From Sanimeli Maraf in Rotuma (27 January 1999)
We celebrated Maraf's 70th birthday on Monday, 25th January with a hearty lunch together with Rev Langi and his family and other close friends. Rev Langi's daughters, Rejieli and Rowena, and their friend Darleen Penjueli are returning to Suva on this Saturday's flight and from there to New Zealand. The girls are enjoying themselves with our Youth Fellowship. They have been to Afgaha for a picnic and today they went with the Lopta youths to Haua at Oinafa and afterwards to Fuli'u for a swim and 'omoe.
The new MPI officer is Fakmano'a Tigarea, Darleen's uncle. He enjoys working here in Rotuma and hopes to retire after six years here. Regarding the scaly insects that has been causing problems here in Rotuma, we now have the bugs (lady bugs) that are going to eat those insects; it was discussed at the Council meeting on 22 January.
Also at that meeting our Honourable Minister, Paul
Manueli, told the Rotuma Council that he is going to retire from
From Sanimeli Maraf in Rotuma (21 January 1999)
After being delayed by bad weather in Fiji, Rev Jione Langi, his wife Rigamoto and daughters, Rejieli and Rowena, and their friend Darleen Penjueli, arrived by Sunflower Air. Rev Langi will be taking over the position of Surperintendent of the Methodist Church in Rotuma. Waiting at the airport to welcome them home were Gagaj Maraf, Gagaj Kausiriaf, Gagaj Tuipeua, Rev Fatiaki and Mrs. Fatiaki, Rev. Samuela and most of the tuiraras from the Oinafa circuit. The Council bus took us all to Oinafa for a welcome dinner. Minister Paul Manueli and Fatiaki Misau had come from Suva and also were in attendance. We welcomed the Langis in Noa'tau this evening. It is truly nice to have them here again.
There is a Council Meeting tomorrow at which the General Election in March will be discussed. Fatiaki Misau will explain the procedures to the people of Rotuma.
Returning on today's flight are Mr. Perry Gaberiael and Mrs. Bale Gaberiael with their two children. Bale will represent Fiji the the International Parental Meeting concerning preschool children which will be held at Mt. Carmel in Israel during the month of March at the invitation of the Israeli government. There are over 25 countries involved. Bale is looking forward to the chance of meeting with our Fijian soldiers and Major-General Konrote in Lebanon.
Also on today's flight is Rev Fesaitu Marseu from Rylstone NSW Australia and his wife Emeli. We have been fortunate to have many other visitors was well and thank them all for coming. It was great having you and do come again soon!
The holiday period is over and school starts next week.
Record floods in Fiji during the past three days have left at least
two people dead, five missing, and millions of dollars in damage to
businesses and this year's sugar cane crop. For full story click
Most of the Rotuman families in and around Wellington got together for new year's eve celebrations. The gathering was held at Chris and Emi Scott's residence in Masterton. We started the day with a short meeting then proceeded into a night of games, dance, singing and feasting.
The setting was perfect with warm temperatures around 30 degrees (C), children - swimming, a fara - almost 25 people backed by five guitars and a ukelele, BBQ - sizzling, and pasa. Everyone came and brought food--men brought meat and tela'a, women brought salads and dessert.
The fara group was declared winners as fara songs could still be heard when the sun rose early new year's day. After breakfast, everyone cleaned up and went home feeling very tired but happy.
It was another successful occasion of Rotuman families coming together--our children sharing more time together which helped strengthen their friendships and in addition learn a bit more of their Rotuman culture.
We meet next on Saturday, Feb 13.
On behalf of all Rotuman families here, I send greetings and good wishes to you all.
Fiji First For Millennium
Suva: It's official. Fiji will be the first country in the world to enter the third millennium, the Daily Post reports. This was confirmed by the New York-based Millennium World Time Zone organisation. Fiji is placed as first country ahead of New Zealand and Tonga. Adrian Rodenburg, executive committee chairman of the Udu Point Meridian Trust, said he was happy with the decision. He said he expected Fiji to be listed as the country with the last sunset of the present millennium, instead of Samoa.
"Common sense will prevail," he said. "It is just so obvious that Fiji has the only genuine claim to being first into every new day and the new millennium."
Mr Rodenburg added that Fiji was first regardless of daylight saving, although daylight saving had many people confused.
The World Time organisation has an Internet website <www.worldtimezone.com> which places Fiji as the first country in the world to welcome the new millennium. In the garden island of Taveuni preparations are already under way with the construction of roads and renovation on the present hospital. Also, representatives from the Millennium Television Network (MTN) have met Fiji government officials and the Fiji Visitors Bureau to include Fiji in a network broadcast to greet the new millennium. MTN executive producer Catriona Brown said MTN would present a live 24-hour broadcast as the millennium was greeted by each country in the 24 different time zones. Businesses and manufacturers are gearing up for the millennium celebrations, particularly when Fiji is expecting an increase in tourism late this year and into 2000.
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We just received a copy of a new CD, entitled "Tautoga, and other songs and dances of Rotuma," that was produced by the Mundo Etnico Foundation in the Netherlands. The music was recorded by Ad and Lucia Linkels in July, August, and September 1996. It has 21 tracks including tautoga, mak Rarotonga, and a variety of other song types sung on the island. It even has a track of calling pigs! Everything is beautifully recorded and it's wonderfully evocative of the sounds of Rotuma. If you're nostalgic for Rotuma, this CD is sure to please. The disc is accompanied by a well-researched booklet describing the the culture of music and dance on the island.
Copies of the CD can be ordered from the Mundo Etnico Foundation, Sibeliusstraat 707, 5011 JR Tilburg, THE NETHERLANDS. The price is US$25 (including postage by registered mail and packing) when paid with an international money order or cash enclosed in a registered letter, or US$32 when paid with a personal cheque.