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Flying Instructor Gets Fitting Farewell

Flying Instructor Gets Fitting Farewell
Pacific Flying School instructors carry the casket of the late Iliesa Tawalo at the PFS Hangar in Nadi after the flight from Nausori on March 8, 2018. Photo: Waisea Nasokia
March 09
11:00 2018


The hymn echoed through Fun World Hotel in Nadi yesterday as more than 1000 people from all backgrounds gathered to bid farewell to Pacific Flying School instructor, Iliesa Tawalo.

The Shiloh Life Church sang the hymn by famous country song artist, Vince Gill as a tribute to the late Mr Tawalo.

The 31-year-old was on a routine training flight on board the Cessna 172 aircraft with trainee pilot Merelesita Lutu when it crashed in the Delaikoro Ridge, in Macuata, during bad weather.

Tawalo’s casket was flown into the Pacific Flying School hanger from Nausori Airport yesterday morning and then escorted to his home at Beverly Hills, Votualevu where his family performed the ‘i vakasobu’.

At his home, family members were given the opportunity to spend a few minutes with him before proceeding to his homecoming service at the Fun World Hotel.

Eulogies had to be cut short as there was a need to proceed with the burial rites at Enamanu Cemetery due to Tawalo’s body condition.

Pacific Flying School Chief Instructor Lepani Naloma, while delivering his eulogy, said that he and the late Mr Tawalo had been friends since 2005.

“Iliesa was very dedicated student and for that reason he was appointed the ground instructor for the school. He would go to any length and help students pass flying school.  That is one of the things he was known for,” Mr Naloma said.

The high level of dedication to the flying school by the late Mr Tawalo led him to become a successful instructor,’ Mr Naloma said.

“He worked on his instructor training and commercial licence, just last year he managed to get his licence for instructor training, since 2005 until last year, it was a long journey but Iliesa was dedicated,” Mr Naloma said.

He described the late Mr Tawalo as a humble and kind-hearted person.

Tawalo’s uncle, Eloni Salagi, from Naseyani Village, in Ra, said he was a humble son.

“He never at any time spoke back to his parents when they disciplined him, he would never utter any word, and he was obedient to his parents and elders.

“All I can say that a son like Tawalo is hard to find. Nobody ever knew that this would come to this day when all gather to farewell him.  Only God knew this day.”

Edited by George Kulamaiwasa


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