Letters to the Editor – January 23, 2019

Fiji Airways Fiji mens 7s coach Gareth Baber speaks to his players during their training session at Albert Park in Suva on Wednesday, January 09, 2019. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

Baber’s preparation for Hamilton

Gareth Baber has high hopes and states the team is under no pressure to perform. Further he states he has prepared the team mentally and physically and given the players the space and freedom. The key words are pressure, preparation and freedom. Our all-time top sevens coach and guru Ratu Peni Rayani aka Ben Ryan’s winning formula was eating habits and a strict diet, abundance of talanoa on and off the field, looking after your family and that will build a family in a team and foremost no X-factor or individualism or star in the team. Ironically we now only have one player from the Rio golden team in our sevens squad, little master Jerry. Captain Nasoko, Nacuqu, Sevuloni have been in Ryan’s extended squad and they know the setup. The key is for them to talanoa with the new players and raise the bar to the next level. Defending five tournaments on the back of a one win at Cape Town is a mammoth task, however, any Fiji sevens team that prepares well with an empty sheet of paper will definitely write its own history. Ask Ben Ryan. He came empty and left with tonnes of memory. The defence of the Rio Olympics starts this weekend and let’s not forget the master Ryan that wrote history in the hearts of all Fijians. Joka Ryan, joka Fiji, joka kece! Noqu qele, noqu vanua. Shalwyn Prasad Mukta Ben Place, Nabua, Suva

Our refrigerators

FIJI is at least using a star rating system for refrigerators and in terms of efficiency, it is a positive step. I believe what is not positive is the AS standard
used for energy consumption. I know my refrigerator uses far more than the kWh figure/annum shownon the unit. The Australian (AS) test does not specify the humidity used, has a freezer compartment temperature three degrees higher than other tests, does not load the compartments during
the tests, and does not even take into account temperature rises when the doors are opened in use. The JISC Japanese standard allows for 35 refrigerator door openings/day and freezer compartment openings eight times/day. It is little wonder that our units use more power than stated on
the labels. Of course the relevant authorities in Fiji may have more up to date information than I have, if so they should comment. ALLAN LOOSLEY

iTaukei hospitality

HAVING spent five decades of my life growing up in hotels and resorts, first with my parents who managed several properties for over 30 years, and later working several properties myself for over 28 years, I must conclude that iTaukei hospitality is second to none. The experience was reiterated
by 10-time State of Origin winner, Daily M Player of the Year, World Cup winner and NRL sensation Billy Slater, at Solevu Village on Malolo Island,
in which he stated that, “This trip and my time in Fiji taught me a few things about this place and their people. I’ve never met more happy, helpful and respectful people, and I’ll never forget my visit to Solevu and myself and my family are better people for spending time with these people, Vinaka” (FT 22/01). These sentiments by Billy, of genuine iTaukei hospitality, while still prevalent on our outer islands and rural areas, has lost its flair in properties situated in or close to our urbancentres. Genuine iTaukei hospitality is not only unique, it is our one and only trump card when we go
out to promote our islands to the rest of the world. So it is absolutely and vitally important that this hospitable culture be nurtured and encouraged. It is by far what makes people visit our islands. We have much to mend as far as getting back that true iTaukei hospitality throughout the country
is concerned. Many bad habits ought to be removed and poor attitudes need to change for the better. At the end of the day, Fiji Tourism is iTaukei
hospitality, and that’s the way it’s got to be for our tourism to flourish. Bula vinaka, isa lei, moce mada, sota tale! SIMON HAZELMAN, Rava Estate, Savusavu

Rugby reflections

DID the weather over the weekend take fans at the 2019 McDonald’s Fiji Coral Coast Sevens tournament by surprise? Well, in terms of climate change, this is a reality but for some of the players and coaches it may mean a wake-up call. They may need to have backup rugby boots with thicker, if not longer studs, which would help them manoeuvre their way through waterlogged sections of the field. Meanwhile, one wonders whether the health
and safety measures were compromised when players were allowed to play in such conditions. One fisherman joked that he could have cast his net for some tilapia and prawns in waterlogged sections of the field. Watching on television, one was kind of surprised with the high number of yellow cards arising from high and late tackles. The match between Police and Tabadamu almost turned into a boxing match on several occasions as some players gave way to their emotions and wanted to play with their fists. All in all, it was a rugby tournament of reflections but most importantly, the rugby fans at Lawaqa Park and those glued to their television sets were not deterred by the weather. Congratulations to the organiser and sponsors of the 2019 McDonald’s Fiji Coral Coast Sevens tournament. A big vinaka to participating teams for braving the weather. One looks forward to bigger and better
games come 2020. FLOYD ROBINSON, Nasinu

