Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Membership dropping in Methodist church

from w
I'm not surprised at the numbers dropping. There are several reasons - one  - the emergence of numerous American style new churches with upbeat music and use of technology. The message is probably the same but if a dozen youth join, their friends tend to go also, and eventually there is a lot of young people in the new church.  The Methodists don't even have a website to inform people of worship times, programs, news, social justice issues (if that's allowed) photos.  Certainly one photo in Fijilive today of the delegates in Centenary Church today seems to have very few youth and very few women. There needs to be an excitement about the church, a celebration, the relevance of being a Christian in the Fiji of today... and not too much talk about leaders!

From Fijilive:

The hottest topic on day one of the 3-day Methodist Church Conference today was decline in membership particularly in youths. Reverend Abel Nand from Ba Methodist told FijiLive, compared to 2011 with 201, 884 members, the number has dropped this year to 197,226. “A decrease of 4656 has been recorded and accumulating the number is the Methodists youths,” Rev Nand said. He said living in the 21st century where technology plays a major role in people’s lives, the Methodist Church of Fiji need to make changes to be able to relate better to their youth members. “This is the 21st century and everything associated in this era is with technology and every youth has a lifestyle that has been derived from westernisation, that is how the new Methodist is functioning,” Rev Nand said. “Things need to change in the Methodist Church after 20 years because the young people in this era are not only the leaders of tomorrow but the citizens of today.” Today's meeting continues till 8pm.Tomorrow, the church is expected to decide on the new levies to be paid by members, the pending appointments as well as their submission to the Constitution Commission.   By Indrani Krishna  

Read more at:
Copyright 2012 ©

And Rev Tevita will be the new Secretary, up from being Assistant and that's good news. 

And the Assistant Secretary is the head of Davuilevu Theological College which is a plus.

Reverend Doctor Eperneri Vakadewavosa was this afternoon elected the new assistant general secretary of the Methodist Church in Fiji and Rotuma. The prinicipal of the Methodist Theological College in Davuilevu steps into the role of Rev Tevita Nawadra for a period of one year. The electoral process went into the third round as none of the 4 nominees were able to get majority votes, more than 51%. Rev Vakadewasosa said it was important ministers were well versed and educated on the gospel because their congregations were also well educated. He also added that educated ministers would provide a strong sense of leadership and guidance in the face of changes. Meanwhile, the election for the vice president's position will be held later this evening. The annual conference of the Methodist Church is currently in its second day in Suva. By Indrani Krishna

Read more at:
Copyright 2012 ©
And here's a piece from the Fiji Times and the last three points seem to me to be quite relevant.

Church to focus on 11 pillars

Nanise Loanakadavu
Thursday, August 30, 2012
THE Methodist Church in Fiji and Rotuma will focus on the 11 pillars included in its constitution as a way of moving forward.
This includes concentrating on the salvation of its members, strengthening of family relationships, standard improvement of all church institutions and schools, focusing on stewardship, providing employment to church members, improving inter-church relationships, improve inter-faith relationships and enhancing technology within the church in terms of communication.
Newly-appointed church president Reverend Tuikilakila Waqairatu said over the years the church provided education through registered church institutions and schools.
"We have taken this new initiative in providing employment for them so that when they complete their education they have a job to look forward to," Mr Waqairatu said following his appointment yesterday.
He said while the church concentrated on other developments, their main focus would be the family.
He said a strong family foundation would result in a good nation. However, he added they would maintain the concept of what the church was about — the salvation of its members.
Assistant general secretary Reverend Tevita Nawadra said they were optimistic that members present at the three-day meeting would use the 11 pillars as their driving force when they returned home tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Thank God for the Indian Division

from w
Once upon a time I was a member of Dudley Methodist Church and I have always had a soft spot for the people of the small Indian Division of the church in Fiji.  Thank God for people like this writer, James Bhagwan,  who is hoping to be ordained soon. There's some interesting points in his article such as the focus in the early Methodist Conferences in England - they didn't talk about money at all!  And in Fiji it is nearly fifty years since the Independence of the Fiji Methodist Church. I remember that time and the highlights of a drama at Albert Park. I think Peceli was ordained during that conference too.  Those were the days - confident, optimistic years. The article below was in the Fjii Times.

