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Greetings from the LAND OF THE LONG WHITE CLOUD

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					              Month of June 2004   Issued by Olivia


                  Greetings from the LAND OF THE LONG WHITE CLOUD
Individual               Time seems to have gone so fast. It is now the    Torres Strait Islander Studies has
Highlights:              end of another month and also the middle of       advised me that the information I seek
                         the year. It is time again to share the news we   from them will be available in October
                         have to date. There are sad stories and there     or November this year.
                         are success stories. I believe if we could turn
                         the clock back, we would. However, life has to
  General News      1    go on and let us all look ahead.                  While we wait for this, let us think back
                                                                           and try to recollect stories of when we
                         Last month, we were fortunate to receive
                                                                           were children.
                         some great news from Valesi and Filo which
                         was received in time to be included in the May    I am sure you have stories about our
                         Newsletter. There are more incomplete stories     parents,     grandparents,     ma’pigas,
                         out there. I am sure it is a matter of            yourselves, children and grandchildren,
  Father’s News     2
                         researching and your recollection of what you     interesting things that have happened in
                         have been told of any significant events in our   your lives that you would like to share
                         family’s life. Write and let me now so I could    with the rest of the family members.
                         include in future newsletters.
                                                                           So get a pen to paper and write while
                         We still have not received any news from          you enjoy a bowl of grog.
  Mother’s News     3    Makereta Mua. We have to be patient.
                                                                           Well folks, let us hear from you!
                         However, this does not deter us from the
                         project that we have embarked on. Things do       But first, sit back, relax and happy
                         take time and as previously mentioned, we are     reading.
                         more than determined to see this through.
                         The Australian Institute of Aboriginal and                      The Editor
  Young Generation 4


                                      News received from Uncle Toga and Sumasafu
                         I wrote to Uncle Toga sometime back in April        As for other information, they do not
  Other News and    5    2004 asking for information that he may know       know. Both letters asked for money,
  Birthday Column        about our grandparents and our parents. I have     cement and corrugated iron to help
                         received a reply from Uncle Toga who               repair their house.
                         mentioned in his letter that all he knew was
                                                                            Sumasafu went on to say that we should
                         that Grandfather Aisea bought Islepi from Aisea
                                                                            give them help and not forget the
                         Ponoto. He knew nothing about Mal’ia. The
  Closing           6                                                       assistance that her father gave to us
                         information that Sumasafu gave was the same
                                                                            and our parents.
                         except that she went on to add that our parents
                         had a small rift with our grandparents and that    Each of us has responsibilities towards
                         was why Uncle Toga took us to Noa’tau. Pray        our families.
                         tell me. I am flabbergastered by this. She said
                                                                            However, the choice is yours and yours
                         that we lived in Noa’tau for 10 years.
                                                                            alone to make. Should you assist, please
                                                                            do it wholeheartedly and move on. I
                          Did we live in Noa’tau for 10                     would have loved to assist but the tone
                                                                            of the letter left a sour taste in my
                          years? I think we lived in                        mouth and we shall have to give it
                          Noa’tau for 5 years. Please let me                further consideration. I do not want to
                                                                            deviate from the purpose of the
                          know as I would like to set the                   newsletter.
                          record straight.                                   I would like to concentrate on the
                                                                            PROJECT.



