Early Mother’ Day gift for granny

Adi Vika Korovono (front) smiles away after receiving her Mineral Royalties at Vatukoula in Tavua. Picture: BALJEET SINGH

MOTHER’S Day celebrations started early for 84-year-old Vika Korovono who was one of the 123 villagers of Nasomo in Vatukoula given as much as $465 each under the Fair Share Mineral Royalty Act from Government yesterday.

However, her elation was tinged with a bit of sadness as she remembered her late son, Sairusi Waininima, who was tasked to receive the royalty payments given to the villagers from Government and the Vatukoula Gold Mines.

“This is the first time for me to come out and receive the money,” she said.

“It was always my brother or my son who would come.”

Yesterday, the grandmother of 10 said she was thankful that she was able to reach another milestone for her village.

“It’s always a happy time for us and I’m very happy I could live this long and be part of this happy moment. I am thankful to our elders for thinking of our people and our future generations, and I’m also thankful to the Government for thinking of us.”

Nasomo Village headman Viliame Rokoraiba said the Fair Share Royalty payment was the third of its kind made over the past 12 months.

“We had two payments made last year and this is the first one for this year. This payment is the product of the hard work of our elders, who after settling on this freehold land, made a decision to buy more than 1000 acres from the State.

“It was because of that we were able to own this freehold land and be able to have a part of the royalties that are paid out by Vatukoula Gold Mines.”

A total of $57,002.47 was paid out by the Ministry of Lands and Mineral Resources to the Nasomo Landowners Trust.

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