Big Story | NATION

For Late Parents, Says Fijian In Royal March

Pateresio Nakailoma Acareva of the British Army was among six other Fijians who took part in the royal march during the proclamation of King Charles III at Edinburgh, Scotland.
16 Sep 2022 16:30
For Late Parents, Says Fijian In Royal March
Highlander Pateresio Nakailoma Acareva (second from right/top inset), a British Army soldier, during the proclamation of King Charles III at Edinburgh, Scotland.

I only wish my late ‘Lei’ (mum) and ‘Nau’ (dad) were here to witness how far I’ve come.

This was the wish that Pateresio Nakailoma Acareva, a highlander in the British Army made, while he and several other Fijians took part in the royal march during the proclamation of King Charles III at Edinburgh, Scotland.

Filled with emotion, he dedicating his achievement to his late parents.

 

It is not every day you get to be part of a much-anticipated royal event. Highlander Acareva is based at Catterick, North Yorkshire under the Royal Regiment of Scotland, 4th Battalion.

The second youngest of nine siblings was emotional as he reminisced how he was selected by his commanding Sergeant-Major just days before the proclamation of King Charles III was to be held.

 

“When our Sergeant-Major came to inform us about the selected individuals, he uttered something – ‘This is the day you will never forget’,” Highlander Acareva said.

It was those words that made Highlander Acareva realise the enormity and honour of his duty. The 27-year-old said that it was challenging for him as he had only two days to train for the remarkable event.

 

Reactions

This was the first time Highlander Acareva was involved in such a major event. His participation in the royal march echoed praises from his teachers, friends and relatives. “When I first informed my families, they didn’t bother.

I assumed they might not know the significance of this event,” he said.

“Even now that pictures are flooding social media, they are still in disbelief.”

 

Highlander Acareva eventually started to see tags of pride and appreciation flood in. He expressed gratitude and appreciation to the late Queen Elizabeth II and her interest in renewing ties with Fiji.

“If it wasn’t for the Queen, I wouldn’t have been here!” he said.

He said if it wasn’t for her late Queen’s keen interest in always trying to renew ties with Fiji, he wouldn’t be in the army.

 

“I’d always respect the late Queen, she was always trying to connect Fiji in her everyday call of duty,” he said.

“When I first joined, I swore an oath to Her late Majesty, I gave myself to serve the Queen, so just by taking part in this majestic event, is a memory I will forever dwell on.”

Queen Elizabeth II is succeeded by her son, King Charles III.

 

Highlander Acareva’s History

“I attended Namosi Primary School, and Namosi Secondary School then later I joined Fiji National University Samabula to study Trade in Automotive Engineering Heavy Commercial Vehicle Engineering,” he said.

“I’m originally from Waivaka, Namosi; I have humble beginnings.”

Highlander Acareva joined the British Army in 2020, at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He was not accustomed to such big events, but is thankful for the opportunity.

 

Feedback: jone.salusalu@fijisun.com.fj



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