NATION

Clouds Have A Heart Beat

Mary was diagnosed with an early stage of cancer. This would turn their world upside down.
06 Mar 2022 11:37
Clouds Have A Heart Beat
The couple Ratu Jeremaia Vuetilevuka Balemaira and Mary Julia Ratukitoga in Sorokoba Village, Ba, on Saturday, February 19, 2022. Photo: Leon Lord

Ratu Jeremaia Vuetilevuka Balemaira, 30, and his bride Mary Julia Ratukitoga, 34, believe that clouds have a heartbeat.

Sharing Jerry’s umbrella on a rainy Saturday afternoon at the National Stadium during a rugby match in 2014 was the start of
a new chapter of their lives.

Underneath the umbrella, the two strangers exchanged a brief introduction and mobile numbers. While Jerry, who hails from Sorokoba,
Ba, with maternal links to Oneata, Lau, was a police officer then.

Nayavuira beauty Mary, from Nakorotubu, Ra, with maternal links to Soa Village, Bure-i-Vanua, was a university student.

Then in late 2019, lonely Jerry searched for Mary on Facebook, sent her a message and sure enough she replied, and their love rekindled.
Jerry was posted at the Ba Police Station and their date was set for the day before Valentine’s Day that year.

Two years later before their families, friends and workmates they exchanged their vows at the Sorokoba Methodist Church.

 

Ratu Jeremaia Vuetilevuka Balemaira and Mary Julia Ratukitoga on Saturday, February 19, 2022. Photo: Leon Lord

Ratu Jeremaia Vuetilevuka Balemaira and Mary Julia Ratukitoga on Saturday, February 19, 2022. Photo: Leon Lord

“Clouds have a heartbeat and that is what that keeps us close,” Mary said.

“For Jerry and I, every day is like the first time we met.

We have a few dislikes but more likes. This is probably why our relationship is sweeter every day.
“Our communication and understanding nature is key to our healthy relationship. We believe in togetherness in everything and hearing out each other’s opinions and voice.”

Late last year, Mary was diagnosed with an early stage of cancer. This would turn their world upside down.  The upsetting news didn’t deter the two from changing their wedding date scheduled February 19, 2022.

“We are strong in our faith, being close helped as Jerry resign to be on my side. He is a wonderful cook.

The wedding service at the Sorokoba village church. Photo: Leon Lord.

The wedding service at the Sorokoba village church. Photo: Leon Lord.

Jerry resigned to be by Mary’s side. Mary had attended primary and secondary in Suva, before attaining
her bachelor’s degree at Central Queensland University.

She is the HR Organisational Development Manager with Goodman Fielder Fiji International Pte Ltd, while Jerry, who has direct paternal links to Tui Ba, attended both primary and secondary education in Ba.

He is a graduate of the Fiji National University Labasa.

“Family and colleagues’ support and our faith in God has taken away the cancer and I am heading towards
the later stage of recovery.

The couple’s wedding was laced with traditional attire, music, dancing, merrymaking coupled by the
usual bowls of kava at Sorokoba village.

Family of the bride at Sorokoba village, Ba. Photo: Leon Lord

Family of the bride at Sorokoba village, Ba and Mary’s wedding gown below.  Photo: Leon Lord

 

Mary's wedding gown.

One of the spectacular highlights of the wedding was the bride’s wedding gown. The masi was made from the bark of the young mulberry tree in Bureiwai, Ra.
The bark was provided by one of the sons (Ratu Isireli Kapaiwai Mara) of the late Gonesau (Ratu Josua Kapaiwai Mara).

After the bark was prepared it was sent to Sorokoba where it was beaten with mallets and formed masi sheets by the groom’s mother (Salote
Vakacagicagi Balemaira).
These sheets of masi were then carefully sent back to Suva to be designed and put together.

Mary’s friend and designer Ashnil Sharma from Maqere in Ba desgined her wedding dress.

Feedback:  leon.lord@fijisun.com.fj



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