Suva on the 11th. Luckily the body was kept in the cooler at Oinafa until the plane came. After her death the Sisters' Enterprise opened the Mobil Gas Station at Motusa that has been closed for the past year.

From Fiji Times Online (27 July 2005)

Words of advice touching: Army

THE military was touched by final words of thanks and encouragement given to soldiers by the late Methodist Church president Reverend Jione Langi, according to Fiji Military Forces Lieutenant Colonel Netani Rika.

He said Mr Langi touched the soldiers' hearts and showed his foresight and wisdom.

Presenting their i reguregu at Jubilee Hall in Toorak, Lt Colonel Rika said the death of Mr Langi had left a void in the church.

"When we went back after the meeting two weeks ago, we talked about the advice and words of encouragement and his wisdom in discussing such issues," he said.

The military delegation, which was led by military commander Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama, was happy to be accepted by the church.

Receiving their gifts, church interim president Reverend Laisiasa Ratabacaca said he believed the late Mr Langi was rejoicing in heaven with others who had worked hard spreading the Lord's word.

Yesterday, divisions from Naitasiri to Lami began catering for those who were presenting their i reguregu at the condolence gathering at Jubilee Hall. Fine mats and tapa decked the top entrance of the hall and division women designed the hall befitting a king.

The late Mr Langi's body will be brought from the Colonial War Memorial Hospital mortuary at 2pm today and will lie at the Jubilee Hall for three hours before being taken to his home at Pender Street.

The funeral service will be at Centenary Church in Suva at 10am tomorrow and the burial at a special designated area near Baker Hall at Davuilevu.

From Fijilive (23 July 2005)

PM pays tribute to Langi

Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase has paid tribute to the late President of the Methodist Church, the Reverend Jione Langi, describing him as a deeply inspiring man of God.

Qarase said he and Reverend Langi had an arrangement to meet regularly in his office for prayer and devotion.

Qarase said, Reverend Langi constantly reminded him that as an elected leader -- he was ultimately accountable to God in ministering to the people of Fiji, just as he was in serving as shepherd for the members of the Methodist Church.

He said Rev Langi believed that all leadership was a calling from God and it was a daily challenge to every leader to exemplify the qualities of a divinely ordained leadership.

Qarase said Reverend Langi also instilled in him the qualities of humility, honesty and of compassion and service.

The Prime Minister stressed that these were the qualities for which Reverend Langi himself was greatly admired and respected in the Methodist Church and in Fiji.

He adds this recognition directly led to his election to the highest echelon of leadership in the Church.

From Fiji Times Online (23 July 2005)

THE Methodist Church in Fiji has appointed Reverend Laisiasa Ratabacaca interim president until the election next month.

Church secretary, Reverend Ame Tugaue said the condolence gathering for the late Reverend Jione Langi will start on Tuesday at the Jubilee hall in Toorak.

"The family at Pender Street will have the Rotuman community catering for those who gather there."

He said catering for the condolence gathering will be looked after by members of the Suva, Kinoya, Suvavou, Naitasiri, Bau, Rewa,Wesley, Indian division, Davuilevu, Nabua and Lami circuits. Mr Langi's funeral service will be held at the Centenary church on Thursday before burial at Davuilevu.

Mr Tugaue, Tomasi Kanailagi and Manasa Lasaro visited Mr Langi's family on Thursday. Mr Langi was divisional superintendent in several circuits and taught at Davuilevu Theological College.

He held a Doctorate in Theology and was Methodist church general secretary for six years before he became president this year. He is survived by his wife and children.

Next month's annual Methodist conference was to be his first since being appointed president.

Report on Alan & Jan's visit to Europe

From Fiji Times Online (22 July 2005)

Church mourns leader's death

THE president of the Methodist Church in Fiji, Reverend Jione Langi died at his Pender Street home yesterday.

Mr Langi, who was in his late 60s was believed to have suffered a heart attack yesterday morning while preparing for work.

A source close to the late Mr Langi said he was told of the death at midday yesterday.

"The church steering committee is expected to meet and discuss the funeral matters at 10 am today," he said. He said church general secretary Reverend Ame Tugaue, former president and Senator Reverend Tomasi Kanailagi and Reverend Manasa Lasaro visited the late Mr Langi's family yesterday morning to confirm the death.

He said word of Mr Langi's death was later relayed to the church office and all the members of the steering committee were told to make their way to Suva for the meeting.

Members of the late Mr Langi's family were expected to meet last night to discuss funeral arrangements. The late Mr Langi served as divisional superintendent for several circuits in the 42 divisions of the church and taught at the Davuilevu Theological College. He held a Doctorate in Theology and served for six years as the church's general secretary.

He was appointed president last year. He is survived by his wife and children.

From Rowena Sokimi-Fatiaki in Auckland (17 July)

Tonu, Tevaine and baby Kautane

We would like to announce the birth of our third child and sister to Tonu and Tevaine'akolani, Kautane Heilava' Mahealani Riromoe'aureihanisi. Born Thursday, 9 June at 7:01 a.m. at Pukekohe Hospital, Auckland.

