OUT of love for Fiji and its people, an Australian tourist bequeathed $A100,000 ($F174,567) upon his death a few years ago to a club formed by regular guests of Shangri-La Fijian Resort in Sigatoka.
The members of the club, who are dedicated to providing support to the local community, decided that part of the funds should be used to construct a new kindergarten for nearby Cuvu Village.
And this week, club members returned to the resort in time for the opening of the new facility yesterday by Serupepeli Udre, the principal education officer for Nadroga and Navosa.
The kindergarten consists of a main classroom, a teacher's room, two toilets, a bathroom and an outside veranda.
"It is absolutely fabulous that these wonderful people return year after year because of their love of Fiji and its people," said resort general manager Michael Monks.
"We know that the children who attend one of the four kindergartens run by the club perform better in higher education, than those that have not. The future is in the hands of our children, and there is no better way to prepare them for this responsibility than to start their life-long journey in one of our kindergartens."
The club was founded in 1981 by regular guests to the resort. While initially formed as a social club, a trust was established by the members in 1988 to provide support for the local community.
Since then, the club has initiated a number of key projects, including four kindergartens in the immediate vicinity of the resort which operate under the auspices of the club. With support from about 3000 members worldwide, the club is administered by a board of trustees which include the Grand Bilo - who traditionally is the resort's serving general manager.
This week, about 100 members of the club gathered at the resort to attend the 32nd reunion, celebrating the founding of the club.