From Sanimeli Maraf in Rotuma (28 February 2002, posted 15 March)
It began at 10 a.m. with a church service at Saione, Noa'tau, conducted by Reverend I. Fatiaki. Then we had the koua ha'ak mumua before cutting the cake. The Itu'muta band played and everyone enjoyed the feast. There were two cows, three pigs, three cartons of corned beef, chickens, fish, 'ikou, curry, stews, potato salad, cole slaw, chutney, two kinds of fekei, bananas, and sugar cane. Mafua heta was Fatiaki Motofaga.
Here's a hymn that G/Maraf dedicated in the Hymn Book; I thought some of you would like to make a copy.
Another anthem: 'Otou 'Aitu, 'Otou Hanua.
The conductor was Mr Sagaitu Ieli and wife, Tarosila Ieli. The Halleluia Chorus was sung at the end of the service. Everything was held at the hall in Saione.
At this very moment eight students from USP in Fiji arrived. They are sponsored by the World Wide Fund for Nature and came especially to teach the basics of how to look after our sea corals that have been damaged over time. In Rotuma we call it kam ta. Anyway, two local youths in each district are joining a workshop that will start tomorrow at 3 p.m. after the ladies Women's World Day of Prayer meeting in Malhaha district. The young people who came from Fiji are:
We have water problems now because only one pump is working for the whole island. I rang up only to find out that the filter for the pump, which was supposed to have been sent to Fiji, was still sitting at the airport (it doesn't weigh over 10 kgs). The water pressure is not strong enough to come from Motusa to Noa'tau. Let's hope this problem will soon be fixed. Our good Lord provided us with rain for over a week, so now things are not too bad--free water from above; otherwise people will have to turn to their wells.
I would like to add Happy Birthday messages to Tahalia Stace, Kelly Stace, Maureen Stace, Cameron Burns, and Edward Stace on Easter holiday, although it comes earlier this year.
Happy Easter to everyone. Take care and be kind to each other.
Our Rotuman language project [at City University of New York] is getting along very well, and our work with Shalom Tua'toko is both enjoyable and very profitable. We have a fully enrolled class of doctoral students in Linguistics who are investigating various aspects of the language, using Churchward's grammar and Shalom. We're looking at the stuff linguists have typically been interested in, like the "incomplete" vs. "complete," which has been badly misrepresented in a lot of the professional literature. We're also investigating some intriguing aspects of what Churchward calls the "narrow" vs. the "broad" forms. There's an awesomely complex structure there, and we're having a terrific time investigating it!
Sometime in the next few weeks we plan to establish a new website about our Rotuman Languge project. We'll ask Rotumans to judge grammaticality, meanings, etc. and to comment on our work. We'll also write our findings in two ways: one, that's accessible to Rotumans and, two, for professional linguists as well. Most importantly, in view of the fact that the current professional literature has so many misconceptions about the phonology of the language, we will include extensive sound files. Of course, everything always takes longer than we think it will -- but we do hope to get this website up and running before the semester is out.
For a description of the Rotuman Language Project and a bibliography concerning Rotuman, click here
From Savika Oakley in Auckland (6 March 2002)
Alan & Jan visits New Zealand
It was indeed a pleasure for the Rotumans in Auckland to meet Alan and Jan on their brief visit to Auckland. Alan & Jan attended the church service at Kingsland and after that there was a combined lunch with the other Rotumans who worship at the Salvation Army Chapel. After lunch we stayed back listening to stories of Rotuma and events taking place in Rotuma.
Welcome to Voi, Doreen & Fiu Muaror
It so happened that the Muaror family arrived in New Zealand that weekend and came to worship with us at Kingsland when we had our combined lunch for Alan and Jan. Therefore it was a double celebration to welcome them all and hear their stories about Rotuma. The Muaror's came back to New Zealand bringing their son Fiu for further education and hope to spend a few years here before returning to our homeland in Rotuma. We did not leave for home till late Ð 6 hours at church was a very long time for my children.
Auckland Rotuman Fellowship Community group meetings
Our election was held in February 2002.
Our meeting in March was held at Savika Oakley's residence.
It was a good turnout. We discussed the preparation for the Rotuman
Stall to be held at the Pacific Festival this Saturday 9th March.
We are preparing to sell roti/curry, fekei 'a'ana, chopsui & rice,
drinks and much much more. It is good to see the enthusiasm, cooperativeness
and support from everyone.
Rosie Ackland has requested that we post an article that appeared in
December 2001 edition of the Newspaper Catholic: The Voice of Catholic
Orthodoxy. The article was written by Father Edward Black, who visited
Rotuma in August 2001. Father Black is a member of the dissident Catholic
group, no longer recognized by the Roman Catholic hierarchy in Rome,
that advocates a return to the traditional Mass. He went to Rotuma to
minister to dissident Rotuman Catholics who object to the recent change
in terminology by the Church from 'Atua
and Jesu to 'Aitu
and Jisu. To read Fr Black's account
of his trip to Rotuma click here.
The Wellington Rotuman Fellowship group met on 16 February at the home of Arthur and Ravai Shaw. The group held it's business meeting in the morning followed by a sumptuous dinner. A koua ('ikou puat kau, puaka, kau, moa, a'ana) and two kinds of fekei (mara ma 'ana and fakakai), ia' hala, 'ia fekei, kare sipi, moa ru tahror, roti, tapiko and multiple desserts highlighted the meal.
Forty-three people attended, including a number of children. Following dinner we sat around and talked or played pas lon, the younger men and women played guitars and sang songs, and the children ran around playing games and enjoying each other's company. The weather was fine and it was a delightful day for everyone.
At the meeting plans were discussed for the annual meeting of the New Zealand Rotuman Fellowship meeting which will take place on Labour Weekend, 25-28 October at Manfield Park, Feilding. As in the past, the weekend will highlight Rotuman cultural activities.
The next meeting of the Wellington group will be 4 May at the home of Gabe and Beverley Penjueli in Wellington.
A list of the people who attended the NZRF - Wellington Group gathering on 16 February 2002: