NATION

‘Media Trailblazer Nina Ratulele Lomas Loved Family, Treasured Links To Vanua’

Adi Losalini said her mother knew her heritage and identity. She has pledged to follow her mother’s legacy in keeping with her family identity.
06 Dec 2019 10:14
‘Media Trailblazer Nina Ratulele Lomas Loved Family, Treasured Links To Vanua’
The pallbearers carrying the casket of the late Venina Ratulele Lomas on December 5, 2019. Inset: Venina Ratulele Lomas

Venina Ratulele Lomas loved her family and treasured her links to the vanua in the Lomaiviti Province.

She never forgot her family and knew her identity.

These were the reflections of her daughter Adi Losalini Lomas, an English teacher at a refugee camp in the Middle East.

Better known as Nina, she was from Batiki, Lomaiviti Province, but was raised and started her schooling in Koro also in Lomaiviti.

She was proud of her links to both islands. She attended Delana Primary School and went on to Ratu Navula College for her secondary education.

Adi Losalini said her mother knew her heritage and identity. She has pledged to follow her mother’s legacy in keeping with her family identity.

Adi Losalini fondly remembers how her mother was asked “Why was she building a home in her village?

Daughter Adi Losalini Lomas sharing her eulogy. Photo: Ilaijia Ravuwai

Daughter Adi Losalini Lomas sharing her eulogy. Photo: Ilaijia Ravuwai

Nina’s reply was: “Baleti kemudou na vasu, baleti kemudou na gone, ni keitou sa yali na qase, kemudou na lako ivei? Sa na tu na vale mai nakoro.”

When literally translated: “It’s for you the children who have maternal links to the vanua. When we the elders leave, where will you go? There is a house in the village for you.”

“Even to the very end, she was pushing that. She never forgot where she came from. She never forgot her family, those whom she grew up with,” Adi Losalini said.

Fiji Sun publisher/chief executive officer Peter Lomas and his daughters Talei and Adi Losalini. Photo: Nemani Delaibatiki

Fiji Sun publisher/chief executive officer Peter Lomas and his daughters Talei and Adi Losalini. Photo: Nemani Delaibatiki

Career

Former Fiji Times editor, Vijendra Kumar, the first local newspaper editor, said Nina had achieved so much in her life and attracted global focus on causes she championed.

“We journalist mourn her passing. We remember her as the finest of our craft,” Mr Kumar said.

Mrs Lomas had begun her career at the Regent Hotel, now known as the Westin Denarau Island Resort and Spa Fiji, before she started her career in the media industry.

She has contributed greatly to journalism in Fiji and the Pacific through the Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) during its incursion. She was also the co-ordinator of PINA from the early 1990s until 2003.

Nina had won international recognition for her media freedom and environmental journalism work, and co-ordinated the biggest annual conferences of the Pacific Islands news media.

Reflection

Nina was a vivid writer. She had penned her thoughts down during her final days. Her daughters had found a reflection and shared to the many who came to pay their last repects yesterday.

Venina Ratulele Lomas.

Venina Ratulele Lomas.

Adi Losalini shared a thought of her mum’s memory:

“… Everything you do, gets lost! When you’re gone, your money will be divided among family; it’s going to be spent! Look! Things will be taken and given away. Your trophies and awards earned is going to be put in a box or trashed. Character is going to be translated into the living of the next generation. It is a lasting legacy. The rewards we seek in life, the rewards we seek is ‘Eternity’.”

– Venina Ratulele Lomas.

Media Journey

Mrs Lomas, who headed PINA in its heyday and won international recognition for her media freedom and environmental journalism work, died in Suva Friday.

Mrs Lomas passed away in hospital aged 60 after a determined two-year fight to try to beat cancer.

She was the wife of Fiji Sun publisher/chief executive officer, Peter Lomas.

He recalled: “Nina was working at the then substantial Islands Business magazine group when she was asked by the PINA leadership to take over the new PINA Secretariat in 1992 after its start up faltered.

“She worked tirelessly with visionary PINA leaders such as Tavake Fusimalohi (Tonga), William Parkinson (Fiji), Monica Miller. (American Samoa), Muliaga Jean Malifa (Samoa), John Lamani (Solomon Islands) and Floyd Takeuchi (American Pacific) to build a PINA that both brought together and served the news media across the whole region.

“It lived up to its founding principles of promoting and defending freedom of expression and information, training and development and professional fellowship.

She was laid to rest at the Nasinu Cemetery yesterday. Moce Mada Nina.

The pallbearers carrying the casket of the late Venina Ratulele Lomas on December 5, 2019.

The pallbearers carrying the casket of the late Venina Ratulele Lomas on December 5, 2019.

Edited by Percy Kean

Feedback: ilaijia.ravuwai@fijisun.com.fj

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