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Archived News: July 2009

From Fuata Jione in Brisbane (28 July 2009)

Celebrating the Life of Pauline Ellen Campbell
11 October 1923–14 July 2009

Pauline Ellen Campbell

Miss Pauline Campbell, a loyal servant of God and true friend to all who knew her, passed away on 14 July 2009 at Regis Lakeside, Chancellor Park, on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia. Miss Campbell spent over 30 years of her life in Fiji, from 1947, with the Methodist Church of Fiji and Rotuma teaching in schools and Sunday schools, establishing the Deaconess Order and working for social causes for women and children. She travelled to Rotuma during her work in Fiji when Deaconess Olovia was first posted to Rotuma in the early seventies.

Deaconess Olovia and her Grandson Richard Robinson Seru, from Dilkusha home in Fiji, and Deaconess Terani Lima of Brisbane, accompanied by the Rotuman community in Brisbane, attended Miss Campbell’s memorial service at Buderim on the Sunshine Coast.

Deaconess Olovia Nataniela, the current Superintendent of Dilkusha Home in Fiji, represented the Methodist Church of Fiji and Rotuma and gave a very moving tribute on the life of Miss Pauline Campbell for her work with the Methodist Church of Fiji and Rotuma. Deaconess Olovia acknowledged that Miss Campbell’s work in Fiji continues on and many, including her, are very blessed to have been taught and guided by Miss Campbell. Deaconess Terani Lima spoke of Miss Campbell’s establishing the Deaconess Order in Fiji as she was the first local to take over from Miss Campbell, who retired and returned to Australia from active service in Fiji in 1986. It was a fitting tribute to Miss Campbell as Deaconesses Olovia and Terani were two of the first four students of the Deaconess Order in which Miss Campbell was in charge. Over one hundred and fifty Deaconesses have graduated from the Deaconess Order.

The church service was held at the Buderim Uniting Church and was attended by many people who knew Miss Pauline Campbell or worked with her in Fiji and Australia. The Rotuman group sung hymns prior to the service and later when Deaconesses Olovia and Terani paid tribute. The Indian community led by Reverend Charles Masih sang a beautiful Hindi hymn, a favourite of Pauline Campbell after Reverend Charles spoke of her work in Fiji to the Indian community.

No doubt the people of Fiji and Rotuma who know Pauline Campbell will remember her dedication and hard work at all the establishments that she served within the Methodist Church of Fiji and Rotuma.

Deaconess Olovia conveys her sincere gratitude and appreciation to the following people:

  • The leaders of the Methodist Church in Fiji and Rotuma;
  • The Methodist Church in Australia for their support to Miss Pauline Campbell during her years of service in Fiji;
  • Reverend Charles Masir and the Indian community in Brisbane;
  • Deaconess Leba Laveti, the current head of the Deaconess Order in Fiji who visited Miss Campbell during her last days in Australia;
  • The Brisbane Rotuman group lead by Mr and Mrs Manueli, who accompanied Deaconesses Olovia and Terani to the memorial service at Buderim on the Sunshine coast;
  • Relatives and friends from Fiji and Australia who assisted Deaconess Olovia with her travel and other arrangements to attend the memorial service of such a wonderful and loyal servant of God, Miss Pauline Ellen Campbell.
Terani, Sunil and Deaconess Olovia
Left to right: Akanisi, Sagaitu, D. Olovia, Annie Simpson, Rev. Charles with Richard in front, Selina, Tuitasi (from Tuvalu), Marie Jione holding Loella, Marie Howard, Gabriel
Terani with sister of Pauline Campbell
Son and grand-daughter of Pauline Campbell, D. Olovia, Terani

From Fijitimes Online (21 July 2009)

Former minister backs review

THE Cabinet approved review of the Rotuma Act and the Rotuma Lands Act is a great opportunity for Rotumans to express their views on the legislations, says former information minister Marieta Rigamoto.

She said during her time in office, a review of the legislation was agreed to by Cabinet.

"When the Rotuma Lands Act was put through Parliament, there were no submissions made," she said.

"But it was not accepted by the people. I think it's about time. I'm thankful and grateful that the review has started.

"This is an opportunity for people to come forward and make their views known in writing."

The consultations continue today at 53 Maqbool Road in Nadera.

Note: The Rotuma Act is online at:

The Rotuma Lands Act is online at:

Terms of Reference (pdf)

From Fijitimes Online (18 July 2009)

Rotumans make views known on island legislation

By Geraldine Panapasa

ROTUMANS living in Suva area continued consultations with the Rotuma Legislation Review team yesterday at Suva's Churchward Chapel.

About 17 people turned up to discuss and make submissions on the Rotuma Act and Rotuma Lands Act.

Former Rotuma district officer and resident magistrate Fred Susau said it was high time a review was done on the legislation which have been in existence since the 1930's and 1950's.

Mr Susau said the most problematic issues in the land tenure system were the determination of customary ownership, land boundaries and provision of funds to carry out the survey.

"I believe we must review our Rotuma Act as well as the Rotuma Lands Act immediately," Mr Susau said in his submission.

"The review should consider special provisions and reforms for the improvement of its administration and court systems on the island.

"It should provide better and efficient services such as law and order, health and education as well as the composition and functions of the Council of Rotuma."

Team chairman Misau Fatiaki said they would continue to accept submissions on the two pieces of legislation.

The review team meets at 53 Maqbool Road in Nadera on Monday.