Methodist musings

Off The Wall With Padre James Bhagwan
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
BEGINNING yesterday morning, the Methodist Church in Fiji and Rotuma will hold its first annual conference since 2008.
Over the next three days new leadership will be chosen, 26 probationary ministers (myself included) will seek the churches approval for ordination, and a number of candidates will seek entrance into the ministry.
Important issues relating to the life and work of the Methodist Church will be discussed and decided upon.
While somewhat nervous about appearing in front of the leaders of the church for the final step in the six-year journey towards ordination, I am grateful for the journey itself.
I am also encouraged about the future of the church in which standing with me will be a group fellow servants, who are not only diverse in background but also include six women (one of our sisters having passed away some years back).
It is the 48th year since the Methodist Church in Fiji and Rotuma became an independent conference from the Methodist Church in Australasia.
It is also the 268th year since the first Methodist Conference was held in London (August 25 to 30, 1744) comprising John and Charles Wesley, four other ordained ministers and four lay assistants.
According to the Wesley Centre Online, the key items on the agenda were:
1. What to teach.
2. How to teach.
3. How to regulate doctrine, discipline, and practice.
For two days they conversed on such vital doctrines as the Fall, the Work of Christ, Justification, Regeneration, Sanctification.
The answer to the question "How to teach " was fourfold:
1. To invite.
2. To convince.
3. To offer Christ.
4. To build up.
And to do this in some measure in every sermon. In the light of later history, the questions relating to the Church of England are of great interest. It was agreed to obey the bishops "in all things indifferent," and to observe the canons "so far as we can with a safe conscience."
The charge of schism was anticipated thus:
"Q. 12. Do not you entail a schism on the Church that is, Is it not probable that your hearers after your death will be scattered into sects and parties Or, that they will form themselves into a distinct sect
"A. 1. We are persuaded the body of our hearers will even after our death remain in the Church, unless they be thrust out.
2. We believe, notwithstanding, either that they will be thrust out or that they will leaven the whole Church.
3. We do, and will do, all we can to prevent those consequences which are supposed likely to happen after our death.
4. But we cannot with good conscience neglect the present opportunity of saving souls, while we live, for fear of consequences which may possibly or probably happen after we are dead."
It was decided that lay assistants should be employed "only in cases of necessity." The rules of an assistant are terse: "Be diligent. Never be triflingly employed. Be serious....Speak evil of no one; else your word, especially, would eat as doth a canker."
It was decided that the best way to spread the Gospel was "to go a little and little farther from London, Bristol, St. Ives, Newcastle, or any other society. So a little leaven would spread with more effect and less noise, and help would always be at hand."
It is evident that the towns here named were regarded as the centers of Methodism in that year. The belief was expressed that the design of God in raising up the preachers called Methodists was "to reform the nation, particularly the Church,': and "to spread scriptural holiness throughout the land." (Source:
Two Sundays ago, I had the privilege of reading the Gospel lesson at the Centenary Church for the long-overdue induction of the President, General-Secretary and Deputy General-Secretary along with some department heads who had been appointed in the past three years.
The guest peacher at the service was the Bishop of the Nevada-California Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church in the United States of America.
As Methodist ministers, deaconesses and lay leaders gather for the next three days to reflect on the past three year and envision the future of the Methodist Church, the words of Bishop Brown are food for thought.
Reminding his brother and sister Methodist of the call by Jesus to be salt of the earth and light to the world, the Reverend Doctor Brown made two important challenges to the congregation and to the church.
The first was to align our will with God's will and the second was to act out of love and bear witness of God's unconditional love in all our actions.
These challenges are part of the Methodist tradition as John Wesley himself practised what he preached in his constant work with the poor and the despised of the earth, and his involvement in the societal problems and controversies of his day.
Wesley did not entertain the illusion that we could bring the good news of God's limitless love to those deep in suffering without addressing that suffering.
How can we expect anyone to understand (much less believe) the news that they are prized and welcomed by God when they are despised, disdained, abused and rendered nearly invisible by the human world on which they depend for identity and for survival — and when the bearer of God's invitation is content to leave them there?
For Wesley, the Christian declaration of the sacredness of human personality (the real reflection of 18th century individualism in his thought) could not be separated from addressing the realities, economic, political, social, and technical, which battered and suppressed that humanity and which wreaked such physical, moral and spiritual destruction among the poor.
Simply put, for Wesley, true Christianity meant doing good deeds for the benefit of their neighbours as a demonstration of God's love and as a way of actualising God's kingdom.
For those of us who call ourselves Methodists, this is the tradition in which we are called to live and serve.
It is this tradition in which the church's leaders and members gathered at this year's conference will be tasked with making their decisions.
"Simplicity, Serenity, Spontaneity."
* Reverend JS Bhagwan is a Masters in Theology student at the Methodist Theological University in Seoul, South Korea. Views expressed are the author's and not necessarily those of The Fiji Times. Visit the blog or

