Former PM Qarase’s final wish

A panaromic view of the late Mr Qarase's memorial service Mavana, Vanuabalavu. Picture: JOVESA NAISUA

Former prime minister Laisenia Qarase wanted to be buried next to his namesake in his home village of Mavana on Vanuabalavu, Lau.

Traditional spokesman Mesake Koroi revealed this to The Fiji Times outside the Mavana Methodist Church.

“One of his wishes was to have his wife, Leba Qarase buried next to him in the village,” he said.

Mr Qarase died on April 21 at the Oceania private hospital in Suva after a short illness.

He was laid to rest in a tomb near his village on Wednesday.

Delivering the eulogy on Wednesday, his nephew Inoke Buadromo said their forefathers were originally from Moala, before they settled on the island of Vanuabalavu.

He said Mr Qarase’s mother was a direct descendant of a Jewish businessman, Alexander Bowman, who settled on the island of Vanuabalavu during the 19th century after establishing a cotton wool business.

“We are blessed to be born in a family that has produced a national leader who served our nation with humility,” Mr Buadromo said.

“We are proud of the legacy he (Qarase) has left behind and we hope that we will find another leader like him in the future.”

Mr Buadromo said they hoped to continue the legacy left behind by the former prime minister.

(Editor’s note: This article was published in The Fiji Times on Saturday, May 02, 2020)

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