THE late Reverend Tuikilakila Waqairatu's last act as a father was walking his only daughter Salote Seinirewa Waqainabete down the aisle during her wedding on Saturday.
Methodist Church general secretary Reverend Tevita Nawadra revealed this in a media conference at the church headquarters at Epworth House in Suva yesterday.
"On Sunday he was taken to the CWM Hospital and never returned home," he said.
"The Methodist family offers its deepest sympathy and stands with Mrs Iowana Waqairatu and their daughter in the untimely loss of their beloved husband and father. While we mourn the death of Reverend Dr Waqairatu, we take comfort in knowing that his master has called his good and faithful servant home."
Mr Nawadra said the church had lost its chief shepherd and a great spiritual leader who had a vision for the church and its role in the sanctification of this nation.
"The church remains firmly committed to this vision and will persevere through this dark moment to ensure the Christ-light burns brightly."
Mr Nawadra said Mr Waqairatu would be buried at Davuilevu near the Baker Hall, a place that was solemn to him and to which he gave his time to try to renew.
There will be a meeting of the church's standing committee today to finalise funeral arrangements.
The committee will also discuss who will take over as interim president while awaiting the next church conference to appoint a substantial president.