                                                                                            Page 1 of 6
                                          FATHER’S NEWS
What I remember!                                      I stopped. By this time, I knew in my heart that
                                                     something had happened. I knew immediately
When growing up, I remember times when our
                                                     that whoever called was giving me a message. I
father would have a bit of money and would buy
                                                     stopped for a while as I tried to gather my
a loaf of bread from the RCA. The bread was
                                                     thoughts.
wrapped in newspaper. Our mother would then
slice the bread thinly so each of us could have a    The tunnel was pitch black. It was an eerie
piece. There was no butter but then who cared        feeling.
at that time. It is having a slice of bread that
                                                     I interrupted and asked my grandfather, I
mattered. At RCA, the dividends was shared
                                                     wonder what the message is. My grandfather
either late November or early December and
                                                     turned to me and said, I have no idea but who
father would end up having a bit of money thus
                                                     knows, maybe we will know soon.
enabled him to buy a tin of biscuit, butter and
jam. To make sure the butter and jam last            Two days later, my grandfather received the
during the Christmas holidays, mother would mix      news that our father was called to rest. My
the butter and jam and store in jars. I remember     grandfather called me in and said to me that
applying the mixture of butter and jam thinly on     deep in his heart he knew that the voice calling
the biscuit so this could last. A habit which is     was our father. I looked across the mountain
still very much in me today. This was Christmas      ranges and all I could see was Mal’ia and our
and sure it was with plenty of food and fruit to     family. It was pretty hard to explain the
feed an army.                                        feeling that I had at that time. My grandfather
                                                     said that our father was at peace. I looked at
This was how I got the news that our father was
                                                     my grandfather and nearly blurted out why? But
called to rest.
                                                     on second thoughts decided that it was best left
The following story was related to me by my          alone.
grandfather Kauteao Wilisoni when I spent some
                                                     I knew deep in my heart that our father worked
time with him in Vatukoula.
                                                     really, really hard to take care of us.
“Ma’piga, I am on the afternoon shift today and
                                                     Did our father suffer any illness? Was our
will be at the Bothwick shaft. On the next day,
                                                     father confined to bed and for how long? Who
my grandfather asked me to sit with him while
                                                     was there at that time? What were father’s last
he had his breakfast. I had no idea what he
                                                     words? There is lot of unasked questions but I
wanted to tell me.
                                                     would really like to hear from anyone who was
My grandfather looked at me; eyes misted with a      there at that time or knew what happened.
faraway look in his eyes and related to me the       Many of you may think that it is best left alone,
following.                                           but for me, I would like to hear.
“I was in the tunnel at Bothwick shaft last night    I left Rotuma when I was small and there were
carrying on with my duties. I heard someone          so many things that happened.
called my out my name but did not pay any
attention because these young fellows do that        My recollection of our father was of a proud
sometime, knowing that I wear a hearing aid.         and hard working man who never did things in
But for some reason, the hair at the back of my      half-measures.
head stood on end and I had this eerie feeling       I would like to fill this column with news of our
that something was not right. There was no one       father. Sadly, no one has written.
with me at that time. At first, I thought it could
be another member of the team calling me. I          I am sure there are many stories left untold.
stopped and listened but there was no one            Please write to me and share your memories of
following and no one calling. Then I continued       our father.
with what I was doing and again, the voice
called out my name but sounded so far away.




                                                                                Page 2 of 6
                                                                                              WPage 3 of 6
                                             MOTHER’S NEWS
I remember one day I asked Mother how        mother was with me and I will make arrangements to have mother come
she met our Father. She looked at me         over and spend the day. So the next day, I packed mother in a taxi and
shocked that I would ask such a question.    took her to Aunty Polly. The taxi stopped outside the Chong Sue’s
Well, she went on to say it happened on      residence at Namaka and out came this lady and in her loud voice said,
a night when she went to a dance at a        “Isa Kalara!! and all burst out laughing and crying, tears of happiness, a
hall, could it be Toorak Hall, I asked?      reunion, very emotional. That was in 1973.
She was not sure. Anyway, mother went
                                             I look back at VERY FOND memories of Mother with Aunty Polly and
on to say that this young dashing
                                             sometimes wonder if Aunty Polly was older than Mother. We all know
gentleman in army uniform came and
                                             that Aunty Polly has a VERY BIG HEART. Her house in Kulukulu is like a
asked her for a dance!!! I am pretty sure
                                             “Mataqali Meeting House”. This was evident when Uncle Matthew Chong
that must be the time when Father
                                             Sue passed away and everyone was there, Indians, Fijian, Chinese and
    Does anyone know any
returned from the services.
                                             Rotumans.
   stories about father in the
   services?                               I also remember, when we took Mother and Faserue on a Captain Cook
                                           day cruise. On board there was a young Rotuman guy by name of Irava
                                           who made the welcome speech, followed by safety procedures. Later on
                                           he came and asked who we were and I told him. My gosh, didn’t we get
I sat and listened all in awe visualizing First Class Treatment. Thanks to our late brother “Captain Joe” everyone
the scene in those days. Mmmmmm!!!         involved in the cruises around Nadi, Lautoka and the Yasawas know of
                                           him. It was an honor that I respected and to be shown respect.
 I let mother continue and only when I
needed to know more did I interrupt with
                                            Now for some real stuff about Mother. One early July evening in
a question or two. Mother said that when
                                           1998 in Martintar, Sid, young Joses, Mother and I were sitting around
Father asked her to take her to Rotuma,
                                           a bowl of grog outside the porch. We all were talking about various
she said yes!!! without knowing where
                                           topics ranging from fuel prices to level of noise. Out of the blue,
Rotuma was. My Goodness, she could
                                           Mother said in her ladylike voice ---------
have been taken to Timbuktu!!! That’s
mother for us. She was bewitched!! I
asked, was my father a handsome man,
and she said yes, I interrupted by saying,
I bet you were looking at the army
uniform. Mother burst out laughing. How                Kila, au sa tovolea
I wish I had asked more questions as
Mother had so much knowledge but I am                  oti na marijuana
sure with protocol, one does not ask the
elders such questions. It is more of being
seen and not heard.
I also remember when we were small that
Uncle Gilbert, mother’s first cousin came
to Rotuma and looked for mother. We
knew then that mother had some
relatives in Fiji. A sister and a brother,
Pole and Isoa.
When mother came to Fiji and stayed
with me in Nadi, she told me about her Sid, Joses and I stopped and looked at one another, burst out
young sister Pole.                         laughing that our ladylike and gentle mother had tried marijuana.
I remember vividly the day that I had to Mother’s pronounciation of marijuana was “ MARI –J- UANA” when it
locate Aunty Polly, mother’s young sister. should be pronounced “ MARIHUANA”. Not that we were worried
I telephoned the Chong Sue residence in about the pronounciation, it was the shock and humour. Joe turned
Namaka and asked to speak with Mrs. to his grandmother and said “Mapiga, the cops will get hold of you.”
Polly Chong Sue. This lady came on the Mother turned to Joe and said, the cops are my nephews and not to
phone and said “Hello” and I started to worry, no harm will come to me. Now, Mother has two grandsons
ask questions and wanted to find out that are Police Officers, makes me wonder, what would you have
where Mother was.       I told her that done if you were there! I bet you both will have turned a
                                             ……………..  BLIND EYE!!!



