SUNBIZ

Let’s Go Local: Bua’s Tikina-i-Ra For A Visit With Friends- Ratu Timoci

Ratu Timoci was born as Timoci Taliai Taniela Tavanavanua.
06 Jun 2021 16:36
Let’s Go Local: Bua’s Tikina-i-Ra For A Visit With Friends- Ratu Timoci
Aerial view of part of theTikina-i-Ra coastline in the province of Bua (Left) and Ratu Timoci Taniela (Left).

Timoci Taniela, as he prefers to be called, is a company executive, and fourth generation descendent of Bau warlord and high chief, Ratu Seru Cakobau.

He is the nephew of former statesman, Ratu Sir Lala Sukuna.

Ratu Timoci was born as Timoci Taliai Taniela Tavanavanua.

His father was the younger sibling of Ratu Sukuna.

He is the son of Doctor Ratu Jione Atonio Rabici Doviverata and Adi Losalini Raravuya Dovi.

Ratu Timoci was born in Suva.

However, he spent his formative years on the island of Makogai and the old capital, where his father served as a senior divisional medical officer.

Dr Ratu Dovi was Roko Tui Bau from 1938–1971.

The Roko Tui Bau is Suzerain or feudal head of the Vusaratu chiefs, which include:-

  • the Roko Tui Kiuva,
  • Roko Tui Viwa,
  • Tui Nabou,
  • Roko Durucoko,
  • Ratu Mai Motoriki,
  • Ratu Mai Bureta,
  • Roko Tui Tai,
  • Tovulailai in Nairai, and
  • Navukailagi in Gau.

It has special relationships with the related titles of the Vunivalu, Roko Tui Dreketi, Tui Cakau, Tui Nayau, Ratu Mai Verata, Roko Tui Namata, Roko Tui Veikau, Tui Vuya and many other chiefly titles in chiefly households.

Ratu Timoci is the Roko Tui Bau.

“My late mother, Adi Losalini Dovi, was a Member of Parliament in the late 60s and early 70s, under the Ratu Mara-led Alliance government,” he said.

“We spent about eight years in Levuka, where I attended Levuka Public school, from Class 1 to Class 3.”

Ratu Timoci said: “Makogai housed a leper colony, owned by the colonial government of Fiji at the time, with the help of the Missionary Sisters of the Society of Mary.”

His family moved to Suva in the late 60s after his father was transferred to Suva Health Office, now home to the offices of Biosecurity Fiji, along Harris Road.

“We lived in a government quarters along Waimanu Road, right across the maternity unit and the Colonial War Memorial Hospital,” Ratu Timoci said.

“Our home was later converted into what we now know as the National Diabetes Centre.”

Ratu Timoci is the third eldest of five siblings.

The eldest were Adi Tuikilakila Adams and Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi.

“Then there’s me, followed by sisters, Adi Sofia Viviana and Adi Litiana Maopa Ricadelli,” he said.

His older brother, Ratu Joni, was Fiji’s Vice President between 2004 and 2006.

Ratu Joni was also a lawyer and legal scholar, who died in September, 2016.

Education and career 

“When we moved to Suva, I attended Veiuto Primary School, Suva Grammar School and Marist Brothers High School,” Ratu Timoci said.

In 1980, he received a scholarship to study automotive engineering in America.

The course spanned 12 months at the Arizona Automotive Institute in the State of Arizona.

“I graduated with a Diploma 12 months later, in June of 1981,” Ratu Timoci said.

“When I returned, I joined the Fiji Electricity Authority (FEA), now Energy Fiji Limited, as a mechanic at their Lautoka depot.”

After six months with FEA, Ratu Timoci decided he was not cut out to be a mechanic.

He returned to Suva, and applied for a position with the then Bank of New South Wales – now known as Westpac, where he spent the following 20 years.

Ratu Timoci resigned from the bank in 2001 to pursue further studies at the University of the South Pacific.

In 2003, he was appointed to the board of the Fiji Rugby Union.

In June of 2005, Ratu Timoci was appointed chief executive officer of the Fiji Rugby Union.

“Prior to my appointment, we won the Rugby World Cup 7s tournament that was held in Hong Kong,” he said.

“Other notable achievements that deserve mentioning are winning its first International Rugby Board 7s Series for the 2005-06 season, and making the cup quarter finals during the 2007 Rugby World Cup.”

Before joining Fiji Rugby, Ratu Timoci was heavily involved with the Marist Rugby Club – as an official, and a player.

There, he played alongside former household names in rugby, such as Pio Bosco Tikoisuva, Robert Howard, Paulo Nawalu, Sani Tagivetaua, John Sanday, and Peni Raulini.

“I also had the privilege of representing the Suva Rugby team, as well as the national team in the 80s,” Ratu Timoci said.

In 2009, he left Fiji Rugby to join Asia Pacific Resources Ltd, a mining company based in Wainivesi, Tailevu North.

He has continued to manage the company as its only Fijian director, since 2017.

Ratu Timoci is married to Beulah Viti Lomani.

The couple have four children – Genevieve, Clayton, Joseph and Joshua.

He changed his name in recent years to Timothy Daniel, because of a spiritual conviction.

“It was the hardest decision I have had to make in my life,” Ratu Timoci said.

What is the one place in Fiji you would take visitors to, and why? 

I would take them to a place called Tikina-i -Ra in the province of Bua, once it is developed.

It has 25 kilometers of pristine beach front with spectacular bays, and clear waters.

The potential for development there is huge in terms of tourism.

What is your favourite place for a coffee or pie? 

Bulaccino Cafe has a good and wide variety of pies and pastries complimented by good coffee or tea.

I also visit the Republic of Capuccino (ROC) Cafe occasionally for their coffee and pies.

Apart from this, the buns at Tea Totoka in the Yatu Lau Arcade are quite nice.

What is your favourite backyard spot, and why? 

I don’t really have a favourite backyard spot.

However, I am quite content to see my wife potter around in her garden at home amongst her plants, which is not only therapeutic, but relaxing.

I think this pandemic has woken the nation up to go back to the land.

What is the one place in Fiji on your bucket list? 

I have heard a lot about Wakaya Club and Spa, and I wouldn’t mind visiting there one day, if the opportunity arises.

Feedback: frederica.elbourne@fijisun.com.fj



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