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Wedding at 'home' after more than 27 years

Repeka Nasiko
Sunday, June 09, 2013

SPECIAL moments are born out of experiences spent with people you care about.

And celebrating one of those special moments was the Yates family of West Midland which returned to the place they once called home after more than 27 years.

Family patriarch Terry Yates was a former Emperor Gold Mine employee of Vatukoula from 1980 to 1987 where he lived with his late wife and two children.

"We never forgot about Fiji," Mr Yates said.

"It was our home and we loved living here."

The 68-year-old remembers his experience in Vatukoula as being a wonderful time spent among friends that created a perfect environment to raise his young children.

"We would have sports games in the weekends. Social events at the clubhouse and had a lot of friends that really made living there really special.

"David and Richard were born here and they loved living in Vatukoula.

"Richard was only five years old when we returned to England and that's where Mary was born."

Mr Yates' middle child, Richard, 31, said he always wanted to return to the country of his birth and after more than 27 years, his dream finally came true.

"I don't remember much about the time I spent here but it has always held a special place in my heart," Richard says.

"When I was in England, I always told myself I would return one day, just to come back and visit the places where I grew up."

The trip was extra special for Richard as he also exchanged vows with his sweetheart, Kathryn Bootyman, at the Wananavu Beach Resort in Rakiraki on Friday.

The new bride said having their wedding near the place where Richard grew up made it even more special for the couple.

"He has always been talking about coming back to Fiji and we just thought it would be a great idea to hold our wedding here," said the new Mrs Yates.

"We have been planning to come here for such a long time and I've heard so many great things about Fiji, and we're glad that we came here to have our wedding."

The couple and the rest of the family plan to visit Vatukoula and other parts of the country before returning to England.





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