Saturday, April 19, 2014

Easter Day in East Geelong and Pacific Islanders

from w
A happy Easter Day to you all.
 Wesley and Dudley churches in Suva held a combined sunrise Holy Communion Service at 5.30am at the Suva Peace Garden in commemoration of today, Easter Sunday and all over Fiji there were special walks, services and celebratons of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Pacific Islanders dispersed in many countries of the world also celebrated today in special ways.

We had an early rise, going to Limeburners Point for the Dawn Service but the sun didn't come up bright and shiny until 7.30 when were up at the church Bay Room eating weetbix and hot cross buns. Then worship at 9 with almost a hundred people including five young men and women from Germany. I said Guten morgan to them and also Ich liber diche which caused a smile. The church was full of colourful butterflies. Then morning tea and I chatted with South Geelong older men and women. George's wife Bale is making roti and curry for lunch. We had many Pacific Islanders t our morning program - Samoans, Tongans and Fijians. Two of them are ministers of the Uniting Church, Rev Sani and Rev Ikani. We are really blessed.

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The funeral of Epi Dakai Ratawa at Vatuadova

from w
Talei from Vatuadova kindly put 71 photos on facebook taken this morning at the funeral of Epi Dakai Ratawa at Vatuadova village. Peceli, Andrew and Andrew Junr are there after flying from Melbourne to Nadi on Tuesday night then on to Labasa.  Even though it is not quite finished, they were able to use the new church at Vatuadova.

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Moana rising of the sea - the film

from w
The film will be released soon but already there have been stage productions. See two youtube video clips.. And there's a reference to the film version in today's Fiji Times.  To me, telling the story through dance, drama, music, art is always more interesting than seminars and debates and long lectures.

  • Moana: The rising of the sea (video clip 1) - YouTube
    Dec 8, 2013 - Uploaded by Rolando Cocom
    The show depicts various cultural dances/songs of Pacific Islands facing climate change.... In this clip - it's ...
    Dec 5, 2013 - Uploaded by Christopher Ward
    By the Oceania Centre for Arts, Culture and Pacific Studies Introduced by Professor Vilisoni Hereniko, University .

  • Moana: The rising of the sea

    Torika Tokalau
    Thursday, April 17, 2014
    THE Pacific message of climate change and the rise in sea levels was loud and clear in the world premiere of Vilsoni Hereniko's film Moana — The Rising of the Sea on Tuesday at the Oceania Film Festival.
    Hereniko said the challenge during the making of the film was capturing the strong emotional effect from a stage performance onto film about the issues highlighted. And after a positive appreciation from film lovers on Tuesday, Hereniko was satisfied that that was achieved.
    "The film focuses on the human dimension of climate change, how it feels to be forced to abandon your homeland and everything you hold dear," he said.
    "There is an urgency, particularly for low-lying islands such as Kiribati and Tuvalu, that the film captures.
    "It makes us realise that the threat of being inundated with water is here, and will never go away. It will become more and more intense, and what are we going to do about this?
    "This is the message in this film."
    Hereniko said the issue highlighted in the film was one everyone that had ever lived or lives in a small Pacific Island nation could relate to.
    "For anyone who has lived or lives on an island surrounded by the deep, beautiful, but dangerous sea, the thought that one day your island will be submerged under water is a possibility too cruel to contemplate.
    "And yet, this is happening in several islands in Oceania already, with more islanders contemplating their imminent demise and what that would mean to them as a people, a culture, even a nation."
    He said it was important for him to stage the world premiere of the film in Fiji because the film originated from Fiji.
    The film was funded by the EU. The issues highlighted were portrayed by a brilliant cast from USP's School of Performing Arts from the 2011 music drama production.
    The stage production was directed and choreographed by Peter Rockford Espiritu, with original music by Igelese Ete.

    Monday, April 14, 2014

    Something good for the people of Udu

    from w
    The people who live at the extreme east end of Macuata have always had trouble regarding transport to Labasa but the plan for a barge to start operating is excellent news.
    From today's Fiji Times:

    New barge to boost shipping service

    Repeka Nasiko
    Tuesday, April 15, 2014
    A NEW shipping service for villages between Malau and Udu Point is expected to lessen travelling hours and transport woes.
    Acting Commissioner Northern Alipate Bolalevu said the MV Sigavou would service the new route.
    "There are a lot of agricultural products that need to be transported to main town centres and this new route will make it easier for villagers to take their produce to these places," he said.
    "The route will start this month from Suva and then it'll make its way to Malau then onto Udu Point and then to Cikobia, Naqelelevu and then to Saqani."
    Mr Bolalevu said about a thousand people would benefit from the service.
    "For the tikina of Tawake alone, there are about five villages and they will all benefit from it.
    "This will open the door to development in these areas."
    The MV Sigavou was commissioned by the Prime Minister in February.
    The ship is the first vessel to join the Government Shipping Service fleet after 29 years.
    Rear Admiral Bainimarama had announced that the new barge could carry 20 passengers and was purchased from Malaysia at a cost of $US2.6million ($4.7m).
    He said a second landing craft, with a 30-passenger capacity as well as cargo, would arrive from Malaysia this month.

