From Fiji Times (21 June 2002)
Rigamoto defends farm aid action
By Imran Ali
ROTUMANS on the island and on Viti Levu received farming implements through the Agricultural Diversification Programme which fell under the farming assistance scheme.
Assistant Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Marieta
Rigamoto said in essence, the scheme was already in place when the interim
government came into office.
Ms Rigamoto said on July 2 last year she referred the requests from Rotuma to Mr Kunatuba and based on her discussions with Ministry of Agriculture staff in Rotuma recommended that assistance be considered on a district-by-district basis to ensure fair distribution with only the deserving to be given assistance.
She added the scheme's management committee comprised of senior agriculture officials and they processed the applications and made decisions on who should be assisted and the form of assistance to be given.
``As the assistant minister for agriculture at that time, I absolutely see nothing wrong with the assistance given to the people of Rotuma,'' she said.
On claims that she brought further orders for the seven district chiefs of Rotuma, Ms Rigamoto said it was Mr Kunatuba and his staff who flew to the island to screen the additional applications and brought the approved list and issued LPOs to Morris Hedstrom.
``These items were not purchased because the Finance Ministry had suspended the scheme and as such, no additional items were sent to the island,'' she said.
She denied personally distributing items to Rotumans in Davuilevu, Lomaivuna and Vatukoula, saying the ministry's staff distributed the approved items.
``I deny the claims by Mr Kunatuba and I will definitely defend my case in court. I am currently talking to my lawyers regarding my defence case,'' Ms Rigamoto said.
From the Institute for Pacific Studies at USP in Suva (20 June 2002)
The Institute for Pacific Studies at the University of the South Pacific announces the publication of Kato'aga: Rotuman Ceremonies, by Elizabeth Inia. For ordering information click here.
From Lijiana Inia in Suva (18 June 2002)
The Rotuma Day celebration in Suva was held on Saturday, 18 May 2002, at the National Gymnasium and was well attended. Among the guests were Gagaj Fatafes and Gajaj Osias, both of whom were in Suva attending separate meetings.
About F$10,000 was raised on the day. Gagaj Kausiraf, who was the chief guest, donated F$1,000, and with the exception of the host district, Oinafa, the other six districts each performed a tautoga. Lots of food was prepared by the Oinafa District; cakes and sandwiches were served throughout the day. After the entertainment and donations, each district was presented with a koua for lunch, prepared by the Oinafa families. Guests were invited for lunch at Mr and Mrs Paulo Vaurasi’s Residence.
Lunch for Itu'muta District was prepared by the families of Mr Sa’au Makrava, including great grandaunties Aliti Makrava and Marseu and their families. Lunch was at Mr & Mrs Sa'au Makrava’s residence. The group performed their tautoga again to the family to thank them for the food that was prepared.
Hat hak, 'a'ana ma fekei ma te’ ne kainag 'in'in tutu 'os ma itu’ te Itu'muta ate ka rava ka väeväe'ak se te ne famör 'atakoa ne leuaf se ate ianian ta la hoa’ se 'oris hanua.
The District was also blessed to have Gagaj Osias celebrate
with them on the day.
Itu'muta Youth Sports Day
On 27 May 2002, Itu'muta youths had a sports day, enjoyed by both young and the old alike, at the Marist Brothers School Ground. The programme began with a morning devotion during which the Chairman of the Itu'muta Association, Mr Sukamanu Pene, opened the games with a word of thanks and welcome.
It has always been a tradition for Maftoa & Lopo (from Roua all the way to Pala) to play against each other. However, this year's programme was changed a bit and instead of Maftoa vs Lopo it was Lulu vs Vaioa (the names of two beaches in Itu'muta). While the youths enjoyed playing games like volleyball, rugby touch, sack races, and tug-of-war (which was the highlight of the day), the oldies played card games (lono). After a rainy weekend, the day turned out to be beautiful, and a barbecue lunch was prepared by the youth. The programme ended at 2 pm, after which followed a fundraising drive at Rifle Range in Vatuwaqa at Mrs Rejiel Makrava’s residence. The fundraising was 'iom pan jaute ma maka. The amount raised on the day was about F$400.00.
Congrats to Chairman Murray Isimeli and your A-Team for organising a successful Itu'muta Youth Sports Day.
Raiwai Rotuman Methodist Group
On Saturday, 8 June, the Raiwai Choir had a seafood dinner nite at the Churchward Chapel Hall. About $1,200 was collected so far from the seafood dinner. The buffet dinner was attended by many people from all walks of life, including the Deputy HighCommissioner of Australia, Mr Richard Ryan, and some staff of the High
Commission; the U.S Defence Advisor to Fiji and the
South Pacific, Major Mathew Bragg and Mrs Bragg; Tuirara/Hua' Vilsoni
Fauoro, ma Han Hua’ta Fiu; Gagaj
Puer ne Itu'muta 'e Suva, Mr Sukamanu Pene and his wife. The
menu included of all sorts of seafood cooked in different styles and
was enjoyed by all who attended.
