THE huge preparations of magiti (food) and yau (iTaukei traditional items) by Catholics in the North is befitting for a great father and a great leader.
Father Mateo Sovaki, a parish priest in the North, described the late archbishop emeritus Petero Mataca as a great man who had time for his people.
"He was a great man and always had time for his people. He was our father and we could share with him anything even challenges we go through," he said.
"Whenever he visited the North, he always had time for the people who come to see him even when he was tired, he would sit and wait to talk to the people.
"We the Catholics in Vanua Levu will really miss him."
Fr Mateo said parishes in the three provinces of Cakaudrove, Bua and Macuata had started preparing for the reguregu.
Parishioners from the Holy Cross on Taveuni will leave for Suva tomorrow while the rest will follow on Tuesday.
"We have prepared rootcrops, pigs and even cattle for the reguregu.
"The women also have mats to take for the reguregu," Fr Mateo said.
In Bua, women in villages of Kubulau and Solevu have already weaved mats for the reguregu.
Tui Wainunu Ratu Orisi Baleitavea said a lot of parishioners from the province would travel to Suva for the reguregu.
"We will never forget our father and how he always had time for us even when he was busy.
"This is not just another reguregu — it will be one of the biggest in Fiji because we are laying to rest a man of honour."