Congratulations Tui

A surprise, or perhaps not, Rev Tuikilakila has been elected as the new President of the Methodist Church in Fiji.  The conference started this morning after a lapse of four years after being banned from meeting.  Politics and church?  Where do you draw the line?
Reverend Tuikilakila Waqairatu new Methodist Church President
Publish date/time: 29/08/2012 [13:11]
The Methodist Church of Fiji has elected a new President, Reverend Tuikilakila Waqairatu in the last hour with 56% of the total votes cast.
A total of 300 ordained ministers also vied for the top post.
Waqairatu was the former general secretary for the Methodist Church of Fiji.
More later this afternoon.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Cook Islanders in preparation

from w
With a flurry of preparations for the visitors for the South Pacific Forum, the Cook Islanders have managed to obtain some fine vehicles to get the delegates around, but it looks like the meet will be overloaded with representatives from the powerful nations rather than the Islanders themselves.

Every forum needs a motorcade, even on tiny Rarotonga

  • 7 reading now

Daniel Flitton Rarotonga, Cook Islands

IT HELPS that the island is shaped like a squashed baked bean, with the only major road a ring that runs around the coast.
Any scooter-straddling tourists who happen to miss a stop can just keep going and half an hour later find it again.
But with Cook Islands about to host a Pacific-wide summit of world leaders - with a celebrity appearance by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton - the tiny nation of barely 12,000 people is gearing for a new challenge: traffic.
Not a hire car has been left idle on the main island Rarotonga so the 15 leaders, including Prime Minister Julia Gillard, and their minders can be swept back and forth.
Generous locals have even surrendered their vehicles ahead of the week-long Pacific Islands Forum. People have been warned to get out of the way whenever a diplomatic convoy led by a flashing police bike rounds one of the island's four bends.
But there are limits.
The Americans had wanted 10 large SUVs to transport Mrs Clinton's entourage across the island during their 24-hour stay. That left the forum's logistics co-ordinator, Jaewynn McKay, somewhat flabbergasted.
''I said to them, 'have you seen any of those here'?'' she told The Age.

It's not only cars. The forum clashes with the peak tourist season, making accommodation the biggest headache.
About 600 officials, media and politicians are attending, not only Pacific countries, but delegations from 60 countries, including far-flung Kosovo.
The problem is doubly complicated by the decision to decamp leaders, officials and media tomorrow and fly them to the distant island of Aitutaki, to get a photo against what is regularly dubbed the most beautiful lagoon in the world.
But the attention is worth it to promote Cook Islands and help the economy. ''Where we can, we've tried to keep everything local,'' said Ms McKay.

Read more:

Hillary Clinton to attend 

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been confirmed to attend the Pacific Islands Forum in the Cook Islands this week.
Speculation about her attendance has swirled for weeks, ahead of confirmation by her spokeswoman Victoria Nuland on Wednesday morning. Mrs Clinton will attend the post-forum dialogue on August 31, "as part of our intensive engagement and ongoing collaboration with the Pacific Islands", Ms Nuland said. "Her visit will emphasise the depth and breadth of American engagement across economic, people to people, strategic, environmental, and security interests.
"The visit also represents a concerted effort to strengthen regional multilateral institutions, develop bilateral partnerships, and build on alliances - three core elements of US strategy toward the Asia-Pacific."
Mrs Clinton will lead the highest-level US delegation in the forum's history, accompanied by senior officials from the Departments of State, Defence, and Interior. Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard and New Zealand's Prime Minister John Key both fly to Rarotonga for the forum on Wednesday. Both leaders are expected to have bilateral talks with Mrs Clinton.
Mrs Clinton's attendance at the forum comes as part of a wider trip to Indonesia, China, East Timor, Brunei, and Russia.
She will also lead the US delegation to the APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting in Vladivostok on September 8 and 9.
-------------  The photo is not of Hiliary, but of Julie, the Australian Prime Minister and she certainly seemed to enjoy the welcoming to Raratonga!

