Fiji Time: 8:30 PM on Monday 19 March

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Women return home in time for anniversary

Luke Nacei
Tuesday, February 20, 2018

A GROUP of women from Koro Island was all smiles yesterday as they returned to the island in time for today's memorial service for fellow villagers who died during Severe Tropical Cyclone Winston on this day two years ago.

The group was stranded in Suva for a week after the conclusion of the Methodist Church Women's Ministry 70th Anniversary in Savusavu.

Speaking on behalf of the group, Maria Nauli said they were grateful to finally return home.

"We were told on Sunday that we were going to return home today (yesterday) and we were really happy," Ms Nauli said.

"The Prime Minister helped us with this trip back to Koro and we are really thankful to him.

"For us in Koro it is a must that we be there for the anniversary so we are happy that we will be in time for the event."

Seini Tuicuku, who was among the 58 women, said she was thankful to God for his provision.

"I can say it was just God's will and I just want to thank Him for what he has been doing in our lives," the 63-year-old said tearfully.

"We are really happy and we just want to thank all those people who have been supporting us during our time of stay here in Suva."

Meanwhile, these women were on a trip to celebrate the Methodist Church Women's 70th Women Anniversary in Savusavu and had to detour to Suva after the STC Gita warning.

"We are from Koro, we went to a women's function in Savusavu and we came to the wharf on Sunday," Ms Nauli said.

From there we were told there was adverse weather in Koro and we were told that our fare back to Koro was going to be our fare to Suva from Savusavu."

The women said they were told by the shipping company that they would have to pay their fare back to Koro if they wanted to return, but were unable to do so.

"Before we left Koro we had a fair idea that every women travelling would be giving $100 as return fare" Ms Nauli said.

"We asked those in the boat for assistance but they said they couldn't help us."

The women were relieved yesterday that they were able to board the vessel for Koro in time for the anniversary.

The event will be held at Nasau Village today.

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