Weekender

Sailor’s last wish granted

Written By : NANISE LOANAKADAVU. A SUVA sailor was farewelled in style at the Vatuwaqa Cemetery on Tuesday. Lemeki Tukana had one wish before he died at the Colonial War
18 Mar 2011 12:00

Written By : NANISE LOANAKADAVU. A SUVA sailor was farewelled in style at the Vatuwaqa Cemetery on Tuesday.
Lemeki Tukana had one wish before he died at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital and that was for his body to be cremated.
His sister Anaseini Baldwin said the occasion was a special one because he was the first man to break away from the i-Taukei practice of burying people.
She said when his brother was alive, he had asked all his family members not to bury him when he dies, but throw his ashes out to the sea.
“Our families from Lau have reacted negatively, but we know this is my brother’s right,” she said.
“This is what he wants- his wish and we at least are doing him a favour for the last time and he will be happy and satisfied with it.”
She said Tukana was an intelligent man who always thinks about the future before deciding on anything else.
She said his theory was to cremate his body and spare the land for a living.
“He always disagrees with people being buried. He believes that land could be utilised well by people who are struggling to make it in life.
“These are squatters and those who are out on the streets with no home,” Mrs Baldwin said.
“He wanted the piece of land where he was supposed to be buried to be developed into an economic activity where people can benefit while they are still alive.”
Families and friends gathered at the Vatuwaqa Cemetery to witness the solemn occasion.
Tukana is survived by his wife Qalovaki Vanua and their two children.


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