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Shocked Bautani Family Remembers Disciplined Son

Shocked Bautani Family Remembers Disciplined Son
From left: Mother Sainiana Naatevulu, brother Waisea Bainiloga and father Nemani Naisole in Nananu Village, Tailevu, on January 12, 2019, with a photo of the late Eroni Bautani. Photo: Sheenam Chandra
January 13
10:00 2019

A drowning victim Eroni Bautani’s last words to his mother were: “This is the last time you will see me, because I am devoting my life to God’s service.”

Those words rang true when Mr Bautani drowned at Buretu Village, a one-and-a-half hour drive from Korovou, Tailevu, where he was the church steward (vakatawa).

The 25-year-old was from Nananu Village in Korovou, Tailevu.

The incident happened on Friday while Mr Bautani was swimming with friends when the incident occurred.

Police said yesterday that Mr Bautani decided to swim across to get a bamboo branch and failed to reach the other side.

A search was conducted after the

alarm was raised and he was found more than 20 metres from the riverbank.

When a Fiji Sun team visited his family at Nananu, Mr Bautani’s father Nemani Naisole, 48, said they heard the devastating news in the afternoon through a radio news broadcast.

The news left the family shocked.

Mr Naisole said his son was a loving person who cared for others.

“He usually played with children and was a very down to earth person,” he said.

“Eroni was the second eldest in our family and since childhood he wanted to serve in the church as a reverend.

“He was named after his name- sake and devoted his life to God and the good of the people.”

Mr Naisole said he supported his son by funding his education.

“I paid for my son’s tuition fees so that he could complete his education in Bible studies at Davuilevu Theological College,” he said.

“He was a former Ratu Kadavulevu Secondary School student and he was well disciplined.”

Mr Naisole said the last time he saw his son was during New Year.

“I always wanted my son to be successful, now he is closer to God.”

Mr Bautani’s mother, Sainiana Naatevulu, said: “The last time I saw my son was during New Year.

“He always visited every week even if it was for a day and especially during the festive season and this year was no different.

“But this time, I remember quite vividly, Eroni saying that it was the last time his family would see him because he would be giving his life to God.”

Mr Naisole said his family were mourning for their son and brother, but they were proud of his achievements.

Meanwhile, there have been two drowning cases so far this year compared with the same period last year.

The funeral day is yet to be decided by the family.
Edited by Epineri Vula

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