NATION

Levuka in Her Heart

Suliana Sandy spent over 30 years teaching in Levuka but insists her work at Fiji’s old capital is not finished. These days, the 60-year-old retired Levuka Town Council chief executive
11 Sep 2015 11:41
Levuka in Her Heart
Suliana Sandy. Photo: Manhar Lal

Suliana Sandy spent over 30 years teaching in Levuka but insists her work at Fiji’s old capital is not finished.

These days, the 60-year-old retired Levuka Town Council chief executive officer works as an assistant project officer with the Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA).

One of her main priorities is keeping the town on the UNECSO World Heritage site listing.

Despite lucrative career options in Suva, Ms Sandy chose to remain in Levuka for most of her working life after finishing education at Levuka Public School.

“I attended Levuka Public School before furthering my education at the University of the South Pacific,” she said.

“One thing that was clear to me was that I would never be able to live outside of Levuka and so when I graduated from the University of the South Pacific, I came back to Levuka and started teaching at Delana Methodist School until 1984.

“Then the volunteer scheme was introduced and then I applied for it in 1985.”

Ms Sandy was approached by the principal of Levuka Public School, Bhir Singh to teach at LPS.

“In the year 2000, I was given an offer for a higher post in Suva by the then secondary education Officer Mere Tora who is now in the New Zealand High Commission in Wellington but I declined the post simply because Levuka was in my heart,” she said.

“When I declined Ms Tora reminded me that I had signed a contract with the Government which gave the Government the authority to transfer anyone in a term of three years.

“I did say I knew about that but I also reminded her that there were three secondary schools in Ovalau whereby she could swing me around and that result into my staying here until retirement,” she said.

In 2011, while on vacation in Melbourne, Ms Sandy received a call from the Permanent Secretary for Local Government and she came back to take up the post of chief executive officer in 2012.

“I was thrown in at the deep end because being a teacher then to administrator is two different roles altogether but I must say that it was a daunting task but I always say where there’s a will there’s a way and I always believe that if God puts you in a place, he will make sure he see you through so I left it in his hands.”

Feedback:  luisa.qiolevu@fijisun.com.fj

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