                                                                                              Page 3 of 6
        Type the Title here
                           YOUNG GENERATION NEWS

While we continue to wait for more information, I thought that it would be a better idea
to dedicate a column to the younger members of the family. Therefore we invite the
young family members to write in and let us know what is happening in their lives, their
achievement, dreams and aspirations and most importantly, their long term goals.
For example:
      I understand that Vamarasi has gone back to school to study about becoming a
       Fitter and Turner, good on you. Persevere and you will reap the rewards.
      To Visoni, congratulations on becoming a father. I am sure your father would have
       been a very proud man. Write and let us know about your family.
      To Chris who is studying at the University of the South Pacific. Best of luck and
       write and let us know what degree you are pursuing and anything else about
       university.
      To Tupou and Jone – the men on the right side of the law, I hope!! We need some
       news from you and your families. We are interested to hear from you on any
       arrests you have made. If any…
      To young Rosie who is in Form 3 in Adi Cakobau School. We understand that you
       are taking computer classes in your first year. Good choice as we all know that
       we have to move with the times. Welcome to the computer world. You must
       write and let us know more about your computer class.
      To Sanley who is in Form 7 at Lelean Memorial School. We are interested to know
       what subjects you take this year. Have you had any career counseling at school?
       What are your plans for the future? We are interested to hear from you.
      To Beverly and Steve who owns a resort called Twofold Beach Resort, located
       between Sydney and Melbourne. Congratulations. Well done!
      To Caesar who we believe can speak Rotuman. Well done. I am really proud of
       you young man. I believe this must be during the “fara” time. Are there any plans
       for you to go to Rotuma again?
      To Varea and Vanessa for taking part in swimming competitions whilst at Nadi
       Airport School. Good one. We would like to hear from you.
      To Asenaca on her continuous hard work at the Sheraton Fiji Resort, I believe she
       is due for another promotion. Keep up the good work! Write and share with us
       information about your growing brood… SA RAUTA!!!
      To Alison who is in Form three in Suva. Can someone find out more about Alison
       and let me know which school she is attending and who is she living with in Suva.
       I need this information before end of July, next month. (Not next year please!!!)
      We still would like to hear from other young members of the family.


A very important note: When you write to me, include your birthday as well. We have a
column for Birthdays in our family Newsletter.




                                                                             Page 4 of 6
                                     OTHER NEWS!!!                                       Page 5 of 6




I understand that Faserue has been chosen to          I would like to buy two mats for our home. If any of
represent Rotuma in the Womens Fellowship which       you are selling mats, or let me now where I could get
is scheduled to be held in Lau in August.             these, do let me know. I would also like to buy an “
Congratulations to your hard work which is            Apei”. If any of you know where I could source one,
recognized. May the Lord continue to guide you and    do let me know.
shower his blessings upon you.
                                                      I have a request to those of you who accompanied
I know that Ma’piga Meseini and our parents would     mother and our late brothers to Viseisei. I did not go
have been very proud of your achievement.             so I would like to hear about the presentation and
                                                      related stories about this important event.
I am looking for photographs of our late brother
Joe. If you have photos, please mail them to me. I    I am still interested to receive any news that you may
will have these photographs scanned and will          have of our parents and grandparents. I would like to
return these to you.                                  receive news about the time when Mother moved to
                                                      Losa with the younger members of the family. How
I had mentioned in the April Newsletter that I am     long did they stay there?
seeking information on Mere’s whereabouts as I
would like to include her in the distribution list.
Does anyone know where Mere is living and what is
she doing. I would like to hear from you any news
you may have about Mere.




