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Fiji Time: 1:00 AM on Friday 18 April

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Fiji's favourite son lights up Christmas tree

Shayal Devi
Monday, December 09, 2013

NATIONAL icon Iliesa Delana was guest of honour at two hotels on the Coral Coast at their annual Christmas tree lighting event.

Brought up in Nadrala, Nadroga, the 29-year-old high jumper is Fiji's only gold medallist at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

Delana said he was honoured to be acknowledged by two popular holiday destinations — the Naviti Resort and Shangri-La's Fijian Resort and Spa.

He said the time had come to light a sign that had been a beacon of hope and good fortune for over two millennia.

"It is a time to reflect on the many blessings of the year coming to a close and to make plans for the year ahead," he said.

"It is also a time for family and loved ones.

"It is for many, the only time of the year when we can get away and freely find the child within each of us.

"It is a time of sharing and mending bridges.

"In all of us there is a Father Christmas, a Mr Claus and even a Rudolph."

Naviti Resort general manager David Woodman said Delana was an inspiration to the staff members and guests for all his achievements.

"It was a great way to ensure that guests mixed with other guests, the staff mixed with guests and for our international visitors to have a great feel."

Michael Monks, the general manager at Shangri-La's Fijian Resort and Spa, said as Fiji's only gold medallist, Delana was their most honoured chief guest.

"During this time of Christmas, we think of what's happening around the world and remember it is a time of peace and hope," he said.