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Fiji Sun Person Of The Year 5: Brave Boy Who Helped Save Younger Brother

Aqoriniasi is believed to be the youngest Fijian to receive a bravery medal in the history of the Order of Fiji Investiture Ceremony.
31 Dec 2019 10:12
Fiji Sun Person Of The Year 5: Brave Boy Who Helped Save Younger Brother
‘Bravery Medal’ recipeint Aqoriniasi Dreu, 5, with President Major-General (Ret’d) Jioji Konrote at the State House in Suva. Photo: Ronald Kumar

Many people generally panic in the face of a potential tragedy.

Not for a five-year-old boy who kept his cool and alerted family that his younger brother had disappeared in the river.

He even led them to where it happened.  His brother was rescued and saved. In November, Aqoriniasi Dreu was honoured with a “Bravery Medal” for his act of courage during the Government Investiture ceremony at State House.

He deserves a spot in our top 10 persons of the year.

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, awarded the medal.

Aqoriniasi was still in kindergarten, at Vaturua, Nakelo. The native from Tailevu will be in year one at primary school next year. 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.

Edited by Nemani Delaibatiki 

Feedback: shalveen.chand@fijisun.com.fj

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