Sunday, October 04, 2009

Fiji Geelong Friendship Club

from Peceli
Last Friday night we had our annual meeting in our home. Our organisation has been running for over twenty years and is a network linking Fiji families living in the Geelong region and new migrants.

Fiji Geelong Friendship Club Inc.

President’s Report 2009

Only a life living for others is life worthwhile.
By Albert Einstein

Thanks to all menbers of the Fiji Geelong Friendship Club and welcome to our annual meeting. I am recovering from the extremely busy five weeks I had recently in Fiji Islands. A part of my trip was to attend the Annual Conference which was in fact not allowed because of the Emergency Regulations of the Interim Government and partly attending the funeral of Balebale Seniloli the husband of my niece in Nadi and going to Labasa for two weeks to see family, help with a Rotary project and a solar panel investigation with a young man from Melbourne. After I returned I had to go to Hobart to attend the funeral of Rev Aminiasi Qalo who was my school mate. He came from Komo Lau.

Every Tuesday Joe Cordone’s office became a place for an enjoyable bowl of kava. Our routine in Geelong has been to meet about fortnightly in the homes of some of our members, so we say a thank you to Selai and Ken, Sione and Kesa, Rev Tevita and Tine, Lai and Nicole, and Wendy for giving their homes for Friday meetings. We missed Joe Cordone for a few months when he went to Italy to visit his good mother. This year has been good year for a few babies, including the youngest daughter for Lai and Nicole, grand-children for Ken and Selai, Christine’s daughter Nanise, named after Siteri’s mother who died in the Sigatoka fire tragedy. The newest baby is Kitione, son of Vili and Lutu, Sailosi’s daughter. David and Ema Wetherell held two afternoon tea parties to fund-raise for the Methodist Church in Fiji. Vinaka vakalevu.

Fiji news comes to us via Tepola’s SBS program on Saturdays from 3 p.m. Wendy collects stories from the internet and also writes the Babasiga blog which gets about 300 hits per day. Fiji Day this year is on October 10th this year at Moorabin and is mainly a rugby tournament followed by an Island Night.

Alan Wise who is in hospital this week told me the Fiji boats no longer come to Geelong to collect wheat. Sometimes I get calls from people who have been referred on to the Fiji Geelong network such as a student researching Fiji, new migrants who do not know anyone, a lone Fijian in a nearby town. Also there are sometimes requests to assist with immigration matters such as referrals and letters to the Australian Embassy.

We received two grants from the Victorian Multicultural Commission, for $500 and $600 and we thank Wendy as Project Officer for making submissions for grant to pay for running our organization. The financial report prepared by Ken Osterfield explains the use of our money during the past year.

Wendy and I represented our group at Diversitat meetings and other occasions with representatives from the many migrant groups in Geelong.

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