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Lomaiviti Princess V Hopes To Set Trend

Lomaiviti Princess V Hopes To Set Trend
Lomaiviti Princess V deck hands. From left: Apisai Nasilasila, Adriano Rabolabiu, John Koroi and Tieri Ratini inside the cafeteria on December 4, 2017. Photo: Taraivini Seru
December 06
11:00 2017

Goundar Shipping Limited managing director George Goundar hopes other inter-island vessel company owners take cue from his purchasing the $2.5 million Lomaiviti Princess V.

Lomaiviti Princess V was es­corted into the Suva Harbour last Wednesday by the other GSL vessels Lomaiviti Princess 1, 2, 3 and 4. It is now the biggest and most modernised inter-island vessel.

The vessel has the capacity to carry 1500 passengers and 164 vehicles. Facilities include a children’s play corner, spacious interior and deck seating arrangements, modern pub­lic facilities including showers and work stations for travelling business­men/women to work on their laptops etcetera.

Lomaiviti Princess V is expected to sail its maiden voyage to the North next week with a discount of 20 per cent fare.

“There is so much potential in the outer islands, in the Northern and Eastern divisions, they deserve to travel comfortably,” Mr Goundar said.

“Our purchasing bigger and better vessels are to meet the expectations of the local sea travellers,” he said.

“Gone are the days where passen­gers walk on planks to get onto a ves­sel, load their cargo and likewise in offloading.

“Government has built good wharves it is only fair that people are provided with the services they deserve.

“Mishaps and injuries are liable to happen when people get on and off from the sides, the risks are high.

“I just hope there are some stand­ards are set so that those in the is­lands are served accordingly by ship­ping companies.

“Such mode of shipping services need to be eliminated, we are now a modern Fiji we need to be abreast with the way we deliver our services.

“The islanders rely on us to assist them bring their harvest, their catch to the nearest trading port – they are contributing to the economy; it is only fair that we (shipping services) pro­vide them according to their expecta­tions.

In six and a half years and after 27 years in Canada, Mr Goundar now has a fleet of five vessels. Mr Goundar attributes his success to his more than 200 loyal employees who have stood by the company through thick and thin.

“I am also grateful to Government for its support and trust.

Mr Goundar grew up in Koro and then later in Levuka before he left for Canada to study mechanical engi­neering and stayed on to work.

“I am guided by the man upstairs; he is my guide and strength; after 27 years away he has assisted me to work smarter.

Then Mr Goundar is not only con­centrating in transportation he has bigger plans for the people of Lomaiviti. He has already organis­ing a group of medics to visit Ovalau, Koro and Gau Islands next year for free medical service.

“I am hoping that the people of Lomaiviti return to home as their land and sea are rich,” he said.

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