From Henry Enasio (18 July 2005)

Sincere congratulations and a big faiaksia are due to Teresie and Ray for organising the recent repairs and maintenance of the Rotuma Hospital. I am very impressed with the way Teresie has taken the time to individually acknowledge all the financial contributors, the Rotarians, helpers from overseas, and those who provided support locally. Thank you both. I know Rotuma will always be grateful for a job well done.

Besides the considerable love-in-action shown, there is also a good lesson we can all learn from Teresie's acknowledgements. We Rotumans love long speeches to herald good deeds, but when it comes to acknowledging others I believe we often fall short. We always seem to shorten the list and only acknowledge those whom we perceive to be important and close to our heart. This I believe to be counterproductive and disheartening to those whose contributions are ignored.

To be politically correct we must not leave out anyone if we are going to recite the names of contributors. People are happier and will do more when they are mentioned or thanked. Otherwise they will perceive themselves to be unimportant, even though their deeds and contributions might add up to a sizeable amount. The consequence of this is reflected in the next round of fund raising or next community function. They won't turn up and will have a ready excuse.

I have seen this happen too often, here in Australia as well as in Fiji and Rotuma. There were a lot of fund-raising functions in the past where some in the community were specially invited and were expected to contribute for upgrading Rotuma’s hospital, schools, library etc., but all the RIC heard about was the organiser, without a hint of the others who helped make the project possible.

But worse, and it may sound ludicrous, but contributions of $2 and over can be claimed in Australia for tax deductions. It has been claimed that some of the organisers collected funds and deposited them into their own bank accounts before issuing a personal cheque to Rotuma. This practice of exploiting the system for tax benefit claims could add up to several thousands of dollars. It has been said that they pocket the refund rather than redirecting it to Rotuma. If it was done properly, there should be only one fund-raising function and the money should to be sent to Rotuma. The perceived practice has done a lot of damage in the past and people are wary of it when the same person/persons are involved. All it did was to fragment and scatter the community rather than bring our folks together.

Hence a big faiaksia to Teresie and Ray

Henry Enasio
Sydney Australia