From Rejieli Flexman (26 June 2009)

Response to "Navua Rotuman Farmers Annual Food Show"

I read with great interest the article on the Navua Rotuman Farmer’s Annual Food Show. Well done and my sincere congratulations to the Navua Rotuman Community. What a wonderful community effort and with the families, parents and children participating together. It reminded me of my yester-years growing up in Rotuma—the Annual Agricultural Show during May in Ahau where all the winners from all the districts would compete for the top prizes for the best root crops. The competition was quite intense and the rivalry between the districts and individuals was well known. I remember well, Fonorito Sosefo Iveni from my village of Lopta. He was a fierce competitor and was feared by many men on the island for his farming skills. Word had it in the village that men from other districts would travel inland to Lopta to spy on Fonorito’s plantation, especially during months closer to May. That was quite amusing and a real talking point in the village. For several years, Fonorito carried the pride and the top prize for the district of Oinafa. At one time he won the Rotuma Shield in three consecutive years and got to keep the trophy as his own. I miss that May 'national' event and wouldn't it be wonderful if we can have that again. Now the agricultural shows are held in the villages as part of their community Christmas celebrations.

Congratulations too, to our many young brave sports men and women, girls and boys who are doing so well in their different sports. The growing number of Rotuman artists is just wonderful. I quite enjoy reading their profiles. We thank them for carrying the name of Rotuma with such pride and passion. Their success and achievements continues to lift our spirits and give us much joy every time we read about them. We also have other Rotumans being recognized for their high achievements in their field of work and their contributions to Fiji. Well done. I thank God for His blessings upon our people. Let us all be true to the saying, "Proud to be Rotuman."