The elite warriors of the Turaga Bale na Vunivalu na Tui Kaba from the village of Cautata located on the mainland across the chiefly Island of Bau, took their post and stood guard from about 8.30am Wednesday 24th May before the arrival of the Turaga na Vunivalu, Ratu Epenisa Cakobau and the President of Fiji, Ratu Wiliame Katonivere.
The warriors were led by Akuila Sovanivalu; a grandson of the late Master Sakiasi Sovanivalu who was accorded the honour, to escort Ratu Sir George Kadavulevu Cakobau during his installation on the chief grounds of Bau in 1959.
It was said that he was accorded the honour because he was first and foremost of chiefly blood of the vanua of Koronikalou and had maternal links to Vunivusere, Vusaradave in Bau.
On Bau island today, Sovanivalu joined his namesake; Akuila Wailevu Raikoti, and Lemeki Wacokecoke as they made their way to Mataiwelagi to escort the Turaga na Vunivalu to Ulunivuaka; which is the meeting house.
Akuila Sovanivalu was accorded the honour of holding the ‘Sala ki na Buka, Sala ki na Lovo’; an old traditional valuable war club that belonged to a warlord Koroikonamalo of Cautata village.
The war club is said to have been given to the Methodist Church of Fiji at the time the ‘Tutuvi Kuta nei Radini Bau’ was given to the Queen or the State/Colony in 1874.
The war club is now a property of the Methodist Church in Fiji and Rotuma.
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