Sunvoice

Kiuva Reminds Us Of The Spirit That Will Move Fiji Forward

A spirit of compassion, sacrifice and unconditional love motivated villagers of Kiuva in the early hours of the morning of May 11, 1884 to put out their canoes and rescue
11 Nov 2014 09:50
Kiuva Reminds Us Of The Spirit That Will Move  Fiji Forward

A spirit of compassion, sacrifice and unconditional love motivated villagers of Kiuva in the early hours of the morning of May 11, 1884 to put out their canoes and rescue victims of a shipwreck.

They braved the atrocious conditions and saved 439 Indian indentured labourers or girmitiyas. More than 50 died.
They and other villagers on the Tailevu-Rewa coastline close to where the boat, Syria, ran aground in Nasilai, provided shelter, warm clothing and food to the survivors.

That act of kindness took place ten years after Fiji was ceded to Great Britain. It was also a time of religious fervor as Christianity continued to influence the lives of the indigenous people, the iTaukei. The tribal wars, where cannibalism was rife, had ceased. People had accepted the biblical teachings over the war clubs.

A special bond between the survivors and the rescuers was established and developed.
It’s an important piece of proud Fijian history that needs to be retold to remind us that this special bond is still alive today.

If people have forgotten, they were reminded on Sunday at Kiuva Village by the Methodist Circuit chaplin, Reverend Lepani Saqa. Speaking at the Thanksgiving Service for the Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, he said they had been blessed by the kindness of their ancestors.

Another significant event was the decision of the Roko Tui Kiuva (chief) and his people to accept a boatload of missionaries from Moala.
Then in 1928, the Southern Cross, the first aeroplane to arrived in Fiji, had to be ferried to Kiuva on bamboo rafts, to take off from the firm village sand. Suva’s Albert Park, where it landed, was too short for the plane to take off. Perhaps, the biggest event for Kiuva, which will go down in its annals, was the election of one of its own sons as PM.

Reverend Saqa, so as the villagers, believe it is a blessing for an act of compassion performed many years ago. Call it karma, or whatever, Mr Bainimarama’s ascension to the top job in the land is not luck or pure co-incidence.
Kiuva and many in Fiji who voted for him and FijiFirst truly believe that he is the divine choice – one who has been chosen to lead the country at this time.

His unwavering position on equal citizenry and common identity has been linked to the same spirit that inspired his ancestors in 1884 to perform that selfless act. The seed that was planted and germinated has now fully blossomed.
It is the same spirit that will allow this country to move forward in unity and with purpose.




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