NEWS

 Vendors Prayers’ Answered

“We would then just get some tea stuff out of our good hearts to present to the Catholic priest because he was giving the hall for our accommodation for free.
28 Apr 2022 15:01
 Vendors Prayers’ Answered
Australian Governor-General, David John Hurley and his wife Linda Hurley with Nausori Town Council market staff on April 27, 2022. Photo: Ronald Kumar

For more than three decades, vendor Emily Wilson, 56, has had to endure cold nights sleeping either on the walkway of the old Nausori Market or by the pavement. This has been because there was no proper accommodation for rural women market vendors.

Travelling from Waitolu Village in Naita­siri to sell her produce at the Nausori market and sleeping beside her produce outside the market area was the norm.

Yesterday, Ms Wilson and other female ven­dors from Naitasiri, Rewa and Tailevu had a reason to smile after the new women’s ac­commodation centre was opened at the Nau­sori Municipal Market.

Ms Wilson said she was happy that what was once a longtime dream had at last be­come reality.

“I’ve been a market vendor for 35 years, be­ginning from the old Nausori Market before it moved here where it is now,” she said.

“In the old market I used to sleep on the walkway of the market next to my produce.

“It was up until the COVID-19 lockdown time when the Catholic Church hall in Vunivivi started taking us in and we were sleeping in the hall.

“We would then just get some tea stuff out of our good hearts to present to the Catholic priest because he was giving the hall for our accommodation for free.

“It was some very hard days for us, we could not sleep well because we had to endure the cold.”

She said the new market vendor’s accom­modation was an answer to their prayers.

“Today we are so happy, we are grateful for all that has been done, we have been trying so hard for the past couple of years.”

She said they would have to pay up to $60 return fare to travel from Waitolu Village to the market and return every afternoon.



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