NEWS

Homeless Man Cuts First Birthday Cake

Clear skies and sunshine were definitely a blessing yesterday as Fijians around the country celebrated Christmas Day. For some, the experience was overwhelming; for others it was just another day at work.
26 Dec 2019 12:50
Homeless Man Cuts First Birthday Cake
Jope Tuimaitoga cuts his birthday cake. Photos: Jennis Naidu

Clear skies and sunshine were definitely a blessing yesterday as Fijians around the country celebrated Christmas Day.

For some, the experience was overwhelming; for others it was just another day at work.

In Suva yesterday, Jope Taimanoa, cut his very first birthday cake. The 47-year-old has been living on the streets of Suva for the past 28 years after his parents died. He was overcome with emotion as a crowd of people who barely knew him applauded and cheered for him as he grew a year older during the Fijian Broadcasting Corpora­tion (FBC) Christmas brunch for the homeless.

fbc christmas brunch Jope Tuimaitoga cuts his birthday cake copy

FBC celebrated my birthday and everything because I have nobody, I am staying on the street, I have no family, but thank you everybody who helped,” he said.

FBC’s chief executive officer, Ri­yaz Sayed-Khaiyum, said last year they went around Suva to give the homeless food for Christmas. But this year they sought a method that would be more effective.

Fijian Broadcasting Corporation staff members hosted Christmas brunch for the homeless at Suva on December 25, 2019. Photo: Jennis Naidu

Fijian Broadcasting Corporation staff members hosted Christmas brunch for the homeless at Suva on December 25, 2019. Photo: Jennis Naidu

Soko Ranuqanuqa, Suva

Christmas Day for Soko Ranuqanuqa was just another working day.

The 38-year-old Taveuni man who rings the church bell and works as an usher at the Sacred Heart Cathedral Church in Suva, says he loves his job because he loves serving God. The Taveuni man has been ringing the church bell since 2001. He re­sides at Bagasau in Toorak, Suva.

At first, he said it was hard to pull the rope because the bell was heavy, but with God’s blessing, nothing was impossible for him.

“Everything is big but nothing is impos­sible with God’s blessings,” he said.

“And over time, I got used to it and can ring the bell easily. I thank the Lord for giv­ing me the strength to continue ringing the bell,” Mr Ranuqanuqa said.

The bell rings according to the mass times – from 7am to 8.30am, and then the 10am mass.

Soko Ranuqanuqa during the Christmas Mass at Sacred Heart Cathedral on December 25, 2019. Photo: Ronald Kumar.

Soko Ranuqanuqa during the Christmas Mass at Sacred Heart Cathedral on December 25, 2019. Photo: Ronald Kumar.

Labasa, Vanua Levu

The Children’s Ward at the Labasa Hospi­tal was filled with a lot of joy. Staff mem­bers from the Fiji National University La­basa campus paid the children a surprise visit with Christmas gifts.

Head of the campus in Labasa Pardeep Lal said: “The idea was to bring joy to the children in hospital. We want to see the kids happy and hope that they recover from their illness and go back home to their fam­ilies.”

fnu labasa 1

Wairiki Methodist Choir

After a lapse of 15 years, the Wairiki Methodist Choir group in Labasa are sing­ing Christmas carols again.

Group leader Ropate Rakuro said this was made possible through the support of four villages in Korotari, Labasa.

“The group consists of 50 members from Suweni, Navakuru, Matalolo and Satula­ki,” Mr Rakuro said.

They sang carols at the Golden Age Home in Labasa and visited homes and settle­ments around Labasa Town.

wairiki 3 xmas copy

 

Edited by Naisa Koroi

Feedback: shalveen.chand@fijisun.com.fj

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