Friday, August 24, 2012

When will they ever learn about the Qawa River?

from w
Again and again people complain about the pollution in the Qawa River caused by the Labasa Sugar Mill yet no-one does anything about it.  For years this has been a problem and even a local high school has students taking samples that show how bad it is.  But the clean-up just doesn't happen.  Even cane harvesting season the Qawa River is full of dead fish.
From the Fiji Times:

Concern over dead fish, crabs

Serafina Silaitoga
Friday, August 24, 2012
REPORTS of people collecting dead fish and crabs from a contaminated river in Labasa and selling or eating them has raised the alarm at the Ministry of Health.
Ministry spokesman Peni Namotu said eating the dead fish and crabs from the Qawa river, outside Labasa Town, could result in food poisoning.
He said selling the crabs was a serious issue and people must not sell them at all.
"It is a health risk and we are urging people not to collect them to eat meals because it is a health risk. It is dead in a river and should not be collected at all for meals.
"Residents should keep away from eating the dead seafood because it can cause food poisoning.
"There is also a high risk of water-borne diseases if the dead crabs and fish are eaten."
Batinikama resident Sant Prakash said people tried selling the crabs to him but he refused to buy them.
"It is not safe and the authorities should do something because one man tried selling some crabs to me but I smelt it first and it stank.
"The crabs were also dead and I refused to buy them. People are also taking them to the market to sell and I am concerned about others who might buy them."
Mohammed Idrish, another resident of Batinikama, said even their own animals that used to depend on the river for water no longer drank from it.
"I used to take my cows there before the crushing season started because the river was not in a bad state as what we see today," he said.
"Every time during the harvesting season, this same problem happens and our residential area is polluted with the stench from the river."

Thursday, August 23, 2012

A bit of overcrowding in Raratonga

from w
It's hard to believe how the South Pacific Forum has moved from a cluster of small Pacific Islands having a group hug, kalavata shirts or dresses, a talk fest, to the huge number of representatives for next week's meet! Super powers itching for their share of power and advice alongside Tomu, Dike, Ari and Arieta!

Superpowers focus on tiny Rarotonga for the Pacific Forum

US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton … leading largest delegation expected to hit Rarotonga. Image: CSMonitor
Pacific Scoop: Report – By Rachel Reeves in Rarotonga
Some of the world’s most prominent superpowers could converge on the little Pacific island of Rarotonga next week.
The Pacific Islands Forum could be the impetus for the United States, China and Russia to be in the same place at the same time.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is making global headlines this week, as the world wonders whether she is in fact hauling a cargo plane and a delegation of about 50 people to this South Pacific paradise.
2012 PIF logoWhile China is not officially an observer country, it will be sending a delegation to the Forum. Yesterday coordinators had yet to receive travel arrangement details for the Chinese.
Cook Islands News understands there is a possibility of a Russian delegation coming to the Forum, though Russia is neither an observer nor a post-Forum dialogue partner.
Media liaison officer Derek Fox says Russia is unlisted, but he understands “there may be some interest in someone from Russia coming”.
That, he noted, is unconfirmed. He took the opportunity to point out that Clinton’s attendance is also unconfirmed.
Notable politicians Other notable politicians attending include Britain’s Environment and Fisheries Minister Richard Benyon and Michelle Bachelet, former President of Chile and current executive of UN Women, who will be leading the United Nations delegation.
A total of 57 countries and organisations will be represented at the Forum.
The average size of a Pacific Island delegation is under 10. Should Clinton make the journey to Rarotonga, her delegation is likely to be the largest of them all.
In total there will be 15 Pacific Islands Forum member countries represented – they are Australia, the Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.
The secretary-general of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat will be bringing his own delegation of 11 people.
Fiji has been suspended over its military-backed regime.
French Polynesia and New Caledonia are attending as associate members, and the Cook Islands News has confirmation that French Polynesian president Oscar Temaru will be representing the former.
‘Observer’ delegations All up, 12 “observer” delegations are attending – representing American Samoa, Guam, Timor-Leste, Tokelau, Wallis and Futuna, ACP Group, Asian Development Bank, Commonwealth Secretariat, United Nations, Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission and the World Bank.
Some countries (or blocs) which are neither members nor observers will be sending delegations to Rarotonga – they are Canada, China, European Union, France, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Other accredited delegations include Cuba, Israel, Singapore and Taiwan.
Nine CROP (Council of Regional Organisations in the Pacific) agencies will be attending – Fiji School of Medicine, Pacific Aviation Safety Office, Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency, Pacific Islands Development Program, Pacific Power Association, Secretariat of the Pacific Community, Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Program, South Pacific Tourism Organization, and the University of the South Pacific.
Fox says the numbers of security personnel are unlisted, as technically the Cook Islands police – and the New Zealand police sworn in to assist them during the Forum – are responsible for maintaining law and order.
Rachel Reeves is political reporter with the Cook Islands News. CIN reports on the Pacific Islands Forum will be featured on Pacific Scoop, along with stories by AUT postgraduate communication studies journalists and students.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Give Hillary a horse!