We would also like to say congratulations to cousin Henri Sokimi and his wife Susan in Brisbane, who were blessed with the birth of a baby girl named Akenise on Friday, 10 of June. She is Named after our Aunty Akenise Iongi (nee Sokimi).


From Teresie Paris in Fiji (25 June 2005, posted 14 July)


Uauaekiof se Gagaj es itu ne Rotuma se hunsosiag ma kainag atakoa.

Gou ma kaulaogat ne hoim e Rotuma naaf otomis uauaaki se hanis fuamamaut ne aus re se omisa.

Uaek tapema se Gagaj es itu ne Malhaha ma on kaolaog ta se Gagaj Fa es itu ne Pepjei ne eses se omisa.Se tene aus ne hanis ma hoiasoag ma garue se hospita.

Hanis ma rotek kepoi ka faeagat ne gou eaf kat fakeanean ra ka hanis ma rotek.

Well, we are back home after a blessed trip to the island where, with the help of many people, the friends and members of the Rotary Club of Suva North successfully repaired the hospital in Ahau.

First of all, let me tell you what was done.

The external floors that had holes in them and the mosquito screens to all windows were changed, the leaking roofing was replaced, the walls were painted, and the toilets were tiled.

We had tremendous support from the local community. Most days up to 50 people from various districts came to help us.

Many thanks to all who turned up to help and in many instances to donate building materials and food.

Special thanks go to Gagaj Markao and Gagaj Kunau both of whom worked very hard and who, as chiefs, led by example.

And fai'eksia to Aleksio Tiu of Itu'muta who provided most of our travel, and to Doctor Safu, Mrs Mua Tukagsau, and the District officer for providing us with accommodation.

Dr Safu Manueli and his team were outstanding in their support to all who came to help. Thank you Doc (and your team) for all of the meals.

The generosity of the districts wherever we went was overwhelming. Thank you to all who hosted us for dinners and lunches.

And thank you to the Chairman of the Rotuma Council, Injimo Managreve and members of the Council for your help and support.

And thanks to John and Harieta Bennett for the use of your tools and for the tour around the island.

We also had some very generous financial and material support; I would like to acknowledge with gratitude the following donations:

  • F$14,180.16 from the Australian High Commission. Particular thanks to the then Deputy High Commissioner, Richard Ryan.
  • A$4,000 = F$5,000 from the Rotary Club of Dural, NSW.
  • F$1,300 donation from the Rotary Club of Suva North club members, Charlie Barclay, Terence Erasito, Richard Bayer and Shaheen Asgar.
  • F$800 in donations from Lusia Ferei and George Asuega in California, USA and a Yvonne, Walter, & Pierre Aitu from Malhaha in memoriam of their parents and for all the nurses & doctors who've helped the people in past years and in years to come.
  • F$2,500 from a Rotary Club of Suva North Club raffle.
  • F$832.50, being Rotarian John Hill's transport and handling donation.
  • F$5,600 for 8 x Rotary Team passenger fares on the charter flight, from each of the members of the team who paid their own fares.
  • Thanks to Atu Ferei for being our "travel agent" who arranged for 3 passengers out and 6 passengers back @ $250 on the reverse charters = $2,250.
  • Air Fiji refund, 3 x $348 = $1044.00, for three more passengers that they arranged.
  • Rotary district contribution. NZ$ 2,250 = F$2,565.90, specifically from the Rotary Clubs of Penrose, Auckland East and Pakuranga. (Thanks to Rotary District 9920 Governor, Beryl Robinson who coordinated this fund raising, and Presidents Terry Young, Alistair Burry and Paul Boswell of each of the clubs).
  • A gas stove and a refrigerator from Michael and Sefo (from Lopta) Makasiale.
  • And an acommemorative plaque from Alan and Aileen Peacock of Flightsigns Ltd, NZ.

I would like to acknowledge the inspiration for the project by Colin Patterson, formerly of the Emperor Gold Mines, who is the Director International Services of the Rotary Club of Dural, NSW, Australia.

Finally I would like to thank the members of the Rotary team who were:

  • George Gilliot and Sam Cali from the Rotary Club of Dural, who payed their own way from Sydney.
  • Malcolm Paterson and Waqa Ledua from the Rotary Club of Suva North.
  • Sereana Sikuri who is from Motusa.
  • Rotary Ambassadorial Scholars Holly Gitlein and Aaron "Tremor" Temchin,
  • Motufaga Managreve who was sent and paid for by his boss, John Hill of J S Hill and Associates, (thank you John).
  • and my husband, Ray who is the President of the Rotary Club of Suva North, without whose leadership this project would never have happened.

To every one who helped, fai'eksia.

Teresie Paris (nei Ferei, formerly of Tarsua).
Project Coordinator

Commentary by Henry Enasio

From Lisa Muaror in Australia (17 June 2005, posted 14 July)

Mstr Varindah Maisi Singh Daliwai


I would like to annouce the birth of my new born nephew, Varindah Maisi Singh Daliwai, born on Thursday, 9 June 2005. Parents are Mr Surbjit Singh and Mrs Kamoe Muaror (daughter of John & Akata Muaror).





