NEWS

Aussie Family: Fiji Blessed to Have Bainimarama As Prime Minister

It was an honour and privilege for them to have the PM attend the christening of toddler Cooper, says Keith Drummond.
17 Sep 2019 14:01
Aussie Family: Fiji Blessed to Have Bainimarama As Prime Minister
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama with toddler Cooper Brenton onboard the HMAS Adelaide in Sydney, Australia, on September 14 where Cooper had his baptism ceremony. Photo: PM’s Office

Australian Keith Drummond could not stop singing praises for Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama yesterday.

The Melbourne-based senior sales and customer liaison officer for Singapore Airlines Cargo is the great uncle of toddler Cooper Drummond who Mr Bainimarama carried, hugged and kissed at his christening ceremony aboard the HMAS Adelaide in Sydney last Saturday.

Mr Drummond, who also attended, said: “It was an awesome experience. You (Fijians) are very blessed to have him as your Prime Minister.”

Mr Bainimarama caught everyone by surprise when he walked into the service unannounced. Later he tweeted: “Vinaka Cooper for letting me crash your baptism on board the HMAS Adelaide.”

Mr Drummond said everyone was in awe when they saw Mr Bainimarama walk in. He said they had seen him in the news, but this was the first time they were seeing him in person.

“He is a beautiful soul. Everyone in our family loves him. He was very hospitable and we easily interacted with him.”

It was a brilliant day and it was an honour and privilege to enjoy the presence of the Fijian Prime Minister.

He said it was obvious that he loved children because he gravitated towards them.

Mr Drummond said it was an unforgettable experience to have a Prime Minister attend an ordinary christening. They thanked the Fiji Sun for recording the event in words and photos.

Mr Drummond said they would frame a copy of the newspaper for posterity.

The event did not get lost easily on Mr Bainimarama. At the dinner hosted by Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison in Canberra on Sunday night, Mr Bainimarama referred to it before he proposed a toast.

He said he wanted to share a story that “speaks to the future you and I must work to achieve.”

“Saturday morning, during our tour of the HMAS Adelaide, we came upon Seaman Brenton Drummond and his family who were on board for the christening of their son, Cooper. I had the chance to meet eight-month-old Cooper. He was a big fan of my Fiji flag pin. It was a special moment in what has already been a very special visit to Australia.

“Prime Minister, I believe it is young Fijians and young Aussies like Cooper, who we are both ultimately here to serve. It’s on us to build a world, and a friendship, that we can be proudly pass on to them to inherit.

“In that spirit I look forward to building a relationship between our nations that endures for generations and forging a bond of family worthy of the history, values and natural affinity shared by our people.”

Edited by Naisa Koroi

Feedback: nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj

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