NATION

Students Pay Tribute to School Founder

The founder of Nawai Prima­ry and Secondary School, the late Permal Pujari, was farewelled for the last time on Thursday. The Nawai School was where his vision for education grew.
16 Jun 2018 10:00
Students Pay Tribute to School Founder
School Principal Aminesh Ram (wearing light blue shirt), leads the pall bears carrying the casket of the late school founder Permal Pujari at the Nawai Secondary School in Nadroga on June 14, 2018. Photo: Waisea Nasokia

The founder of Nawai Prima­ry and Secondary School, the late Permal Pujari, was farewelled for the last time on Thursday.

The late school founder Permal Pujari.

The late school founder Permal Pujari.

The Nawai School was where his vision for education grew.

Former and current Nawai stu­dents paid their final tribute to the school Trustee as his casket was brought to the institution.

Interestingly, the late Mr Pu­jari, who passed away on Monday, completed his 100 years this year (March 20, 1918 – June 11, 2018).

He has been a popular person in the area and the country as well because of his contribution to so­ciety.

Former senator and school man­ager Permal Mupnar in delivering the eulogy said, “It was a dark day the saddest day when I learned that on June 11, our founding father Permal Sardar Pujari had passed away.

“He (Permal Pujari) was alive and lived in this world for more than 100 years. He survived for so long for his deeds, and service rendered and not only to those in Nadi but to those in Fiji too,” he said.

The late Mr Pujari was born in Buabua, Lovu, outside Lautoka.

His father was a sugarcane farm­er and died at an early age: Mr Pu jari took on the responsibility of looking after his younger siblings because he was the eldest son.

His older sister had married ear­lier on.

Mr Permal got his younger sister (Chintai) married and also helped in the education of their children.

He was the secretary of the Lovu temple, made financial contribu­tions for the construction of the Lovu Sangam Mariamman Temple and had been the firewalking pun­dit from 1980 until his passing.

Mr Pujari had a house and a farm, which he left in the hands of his brother Rama Bernard, because he had bought land in Nawai, in 1964.

He decided to move in 1965 to start cultivating a barren land where his family flourished.

He permanently moved to Nawai in 1965 and became the first Sardar (leader) of the Nawai (sugarcane cutting) Gang. This he served for many years.

Five years later he saw there was a need for a primary school for the children of Nawai, Bavu and the interior of Momi, Tau, Namata, Waica and Savusavu.

With the help of the Nawai com­munity Mr Pujari in 1970 initiated the construction of the school, for which he became the first presi­dent, then the manager.

Five years later in 1975 they built a block of three classrooms that still stands today.

“This became a low performing school. He was told to close down but he said he will make it run un­til today,” Mr Mupnar.

“He does not interfere with school matters. Nawai Primary and Sec­ondary are now among the top schools in the district. We are a role model and the ministry knows about it.”

Furthermore, Mr Pujari with his committee members started with the building of the Nawai Shree Venkatesh Perumal and Mariam­man Temple in 1982.

He became the first president.

Edited by Percy Kean

Feedback: waisean@fijisun.com.fj

 



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