A big faiaksea to the group leaders Tui and Vamarasi Tevita, your assistant Maria Sosefo, Fa Hua’ ta Kima, and your committee for a job well done. Thanks also to all those families who belong to the Raiwai Group and contributed so much to making it a successful evening.
Raiwai Choir Group is part of Churchward Chapel Methodist
Congregation and has held many fundraising drives to assist them in
their end of the month haiag mak ka' pel ma nate. This dinner was one
of their major fundraising events of the year.
A big thank you to all those who have always contributed
or assisted one way or another to the Raiwai Choir Group. And to all
you Rotuman brothers and sisters around the globe, our best wishes and
hanisi to you all.
From Hanuarani Atalifo in Rotuma (11 June 2002)
The medical goods from the Humanitarian Section of the Church of Latter Day Saints has now arrived in Rotuma. I have asked the District Officer and the Council of Rotuma to arrange a presentation, and Mr Taniela Wakolo or Mr Peter Hussein, the Humanitarian Section Manager, will fly over to make the presentation of the goods to the Hospital Board and the District Officer and chiefs of Rotuma. The Church elders, B. Wannamaker & Vuikadavu will be present as well. Thank you members of the LDS church in Utah and all over the world for this marvellous work. May God bless you all.
Goods from the Rev Ravai Rennell and the Auckland Rotuman Methodist Group are awaiting shipment in Suva for the hospital. All these donations are just pouring in to our island from Rotumans who have settled abroad and become prominent citizens of other countries. This island is so blessed that its seeds are scattered all over the world and their fruits have been sent back to their motherland for all their brothers and sisers to benefit. Noa'ia 'e hanis uan mafut.
During the May celebrations the extension of the wharf was opened by the Asst Minister for Works Mr Kaitani, accompanied by our Minister, Marieta Rigamoto. It was a beautiful morning, with my daughter, Tania, Petmoira (daughter of Torika Mareta), and Priscilla (daughter of Firikese and Fanifau) presenting tefui to the VIPs. Tania presented the scissors and ribbon to the Minister. The three young ladies from Oinafa looked very glamorous in their long outfits.
The sunrise near Haua, the sandy beach, and the calm bay reflected the beauty of the island and its blessings. The party then moved over to Ahau where morning tea was provided by Hangata Sanimel and the women of the Rotuma clubs. A lady whose hard work needs to be complimented on that day is Mrs Fanifau Fatiaki. She both gave of her time and shared her knowledge with the Rotuman women. The Motusa choir provided the entertainment. I was shocked when the "Best Dressed Lady of the Day" award was given to me by the Minister; the best dressed man was Gagaj Makrao from Lopta. I guess my Hawaiian muumuu with matching hat caught the Minister's eye. What a lovely surprise!
Finally, I would like to acknowledge the people who have helped the Board in bringing the LDS project to a successful conclusion. They are:
From Alan & Jan in Honolulu (6 June 2002)
Last evening Vilsoni Hereniko and his wife, Jeannette Paulson, hosted a showing of film clips from their forthcoming feature film Fire in the Womb at the University of Hawai'i. The film was shot on Rotuma in July and August last year and is currently in post-production.
From Dr Robin Mitchell, Dr Rosemary Mitchell, Dr Tukaha Mua (6 June 2002)
DOWNTOWN BOULEVARD MEDICAL CENTRE
Ms Marie Dickinson (Kitione)
To all our Brothers and Sisters who have gone through Malhaha District School, the Malhaha community in Suva decided to make this year's project:
COMPUTERS FOR THE SCHOOL
What prompted this project is our concern for the children
at home. Today they are at a far greater disadvantage than we were 50
years ago. In those days, there were no newspapers, reading books, and
radios, but this was the same for children in Fiji schools, so we were
not as badly disadvantaged then as the children of today.
This is the reason all of us more fortunate Rotumans
are being asked to help the children at home, those with next to nothing,
to close the gap with the outside world.
We hope to send 8-10 computers. There is a need to keep a reserve fund to send a technician after 6 weeks and again after 12 weeks. After that they will air freight the computers for maintenance.
We are also mindful that Lopta and Hapmak children attend
Malhaha District School. I am coming to explain these issues in detail
and to thank you for your support. The funds you donate in Sydney and
Brisbane I would like you to keep.
Gagaj Fatafes and our Mata to the Council, Mrs Ramsese Hanre, are here for a week and join the Malhaha Community Suva in sending our good wishes to Fiji's Ambassador and family, and to you all.