NATION

Family Feels Pain of Missing Dad’s Burial

Eldest daughter: All we are left with are his photos and memories   Sereana Saqasere remembers vividly  her father’s last words. After she recently graduated with a Bachelors degree in
10 Jan 2017 12:00
Family Feels Pain of Missing Dad’s Burial
Ana Vacoa at their family home in Nasekula Village, Labasa. Photo: Josaia Ralago

Eldest daughter: All we are left with are his photos and memories

 

Sereana Saqasere remembers vividly  her father’s last words.

After she recently graduated with a Bachelors degree in Commerce, he told her: “I am so proud of you and I love you.”

Those words are still ringing in her ears as she mourns his death.

Akariva Malumu, 59, was the first of the four people who died from last week’s suspected fish poisoning at Somomo Village, Gau, Lomaiviti.

What is more painful for her and her family was that they did not bury him.

He was at Somosomo, where he was originally from, and they were in Labasa.

The four were buried quickly because of the onset of decomposition in the absence of a mortuary.

Ms Saqasere, his eldest daughter, said all they were left with were his photos and memories.

“My father was my mentor,” she said. Ms Saqasere said her father had always been her source of strength.

“Although my father had left my mom and my siblings when we were really young that never stopped him from contacting us. It was he that we would turn to in times of trouble or when we lost hope, he was always there,” she said.

“His advice had always been for us to set our goals, work towards them and get employed.”

Ms Saqasere said her world crashed when she heard about the tragedy.

One of her fondest memories of her father was when he made her sit for a whole day and made her learn the time and the importance of time.

Mr Malumu is survived by his wife and five children who were born and raised at Nasekula Village in Labasa.

One of his two sons, Marika Taufa, 33, said when the news was relayed to him, he was in shock.

“It was only after when the news sunk in that I started to cry and mourn the loss of my father. He was a great man,” Mr Taufa said.

Their mother Ana Vacoa said; “He was a great man, very sociable. Even after our separation, he kept in touch with the children and they miss him so much.

“The loss is also felt at his village where he played a huge role in the school community from preschool, as the Committee chairman, and an instrumental member of the primary and secondary school committees on the island.”

The village headman Tomasi Dravukula in an interview said; “Education for the children of Somosomo had always been his priority.

“Apart from all this, he was an advisor for the village youth group and he always told them to get an education and get employed.

“His loss is deeply felt.”

Edited by Maraia Vula

Feedback:  josaia.ralago@fijisun.com.fj

 




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