NATION

Our Husbands Will Always Be Remembered

  Anaseini Tinairuve, 84, and Anareta Gonekalou, 78, said the sacrifice their husbands made during military service will always be remembered. The two widowers of ex-servicemen,  were part of the
13 Oct 2016 11:00
Our Husbands Will Always Be Remembered
Ex-servicemen widowers Anareta Gonekalou (left) and Anaseini Tinairuve during the launch of the annual Poppy Appeal at the Suva Civic Centre Lower Auditorium yesterday. Photo: Vilimoni Vaganalau

 

Anaseini Tinairuve, 84, and Anareta Gonekalou, 78, said the sacrifice their husbands made during military service will always be remembered.

The two widowers of ex-servicemen,  were part of the launch of the annual poppy appeal campaign at the Suva Civic Centre Lower Auditorium yesterday.

For Mrs Tinairuve, the ultimate sacrifice her husband made in 1956 will always be a cherished memory.

“My husband left for Christmas Island just when our first child was born.

“Being part of this launch today brought me emotional thoughts. When I saw the line on the poster, We Will Remember Them, I cried as flashbacks of my husband came across my mind.”

Although she faced struggles and hardships when her husband returned, she remained proud of her husband’s efforts in military service.

“I remember how my husband was telling me the horrific stories of his time in Christmas Island.

“We faced the health side effects of the bombing my husband and the children. Till today, I can’t forget the hardships we faced because of this,” she said.

“But this was the call of our nation Fiji and I am always thankful and proud to say that my husband had served in Christmas Island.”

Mrs Tinairuve, who is also a member of the Returned Soldiers and Ex-Servicemen Association of Fiji, said there was a need to bring in new members to the association.

“We are now growing old, us the members of the association. Who will carry on this role of remembering the legacy of our fallen heroes?  One day, we the older generation will pass on, who will continue this role. This soldiers died for our nation,” she said.

Mrs Gonekalou, whose husband Manoa Gonekalou served in the Malayan campaign against communist rebels in 1952, said life had not been easy since her husband passed away later in 1986.

While struggling to look after her five children over the years, she was thankful to Government’s contribution in allocating after service funds which she still benefits from till date.

“Back then, I remember we used to receive $20 a month. However as time changed it increased to $60 now with today’s Government at least it is over $100,” she said.

“Although we are thankful to Government for this, the money received is met with the high cost of living and we are pleading with Government to reconsider this.”

While the two women continue to participate in the annual poppy appeal, the distinctly red poppy flower will remain a timely reminder of their husband’s sacrifice.

Edited by Maraia Vula

Feedback: filipe.naigulevu@fijisun.com.fj

 

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