    Sunday, April 13, 2014

    Children's Sunday in Labasa

    from w
    Yesterday was Children's Day in Fiji - a day when children dress in white with bow ties, or flowers, and are upfront at church services then have a nice lunch. These photos were taken at Vatuadova village yesterday by one of the girls. Today the scene is different, a vakatunaloa (tin and bamboo shed) is being built ready for the hundreds of visitors coming for a funeral later in the week. And tomorrow is Ateca's birthday. Life is certainly contractions - pleasure and pain. The funeral is for Peceli's younger brother Epi Dakai who was born on October 30th 1938 so he would be 75 years old.  Click on any photo to see the whole album.
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    Friday, April 11, 2014

    Geelong and Fiji

    from w
    Last night our family joined in with about two hundred people to fund-raise for a Fijian family where the grandmother has serious medical issues such as amputation because of diabetes. The medical care in Fiji is not as good as previous years and many patients do not get adequate care.  Church people and Geelong and Ballarat Fiji connected families met for dinner in the Belmont Uniting Church as were entertained by a fire dance, string band songs and the friendship and fellowship was great. A big crowd so some had to sit on mats on the floor. The food was really Oz with some cassava but that was fine. There is a generosity expressed in events such as this and the link between Geelong and Fiji affirmed.

    Tuesday, April 08, 2014

    To 'change the mindset'

    from w
    A relative brought me some Fiji newspapers and magazines this week and it was interesting to compare the Fiji Sun and Fiji Times. So different. Now, to the topic. I am sick and tired of the term 'change the mindset' that is bandied around a lot in Fiji particularly from a particular political point of view.  It is assuming that people have the wrong mindset - or point of view - or prejudice or frame of reference about life in Fiji.  I think this is actually rude because it is putting down people as ignorant.  Even a talatala at Centenary was using this term, according to a story in the Fiji Sun - which is of course a newspaper that is  slanted in one direction and loves such a term as 'change the mindset'.  The Methodist Church in Fiji already has an excellent spokesperson in the media, but I don't think Rev Bhagwan uses this term. It's alright to present ideas to attempt to influence people but you have to be respectful and just offer different ideas, not to say  to change your mindset that is wonky!

    Open Pulpit for Guest Preachers aims to ‘Change Mindset’

    Methodists want to walk the talk about harmony, multiculturalism
    The Methodist Church in Fiji aims to change  mindsets by inviting guest preachers to the Centenary Church in Suva.
    Reverend John Samuel, was the first preacher to take up the invitation yesterday. He had arrived in the country in January to teach at the Pacific Theological College in Nasese, Suva. He is from Madurai, Tamil Nadu, South India.
    He has been a preacher for the past 25 years. The church’s senior minister Eroni Moce said he invited Reverend Samuel to help change the mindset of the people.
    “It is easy for people to preach or talk about multicultural, multiracial and not to discriminate but it is hard for people to actually do it,” he said.
    “I invited Reverend Samuel for a purpose and that is to help change the mindset of the people as the people here are usually seeing iTaukei share the word of God but today (yesterday) it is different.”
    He added people need to change their mindset and not just to say but do things.
    “The people that were present today (yesterday) were enthusiastic to know what the preacher will teach,” Mr Moce said.
    “I believe everyone who went home today was happy with the changes we are trying to do which will definitely help them spiritually.”
    Reverend Samuel said it was a privilege to preach at the Centenary Church yesterday and hopes to do it more often.
    “Today (yesterday) I preached about resurrection and how Jesus died on the cross so that our sins are forgiven,” the 57-year-old said.
    “I chose to share this message as Easter is in a few weeks time and glad that God has plans for me.”
    He also added the service was joyful and exciting as people were attentive and listened with interest.
    Reverend Samuel will return to India in June.

    Wednesday, April 02, 2014

    Retyred, retreaded, a hired forty year old 'antique' bus

    Retyred, retreaded, an antique bus. I don't think the article is meant to be funny for April Fools Day, but to me it is rather quaint.  Is it hired for a few days or several months?  The name is a bit tricky as there is a Fiji political party of the same name - or at least they did a submission to the Ghai constitution review a while back.

    March 31, 2014 | Filed under: Fiji News | Posted by: newsroom
    wati talebula, AQELA SUSU
    The Prime Minister, Rear Admiral (Retired) Voreqe Bainimarama, said he chose an open campaign bus because it would allow him to reach out to the public. He made this comment after launching his proposed political party, FijiFirst, and a campaign bus that he would be taking around the country to collect his 5000 signatures.
    “I chose this bus because it’s open and one that can reach out to the public at large, we don’t want a closed one,” Mr Bainimarama said.
    The bus is owned by the Island Buses Limited and is only hired by the Prime Minister.
    Company director Virendra Kewal confirmed it.
    He said the bus had been running for 40 years.
    “I can confirm that it is being hired by the Prime Minister for his campaign and this bus has been kept very well, in demand and an antique,” he said.