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Man Delivers Eulogy For Grandson He Never Met

Man Delivers  Eulogy For  Grandson He Never Met
On the right , pall bearers carry the casket of Sanaila Ruitoka and on the left carrying Atilai Ruitoka Pareti's casket at Yavusania Village in Nadi on 11 August 2018. PHOTO: ARIETA VAKASUKAWAQA
August 12
12:11 2018

Josefa Pareti had never met his grandson.

But yesterday, he did so and that was to be the last time, in a casket, as Atilai Ruitoka’s body, together with Marika Rua and Sanaila Ruitoka, were laid to rest at Yavusania Village in Nadi.

The 70-year-old came all the way from Vanuabalavu and said goodbye to his grandson and also delivered his eulogy.

Mr Pareti is the late Atilai’s paternal grandfather. Atilai and his family have been living in his mother’s village, Yavusania, since birth.

“I haven’t met this grandson of mine and it saddens me that today I will say goodbye to him,” Mr Pareti said.

“His death has brought the Pareti family together. Even some of our relatives have come from overseas to be here.”

As hundreds gathered to pay their last respects for the three who died along with five others, Sanaila’s wife, Vilimaina Tabua, held one of her daughters tight beside her husband’s casket.

Marika hailed from Vatulele, Atilai was from Daleconi, Vanuabalavu and Sanaila was from Yavusania. The three were related.

Marika’s uncle, Eroni Lewaqai said even though the student of Ratu Navula College originally hailed from Vatulele he was cherished by villagers of Yavusania Village.

“Some of you have been asking why we have decided to take over his funeral, it’s because this boy is related to us by blood, a bond which existed in the time of our forefathers. He is our son too.”

The Westin Denarau Island Resort and Spa rooms division manager, Mereoni Qaranivalu said, Sanaila would be remembered as a humble and hardworking person.

“Sanaila was a man of respect and that was something that everyone in the resort knew about him,” she said. “Very soft-spoken person, he will carry out the task given to him without complaining and his death is a loss to us.”

The Marama Na Roko Tui Dreketi Ro Teimumu Kepa was also present at the funeral service church.

The horror accident:

The three were travelling in a minivan on their way to the Powerade Rugby Deans semi-finals when it was involved in a three-car crash at Nabou, Nadi, on August 4.

Six deaths were recorded at the scene of the accident, one succumbed to injuries on August 7 and another also succumbed to injuries yesterday.

It brings the total number of deaths for the crash alone to eight. Edited by Ranoba Baoa

Feedback:  arieta.vakasukawaqa@fijisun.com.fj

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