From Fijitimes Online (17 July 2009)

Rotuma submissions flow in

SUBMISSIONS are continuing to flow in on amendments to the Rotuma Act and the Rotuma Lands Act.

At the Churchward Chapel in Suva yesterday, the chairman of the Rotuma Legislative Review team, Misau Fatiaki, said they received two written submissions on Wednesday apart from a number of oral submission on land ownership and registration.

"Yesterday, more than 20 people showed up at the chapel to voice their opinions and make suggestions for amendments to the two legislations," Mr Fatiaki said.

"We also had 12 written submissions handed in yesterday. A lot of people came to listen to the review and submission process.

"It's a good sign to see people giving their written submission today. Most of them were here on Wednesday to listen.

"They took the discussions back to their families and yesterday, they handed their submissions in."

Mr Fatiaki said many Rotumans have a fair idea about the legislations and its application back on the island.

He said the islanders would base their submissions on what they know and what they had observed.

"Today is our last day at Churchward Chapel and we will move to Nadera for people living in nearby and surrounding areas," Mr Fatiaki said.

"Apart from discussions on the Rotuma Lands Act, people have talked about the administration of Rotuma based on the Rotuma Act.

"Some have expressed views on how the Rotuma Council performs its functions, council representation and development."

Mr Fatiaki said the positive response from the community has been steady and urged Rotumans to come forward with submissions they would like included in the amendment of the two pieces of legislations.

From Fijitimes Online (16 July 2009)

Rotuman law talks

By Geraldine Panapasa

SUBMISSIONS for amendments to the Rotuma Act were welcomed by the Rotuma Legislation Review team yesterday at Churchward Chapel in Suva.

About 20 people turned up to present both oral and written submissions yesterday.

The chairman of the review team, Misau Fatiaki, said this was the first time a review was being made of the existing two legislations, the Rotuma Act and the Rotuma Lands Act, which have been in effect since the early 1930s and 1950s.

"Quite a number of people came yesterday morning to say their bit but emphasis was mainly on land registration and ownership," Mr Fatiaki said.

"Rotuma has continuously asked previous governments for reviews on existing legislation but they've only just got the ball rolling.

"We have been given five months to complete the review on the two legislations which are very old.

"But the Government wants every Rotuman to have an opportunity to come and have their say."

Mr Fatiaki said they would spend three days at Churchward Chapel before visiting other areas in Viti Levu, Vanua Levu and Rotuma.

A retired civil servant, Major Tiu Malo, said it was about time a review was carried out on the two pieces of legislation.

"The two laws need to be brushed up," Mr Malo said.

"And we welcome the opportunity by the Prime Minister's office to carry out these reviews," he added.

"The submissions are coming in very strongly.

"The majority of the people want to register land from both their paternal and maternal side."

The three-member review team, including Mr Fatiaki, Mr Malo and Ratu Jone Nakautoga, will continue consultations and submission consultation with Rotumans living in Nadera, Kinoya and Nadawa.

Obituary by Moana Korikalo in Port Vila, Vanuatu (9 July 2009)

Sieni Jane Antonio, born in Wailoku, Fiji, January 27 1935, passed away peacefully on February 20, 2009, at Sacred Heart Hospice in Sydney, after a long battle with cancer. She was the youngest daughter of Elakima of Noa`tau and Oinafa and Ane of Noa`tau. A grand-daughter and great grand-daughter of two of Rotuma`s early Wesleyan pastors. The latter Ralifo, was one of two Rotumans who helped prepare and translate the Rotuman Deed of Cession prior to the annexation of Rotuma by the British Crown in 1881.

Better known to her many friends and relatives as Jane, she was educated at Wailoku, Rewa and Annesley Primary Schools and Ballantine Memorial Girls School. She worked as a clerk at Burns Philip Co Ltd., and later at Suva City Council, before emigrating to Australia in early 1970s. In Sydney, she was employed for 32 years as a librarian and medical records clerk at Sydney Childrens Hospital, now the Westmead Children Hospital.

She was very well-known for her music and singing and was one of the members of Fiji`s first "all-girl" band. She was also one of the first Rotuman women to obtain a driving licence in Fiji, and was well respected for her volunteer work for the aged in her local Uniting Church in Waverly, Sydney, for more than two decades. She is survived by her sister Emily and brothers Ben (NZ) and John (Australia).

From the Fiji Sun (7 July 2009)

Rotuma opts for organic farming

Rotuma and Niue’s recent declaration of going completely organic has impressed participants of the Regional Organic Task Force (ROTF).The sixth meeting which is in held this week at Nadi will study the progress on organic farming in the Pacific and also finalise policies for Pacific Organic guidelines.One of the expected outcomes of the meeting is to draw up policies and adopt regional Organic guideline that is accepted by International Organic certifying bodies.

Director of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community’s Land Resource Division, Aleki Sisifa, said he was impressed with the ROTF progress and assured support towards the completion of the region’s Organic Standards.

“ROTF has played a leadership role in the progressing the Organics movement in the Pacific. The momentum in exhilarating membership of ROTF is diverse of the passion they go about sharing experience, organising regional meetings and getting impact on the ground in their countries are very impressive,” Mr Sisifa said.

He said ROTF had been lobbying actively at policy and official levels and had already gained widespread support in the region.

“The task force is also taking on the role of incorporating the fair trade issues with its umbrella. I am very pleased with Niue and Rotuma in announcing their intention to declare the whole island organic,” he said.

Participants at the meeting include representatives from Samoa, Kirbati, Tonga, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Niue and the Cook Islands.