Tremendous blessing to turn 102, says Bubu Benina

Benina Cirivesi's family Melissa Woo (front left) with Minister for Woman Mereseini Vuniwaqa join in the senior citizen's 102nd birthday celebration at the Golden Age Home in Samabula on Saturday, July 7, 2018. Picture: RAMA

IT is a tremendous blessing to turn 102-years-old.

For Benina Cirivesi, turning 102 yesterday was through nothing else, but through faith and dedication to God.

Ms Cirivesi is the oldest person out of the 58 residents at the Samabula Senior Citizens Home in Suva.

Ms Cirivesi, who became a resident of the home in 2006, celebrated her birthday with her family, friends, and also with the Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Mereseini Vuniwaqa and the permanent secretary, Dr Josefa Koroivueta.

Speaking at the celebrations yesterday, Ms Cirivesi acknowledged God for giving her a long life to live.

She spoke about Heaven and the golden gates and highlighted that she would be going there on the day she would be called.

The 102-year-old said like everyone else, she also went through many challenges in life, but she continuously prayed for God not to abandon her.

She said there were a lot of worldly issues that were occurring and told those present at her birthday celebration yesterday, that time was changing and that God’s coming was near.

She also urged those present yesterday that we needed to prepare ourselves for God’s calling.

Melissa Woo, who was regarded by Ms Cirivesi as a granddaughter, said she only knew “Bu Be” as a church member because there was always an invitation by her every Sabbath for lunch.

“After how many years, we thought that she had passed away, but my mum came to the home one day and found her here and so ever since that day, we have been coming to visit her here,” she said.

“We are not blood-related but she used to call us her grandchildren because there was no family of hers that I know of.”

Mrs Vuniwaqa said it was an opportunity to recognise the number of years Ms Cirivesi had attained and contributed to society.

“A lot of them (senior citizens) have been forgotten by family and friends and this kind of occasion is an opportunity to bring in those people,” she said.

“We see the differences in ethnicities, but it hasn’t stopped them to count each other as families.”

She said it was only important to recognise the families that cared about those in the homes.

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