NEWS

Soldiers Work To Renovating Sanctuary

The idea behind the project was to contribute to a peaceful sanctuary for a soldier in times of trouble and anxiety.
08 Jun 2019 14:12
Soldiers Work To Renovating Sanctuary
Members of the Third Battalion Fiji Infantry Regiment (3FIR) working on the renovation of the RFMF Chapel at the Queen Elizabeth Barracks. Photos: Republic of Fiji Military Forces

Soldiers of the Third Battalion Fiji Infantry Regiment (3FIR) are working to renovate the RFMF Chapel at the Queen Elizabeth Barracks.

The 3FIR Commanding Officer, Lieutenant-Colonel Penioni Naliva said that the chapel was a sanctuary for all soldiers regardless of which corps they belong to.

The idea behind the project was to contribute to a peaceful sanctuary for a soldier in times of trouble and anxiety.

The renovation was the idea of the soldiers of 3FIR. According to Lieutenant-Colonel Naliva, their commitment to the project reflected their faith.

“The project is more of a psychological and a spiritual journey for the women and men of 3FIR as they see it as an extension of their faith and commitment to their belief in Jesus Christ,” he said.

He also said that the collective decision and contribution for the renovation of the chapel commenced two years ago.

“It was done through a consultation process with men and women of the Battalion who all agreed that everyone would contribute from their fortnightly pay. Funds were deducted from every soldier, a total amount of $3 per fortnight,” he said.

“The decision came about because we saw that our RFMF church parades were held at churches and halls outside Queen Elizabeth Barracks,”

He added that they wanted to enlarge the chapel, but after their consultation process, they came to a collective decision that they would renovate and enlarge the chapel themselves to provide more space and accommodate RFMF members, should a church parade be conducted at QEB.

“Currently we have two-and-a-half weeks to go before the opening of the chapel on the 23rd of June which is also the Infantry Day,” he said.

The renovation commenced with a total of $150,000. To date, $70,000 has been used.

“My battalion have been blessed in many ways. There were no major accidents or incidents during military exercises and major activities that had been undertaken,” he said. He added that battalion morale was high and they aim to achieve their objective in the coming week with the culmination of the Infantry Day celebration. The former colours of 1FIR and 2FIR are also laid up in the chapel.

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