THE arrival of the late Archbishop Emeritus Petero Mataca's body to Sacred Heart Cathedral yesterday afternoon was a very solemn occasion.
Members of the public and the Catholic Church stopped to catch one last glimpse of the former church leader as his body was brought to lie in state at the Sacred Heart Cathedral in Suva.
The hot sun failed to deter their spirits as bystanders showed their final respects along the road from the Suva Private Hospital all the way to the Sacred Heart Cathedral.
People crowded the Capital City and even children not much older than a year, accompanied their parents to show their gratitude for the life of the late church leader.
Women and children wept as the funeral procession entered Pratt St before heading to the Cathedral.
For Merewalesi Rainima of Nausori, the funeral gathering was an important one for her as a Catholic.
She said the late Archbishop Emeritus was a very humble person and they had learnt a lot from his teachings.
"He will be surely missed and this was why I made sure to be part of his funeral," Ms Rainima said.
"Archbishop Mataca was a very humble man and he was always an inspiration to many of us.
"All my family members are here today (yesterday) because we want to make sure that we are all part of his final farewell."