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Vote2018: Why SODELPA Provisional Candidate Faith Grace Changed Her Name

Her miraculous recovery from a spinal injury, she believed, was healed by divine interven­tion, prompted Jacqueline Pareti Savu to change her religion and name. She changed her name to Faith
26 Feb 2018 11:16
Vote2018: Why SODELPA Provisional Candidate Faith Grace Changed Her Name
SODELPA provisional candidate, Faith Grace

Her miraculous recovery from a spinal injury, she believed, was healed by divine interven­tion, prompted Jacqueline Pareti Savu to change her religion and name.

She changed her name to Faith Grace after she joined Klesis 24/7, a Messianic Group, that believes in Hebrew traditions. While they use the Holy Bible their ver­sion has converted all the English names into Hebrew names. For example, Jesus is called Yeshua in their scriptures.

Ms Grace is the latest provisional woman candidate in the 40 to 50-year-old age group to join the general election after Lynda Tabuya (SODELPA) and Lenora Qereqeretabua (National Federation Party).

She will run on a SODELPA ticket. Her name will be announced soon with the party’s remaining candi­dates. She will stand for Lami urban and Sabeto, where she has homes.

She said the name Faith Grace was based on Ephe­sians in the New Testament. It has a biblical meaning of faith and hope.

She said she hurt herself during a diving incident some years ago off the Lami coast. She said one of her brothers also committed suicide. It was a difficult time and they found peace in the new church.

She is the eldest child of Savenaca Nasu Savu, of Dali­coni Village, Vanuabalavu, Lau, one of Fiji’s pioneer­ing jet pilots for the former Air Pacific. Ms Grace, who is married to former Fijian international rugby player Mark Black, said in her 23 years of teaching she never imagined that one day she would be entering politics.

She said she wanted to advocate for the ordinary peo­ple, those who were struggling to make ends meet.

“I am not a person that tries to show malice to any­one,” she said.

But she said she would not hesitate to speak out if she came across issues that she felt strongly about.

“I love discussion and debate. I actually like it when we argue. You have your opinion; I have my opinion. We can have a heated debate. But it does not mean I am not going to talk to you again,” she said.

She was recently spotted wearing a red top in a SO­DELPA workshop for provisional candidates. While she did not want to disclose what transpired because it was a closed-door meeting, it is understood that her presence and conduct raised eyebrows.

She describes herself as a “straight talker.”

“Some call me big mouth. But that’s fine. I speak my mind,” she said. The conservatives in the party might find her a bit too hot to handle. But the liberals will love her because she will give SODELPA that added spark.

It explains why during her 23 years of teaching ser­vice she has had 19 transfers. In one instance, she said, she walked to the school one day and found her class­room padlocked.

“It was a sign for me to move on,” she said.

She looks at it positively, saying it gave her the experi­ence to be able to work with different heads.

One of her greatest strengths, she said, was to multi­task and get things done.

Even though she was Head of Department for Home Economics at Ratu Navula Secondary School, Nadi, she would have no problem helping out during enrolment day, even though it wasn’t her job.

“With my big mouth I put it to good use,” she said.

Because of her spinal injury, she could only teach for six periods a week instead of the full load of 18 peri­ods. She thought it was not fair to the Government and taxpayers to be still receiving the same pay. So she de­cided this was the best time to call it a day and go into politics.

Another reason why she was entering politics, was because of what she learned when she did her post graduate Diploma in Development Studies. She is also a Diploma and Bachelor of Education graduate.

“I will speak on education, social issues that impact the family, mental health and gay rights,” she said.

She said she would start fundraising soon to help pay for her campaign.

“To be a candidate I have to pay the party $6000,” she said.

“I am in this for the long haul because I want to help those in need in our communities.”

Edited by Naisa Koroi

Feedback: nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj

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