Tribute to the fallen

Kiniviliame Keteca,Nausori | Tuesday, November 14, 2017

I celebrated Remembrance Day with a difference last Saturday. Some of my wantok and I, with our children, started planting ginger at our village farm in Davuilevu.

The intent is to try a new source of funding for our village development projects including the rehabilitation of our village after Severe TC Winston.

In fact, it wasn't new at all.

About 40 years ago, our fathers and some of us who were starting secondary school then also planted ginger for our village development.

From the biscuit factory in Suva, we had to catch a carrier up to Waibau. An uncle had to collect the fares. No free rides!

In contrast, last Saturday, there were some four-wheel-drives.

While planting, we reminisced of our elders, grandparents, mums and dads, uncles and aunts, brothers and sisters too.

Some also served in theatres of the Solomons, Malaya and the Middle East. Others were civil servants, ordinary village men and women and fisher folks. Some ventured into businesses.

They all contributed in different ways in bequeathing us with good values, good work ethics and more.

They set up our village and "tikina" companies. They bought real estate in central Suva and invested our company funds well.

We the village and "tikina" folks became shareholders in such business ventures.

Today some of us are now directors of those companies.

We, their sons, daughters and grandchildren have been passed the generational baton of working collectively for our common communal good.

No one is to be left behind. Like our forefathers, with God on our side, we too will succeed.

So last Saturday, on the Davuilevu hillsides of our village farm, we not only remembered our gallant servicemen who paid the ultimate sacrifice in the different theatres of armed conflict worldwide.

We also remembered our grandparents and parents, our chiefs, village folks, relatives around the globe, our teachers, talatala, and Sunday school teachers, our former bosses and work colleagues — they all played a part in guiding us through our formative years.

They all impacted our lives one way or another.

To all of them, I say — We will remember them!

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