Where’s My Daddy?

Adi Florie Sisilia, 11, wakes up every morning and asks her mother: “Where’s my daddy?” For four years she has not seen him. Her father, Lasarusa Senitoarau, 44, originally from
04 Aug 2016 12:41
Where’s My Daddy?
Arieta Sisilia with her children from left: Ana Senitoarau, Debra Fei, Joseph Jr and Adi Florie Sisilia at their Vatuwaqa home yesterday. Insert is their Dad, Lasarusa Senitoarau. Photo: Ronald Kumar

Adi Florie Sisilia, 11, wakes up every morning and asks her mother: “Where’s my daddy?”

For four years she has not seen him.

Her father, Lasarusa Senitoarau, 44, originally from Tubou, Lakeba, Lau, is in an Australian prison.

Her mother, Arieta Sisilia, 42, said her husband was a welder working on an overseas cargo ship. She said in July last year she received a call from Arthur Gorrie Correctional Centre in Brisbane, Australia.

Mr Senitoarau told her that he was in jail because “money was found on him.” Since then they had been in regular contact through letters.

“But he did not explain in detail whether he was in remand  or convicted and jailed. He said he was preparing for a court case next month. He wanted us to pray for him and for me to look after the children.”

The couple have six children. Adi Florie, is the fourth child and is in Year Six at Vatuwaqa Primary School  in Suva

With tears in her eyes yesterday, Adi Florie described how she missed her father.

“Daddy, if you are seeing this, I just want you to know that I love you and I miss you so much. I hope to see you soon,” she said.

“I always cry everyday thinking about my Dad, even in school when I am in class.”

She said she always looked forward to reading letters from her dad every month.

“I cry when I read his letter and it makes me sad, I make sure to write to him back so he can know that I love him.

“Daddy, I want you to know that I am praying for you and I know God will answer my prayers.”

Adi Florie described her dad as a loving family man.

Ms Sisilia, whose family lives in Wailea Settlement, Vatuwaqa, said  they were still mystified by his imprisonment.

She said the shipping company that he worked for had not told them anything.

However, Fiji High Commission’s counsel officer, Helen Wakeham in Canberra, Australia, had confirmed that they are currently looking into the matter. But she was not in a position to reveal further details.

Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ratu Inoke Kubuobola also confirmed that he had assigned an official from the ministry to look into the issue.

Ms Sisilia said they had been married for 15 years and he used to work as a handicraft vendor, before he took up the job as a welder in a cargo ship for a shipping agency that serviced Australia, New Zealand and Fiji

Questions sent to the shipping agency remain unanswered when this edition went to press.

“My husband took up the job so that he can support the family, especially our children’s welfare and he had been financially supporting us when he was working on that cargo ship,” she said.

Ms Sisilia said life became hard after her husband was put behind bars.

“The only support I have now is my brother but that is still not enough as he’s got a family to look after too. Sometimes the kids have to  miss classes because there was no money to send them to school,” she said.

Ms Sisilia said the only way that her husband got in touch with them was through phone and letters which he usually sent them via mail box every month.

“My children always look forward to Mondays because that’s when he calls us and sometimes I start crying when I hear his voice over the phone thinking of the situation he is currently in.

“Sometimes my children start questioning me of when their dad is going to return home, I don’t know how to explain it to them,” she said.

Ms Sisilia said as a wife she would stand by her husband.

“I am not giving up on my husband and will keep on praying for him because I believe in a God that works in mysterious ways.”

Edited by Nemani Delaibatiki



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