RFMF commander commissions navy band

Republic of Fiji Military Forces Commander Rear Admiral Viliame Naupoto, sitting eigth from left, pictured with senior military officers and members of the newly commissioned Fiji Navy band. Picture: SUPPLIED

Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF) Commander Rear Admiral Viliame Naupoto broke down while sharing his experiences with members of the newly-commissioned Fiji Navy Band during an interview at the Queen Elizabeth barracks last week.

He said the event marked a new chapter in RFMF’s history.

Rear Admiral Naupoto said he was overcome with emotion because he knew the backgrounds of the band members.

“As a navy officer, I never thought that I would see the day where I would commission the navy band,” he said.

The commander said most of the band members were products of the National Youth Band who had developed their skills at the youth training centre in Valelevu.

“When I was Minister for Youth and Sports, I would go up to Valelevu where they used to have their school.

“It was just garage and it was full of old machines, that was my introduction to that school.

“I would see kids, they come in the morning and I learned that some would sleep there.

“Even though the place was almost uninhabitable, they would sleep there because they had no bus fare to come back the next day.

“That school is a second chance school for people that may not be able to go to tertiary and they offer the opportunity to study music.

“I would sit in with them as they were all writing music.

“They were determined to continue and have a good life.”

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