Ravulo leaves his mark

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, who was a US poetry, once said: “When a great man dies, for years the light he leaves behind him, lies on the paths of men.”

The Queen Victoria School family mourns the passing of one of their favourite sons, Elemaca Ravulo, who passed away on Thursday morning at the age of 52.

Many who have gone through the QVS boarding life not only revered and respected Ravulo, he was a figure that everyone remembered because of how he seemed to know when to crack jokes and lighten up the room even in the worst of situations.

Just recently the QVS Old Boys rugby team dedicated their 23-11 win against Qauia to Ravulo.

QVSOB manager Amena Tokalautawa said “Macho” as he was also known, was very instrumental in the moulding of young Victorians, mentoring them throughout their boarding lives.

“We played in memory of one of our mentors Elemaca Ravulo who passed away earlier in the week so we dedicate the game today to him and his family,” Tokalautawa.

“Many of the players playing today, Ravulo was the one who moulded them and he also helped them to establish their rugby careers to where they are today.

Former students and classmates took to the social media to convey their condolences and offer their support to the Ravulo family during their time of grief.

They were joined by Old Scholars of Ratu Kadavulevu School (RKS), Lelean Memorial School (LMS) and other school officials who had the priviledge to have met, played and learned from him.

Quotes like “Rest in love OB Macho”, “Isa RIP senior boy”, were amongst the posts of well wishes that flooded the social media.

Ravulo was a former Fiji under-18 rugby and Queen Victoria School multiple Deans winning coach.

One of his famous quotes, “Whatever it is you do, remember you are Victorian and Victorians never back down from anything that life has to throw at them, we overcome and we persevere”.

He was instrumental in most QVS’s Deans campaign over the years.

A lot of young aspiring national rugby stars were brought up under his tutelage some of which are Waisea Luveniyali, Kini Murimurivalu, Waqabaca Kotobalavu, Patrick Osborne and many others.

Ravulo began his coaching career at Matavatucou in 2001 when he coached the Deans winning QVS under-18 team.

The irony in this was back at the time, the under-18 grade was refered to as the “timi ni qanitavaya” or Barbarians team.

A team which was usually made up of players left over from the U17 and the main U19 grades back then. Then in 2002 he coached another QVS Deans winning team, but for this time it was the U 17s.

It was in 2003 and 2004 where “Macho” led QVS to win the coveted Under 19 Deans trophy.

Beating the RKS dream team in 2003, then drawing with LMS in 2004. He later won the Deans for QVS during the school’s centennial year back in 2007 then in 2011 and 2012 respectively.

He was also responsible for uniting the QVS family during the 2016 Deans rugby season which saw the Matavatucou brigade winning four out of six grade trophies including the coveted prestigious U18 grade.

A feat seemed impossible for a school that was laid to waste by Category 5 Tropical Cyclone Winston.

In his own words the late Ravulo once said: “QVS has a historical background of being a school to educate chiefs, but that has changed now to be a school where leaders are trained. That is also how the name Vulinituraga came about — as the school was established to educate sons of chiefs. What we want to do is to show students all around the country that even when we’re not together, if we work together we can still achieve our aim.”

These are the words of a proud Victorian whose life’s goal was to leave behind a legacy for the younger QVS students to follow, step by step and print by print.

“From being an old boy and a teacher, the feeling of being a QVS student is always different, holistically; any student that goes through QVS will go through not only academic training but also view things in all perspective and cultural values.

“For me, QVS is different because it teaches students to become leaders and it changes their mind-set.

“That doesn’t mean that students totally do away with discipline problems, it crops up at times but the constant teachings of values in life makes students feel the stronger urge to make known that they are part of Vulinituraga.

He also said apart from the assistance of funds given by the parents and teachers association (PTA), parents of individual players and former students of the school contributed a lot in the growth of the school.”

The late Ravulo was a firm believer in unity not only amongst students but for parents and teachers of QVS too.

He was a dedicated man to the Victorian cause.

QVS old boy Rupeni Rakase wrote, “It will always be a memory for those that came across his teachings and the jokes he used to put across during parades at the crown state.”

Rakase then highlights how Ravulo would intentionally crack these jokes in order for students not to get homesick.

“But instead be bonded as soul mates and whatever happens we will always be a mighty Victorian.

“The parables he used during breakfast that having the third of a bread is that QVS only prepares you only a third of your life of success and the rest is when you use your instincts to try and withstand all the challenges that life has prepared for you.”

He said many old boys today would acknowledge the fact that those words of Ravulo shaped them to become better men.

And then he adds, “Thank you and a big vinaka vakalevu to you sir, and your family for defining all odds and you showed us a never say die Victorian attitude and to believe that through unity we will always succeed and never fails and why bother the tasks that Vulinituraga has shouldered us we will always deliver since we are all here for each other and will always be one for another.

As Ravulo would always say, ke mani so na gauna ni druka ko Vulinitu ena dau teri cuva, ena rai cake tu ena veitaba gauna me na qai sausaumi tale kina. (Should there ever be a time for Vulintu to taste defeat, we will always look forward to the day that we will rise again).

Spoken by a true Victorian for he is indeed one.

His funeral service will be held today at the Nabua Methodist Church.

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