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So Long, Master Tamani

So Long, Master Tamani
The casket of Mr Tamani being carried by family members at the Laucala Bay Parish yesterday.Photo:VILIMONI VAGANALAU
April 17
12:02 2016


Fijian rugby has lost another patron who advocated the sport at grassroots level around the country. These were the words of Fiji Marist Brothers patron, Brother Samuel Eathorne during the funeral service of the late Rupeni Tamanikaiyaroi at Laucala Bay Parish, Suva yesterday.

“I got to know him when we were teaching in Vanua Levu in the 1970s where he was coaching the Natewa rugby 7s team; that’s how I got to know him,” Eathorne said.

“He was very dedicated to young people and was always willing to help them in the field of sports especially rugby. He was well organised with his work.

“He was not only a teacher in the classroom but also outside in the field of sports. These were the two main things that he was well-known for.”

Earthorne said Tamani had played a significant role as the administrator of the Fiji Marist Brothers Education Trust Board for the past few years.

“It was great pleasure to have been part of Master Tamani’s life and he was a Marist strong believer as well.

“I believe he was also the founder of Kaji rugby for primary schools and it was well organised. Fiji Rugby has certainly lost a great rugby supporter, someone who will always be promoting rugby at the grassroots level.

“He believed that in order to lift the standard of rugby in Fiji to another level, they need to be trained with rugby skills at a very young age in order to become great rugby players in the future,” he said.

Master Tamani first received his primary education at Ratu Mocevakaca Primary School in Matuku, Lau. He then moved to Suva where he attended Suva Sangam High School. He later enrolled at Marist Brothers High School to complete his secondary education.

He graduated from Nasinu Teachers College in 1976. He holds a Master of Business Administration and Postgraduate Diploma for General Managers from the University of the South Pacific.

He taught in various schools around the country and held various high posts within the Ministry for Education before retiring in 2008.

He later took up the position of administrator of all Marist Brothers schools.

He also served as the president of Suva Kaji rugby and later became the co-ordinator of the Fiji Primary Schools Kaji Rugby. He coached the national Under-23 and U21 teams respectively.

He is survived by his wife, seven children and 20 grandchildren.

Edited by Leone Cabenatabua

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