from w
What a kerfuffle is going on in the Cook Islands with the expectation that USA is sending Hillary Clinton to the little Pacific forum meet.  Her entourage usually involves 90 people and the Cook Islanders are jumping in the air over how to find suitable cars for the visitors.  Here is a funny article about it all.

Getting to Labasa via Savusavu

from w
It's a bit rough on passengers trying to get to Labasa from Suva or Nadi these days - you can fly as far as Savusavu and then you have to go some other way to Labasa - hire your own van or car!  Not good. Fiji Sun ought to have some arrangement.
from Fiji Times today:

Arrange own transport

Serafina Silaitoga
Monday, August 20, 2012
PACIFIC Sun passengers opting to fly to Savusavu during the closure of the Labasa airport will have to make their own transport arrangements for Labasa.
Pacific Sun spokesman Shane Hussein said passengers would be required to arrange their own transport from Savusavu to Labasa.
"Pacific Sun will increase frequency into Savusavu while the Labasa Airport is closed for runway maintenance work," Mr Hussein said. "Customers holding tickets for flights to Labasa will be offered the choice to be flown to Savusavu during this period," he said.
The Labasa Airport will undergo maintenance work from August 31 to September 12.
Airports Fiji Limited will spend about $1.8million on the maintenance work to be carried out on the runway. AFL chief executive Lawrence Liew said Labasa was a key airport in the north and the State had allocated funds for the upgrading work.

Some might call it a Clayton's Conference

from w
Not quite the usual Methodist Conference, but at least they are meeting this year, even with the provisos set by the regime - no bazaar, no choir competition, no soli (offering).  Only three days allowed, and of course the discussions will be monitored for any suspicious political comment!  Well, they've kicked off with the installation yesterday of leaders chosen four years ago but not installed then.. The discussion meetings will take place after the Hibiscus Festival finishes - another proviso.

(added later:  I think the title is misleading. It should read 'inducted' not ordained. There is rather an important difference.  'Ordained' is a significant step for a candidate for the minister to be accepted and blessed. 'Inducted' means to be blessed when accepting a position -  of leadership in this case.)

from Fiji Times:

Finally ordained, 3 years on

Unaisi Ratubalavu
Monday, August 20, 2012
Centenary Church in Suva was, yesterday, full to capacity as members gathered to witness the induction of executives of the Methodist Church in Fiji and Rotuma after they were elected into office by the church conference in August 2008.
The chief guest and leader of the Uniting Methodist Church in the United States, Bishop Warner Brown Junior, in his opening sermon, said it had been a long wait for everyone.
Church president Reverend Ame Tugaue was the first to be inducted, followed by Reverend Tuikilakila Waqairatu as the general secretary and his assistant Reverend Tevita Nawadra Banivanua.
Another 12 executives were installed at yesterday's church service.
Mr Banivanua said the church executives were happy that the government had finally given the green light for the church to have this important church service and the annual conference in Suva.
The annual church conference will be held on August 29 at the Centenary Church.
Bishop Brown Jnr is also in the country to sign a bilateral agreement with the Methodist Church in Fiji and Rotuma where the two churches will be working together.
"Last week, we received a container full of medical supplies from our friends in the United States who have offered to help the needy and poor in Fiji," Mr Nawadra said.

from Fiji Village:
Reverend Tugaue installed as Methodist Church president
Publish date/time: 19/08/2012 [17:03]
More than 500 members of the Methodist Church were present at the Centenary church when Reverend Ame Tugaue was installed as its church President today.

