THE B Division competition has come and gone for Nakasaleka, representing the province of Kadavu this year and losing both matches to Naitasiri Northern Bulls and Rewa.
But Mosese Tuvoli and his wife Livia in Solodamu, Tavuki, Kadavu are relishing the fruit of their hard work as parents with the recent graduation and first teaching post of their eldest son Maikali Tuvoli.
Tuvoli was also selected and played for Nakasaleka. For those familiar with famous rugby names of the past, the name rings a bell and definitely he was one of our rugby heroes of the 1950s.
While the Nakasaleka team failed to make its mark in the B Division, one name stood out from among the Southerners and that was Maikali Tuvoli.
The Richmond High School teacher is the grandson and namesake of former Fiji rugby lock Maikali Tuvoli, who played for Fiji when they beat the New Zealand Maori in 1951.
It is his first year as a teacher and quickly made his mark representing his province with the Nakasaleka team.
He is the eldest son of Mosese and Livia and graduated with BSc from USP.
He went to school at Richmond, graduated this year in April with majors in Physics and Maths, and now he is a schoolteacher at Richmond High School in Kadavu where he started before attending QVS and then USP.
The families are so grateful that 21-year-old Tutu Mike can pick up his namesake and walk down memory lane in the field of rugby.
Tuvoli Sr was a lock and he played in 10 of the 14 games for Fiji on that tour.
The touring team included Jioji Cavalevu (captain), Jonetani Baba, Semisi Baleca, Kalivati Cavuilati, Samuela Domoni, Sunia Ganilau, Vonipate Kabu, Waisele Kunavula, Penaia Lese, Josefa Levula, Savenaca Pe, Isimeli Radrodro, Semi Ralagi, Wame Salabogi, Isireli Sauleca, Makisi Sauleca, Peni Sauvaki, Vilive Seru, Joeli Susu, Peni Tove, Maikali Tuvoli, Sailosi Valewai, Suliasi Vatubua, Joe Vucago and Rusiate Vuruya.
The team was coached by Les Martin and managed by Pat Raddock and the official government representative was Ratu Sir George Cakobau.
The highlight of the tour was that they beat the New Zealand Maori on September 5, 1951 with Levula, Cavalevu and Vuruya the stars.
Previously in 1938 the Maori made their first official tour here and drew 3-3 in the first game, lost the second 5-11 and won the third match 6-3.
The 1939 team beat them 14-4 in Hamilton to end their unbeaten tour of New Zealand — the only team in the world to have done so.
In 1948 the Maori beat Fiji twice here at Albert Park, winning the first 22-6, losing the second 8-9 and won the third 14-6.
The 1951 trip was only Fiji's second tour to New Zealand so there were high expectations for the team to repeat the unbeaten 1939 tour. But the difference was that the number of games was almost double.
In 1939 there were eight matches while in 1951 there were 14.
The game against the Maori was also significant because fullback Penaia Lese of Nadrala, Nadroga kicked the ball so hard against the Maoris that it burst in the air.
Tour result of 1951 was four losses, winning nine and drew two.
They lost against Thames Valley, Otago, Canterbury and Wanganui and drew with Waikato and Southland 11-11 in both matches.
They beat the Maori 21-14 in a classic rugby match that saw Narewa, Nadi's Levula, and two other Kadavu men in number eight Rusiate Vuruya and Jioji Cavalevu in the New Zealand Rugby Almanac.
Levula for his big high knee action and try-scoring runs on the wing, Cavalevu for his second five-eighth incisive running and play and Vuruya for his superb fitness.
The Almanac said traditional New Zealand number eights had positional places to be in defence and attack. But Vuruya was everywhere in defence and attack and that was how fit he was.
As for Tuvoli, he was also a distinguished soldier having fought in the Solomons in 1942 with the 3rd Battalion of the Fiji Infantry Regiment.
In 1946, he was a member of the Victory Parade with Ratu Sir Lala Sukuna representing Fiji in London.
In 1949 he joined the local Army and Suva rugby team and spent 1953 to 1955 with the Malaya campaign in the fight against communist insurgents.
Also in the side was crack centre Sunia Ganilau from Galoa in Kadavu and this should be inspiration to the young Kadavu players of nowadays that their forefathers not only played for Fiji, they were also heroes.
In the past and currently men who came from Kadavu have donned the jerseys of other provinces but because of the travelling difficulties within the island and other reasons they have not made any real mark on the B Division competition in recent years.
Apart from teaching the new generation of Kadavu islanders and preparing them for their future, fans of Kadavu rugby hope that the return of namesakes of past Kadavu heroes will rekindle the rugby passion in the island.
Hopefully, the name Maikali Tuvoli will not only inspire them to follow his legacy and be better rugby players in the future but be successful in whatever field they choose.
His namesake and grandson is already trying to fit into his big boots and footprints, so for that we wish him all the best.