Master Tamani passes on
Longtime leading educator, sports coach and administrator Rupeni Tamanikaiyaroi collapsed and died in Suva yesterday. The former head teacher, popularly known as Master Tamani, was most recently manager of Marist schools. He was known for his dedication to teaching in the classroom and sports field, and school and sports administration. Ratu Semi Seruvakula the president of the Fijian Retired Teachers Association, described him as a very caring man. He said Mr Tamani was someone who cared for all and treasured his relationships with others. Former national rugby star, coach and administrator Ratu Ilaitia Tuisese described Master Tamani as a “one man army” in sports. He said in rugby meetings he usually turned up as lone representative of the Matuku Rugby Union. “This man is very special especially when he hailed from Burotukula,” he said. He said Mr Tamani was someone who had special interests in the development of rugby in Fiji.
Ratu Ilaitia said he was a specialist in skill works. Marist Brothers High School acting principal Ben Salacakau said while he was in Form 3 at Marist Brothers High School, Mr Tamani was in Form Five. He later went on to the Nasinu Teachers College and near 40 years teaching at and heading schools. Mr Salacakau said they met most recently as manager of Marist Schools and on Monday Master Tamani chaired a Marist schools meeting. He said Master Tamani was a good administrator and he would be sorely missed. Meanwhile, the Tamanikaiyaroi family met at his residence in Vatuwaqa yesterday to discuss the funeral arrangement.
The late Rupeni Tamanikaiyaroi (middle), with elder brother Jese (left), and younger brother Uate