From Rowena Langi in Auckland (June 4, 1997)
Well, we just had a busy and enjoyable weekend. The Rotuman Kiwis met up during the Queen's Birthday weekend at Te Awarahi Marae in Tuakau, South of Auckland from the night of Friday, May 30th to Monday morning, June 2nd. The Wellington group drove up on Friday while the Auckland group prepared the accommodation and dinner. Everybody spent the Friday night meeting each other and catching up on time. On Saturday we used the time for taumaka, with the help and advise of our 'Purotus'-Tivaknoa Kaitu'u and Ravai Shaw. We had lovely meals prepared by the Wellington group. On Sunday, we started off with a church service led by Reverend Langi and we were fortunate to have two uncles giving testimonies-Jiare Fapiano and Kauata Wesele. The agenda for the rest of the day was a general meeting led by our chairman, Fonmanu Kitione; his Secretary, 'Emi Scott; and Treasurer, Ravai Rennel. It poured all weekend so the Auckland group had to opt for a European 'koua' (the oven). We ended the day with an enjoyable programme run by the youth leaders, Tania Ackland and Te Rito Peyroux and their troop. We had a singalong and a game, which was very much enjoyed by all. The children were too skillful for the parents so we outnumbered them in the game.
Monday morning was 'Ka Kite Ano'--Goodbye time. We all said our farewells cleaned up and departed. Overall, I am sure the weekend was enjoyed by all and we all look forward to the next meeting, which will be hosted by the Wellingtonians during Labour Weekend--Oct 24-27.
Regards to all our Kainagas and Take Care. Hanisiof, Rowena Langi.
From Hawaii (June 3, 1997)
On the 23th of June, Brigham Young University, Hawai'i, and the Polynesian Cultural Center is sending a contingent of students to Shenzen mainland China to do promotionals. The group is made up of Samoans, Hawaiians, Maoris, Tongans, Tahitians, and representing the Fiji students are two Rotuman students: Gaylene Lilino and Victor Narsimalu. Gaylene is the daughter of Rejieli Rigamoto and Jerry Lilino who are both LDS and reside in Laucala Beach Estate. The other student is Victor Narsimulu, son of Rosarine Valesi, who resides in Wailoku, Tamavua in Suva, and her deceased husband, Samuel Narsimulu. The group will be performing Polynesian dances represented at the Polynesian Cultural Center and going to school in China at the same time. The highlights for that group will be participating in the parade on the 2nd of July in Hong Kong to celebrate the handover of Hong Kong back to China. Dignatries from all over will be present. The group will be there for two months. It will be an experience of a lifetime!
Yvonne Aitu, also from Brigham Young, has been selected as one of ten students to represent the university at a Future Business Leaders of America convention in Anaheim, California. Students from universities around the United States will compete in different events; Yvonne's will be computer applications and software.
Graduations May-June 1997
Mona D. Soberano-Morris, wife of Henry (Injimo) Morris graduated Magna Cum Laude from Chaminade University, Honolulu, with a Masters of Science degree in Psychology. Their daughter, Haley Marisa Akanisi Kealaonalani Morris, was admitted to Kamehameha School (a prestigious private school for children of Hawaiian ancestry) as a high school freshman (graduating class of 2001).
Kamalu Glover Penjemane Kaluhiokalani (An Loong), son of George & Manao (Yee) Kaluhiokalani was also accepted at Kamehameha Schools as a kindergardener (class of 2010).
Jimaime Tetua Keala Turaga, Daughter of Sophie and Meliki Turaga, graduated from Kahuku High School (O'ahu, Hawai'i).
Maxine Leimamo Nataniela, wife of Marseu Jione Nataniela, graduated with a certificate for outstanding achievement from the Alu Like Hawai'i Computer Training Center.
Rosa Suamoto Breckterfield, daughter of Pasepa (Manueli) & David Breckterfield, graduated from Castle High School, Kailua, Hawai'i.
Sean Guthrie, son of Harieta (Manueli) and Ian Guthrie graduated from Marist Brothers School in Miami, Florida. He will be attending Boston College on a full (American) football scholarship. Sean is 6 feet, 5 inches tall, weighs 230 pounds and plays defensive end.
Mari-Lynn Sievinen, daughter of Tivaknoa Ieli and Richard Sievinen, graduated from Murray Middle School and will enter Martin County High School of Stuart, Florida in August 1997.
Congratulations to all for their outstanding achievements!