From Ravai Shaw in Wellington, NZ (29 October 2000)
The New Zealand Rotuman Fellowship Inc Society held their annual meeting/get-together on the weekend of Friday to Monday, 20-23 October, at Te Aroha. The gathering was held at the Te Aroha racecourse complex/facility which was upmarket and very spacious for the weekend activities. About 150 plus people turned up for the weekend, the biggest turnout by far. The hosting group was the Waikato/Bay of Plenty Rotumans and the programme was organised so that people had time to relax and catch up with one another.
Members present were divided into 4 groups: Sea, Ragakari, Moskoi, ma Kori. From sports to chores we worked in groups. This was fun and a great way to spend time and get to know others who hailed from different geographical regions within Aotearoa.
Saturday's events consisted of sports and games, including: volleyball, pani (an old-time favourite in Rotuma), tug-of-war, relay-racing (carrying eggs, etc.), touch rugby (for the extra fit!) and not forgetting pasa. Late afternoon, after all the sports, the haharagi and young children went swimming at the Te Aroha hot pools--world famous for their healing, soothing, and rejuvenating powers.
An island night was staged on Saturday night and from the young to the mapigas we all had a grand time. So much so that many had to go back to the hot pools the next day to soothe out their tired and weary limbs from the night's mak panana ma rue'ak muri...hahahahahaha
Sunday, after a brief church service in the morning, we feasted on koua food prepared by the Waikato men-folk. After lunch we had our annual general meeting and spent the evening on various activities. We noted the strength and unity of the group, not only by the increase in numbers, but also by the hopes and goals expressed for the future, the thriving enthusiasm, and the positive feelings among all, and especially among the young adults.
Elections were held and the following are the office bearers for this 2000-2001 year.
Came Monday, the general feeling and mood was, if only the weekend would last much longer. It's been a week since, but the continuous feedback has been positive and overwhelming. We thank the Waikato/Bay of Plenty group members for all their hard work and hanisi.
Next year's annual meeting will be hosted by the NZRF Auckland group members. This NZRF group is open to any Rotuman who wishes to be part of the Rotuman community in Aotearoa.
Current regional group leaders are:
Se te ne kainag Rotuam atakoa, 'amis naaf 'otomis hanisi ma hea'hea lelei.
From Jioje Konrote in Fiji (29 October 2000)
Life is a Never Ending Learning Process
"Pay attention to your teacher and learn all you can," Proverbs Chapter 23 Verse 11.
The 19th May 2000 George Speight-led coup is now history and as the Permanent Secretary for Home Affairs (responsible for the Republic of Fiji Military Forces and Police), I had been very much involved in the National Security and Reconciliation efforts to ensure that Fiji did not 'plunge over the brink' into total anarchy and civil war. It has not been easy and the nation is not 'out of the woods' yet because the trials for the perpertrators of the coup have just begun and the final outcomes of each case would determine whether the political crisis could be resolved peacefully or otherwise.
In any case, despite my very busy work schedule since the beginning of the crisis, the Interim Civilian Government (ICG) released me at the beginning of August (at the invitation of the US Government) to attend a short course at the John F Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University in Boston.
The Course, entitled Programme for Senior Executives in National and International Security, was designed for senior executives in the US Department of Defence and State, Defence Agencies, the Intelligence Community, Congressional Committees, Foreign Government Defence Officials, Private Industries, and International Organisations.
The Programme provided a setting for participants to improve and deepen their understanding of current security issues, exercise their evaluation and decision-making skills, hone their management skills, and contribute their ideas and perspectives. Through this interaction within the discussion groups, research and presentations, and informal discussions, participants also had the opportunity to learn from one another.
Some of the wide range of security and management related issues addressed in the curriculum included;
The entire programme was quite intense, requiring extensive preparation with the various case-studies on present real-world problems. My prediction about the possibility of another outbreak of violence in the Middle East, should the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Talks break down, had been correct as evidenced by the latest clashes in Jerusalem and Gaza.
It was not all classroom work as on Saturday 28th August, the student body was taken on a guided tour of Boston and the entire Harvard University complex in Cambridge. With its present population of about 3 million people, Boston, which was founded in 1630, today thrives as a world-reknowned centre for medicine, high-technology, finance, and education with 50 fine colleges and universities, and the famous Red Sox Baseball team.
After almost 40 years when I first learnt of the American Revolution during a history lesson in Malhaha, I was indeed honoured and privileged to visit the place where it all started and improve upon my limited knowledge of this world-famous event which ultimately resulted in the formation of the United States of America. The initial fighting, which began in Lexington and Concord (suburbs of Boston where the famous "shot heard 'round the world" was fired on 19 April 1775 ), was only the prelude to the famous Boston Tea Party and subsequent battles in which the British were eventually, defeated by General George Washington and the newly formed but ill-equipped Colonial Army.
Walking the battlefields of Lexington and Concord on that bright and cool, sunny morning reminded me of a similar visit which I made to the American Civil War battlefields of Virginia and Maryland during one of my study visits to Washington some years ago. The most memorable experience during that visit was my ability to study the layout of the Gettysburg battlefield and actually walking through some of the approaches which the Confederate army of General Lee took when they attempted to dislodge and defeat the Union Army before advancing on Washington DC.
