Ratu Jone installed new Tui Labasa

Newly installed Tui Labasa Ratu Jone Qomate, right, drinks the traditional installation cup as the Tui Macuata Ratu Wiliame Katoniverelooks on at the ceremony. Picture LUKE RAWALAI

THE vanua o Labasa braved the hot sun that seemed to burn in all its glory today as they sat in silence to witness the installation of their new chief and Tui Labasa Ratu Jone Qomate.

Silence reigned on the Naseakula village green as Ratu Jone was escorted from his residence of Naukawaqa by traditional warriors for the ceremonial rite.

Presiding over the installation, Tui Macuata Ratu Wiliame Katonivere reminded the new chief of his duty and role to the people of the Labasa district.

After drinking from the traditional installation cup an elder from the Caumatalevu clan in Naduri tied a bow of tapa on Ratu Jone’s arms signifying that the vanua has acknowledged his rule.

Celebrations are expected to begin this afternoon to celebrate the reign of the new chief.

“I call upon the people in the vanua o Labasa to unite for our common good and the future of our people,” said Ratu Jone.

*More on this story in tomorrow’s The Fiji Times and on our e-edition.

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