NATION

Please Forgive Us: Borron Clan Apologise For Ancestors’ Actions

Yesterday, the Borron descendants presented tabuas (whale’s tooth), kerosene, bales of clothes to symbolise their request for forgiveness.
21 Feb 2021 10:17
Please Forgive Us: Borron Clan Apologise For Ancestors’ Actions
Descendants of the Borron family and descendents of the original people of Mago Island during the ceremony at St Joseph the Worker Primary School in Nakasi on February 20, 2021. Photo: Wati Talebula-Nuku

It was an unforgettable day for the descendants of the original people of Mago island.

A veisorosorovi (traditional way of seeking forgiveness) was held yesterday at the St Joseph the Worker Primary School hall in Nakasi. This between descendants of the people of Mago and the Borron family.

This follows historical events in the 1800s.

Spokesperson for the Vuniivi clan (Mago island), Timoci Waqalevu, claimed his ancestors were killed by the Borron family.

Mr Waqalevu said after the Borron family had bought the island from the Ryder brothers of Australia, his ancestors were ordered to leave the island.

However, the women, children and the elderly could not leave so they ran and hid in a cave where “they were all killed”.

Forgiveness

Yesterday, the Borron descendants presented tabuas (whale’s tooth), kerosene, bales of clothes to symbolise their request for forgiveness.

Mago descendants

“We forgive them and free them from what their ancestors did,” Mr Waqalevu said.

He said after his ancestors were ordered to leave, “Five boats took them, they were dropped on the reef to swim to Vanuabalavu.

“This history of our people is hurtful, and it is an emotional day as the descendants of the Borron family came in numbers to ask for forgiveness for what their forefathers did.

“Our forefathers settled in different villages in Vanuabalavu in Lau and then we were all taken to Namalata.

“Our grandparents used to tell us that there was a time when Ratu Sukuna told the Mago people to move to Namalata.

“From Namalata we can see Mago Island and it always hurts that we could not be on our land because it was given by the Tui Cakau at the time without our forefathers’ knowledge.

“Namalata belongs to the people of Narocivo of Vanuabalavu and out of their good heart we are there.”

Descendants of the original people of Mago island after the reconciliation ceremony at St Joseph the Worker Primary School in Nakasi on February 20, 2021. Photo: Wati Talebula-Nuku

Descendants of the original people of Mago island after the reconciliation ceremony at St Joseph the Worker Primary School in Nakasi on February 20, 2021. Photo: Wati Talebula-Nuku

Borron family

Iosefo Mainaisautu from the Borron family side with teary eyes thanked the descendants of Mago island for accepting their apologies.

“We have been planning this day since 2017 and to witness how it unfold is a story, we will tell our young ones,” Mr Mainaisautu said.

“This generation of Borron is from Pelasio Sauto. We always heard about what our forefathers did how they ill treated and killed people and we wanted to ask for forgiveness. After the traditional sevusevu we felt at peace.

“We are happy that two children of Pelasio are with us today. They are Vitorina Vani and Maria Lina.

Descendants of the Borron Family and Mago island people were all smiles after the reconciliation ceremony at St Joseph the Worker Primary School in Nakasi on February 20, 2021. Photo: Wati Talebula-Nuku

Descendants of the Borron Family and Mago island people were all smiles after the reconciliation ceremony at St Joseph the Worker Primary School in Nakasi on February 20, 2021.
Photo: Wati Talebula-Nuku

“More than 100 descendants of the Borron family are present today.

“When people hear we are the descendant of Borron family they always tell us that we are the descendant of murderers and those words hurt us.

“We were always searching for them and we found the clan that were affected by our forefathers’ decision to kill back in the 1800s.”

About Mago Island

Mago island is located in the northwest sector of the Northern Lau Group. The Island is now owned by American actor, film director, producer, and screenwriter, Mel Gibson.

Edited by Ivamere Nataro

Feedback: wati.talebula@fijisun.com.fj


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