NATION

Fallen Labalaba Praised

The Nadi-based Fiji Ex-servicemen and their families came out in numbers yesterday to be part of Remembrance Day to honour the fallen, including one of their greatest sons – the
12 Nov 2014 11:42
Fallen Labalaba Praised

The Nadi-based Fiji Ex-servicemen and their families came out in numbers yesterday to be part of Remembrance Day to honour the fallen, including one of their greatest sons – the late Sergeant Talaiasi Labalaba – at Koroivolu Park, Nadi.

Sgt Labalaba was a member of the Special Air Services (SAS), a unit of the British Army founded in 1941 as a regiment, and later reconstituted as a corps in 1950. He was killed when he was part of a secret SAS operation during the 1972 Battle of Mirbat in Oman. Fellow SAS members have said he would have been highly decorated for bravery if the SAS mission was not a secret.

Member of Parliament Samuela Vunivalu, who was part of the yesterday’s event, said, “Today’s Remembrance Day is to mark our fallen comrade in Malay, Solomon Islands and peacekeeping duties in Lebanon, Sinai and Iraq over the years.

“Today is a special day where we come together in various part of Fiji and even around the world as we think about our loved ones who lost their lives in the line of duty,” Mr Vunivalu, a retired RFMF officer said.

“I thank the support of the families including the widows who are present here in numbers. We also mark one of our very own, the late Sergeant Talaiasi Labalaba who rose to the occasion to give his life for others to be saved. This bravery has made him well known throughout the world.”

It was reported that during confrontation with the enemy, Sgt Labalaba raced 800 metres to take control of a 25-pounder artillery gun. Despite being seriously wounded, he repeatedly fired towards the enemy. He suffered shots in the neck and died, but his actions saved the lives of his comrades.

Meanwhile, a similar event was held in Lautoka.

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