From Fiji Times Online (12 July 2005)

Rigamoto takes Ali's portfolio

HOUSE of Representative member for Rotuma Marieta Rigamoto will be sworn-in as Information Minister by the President, Ratu Josefa Iloilo, today.

Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase said the appointment would take effect after the swearing-in ceremony at Government House.

"In addition to her portfolio responsibilities covering information, media relations and telecommunications, she will continue to assist the Prime Minister in the co-ordination of information on Government's rural and community development programs and activities," he said.

Mrs Rigamoto, who succeeds the late Senator Doctor Ahmed Ali, said the new portfolio was a challenge.

From Fiji Times Online (2 July 2005)

Rotuma council backs Bill

THE Rotuman Provincial Council believes the Promotion of Reconciliation, Tolerance & Unity Bill will unite the different communities of Fiji, as forgiveness is already part of the island culture.

Chairman Injimo Managreve said the Fijian culture is known for its bulubulu ceremony where two parties sit together and reconcile, asking for forgiveness which wipes out the initial hurt.

"We are all known as Fiji Islanders and the Fijian custom is not a stranger to the citizens of this country. So with this Bill, because people are familiar with the culture, it will not be difficult to bring together the different communities," Mr Managreve said.

He said it would not be difficult for the Rotuman people as it is also their culture to forgive.
At the provincial meeting early this week, Mr Managreve said the seven chiefs from the island's seven districts showed support for the Bill encouraging council members to support the Government and the Great Council of Chiefs.

"We are being looked after by the Government and the GCC of Fiji and if anything happens to them we will also go down with them. That is why we are standing behind them and supporting them with their new Bill," Mr Managreve said.

The Naitasiri Provincial Council also supported the Bill in a meeting yesterday. Council chairman Ratu Solomoni Boserau said the Government needed the support of the people.
"We need to forgive those who have hurt us and get on with life. We cannot continue to live together with hurt because it only leads to division.

The Bill will bring us together and that is why we are supporting it," Ratu Solomoni said.

Commentaries by Antonio Tanu and Henry Enasio

From Fiji Times Online (2 July 2005)

Council urged to divest funds wisely with FHL

THE Fijian Affairs Board hopes provincial councils would wisely invest dividends they would earn from Fijian Holdings Limited.

Chief executive of the Board, Adi Litia Qionibaravi said yesterday each of the 14 councils would each receive about 714,000 Class B shares and about $35,000 a year in dividends.

Early this week, the Fijian Holdings Limited board agreed to transfer the board's 20 million class B shares to the Fijians Trust Fund and 14 provincial councils.

Company secretary Jaoji Koroi said the Fund and the councils would receive 10m shares each. However, the 10m shares of the councils would be held in trust by the Board.

FHL chairman Lyle Cupit said the board made the transfer pursuant to Article 3(a)(ii) of FHL's memorandum and articles of association whereby the decision whether membership of the company may be granted to any person, company, corporation or other legal entity shall be in the absolute discretion of the directos.

Mr Cupit said the request to transfer the B-class shares came directly from the Board, which was the legal owner of the shares.

"We also understood that the necessary approval had been given by the government and the endorsement of the Great Council of Chiefs had been obtained," Mr Cupit said.

Class B shares receive five per cent dividends while class A shares, which is traded in the SPSE receives 20 per cent dividends.

Adi Litia said the Board hoped the provincial councils would not use dividends earned from the shares to fund their operating expenses.

However, Fijians across the country should pay their council dues so it could sustain the council operations.

Adi Litia said the Rotuman Council had sought approval for Rotumans to be able to buy FHL shares.

At the moment, she said only Fijians registered under the Vola ni Kawa Bula are able to buy FHL shares.

But, Adi Litia said the Board is still waiting for the council to come up with a proper definition of a Rotuman, as the current definition which states any one who has maternal or paternal links to Rotuma can call himself a Rotuman.

Adi Litia said the Great Council of Chiefs and the Board had already approved for the sale of class A shares to Rotumans but the sale hinged on a proper definition of a Rotuman.

She added the request from the Rotuman Council came after the government and the FAB had agreed for the transfer of class B shares to the provincial councils.

It is understood that the Board and the FHL is worried that Fijian interest in the company could be diluted if class A shares were sold to Rotumans under the current definition of a Rotuman.

The transfer of the shares is part of the government's affirmative actions which realised the need and provided the legal framework to improve commercial aspirations of the Fijian people.

"This policy has been carried out in a transparent manner in accordance to the people," Mr Koroi said.

Mr Cupit assured shareholders the share transfer would not impact the day-to-day operations of FHL.

"The only change now apart from the names in the share certificates is that the dividends would be paid directly to the shareholders," Mr Cupit said.

The dividend on the B-class shares is $1million per year and FHL has paid out a total of $12million in dividends to the B-class shareholders since 1993.

Commentary by Henry Enasio

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