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Island Courage

Fijian spirit at its best. That’s how Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama describes the resilience of cyclone-battered people of Yasawa-i-Rara. He was on the island yesterday to open their $2.6 million
05 Nov 2015 13:40
Island Courage
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama during the commissioning of the Yasawa i- rara jetty yesterday.

Fijian spirit at its best.
That’s how Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama describes the resilience of cyclone-battered people of Yasawa-i-Rara.
He was on the island yesterday to open their $2.6 million jetty, their link to the outside world.
“I will never forget the spirit of optimism and determination that I encountered,’’ he said of when he visited them after Cyclone Evan in 2012.
“And I was so moved that a year later, I asked Fiji Airways to name one of its new A330 aeroplanes Yasawa-i-Rara in honour of you all and the beautiful place you call home,” Mr Bainimarama said.
“And now the name Yasawa-i-rara can be seen on the side of that plane at all the great airports of Asia Pacific.
“I know that many of you will never forget the day that it flew low over the Yasawas on its delivery flight into Fiji. What a day that was. Truly a day to be proud to be a Yasawan. A day to be proud to be Fijian.”
He said Cyclone Evan cut a path of destruction through the Yasawas and much of Fiji.
“It damaged or destroyed scores of homes, schools, and churches,” he said.
Back in 2010, he said a huge storm damaged the jetty here in Yasawa-i-Rara when it was in the early stages of construction.
“Two years later came Cyclone Evan, with all the devastation it wrought.”
He said he was delighted to be at Yawasa-i-Rara with them yesterday to finally celebrate the official opening of their new jetty.
Mr Bainimarama said it had been a tough three years for all of them – rebuilding their homes and their lives. “As you know, I was back here in April 2014 to re-open the Bukama Primary School, that was also destroyed, and the new classroom block at the Yasawa High School in Naviti.”
A huge amount of work he said had gone into the rebuilding effort. He thanked the Republic of Fiji Forces (RFMF) for the assistance it provided to so many of them. “Our men and women in uniform are truly the pride of our nation – serving the world through our UN Peacekeeping Missions and serving Fijians in times of crisis, as in the aftermath of Cyclone Evan.”
He said it had taken some time to provide them with a proper jetty again and he wanted to thank them for their patience as they made the best of a challenging situation travelling to and from the island.
“However, now that it is finally completed, what a great sight it is. Sturdy and strong. And built to the highest engineering standards to provide you with many years of reliable service.
The jetty spans 125 metres with a jetty head and landing area of 72 square metres. It can accommodate vessels with a draft of up to five metres. So at last we can get vessels of a substantial size to berth at Yasawa-i-Rara again.

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