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Military Unveils Statue Of Late Hero

The unveiling of the statue of the only Fijian to receive a Victoria Cross at the Queen Elizabeth Barracks, Nabua, yesterday was another timely reminder of the service expected of
24 Jun 2015 09:28
Military Unveils Statue Of Late Hero
Commander of the Republic of the Fiji Military Forces (RFMF) Brigadier-General Mosese Tikoitoga unveils the statue of the late Corporal Sefanaia Sukanaivalu during the Infantry Day at Queen Elizabeth Barracks yesterday. Photo: Jona Konataci

The unveiling of the statue of the only Fijian to receive a Victoria Cross at the Queen Elizabeth Barracks, Nabua, yesterday was another timely reminder of the service expected of our men and women in green.

Republic of Fiji Military Forces Commander, Brigadier-General Mosese Tikoitoga said this as he reminded soldiers at the Infantry Day celebrations the lessons one could learn from the late Corporal Sefanaia Sukanaivalu.

Corporal Sukanaivalu made the ultimate sacrifice by laying down his life for his comrades in the Solomon Islands during World War II.

After the unveiling ceremony, Brigadier-General Tikoitoga said: “We need to look at ourselves, what legacy do we leave behind us. We need to create a legacy – each one of us, for those who will follow.”

He spoke briefly about the sacrifice the military endured since 2000.

“We have been gossiped about, our children have been sworn at, we have been told off by elders – but we have persevered.”

The Day was probably the most memorable for 75-year-old Rayasi Damu of Ketei, Totoya, Lau.

He had constructed the statue in 1997 – the same year he retired from the military.

The incomplete statue was kept at the Engineering Unit.

Sergeant Damu’s inspiration came from the pictures he saw of the late Sukanaivalu and his uncle, the late Corporal Waisale Veikoso.

“I’m just so blessed to be able to come back and complete this work.”

Otili Vulakoro, wife of the late Sukanaivalu’s grandson, Eroni Delai Vulakoro, spoke on behalf of the family.

“It’s such an honour for the family to have this done.”

Vulakoro is currently serving in Sinai.

Feedback: rosi.doviverata@fijisun.com.fj

 



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