I was interested to read several items in the Fiji papers this week concerning a celebration at Navua at the Timothy Methodist Church named after a blind pastor. Peceli and I were involved for several years in the Indian Division of the Methodist Church in Fiji, particularly in Lautoka, Rakiraki and Dilkusha. In my early years in Fiji I was a member of the Dudley church in Suva and sometimes visited Navua to the homes of Dudley High School students.
We knew Timothy well and at one stage he lived with us in Rakiraki, sang and played his music and showed us how he read in Braille. He was such a lovely man, gentle and peaceful. Though Navua is a small town, several church leaders have emerged from this little Methodist Church near the Navua River, such as the Lucas family of course.
I read that our friend Daniel Mastapha and other former Fiji residents have gone back to Fiji for a reunion. The photo is of James Bhagwan and Daniel Mastapha. Many ex-Dudley, Dilkusha, and Lautoka Fiji-Indian Christians have moved overseas to Canada, New Zealand and Australia.
Just this weekend I talked with a Fijian friend Loloma Tukei Tali who once worked as a deaconess in the Methodist Church in Fiji and also had stayed with us in Rakiraki one time, working alongside Peceli in visiting the cane-farming families. Loloma and Tom (who is from Vanuatu) now live in Geelong so it is a wonderful friendship renewed.
Timothy Methodist Church in Navua Declared a Circuit
Saturday, July 14, 2007
After 101 years the Timothy Methodist Church in Navua, is to be declared a circuit that will no longer operate under the Dudley Methodist Church, in Suva .
The church part of Methodist Church’s Indian Division, gets its independence tomorrow in a special ceremony and church service led by former church president Reverend Dr Daniel Mustapha, now a resident of Australia. Divisional Superintendent Reverend William Lucas said that it will be a truly great occasion for the church.