Tears flow as Koro islanders remember villagers killed during Cyclone Winston
Koro islanders living in Suva yesterday gathered for a church service to remember those killed when Cyclone Winston ravaged the island a year ago today.
For a natural disaster that would take forever to forget, the first 12 months, lived by survivors attending the church service at the Jubilee Hall in Toorak, Suva, was narrowed to a 20-minute march with wreaths while the names of the dead were called.
Reverend Buisena Ravoka, who presided the service, told the congregation that the way forward was that the people of Koro must look to the future and search within themselves the best ways and means of rebuilding the island.
“The tears you shed for your loved ones today will never be forgotten, but we must fight on at a time when our faith is tested learning from the deeds of the past and find the right model to take us to the future,” Reverend Ravoka said.
Speaking from three Bible verses that highlighted the sojourn of human endeavour for greatness, he said any achievement in life, without humility was a monument that would always be tested in time.
“Overnight, Koro Island had become one of the blood stream and green pasture of the country’s agro economical strength, but somewhere along the line we have questioned the chaos unleashed by TC Winston in our prayers as to what went wrong,” he said.
“The answer will be embedded in the silent decisions every individual will make for the future of their children and theirs as well.”
Ratu Sake Kaunisela Matavesi, the Tui Nasau, highlighted the need to touch base on the honourable ways of tradition once more.
“The heredity of individual traditional roles is consoled with honour and great respect for each other, which is something most Fijians are missing today,” Ratu Matavesi said.
“We only touch and speak on the level we are given rights to address and immaterial things was not an issue,” he said.
But he said it was respect that brought forth peace and harmonious living among the vanua and its people.
The highlight of the remembrance day will end in Koro Island tomorrow when the islanders living in Suva will cross the seas to commemorate the unveiling of a plaque at Nasau Village, where seven people were killed, the highest toll on the island.
Edited by Naisa Koroi