Presiding over the Vanuabalavu Day Festival celebrations held at the FMF Gymnasium yesterday, Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka paid tribute to former and late Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase highlighting his outstanding service to both Vanuabalavu and the nation.
The event, organised by the Vanuabalavu Day Festival Committee was to commemorate and celebrate the rich cultural heritage of Vanuabalavu and to promote unity, cultural heritage, and foster community development.
The Vanuabalavu Day Festival proved to be a significant event, not only in terms of cultural celebration but also as a platform to acknowledge the contributions of the forefathers and descendants of Vanuabalavu.
Prime Minister Rabuka also acknowledged the late Filipe Bole, Akuila Toro Savu and Solomone Vosaicake for their visionary leadership in the establishment of the Vanuabalavu Vision Limited Company which has benefited people from the Yasana.
To mark the occasion, the Vanuabalavu Day commenced with a traditional welcome ceremony, featuring a meke performance by representatives from the Tikina of Lomaloma.
The Festival gathered community members, students, and respected guests creating a vibrant and celebratory atmosphere, highlighting the rich traditions, traditional Fijian cuisines, and cultural meke to showcase the grand cultural heritage of Vanuabalavu.
In addition to the festivities, the event also served as an opportunity to raise funds for the improvement of educational infrastructure in Vanuabalavu.
With a focus on Adi Maopa Secondary School and Wainiqelei Circuit School, funds raised during the festival will be put to supporting the development of these educational institutions, providing better learning environments for their students.
Prime Minister Rabuka expressed his gratitude towards the organisers and those present for their commitment to preserving and promoting Vanuabalavu’s cultural heritage.
He emphasised the importance of such celebrations in fostering unity, pride, and inclusivity within the vanua of Vanuabalavu.
The Vanuabalavu Day Festival showcased the collective efforts of the community to ensure a brighter future for the students of Adi Maopa Secondary School and Wainiqelei Circuit School.