GCC meeting: ‘Heavens opened when we chose to forgive each other’

Traditional warriors stand guard infront of the Ulunivuaka on Bau Island. Picture: ELENA VUCUKULA

The heavens opened and light showers poured on the chiefly island of Bau yesterday when apologies were exchanged between the Methodist church, vanua and the government during the Great Council of Chief meeting yesterday.

Marama Na Roko Tui Dreketi Ro Teimumu Kepa, President Ratu Wiliame Katonivere, Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka, Turaga Bale Na Vunivalu Na Tui Kaba Ratu Epenisa Cakobau and government MPs were in tears when the three institutions presented their matanigasau.

When accepting the matanigasau, chief herald to the Turaga Bale Na Vunivalu Na Tui Kaba, Tunitoga Ratu Aisea Komaitai said it was an emotional occasion and historic one for the nation.

Men draped in masi from Cautata – known as the bati leka held war clubs and guarded the vicinity of where the traditional welcoming ceremony was held outside the traditional meeting house, Ulunivuaka.

Black clouds hovered over the island before it started drizzling.

“Showers of blessings from heaven fell over this island when we chose to forgive each other of our wrongdoings,” he said.

“This is an indication that what we have done today has been accepted from the heavens.

“This is what God wants from us, which we forgive each other for the wrongs and hurt inflicted on each other in the past.”

Ratu Epenisa said it was an emotional week for him as people from all walks of life across the country visited his chiefly residence of Mataweilagi to pay their respects and show support for the GCC.

More than 3000 people who attended the opening ceremony were later hosted to a feast provided by villagers.

There was entertainment by villagers of Wailevu in Macuata, Banaban Dance Group, Vuaka Loa of Nakorotubu in Ra and the Multicultural Dance group.

The meeting ends today.

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