The history of the American Revolution and the Civil War had always fascinated me as a young student in Malhaha and I am most thankful that later on in life I was able to visit all these famous places which I had read and heard so much about.
I guess that life is a Never Ending Learning Process and it is always my fervent wish to share my experience and knowledge with all the kainaga when and wherever I can.
From Fijilive (28 October 2000)
Faktaufon gets 2nd placing
Visually impaired athlete Fuata Faktaufon came second in his 100 metres heat at the Sydney Paralympic Games yesterday morning but failed to qualify for tomorrow's semifinals.
Speaking from Sydney yesterday Chef de Mission Dr Jagdish Maharaj said in each of the six heats only the winners qualify plus the two best times.
Faktaufon ran a time of 11.90 seconds which was far from his personal best of 11.74 seconds. The athlete who had beaten Faktaufon to the tape in his heat had stopped the clock at 11.50 seconds.
Had it not for the strong winds experienced during the race, Dr Maharaj said Faktaufon could have qualified as one of the athletes with the best times. But even then I'm happy with his performance," Dr Maharaj said.
"Especially beating his other opponents who had the money to train and prepare for the games."
"The competition is stiff and records are being broken one after another but overall as long as our athletes perform their personal best, that's all that matters." Meanwhile, Fiji's last competitor, swimmer Manasa Marisiale will compete in the 50 metres freestyle at 11.30 am today.
Dr Maharaj said the event was one of Marisiale's best and they hope he would do Fiji proud.
The closing ceremony will be held tomorrow night and our athletes return on Tuesday.
Note: Fuata Faktaufon's father is Makrava Faktaufon of Oinafa and his mother is Sapeta Faktaufon (Savlei). He is the second youngest of seven children, six boys and only one female, who is the oldest. Fuata achieved a new personal time in his heat but didn't qualify for the finals.
From Alan & Jan (16 October 2000)
It is with deep sorrow that we learned today of the death of Harieta Muaror in London, England. Harieta was the daughter of Mua and Marseu Muaror of Oinafa; she was married to Sheridan Rosser, with whom she has a son, David, age four. Harieta worked at the Institute of Pacific Studies at the University of the South Pacific before taking a post at the Fiji Embassy in London. We first met Harieta at USP in 1987, and spent a good deal of time with her while Alan was teaching for a semester in London in 1992.
Harieta and Sheridan visited Hawaii twice en route to Fiji and Rotuma and had a great time with members of the Tefui Club We visited them in London after their marriage and took great pleasure in being with such a lovely couple. The addition of David completed their family; we doubt if there have ever been better, more loving parents. Like all her friends and kainaga, we will miss her dearly, and our hearts go out to her mother and father in Rotuma, her brother Kafoa in Suva, and especially to Sheridan and David.
From Ben Johnson Enasio in Sydney, Australia (7 October 2000)
My family was heavily involved in the Sydney Olympics.
Jacob, my younger brother is a second year BEd student in Secondary Teaching and a Rugby Union colts player. He was one of the young Australians chosen to help present the multiracial and cultural facets of Australia to the world. Jacob assisted in the field (shot put, discus, javelin, hammer throw) and track ( long jump, all the relays ) events presentations for both men and women, the women's' wheelchair race, and the Olympic Legends.
Mum (Makarite Enasio), who besides her normal work at NAB/MLC, was one of the 47,000 volunteers that helped make the Sydney Olympics a success. She was involved in directing visitors and ushering the IOC dignitaries: past and present Australian Federal and State politicians, including the PM John Howard and Mrs Howard; the Grieners; Australian athletes, including swimmers Ian Thorpe, Susie O'Neil and Tennis Doubles; and the Woodies to name a few. She was elated by these experiences and couldn't stop talking about it.
Dad and I (currently completing my studies in music) worked our normal jobs in insurance for the largest diversified insurance company in the world, beside doing security at weekends during the Olympics.
Hanisiof to readers
Noia te ne famor atakoa ne hil os ut te. Gou a'hea la rak'akiof ne 'os fa Rotumet ta sap se fuag ne Force Sergeant Major ne PeaceKeeping Force ne UNTAET e East Timor. Fuag lamlam te nana kikia se hanua titi'u ma kota av mumuet ne na se jaujia ne Fiti (RFMF) ka 'os sasig te' Josefa Ramafono ta hil la sap se fuag hete'. Is tau la oaf ti' pau se 'os sasig te' 'ereko 'on garue fe'eni ma po la ia ta hil e jaujia atakoa ne Fiti la teak fuag te'is. Hanua folaghul ma fuma ta foma Peace Keeping ne East Timor. Keep it up bro and may our holy mighty God guide you with your new appointment. Kat 'es ta teet a'noa se 'os gagaja.
Bondia/noa'ia 'e mauri!
Greetings from the Rotuman soldiers with Fiji army company serving in the UNTAET mission in East Timor.We are all well and are pleased to learn of the existence of the Rotuman website.
The situation is calm and quiet at the moment in our area of operations, nicknamed "Serevi Ao."
Te is 'omis ne te e hanue te is:
We would be most happy to keep in touch with relatives
and friends overseas.
Adeus, the farewell in the Tetum language, to you all from all of us.