FIJI NEWS

Mataca’s Last Wish

MAIKA BOLATIKI Suva The late Arcbishop Emeritus Petero Mataca’s last wish was revealed by Father Beniano Kaloudau at Lami on Wednesday. He made the revelation when presenting the Government’s ireguregu
11 Jul 2014 07:51

MAIKA BOLATIKI
Suva

Hundred of mourners outside the Sacred Heart Cathedral to witness the arrival of the body of the late former Archbishop Emeritus Petero Mataca yesterday. Photo: Paulini Ratulailai

The late Arcbishop Emeritus Petero Mataca’s last wish was revealed by Father Beniano Kaloudau at Lami on Wednesday.
He made the revelation when presenting the Government’s ireguregu led by the President, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, and Prime Minister Rear Admiral (Retired) Voreqe Bainimarama.
Father Beni in his presentation said the late Archbishop had told him of his wish for a church advisory body to the Government.
The late Archbishop had told Father Beni that the role of advisory council was just to offer advice to the Government.
“He wanted to see that all times God should be leading the nation,” Father Beni said.
“The advisory council should not dictate anything to the government and stressed that whatever advice they gave, the final decision must be from the Government.”
Father Beni said the late Archbishop was a Government critic and had condemned the 1987 illegal takeover of the Government.
However, he said there was a change of heart in 2006 after the change in government when he accepted the invite to be co-chair of the National Council for Building a Better Fiji (NCBBF).
“The late Arcbishop saw the NCBBF and the Peoples’ Charter as vehicles for improving Fijian democracy and building a new Fiji for all,” Father Beni said.
Yesterday, the body of the late Archbishop was led by the St Thomas brass band from the Suva Private Hospital in Toorak, to the Sacred Heart Cathedral as priests and thousands followed and watched.
Meanwhile, the Cathedral was packed with hundreds of people when the hearse arrived. After the traditional ceremony of the ivakasobu, the pallbearers from Naibalebale village in Viwa, Yasawa, carried the casket into the Cathedral.
Pallbearer leader Saimoni Ramatau said the late Archbishop’s mother hailed from Naibalebale and his death had united the people of Naibalebale.
“We’re grateful to be called to carry out our traditional duty to our ‘vasu’,” he said.
He described his ‘vasu’ as a humble servant of God and someone who really cared for them.
“We will miss our vasu and we are here to perform our last traditional duty for him and that is to carry his casket into the Cathedral and also to his tomb.”
A vigil mass for the late Archbishop was conducted at the Cathedral yesterday and the main celebrant was the Bishop of Hamilton, the Most Reverend Denis Browne.
Today the late Archbishop’s Resurrection Mass will be conducted by Arbishop Peter Loy Chong at the Sacred Heart Cathedral at 10am.
After the mass, the late Archbishop’s casket will be taken to the tomb located below the Cathedral.
Feedback: maikab@fijisun.com.fj




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