Friday, April 27, 2007

Harry Yee from Labasa and a flood story

From w
Browsing through a bundle of old Fiji Times given to us, I found a story about Harry Yee, the oldest man in Labasa. The article was written by Serafina Qalo on February 15th.

Harry lived alone in his house in Naodamu though a housegirl came in the daytime to do his laundry and tidying up. The night of the flood Harry had made his evening meal and was in the kitchen when the water started coming inside his house. The kitchen door got stuck and he couldn't get out. Soon the kitchen was inundated with water up to Harry's chest. Fortunately by 9 p.m. his son had got worried about him and came to check on him and pushed the door in and rescued Harry. The next evening Harry was back to cooking his own evening meal! I guess a man of 101 years has had many adventures during his lifetime!

From Peceli
When I read the story in the Fiji Times about Harry Yee, the man who is now 101 years old I remembered an incident when I was quite young. I was a student from Davuilevu and on holidays in Labasa and Elia and I visited Ari in his shop. He asked us what we were doing and we told him we were theological students. ‘You read the Bible and pray.? Don’t you do any work? You both come and work with me in the shop.’ I told my sister what Ari had said and she laughed about it. Anyway both Elia and I went on to be Methodist ministers.


Pandabonium said...

I remember his 100th birthday. My great grandmother lived to be 106. What treasures of experience and wisdom our elders are! I wish I had appreciated that more when I was young enough to benefit from it. ;^)

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

He must be a very independent man, not to be living with relatives. Apparently his wife died a few years ago and he manages alone with a little bit of help from a house-helper. (I don't like the term 'house-girl').
Yes, we ought to spend more time with elderly people who have so many stories to tell.
Putting them into nursing homes seems so awful to me. It even happens in Fiji now - that some are sent to Old People's Homes.

Michelle said...

Hello Peceli and Wendy,

I'm Harry's granddaughter, Michelle, from Alberta, Canada. I stumbled across your blog while searching the internet for postings on my grandpa.

Unfortunately, he passed away on May 26th, 2008. He lived a long, healthy life, and like you said, was a very independent man up until his last days.

Thank you for your post. We can only hope to live a long and incredible life as he did!

Michelle Lem

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

Thank you Michelle for writing a comment. Peceli remembers him in Labasa many years ago. I'm sorry to hear that he died just over a week ago. What a long, long and fruitful life he has lived.