Blues mean business

THE six-nil hammering of Tavua at Churchill Park shows that the Lautoka side means business as the Blues prepare for the OLeague. As it rained goals, the Blues gained confidence and although there are areas of improvement, I’m sure that Lautoka will prove their worth when they take on the Oceania’s best. On the other hand, I hope that Nazeel Ali and his young Tavua brigade took home some valuable lessons from the Sugar City as they fight for survival. The loss of star players Borisi, Dau and Kautoga hampered the minnows but come the next round of games they should come
prepared, as Nazeel Ali said that a little bit of patience will be required. Meanwhile, the voice of Raymond Stoddart is getting better and better with age. The soccer guru was at his best as he delivered “ball by ball” action from the Sugar City. RAJNESH ISHWAR LINGAM, Nadawa, Nasinu

Faith in leadership

D L Moody, the great American evangelist, once said, “If a man is stealing nuts and bolts from a railway track, and, in order to change him, you send him to college, at the end of his education, he will steal the whole railway track.” The Education Ministry permanent secretary was quoted in yesterday’s (FT 22/01) paper saying that, “leadership was not solely based on faith but rather on individual leadership skills”. Individual leadership skills are important but faith elevates leadership to another level. When leaders go through tough situations which they cannot comprehend and they’ve exhausted all avenues, guess who they turn to for answers? Many leaders in history are men of faith and they have testified time and again of their undying faith in God. Faith is important in every aspect of our lives and it’s what makes leadership and education meaningful. Faith may seem whimsical in this era of information, advanced technology and modernisation but it’s what holds everything together. Faith can produce something that no awareness or any advanced education can deliver, it can change the heart of a person. Without faith in our education system you will have future leaders who will always be looking at ways to steal the whole railway track. Sailosi Naewe Naduru Rd, Nausori

Faith-based school principals

The education department and the Fiji Human Rights advocate, stating that having faith-based teachers in faith-based schools is discrimination is wrong. Faith-based schools in Fiji were built and manned by faith-based teachers from its initial beginnings until Fiji’s new government came into power this past 12 years or so. These faith-based schools were initiated by their respective faiths to assist local children have the best education — academically and holistically. Their statement that changing the principals of Xavier College and St Thomas schools was based on merit, is not an issue because I believe that the Catholic principals of both these schools have high education credentials and the performance of both schools in the last decade or so has been exceptional. So, on what merit are these two institutions talking about, against the use of faith-based teachers/principals in faith-based schools? Faith-based schools around the world have primary, secondary and tertiary institutions and are renowned for their superiority of education because of the qualifications faith-based teachers have, who have undergone proper teacher training and have taken the vocation of teaching as a lifetime mission. This is more than I can say for some of Fiji’s crop of teachers. The results of the deteriorating school system in Fiji is no laughing matter and will continue to decline because of the lack of teaching experience some of the “so called merit teachers” have! The education department would have been astute to use the two new principals to negate the teacher shortage they are facing. Epeli Rabua Suva

Our Fiji

“Fiji the way the world should be.” I believe slowly but surely, in the not so distant future, it will be “The world, the way Fiji should be”. A Shariff Shah Savusavu

School heads

With so much confusion about the way the Ministry of Education is handling matters concerning teachers and heads of schools, one has to wonder what is the main purpose behind this move? And where will this get us? We know what a secular state is or means, so why has this ended up in our schools for we are mostly faith-based schools and I believe it will affect the students most of all in the end. Can we not be so quick in our moving in this direction? Vinaka. God bless Fiji. Richard M Abel Samabula, Suva

That fine

A $150 fine because you did not pay $2.62 bus fare? Wow Fiji, we are truly progressing at an astonishing pace. Dr Monish Nandan Aimatai St, Simla, Lautoka

Mini-van design

The design of some mini-vans operating as public service vehicles may be compromising the safety of passengers. It has only one side door and the side windows are too small. Just a thought. Mohammed Imraz Janif Natabua, Lautoka

Taxi zone

It’s very good that there has been a zone one in Lautoka but I believe zone two is still on hold and it should be given, as from the city right up to Lomolomo, it’s been given zone one, 1033 permits. But we have been told we are in zone two side and will have to wait for this to open from the city up half way to Ba. If zone two doesn’t open then it would be unfair for the people living on that side. When we went to apply, we were told to wait for zone two. It’s good when there are more taxis. The service will go up with more taxis on the road. R Ali Lautoka

Vegan issue

A mate of mine was asked if he is a “vegan”? This was the first time he heard the term and automatically he blurted out, “No, my family is Christian.” Isa! Sad eh! Wise Muavono Balawa, Lautoka


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