Reverend Tugaue was elected to the position during the annual conference in 2008 and since then the Methodist church annual conference was canceled which led to no installation. 

Other senior executives of the church who were installed today include the General Secretary Reverend Tuikilakila Waqairatu and Deputy General Secretary Reverend Tevita Nawadra.
Also present at the service was Reverend Dr Bishop Warner Brown Junior from California/Nevada Annual Conference of the United Methodist church.

The three day annual conference of the Methodist church will be held at the Centenary church next week.

Story by: Watisoni Butabua

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

An unhappy chappie

from w
What would you do if your new ID card had a photo of you that made you look silly, not handsome, or grossly different?  One guy squashed his new card when he was dismayed by his pic.  And he was taken to court as the card was given to him by the Fiji Government!  Damaging property worth $2! A good behaviour bond.  How stupid for that!

Bound over for damaging EVR card

August 15, 2012 | Filed under: Fiji News | Posted by: 
A taxi driver who damaged his electronic voter registration (EVR) identification card was bound over to be on good behaviour.
Satya Nand Prasad squashed his EVR card in front of EVR clerk Karalaini Viala at MH Superfresh Supermarket in Tamavua on July 18.
The court heard that Prasad got himself registered on the said day but was unhappy with the outcome of his photo.
He then requested if another one could be issued to which the EVR clerk said it was not possible.
Prasad than squashed the card and threw it back at her.
Magistrate Sofia Hamza said that even though he had damaged a card worth $2 only, it was an official Government ID card.
Magistrate Hamza ordered that Prasad be bound over for the next six months to maintain good behavior.
The 53- year- old sought the court’s forgiveness after pleading guilty to one count of damaging property.
The magistrate said if the court was satisfied with his behaviour during this six month period, the n he would be discharged.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Colin's Comments on the word 'Constitution'

from w
In the features section of today's Fiji Times are some comments from a letter-writer, Colin Deokie. Vinaka Colin.  But I did like the typo  of  a 'scared institution' instead of 'sacred institution'!  Yes, I guess we do get scared at times about such a thing as a legal document about society.

Building on truth

Colin Deoki
Friday, August 10, 2012
What "Source" did the former leaders of Fiji refer to when planning and formulating the Constitutions of Fiji?
In the past, they tried valiantly to establish a "Moral Code of Conduct" to govern the nation. However, their best efforts created anomalies.
The word "Constitution" means, "Fundamental principles to govern a nation or body."
'Fundamental' means, "Base or Foundation".
The word "Principle", I discovered, means "Fundamental Truth or Law as the basis of reasoning or action, a personal code of conduct, a moral attitude". The word comes from the Latin, "Principium" or "Source".
Over 2000 years ago a 'source' of infinite wisdom said, "Whoever builds a house on sand will see it washed away".
This 'source' also said that anything founded upon "TRUTH" will grow strong, becoming a blessing for countless generations.
In 1965 during the London Constitutional Conference, and just before Fiji's independence, a few good men and women recommended that if the Constitution was founded upon Justice, Equality and Truth the nation would get a flying start to succeed through any storm.
Fear-mongering crash-landed that vision plunging the nation into near chaos.
The "House" referred to in Fiji's context, I believe, is the House of Parliament.
The House of Parliament is a scared institution because it is where the hopes and dreams of a nation are debated, defined and declared law. If the laws enacted in this House flout the very principles of Justice, Equality and Truth, it will crumble and fall.
After 40 years in the 'wilderness' there's an opportunity to rebuild a strong and vibrant nation using the simple, yet powerful mandate for building anything of value - "Unless the Lord builds the house, the labourers build in vain".
It requires wisdom, courage and sacrifice to lay the foundation on the tenets of "Truth" so that the "House" will withstand, not only the test of time, but be a blessing to generations yet unborn.
I believe God's vision for Fiji is simple - one nation, one people, one song!
Because the 'source' says, "Ye shall know the Truth and the Truth shall set you free!"
As in the past, a Constitution with anything less will be but a shadow masquerading as the Truth.
nColin Deoki is a frequent Letter writer to The Fiji Times. These views are his and not of this newspaper.

travelling to Labasa

from w
If you intend travelling to Labasa, you need to know that the airport near Labasa will be closed from August 31 to September 13 and travellers will need to fly to Savusavu then use land transportation.
from one of the Fiji papers today:

