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Cane Cutter Dies In Loading Incident

Cane Cutter Dies In Loading  Incident
(From left) Elder Son Epeli Silasila, wife Diela Boto and six year-oild Sailosi Qolica (front). Photo: Josaia Ralago
August 12
15:10 2017

The family of a 46-year-old cane cutter of Qelemumumu Village in Labasa are still trying to come to terms with his untimely death on Thursday.

Saimoni Qolica had been loading cane on to a tractor at a cane field near the village around 10am.

A statement from the Fiji Sugar Corporation stated; “The FSC notes with deep regret the untimely death of Mr Saimone Qolica on Thursday 10 of August as the result of an accident that occurred at the Bucaisau Sector in Vanua Levu.

“The late Mr Qolica was part of a cane cutting gang in the Bacaisau sector. They were putting finishing touches in loading cane onto a truck, when an accident happened causing him serious injuries.

“Mr Qolica was rushed to the Coqeloa Health Centre but was pronounced dead on arrival.”

His wife, Diela Boto Qolica, was inconsolable at their home on Friday.

“We are still shocked over what had happened. I miss him so much as he was a hardworking man, hardly spoke and struggled to make ends meet for our family,” Mrs Qolica said.

The 45-year-old, who is also a cane cutter, said she was working in another cane farm when she heard that her husband had been rushed to the Coqeloa Health Centre.

“Wednesday morning was the most unusual because we spent a little bit longer on the breakfast table eating and cracking jokes at around 5am. When he was about to leave the house, he kissed my younger son’s forehead and my cheek before he headed out,” she said.

“When I received the news of him being rushed to the health centre, I kept telling myself that he could be injured and not sick because he was fine in the morning.”

Mrs Coqeloa confirmed identifying her husband’s body at the health centre.

“I never expected it and I am still trying to wrap my head around it,” she said in between sobs.

Mr Qolica’s mother, 68-year-old Marica Seninawanawa said: “He was my second eldest son and he was reserved.”

“Never did I dream of the day when one of my eight children would die before my eyes,” she said.

The family lives in a one bedroom wood and corrugated house in the village.

“He worked so hard for our son’s education and to feed our family,” Mrs Qolica said.

He is survived by his wife and two sons – 20-year-old Epeli Silasila and six-year-old Saimoni Qolica Junior.

Edited by Karalaini Waqanidrola


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