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Family and friends bid farewell to Tui Levuka

By Unaisi Ratubalavu

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, June 24, 2008) – It was one of the most unique chiefly funerals ever witnessed on Ovalau after his people, family and friends bid farewell to the late Tui Levuka, Ratu Kolinio Rokotunaceva, yesterday.

After the a requiem service at the Levuka-Vaka-Viti Methodist Church, three prominent chiefs led the two-mile walk from the Levuka-Vaka-Viti Church to Vuma Village where Ratu Kolinio was finally buried at the tomb at Ucuikoroisutu.

Bau chief Ratu Epenisa Cakobau, Tui Namosi Ratu Suliano Matanitobua, Ratu Meli Vesikula from Verata, Tailevu, and other chiefs from several provinces braved the burning sun to bid farewell to Ratu Kolinio.

Students of Delana Methodist High, Levuka Public and St John's College sat on the roadside, and even the people of the island Part-Europeans and Fiji-Indians included sat with their heads bowed as warriors of the Tui Levuka carried Ratu Kolinio's casket on a specially built platform.

Tui Vagadaci Ratu Isoa Saqacala, in his traditional attire, was seen fanning away bad spirits' about 50 metres from the casket, as he led the walk from the church to Vuma Village.

At the church service, the chiefs who spoke all said that Ratu Kolinio was one chief who was humble and full of respect for all the people whom he lived with.

His only daughter, Adi Siteri Waqanivalunaweni Rayawa, dressed in traditional attire was followed by the women of Noco, Rewa, could not hold back her tears as she went to her chiefly home of Vunisinu to farewell her Ratu before the church service.

Then it was Ratu Kolinio's grandchildren, 26 of them who came to say good-bye to their grandfather for the last time.

Reverend Manasa Lasaro, who presided over the church service, said Ratu Kolinio was a man of honour and respect.

About 2000 people packed the Levuka-Vaka-Viti Church and later Vuma Village, young and old, all of whom came to say good-bye to Ratu Kolinio.

Fiji Times Online: http://www.fijitimes.com.


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