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Substance abuse

Siteri Sauvakacolo
Wednesday, February 19, 2014

CONCERNS over the excessive consumption of kava, tobacco and food have led to strict monitoring of its use during funeral proceedings of former Methodist Church of Fiji president Reverend Tuikilakila Waqairatu.

Methodist church communications secretary Reverend James Bhagwan said the church standing committee discussed the issue at its meeting last week.

"We have agreed that all Methodist church property will be smoke-free and we have a sub-committee to examine the use of kava," Mr Bhagwan said.

"This was rectified by the committee as per the directives issued by the late president last year.

"The biblical understanding from the late president was that the body was the temple of God and that referred to kava, tobacco, over-eating which are all forms of substance abuse."

Mr Bhagwan said there had been limited kava involved in the condolence gathering since its beginning and kava consumptions were from 10am to 10pm.

"The church continues to honour the late president's teachings and directive as we look forward to farewelling him for the last time tomorrow."

Christian denominations, individuals and various church circuits gathered to pay their last respects at the Jubilee Hall and among them was the president Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, Bau high chiefs Ratu Epenisa Cakobau and Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi.

At their official residence on Pender St, his widow Joana waited with the vanua o Moala for the arrival of his body today.

The funeral service will be held at the Centenary Church before heading to the Baker Hall where he will be laid to rest.

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