NEWS

5 Year Old Hero Awarded Bravery Medal For Saving His Brother By President Of Fiji

Aqoriniasi is believed to be the youngest Fijian to receive a bravery medal in the history of the Order of Fiji Investiture Ceremony.
30 Nov 2019 11:54
5 Year Old Hero Awarded Bravery Medal For Saving His Brother By President Of Fiji
Bravery Medal recipient Aqoriniasi Dreu, 5, with President Major-General (Ret’d) Jioji Konrote at the State House in Suva on November 29, 2019. Photo: Ronald Kumar

Courage comes in many forms and young Aqoriniasi Dreu is a testament to that.

Aqoriniasi is believed to be the youngest Fijian to receive a bravery medal in the history of the Order of Fiji Investiture Ceremony.

The President, Major-General (Ret’d) Jioji Konrote, yesterday awarded the medal at State House, Suva.

This pint-sized “hero” was honoured for saving his younger brother.

Still, in kindergarten, the Vaturua, Nakelo, native from Tailevu, who was dressed smartly in his three-piece suit, walked up proudly to the President to receive his medal.

Those in the audience had to stand up to see this young boy passing them gracefully and walking towards Mr Konrote.

Aqoriniasi was awarded the ‘Bravery Medal’ for saving his baby brother from drowning. Nakelo District School teacher Navitilai Ligatamana said in 2018, Aqoriniasi’s brother, who was one-year six-months-old had fallen into the river that runs close to their home. The two were crossing the river using a coconut trunk as a footbridge.

Mr Ligatamana said Aqoriniasi, who was then four years old, ran for help to the closest house, which was about 30 metres away from where his brother had fallen.

“No one was home. So Aqoriniasi ran to the next house, which was about 100 metres away,” he said.

“This time, he managed to get someone, but the amazing thing was that he pointed at the exact spot where his brother had fallen.

“You have to realise that by the time this boy had come back with help, his little brother had gone underwater.”

His actions led to his brother being saved.

Aqoriniasi’s father, Bonefasio Turiva, said he was proud of his son and had been amazed with his quick thinking in getting help for his brother.

Aqoriniaisi is the fifth child among six siblings. He is also a prefect at kindergarten.

Mr Ligatamana said the coconut trunk footbridge still exists in the village. He said a few months ago, a child lost her life too after falling into the river while crossing the same footbridge.

As for Aqoriniasi, he was happy that he met the President of Fiji. A big celebration was waiting for him when he returned home yesterday.

Edited by Naisa Koroi

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