Fiji Time: 12:06 PM on Friday 28 November

Fiji Times Logo

/ Front page / News

President awes villagers

Salaseini Moceiwai
Friday, January 04, 2013

THEY stared in awe as the President, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, took hold of a microphone and sang an English hymn to the villagers of Nabavatu in Dreketi on New Year's Day.

As he gave his rendition of Just a closer walk with thee, village women began to make their way up to hug, to kiss and to embrace him.

The President's visit to Nabavatu for Miliana Tinaniqica's 100th birthday celebration was unknown to the family and the villagers except for the Commissioner Northern Lieutenant Colonel Ilai Moceica.

A surprise indeed for some elderly folks who joking said such a visit could have caused them a heart attack.

Villagers continuously mumbled: "Isa, a Peresitedi levu ni ota ma'ani'u e sihovi heta u mai ni hua. Sa tuga a 'uraga yalo re ka tau veinanumi tina (The President of our nation paid us a visit today. What a humble and thoughtful gentleman)."

Overcoming their shock and surprise, the villagers then hastily put together a welcome ceremony for the head of State.

Ratu Epeli, as humble as he was, shared jokes and laughed with the villagers.

During entertainment time the women, without hesitation, humbly approached him for a taura tale ( dance) and he did not disappoint by rising to the occassion in typical fashion.

Village headman Esala Tawake said the president's visit was indeed a pleasant surprise.

"We are just so fortunate the visiting head of State took time out to come down to our village and greet us in person," Mr Tawake said.

"This is really incredible and it's the first time for a President of our country to visit us at our village. He is certainly a thoughtful and a humble man who has good leadership character."

Mr Tawake said Ratu Epeli was a leader who kept a low profile.

The President also visited the Vaturekuka Corrections Centre, Labasa Hospital, the Babasiga Ashram and the Timber & Company Limited at Dreketi. On Wednesday, he visited the people of Yadua Island in Bua whose village was badly affected by Tropical Cyclone Evan.





Fiji Times Front Page Thumbnail

Kaila Front Page ThumbnailFiji Times & Kaila Frontpage PDF Downloads

Use the free Acrobat Reader to view.

Today's Most Read Stories

  1. Speaker changes her tune
  2. The spy among us
  3. Ready to shave
  4. Nacuva: Go by the letter
  5. 'In the middle'
  6. Extra funding
  7. $2m meditation centre opens
  8. Visit of a lifetime for students
  9. Learn to say stop
  10. Perfect gift

Top Stories this Week

  1. Deal on NZ jobs Monday (24 Nov)
  2. Couple return to Fiji after almost a decade Wednesday (26 Nov)
  3. Stop the bickering Tuesday (25 Nov)
  4. No regrets Tuesday (25 Nov)
  5. Indecent jokes warning Wednesday (26 Nov)
  6. President Xi leaves impression on leaders Monday (24 Nov)
  7. Jail terms for former Post Fiji executives Monday (24 Nov)
  8. Biman: Budget boring Saturday (22 Nov)
  9. LTA fires corrupt 4 Thursday (27 Nov)
  10. Man behind the change Wednesday (26 Nov)