Ratu Jone Takes The Reins

  There was a rise of a new dawn in Labasa yesterday as Ratu Jone Qomate was tradition­ally installed by the vanua and anointed by Methodist Church as the new
01 Sep 2018 10:00
Ratu Jone Takes The Reins
Ratu Jone was prayed over by senior pastors from six circuits of the Methodist Church in Macuata on August 31, 2018. Photo: Nacanieli Tuilevuka


There was a rise of a new dawn in Labasa yesterday as Ratu Jone Qomate was tradition­ally installed by the vanua and anointed by Methodist Church as the new Tui Labasa.

Ratu Jone Qomate succeeds his aunt Adi Salanieta Qomate, who died at Labasa Hospital in Novem­ber 2016 after a short illness.

Present at the installation at Nase­akula Methodist Church were fam­ily members from the Qomate clan, former work colleagues, friends and the vanua.

Ratu Jone was prayed over by sen­ior pastors from six circuits of the Methodist Church in Macuata.

In a moving speech at the Nase­akula Methodist Church, Ratu Jone thanked the vanua for its never-ending support.

“Firstly, I would like to thank Al­mighty God for his never-ending support and provision, for without Him I would not be standing in front of you as your Tui Labasa,” he said.

“Thank you to the vanua and to close families and friends for plac­ing your trust in me,” he said.


Macuata Senior Reverend Inia Marai said chiefs were anointed by God.

“The New Testament Greek words for ‘anoint’ are chrio, which means ‘to smear or rub with oil’ and, by implication, ‘to consecrate for office or religious service’ and aleipho, which means to anoint,” Reverend Marai said.

“In Bible times, people were anointed with oil to signify God’s blessing or call on that person’s life (Exodus 29:7; Exodus 40:9; 2 Kings 9:6; Ecclesiastes 9:8; James 5:14). A person was anointed for a spe­cial purpose—to be a king, to be a prophet and to be a builder.

“We just have to make sure that the purpose of anointing is in agreement with Scripture. Anoint­ing should not be viewed as a ‘mag­ic potion’. The oil itself does not have any power. It is only God who can anoint a person for a specific purpose. If we use oil, it is only a symbol of what God is doing.

“Another meaning for the word anointed is “chosen one.” The Bible says that Jesus Christ was anoint­ed by God with the Holy Spirit to spread the Good News and free those who have been held captive by sin (Luke 4:18-19; Acts 10:38).

“After Christ left the earth, He gave us the gift of the Holy Spirit (John 14:16). Now all Christians are anointed, chosen for a specific pur­pose in furthering God’s Kingdom (1 John 2:20).

“Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee” (2 Corinthians 1:21-22),” he added.

Ratu Jone’s wife, Elenoa Vakalo­loma, related to the FijiSun her ini­tial reaction to her husband being chosen as Tui Labasa.

“When I heard that he was picked by the Qomate family to lead the vanua of Labasa I was shocked, scared and happy at the same time,” Ms Vakaloloma said.

“There are others in the Qomate clan who are older than him. I am happy for him, he is a good decision maker,” he said.

She described her husband was a selfless man who was always there for everyone.

“Ratu Jone is a loving husband and father to my two children, who is supportive and ensures we have food on the table and shelter,” Ms Vakaloloma said.

“He is a Godly husband who leads his family in a Christian manner. Though some may assume that this is a kind of leadership that depends on fear and dominance, the Bible teaches something very different.

“When speaking of male head­ship, the Bible gives us the ultimate example of ultimate leadership. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Saviour. The husband is to be head of his wife in the same way that Christ is head of his church.

“He was supportive of our chil­dren’s educations and his nephews and nieces. He has done a lot for the village and our family and we are grateful for him for paving the way,” she said.

She said Ratu Jone had the quali­ties to lead the vanua of Labasa.

“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way. Irrespective of how you define a leader, he or she can prove to be a difference between success and fail­ure,” Ms Vakaloloma said.

“A good leader has a futuristic vi­sion and knows how to turn his ide­as into real-world success stories.

“He has the qualities of a leader, he is honest, confident, inspires others, has decision making capa­bilities and accountability.

“No matter what people tell about us, he does not want us to pinpoint people and speak badly about oth­ers. This is a quality of a true lead­er,” he said.

Ratu Wiliame and his people of Naduri traditionally installed the Tui Labasa.

Ratu Jone is a son of Ratu Joeli Qomate who held the title from 1997 to 2004. Ratu Joeli succeeded his older brother Senator Ratu Tevita Qomate, who died in July 1997.

He is a former employee of Elec­tricity Fiji Limited (EFL).

Edited by Epineri Vula


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