Flights diverted

Salaseini Vosamana
Saturday, August 11, 2012
LABASA bound flights from August 31 to September 13 will be diverted to Savusavu Airport as the $1.8million upgrade starts at Labasa's Waiqele Airport.
Airports Fiji Limited general manager Lawrence Liew confirmed this yesterday, saying the airport would be closed during the maintenance period.
The situation has forced an increase in flights by Pacific Sun to service the Savusavu route during the Labasa Airport closure.
"We are reminding our customers that all flights for Vanua Levu will only be made to Savusavu Airport as upgrade works will be undertaken in Labasa," Mr Liew said in a statement.
"Government has allocated funds to repair and upgrade the runway and fire station at the airport.
"Labasa is a key airport in the north and we understand the inconvenience it will cause but safety is paramount, thus it's only proper we fix the runway."
Pacific Sun manager Shaenaz Voss said flights by the airline to Labasa would be ceased but their services would increase in Savusavu during this period to "relieve some of the pressure because of the Labasa Airport closure."

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Leslie Copeland and javelin

from w
I looked up the results for the preliminary round for javelin at the London Olympics and it looks like Leslie Copeland threw 80.19 metres but just missed out on the final cut by a few centimetres. He was 6th in Group A but there were several good throwers in Group B. What a shame. He is a very fine athlete representing Fiji. But he did beat the Aussie and American throwers!

Group A
12599Norway THORKILDSEN Andreas  84.47  Q84.47Q+
21982Greece LEBESIS Spiridon    82.40  Q82.40Q+
32609New Zealand FARQUHAR Stuart  82.32 Q82.32Q+
41725Finland MANNIO Ari     81.99  Q81.99q+
51901Germany HABER Tino   80.39  Q80.39q+
61716Fiji COPELAND Leslie 80.19  Seasonal best80.19SB

Copeland misses to end Fiji Olympics bid August 09, 2012A+ A-||| 0 inShare   Follow @ Twitter By Sunil Sharma     Leslie Copeland, one of the Fiji’s hopes at the London Olympic Games finished in 13th position in the men’s Javelin and missed out on a spot in the finals to bring down the curtain to Team Fiji’s participation in the Games. Copeland threw the javelin 80.19metres in the qualifying round today, but it wasn’t enough to earn him a spot in Sunday’s final. “Thank you everyone for the prayers and support,” he posted on his facebook page shortly after his near-miss. “I fell short of the finals today. It was an amazing experience. I would really love to carry our national colours into the finals but hopefully next time around I can make my country proud. Once again, vinaka vakalevu and wish you all a pleasant day.”   Copeland’s qualifying throw was also short of his 80.45m national record which he set at the 2011 World Universiade Games in China. Copeland was accompanied to London by his coach, James Goulding and his section manager, Roy Ravana. Team Fiji officials and athletes who are still in London will stay on for the completion of the Games and will return to the country next week. Swimmers Paul Elaisa and Matelita Buadromo returned to Fiji on Monday.   FijiLive 

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Team Fiji’s last athlete to compete in the 2012 Olympic Games was Leslie Copeland who we looked forward to his competition today in the Athletics Men’s Javelin Throw “A” Group Qualification.  Leslie threw a massive 80.19m producing his seasons best that placed him 6th amongst the best Javelin throwers in the world in his Group A. This stunned several of his competitors who asked ‘where did this guy come from’.  Leslie had to wait patiently for nearly two hours to see his final position after the “B” Group competition. 
Only the top 12 throwers in total from both groups qualify for the Final Round and medal play-off which will be held on Saturday. This was a nail-biting situation as a few athletes began throwing over the 80m mark. Slowly Leslie’s position slipped to 13th putting him out of contention for the medal challenge. The German thrower, Tino Haber claimed the 12th position with a throw of 80.39m, a mere 20cm better then Leslie. 
Going into the competition Leslie’s personal best throw ranked him as 40th out of the 44 competitors.  The final overall standing saw Leslie ranked in 13th position.  A remarkable achievement that Team Fiji is very proud of.
Leslie was disappointed for just missing out making the finals but on a brighter side, he was ahead of many top ranking throwers including World champions and the silver medallist from the 2008 Olympic Games.
He is putting this experience behind him and intends to work extra hard towards the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.