                          BIRTHDAY GREETINGS !!!
                           BIRTHDAY GREETINGS FOR JUNE 2004
                       Happy birthday to the following members of the family:
                                            Taumero Gabbi
                             Sweet sixteen (you wish!!) on 08 June 2004
                                   Casey Conibeer on 23 June 2004
                    May you both have many happy returns on your special days




                                                                                       Page 5 of 6
                                  A special message to everyone
 The purpose of this newsletter is to research our roots      family newsletter and only concentrate on Research of
 both for the benefit of ourselves, our children and future   our ancestors.
 generations. I am happy to learn that the monthly
                                                             Personally, I would prefer to continue the family
 newsletter has generated some interest from our younger
                                                             Newsletter because I know that I enjoy receiving news
 generation, some of them, cannot understand Rotuman,
                                                             from brother, sisters, nephews and nieces. However, I
 let alone speak the language. How do we balance this?
                                                             do not want to impose my views on you. So please let
 Should we put this Newsletter in English, Rotuman or me know.
 both languages? Please write to me and let me know
                                                             I have not received any news this month from anyone
 what language you would like to receive your Newsletter.
                                                             and need to know if you are still interested to receive
 When I first started the Newsletter, it was meant to be the monthly newsletter? To be able to get this working,
 only a research project on our ancestry. I learnt that I need your contribution. However, if you feel that it is
 some younger members of our family were interested and too much to ask, let me know.
 wanted to receive copies of our Newsletter. I was
                                                             I am sure that you understand that it takes a great deal
 encouraged by this and I decided to expand the
                                                             of time and effort to produce this Newsletter. Firstly, I
 Newsletter to include news about our current families to
                                                             write in English, then translate in Rotuman. Because of
 be shared by everyone.
                                                             the timing involved and my desire to mail out the
 In today’s ever changing world, it seems that families are Newsletter at the end of each month, I request that if
 increasingly losing contact with each other especially the you decide to write to me, please ensure that you post it
 younger generation. Some of whom do not know who so that I receive it no later than the 20th of the month.
 their cousins are. This is a sad situation of affairs and I
                                                             Let the younger members write to me and I will publish
 thought that it was a good idea to do something about it.
                                                             their articles.
 Therefore, I expanded the Newsletter to include family
                                                             Stories about everything relating to them, that is,
 news and in the past Newsletters, I have asked that you
                                                             school, class, careers, dreams and aspirations.
 write to me and let me know what is happening in your
 families so that I can share it with everyone.               We plan to visit Fiji and will arrive in Nadi on 11 August,
                                                             travel to Suva on Friday 13 August and will spend the
 I was a little disappointed that this month, I did not
                                                             night with Aggie in Nausori. To our nephews and nieces
 receive any communication from anybody and that
                                                             in Suva, I would love to see you all in Nausori on Friday
 maybe I am barking up the wrong tree. Maybe this is not
                                                             night so we can share a meal, grog session and I MIGHT
 what you want; maybe you are too busy with your lives
                                                             shout a small wash down!
 and you do not have time to share news about your
 children and grandchildren with us. If this is the case,
 please write and let me know so I can discontinue the

                                        ROTUMAN HUMOUR
An elderly uncle was relating to the young ones at home his experiences while he was in New Zealand visiting
relatives. He boasted of the big house, the car, nice food, the cold weather, the daily pocket money given to him, the
electric blanket, and last but not least, the family's big "pooling swim" in the backyard.
Two men, they are brothers. The elder brother is going to Suva and he's standing on the boat at the Oinafa wharf. The
other brother is on the wharf waving to his brother on the boat. Suddenly he calls out (in English), "Hey bro, when you
reach Suva don't forget to send my 'ROAD'."



         The Editor
     37A Caribbean Drive
                                                                                      Distribution:
          Glenfield                                                                   Aggie Lutunagauna – Suva
       Auckland 1309
        NEW ZEALAND                                                                   Alisi Pene – Suva
                                                                                      Bogi Marseu – Nadi
           Phone:
     + 64 9 442 5109
                                                                                      Faserue Lagi – Rotuma
                                                                                      Filo Whippy – Suva
            Fax:                                                                      Riamkau Inoke - Rotuma
   + 64 9 442 5758                                                                    Rosie Denawanawa - Nadi
          E-Mail:
  We will be on the Web!
   olivia@pickering.co.nz                                                             Taumero Gabbi – Brisbane
       See us soon at:                                                                Valesi Poonan - Sydney
     www.marseu.com


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