CEL­E­BRAT­ING A CEN­TE­NAR­IAN’S LIFE

‘I can see that Nau Ben­ina has looked after her health very well in her younger days and that is why she is able to live up to 100 years’

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The Min­is­ter for Women, Chil­dren and Poverty Al­le­vi­a­tion, Rosy Akba, our birth­day lady-Ms Ben­ina Ciri­avesi, res­i­dents of the Sam­ab­ula Se­nior Cit­i­zens’ Home, dis­tin­guished guests, ladies and gen­tle­men

Ni sa bula vinaka to you all and es­pe­cially to Nau Ben­ina Ciri­avesi as we gather to con­grat­u­late and recog­nise the mile­stone achieve­ment of reach­ing 100 years of age. I wish to thank the Min­is­ter for Women, Chil­dren and Poverty Al­le­vi­a­tion for of­fi­cially ex­tend­ing the in­vi­ta­tion to be part of this oc­ca­sion to rec­og­nize a se­nior cit­i­zen who has reached a ripe age of 100 years. A Cen­te­nar­ian is a per­son who lives to or beyond the age of 100 years. In 2012, the United Na­tions es­ti­mated that there were 316,600 liv­ing cen­te­nar­i­ans world­wide.

As life ex­pectancy is in­creas­ing across the world, and the world pop­u­la­tion has also in­creased rapidly, the num­ber of cen­te­nar­i­ans is ex­pected to rise more in the fu­ture. I per­son­ally hope that more Fi­jians will live to be Cen­te­nar­i­ans like Nau Ben­ina and to con­tinue to en­joy God’s gift of life. I met Nau Ben­ina dur­ing my last visit to this lovely Home in De­cem­ber 2015. I was ad­vised that Nau Ben­ina was 99 years old at that time. I also re­mem­ber ask­ing her to let me know when she turns 100. I am grate­ful and equally im­pressed that Nau Ben­ina has a very good mem­ory, which has led to our sec­ond meet­ing.

I have yet to ask her, but I can al­ready see that Nau Ben­ina has looked after her health very well in her younger days and that is why she is able to live up to 100 years. Un­for­tu­nately, many other Fi­jians are dy­ing be­fore the age of 70 years. I have been ad­vised by the health of­fi­cials that the main cause of deaths for those who die be­fore they are 70 years is due to non-com­mu­ni­ca­ble dis­eases.

As Fiji’s lead ad­vo­cate in the cam­paign to con­trol NCDs, I en­cour­age all Fi­jians to take the cue from Nau Ben­ina and choose to live a health­ier and hap­pier life.

Let us change our life­style in­clud­ing our diet, and let us take part in more phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity like ex­er­cis­ing, gar­den­ing or sim­ply walk­ing for a good 30-min­utes each day. I am aware that Nau Ben­ina, like a few other res­i­dents, have stayed at the Home for sev­eral years. I think it is only ap­pro­pri­ate that we also ac­knowl­edge the part­ner­ship of the Min­istry of Health and Med­i­cal Ser­vices and the good staff of the Sam­ab­ula Home, for their due dili­gence in pro­vid­ing care to our se­nior cit­i­zens.

I have ev­ery con­fi­dence that the Min­istry of Women, Chil­dren and Poverty Al­le­vi­a­tion which has taken over the Homes from this year will con­tinue to pro­vide qual­ity care for our el­derly who join the Homes. Ladies and gen­tle­men, let us now wish Nau Ben­ina a very Happy Birth­day and thank her also for show­ing that Fi­jians can live up to 100years and en­joy life to the fullest. May the Almighty God con­tinue to Bless you Nau Ben­ina, and bless our beloved Na­tion Fiji. Thank you, shukhriya, ha­hoot day­navaad and vinaka vakalevu.

Our beloved Ben­ina Ciri­avesi cel­e­brated her 100th birth­day at the Sam­ab­ula Se­nior Cit­i­zen’s Home yes­ter­day – VIP style.

She was not alone in the cel­e­bra­tion. The Pres­i­dent, Ma­jor-Gen­eral (Ret’d) Jioji Konousi Konrote, his wife Sarote, and the Min­is­ter for Women, Chil­dren and Poverty Al­le­vi­a­tion, Rosy Ak­bar, and the Per­ma­nent Sec­re­tary for Women, Dr Josefa Koroivueta, were there to pro­vide our Fi­jian Cen­te­nar­ian a VIP treat. Nau Ben­ina was born on July 7, 1916 in Gau. She has been cared for at the Sam­ab­ula home for the past nine years. A Cen­te­nar­ian is a per­son who lived to or beyond the age of 100 years.

In 2012, the United Na­tions es­ti­mated that there were 316,600 liv­ing cen­te­nar­i­ans world­wide.

Pres­i­dent Konrote said: “I per­son­ally hope that more Fi­jians will live to be cen­te­nar­i­ans like Nau Ben­ina and to con­tinue to en­joy God’s gift of life.” He met Nau Ben­ina dur­ing his last visit to the home in De­cem­ber, 2015 and was ad­vised then that she was 99 years old. “I also re­mem­ber ask­ing her to let me know when she turns 100 and I am grate­ful and equally im­pressed that Nau Ben­ina has a very good mem­ory which has led to our sec­ond meet­ing to­day,” he said. “I can al­ready see that Nau Ben­ina has looked after her health very well in her younger days and that is why she is able to live up to 100 years.

“Un­for­tu­nately, many other Fi­jians are dy­ing be­fore the age of 70 years. And I have been ad­vised by the health of­fi­cials that the main cause of deaths for those who die be­fore the age of 70 years is due to non-com­mu­ni­ca­ble dis­eases.” As the coun­try’s lead­ing ad­vo­cate in the cam­paign to fight NCDs, Pres­i­dent Konrote is en­cour­ag­ing all Fi­jians to take their cue from Nau Ben­ina and choose to live a health­ier and hap­pier life. Edited by Naisa Koroi

Photo: DEPTFO News

Nau Ben­ina Ciri­avesi at the Sam­ab­ula Se­nior Cit­i­zens’ Home yes­ter­day.

Ma­jor-Gen­eral (Ret’d) Jioji Konousi Konrote This is the full speech of Pres­i­dent Ma­jorGen­eral (Ret’d) Jioji Konousi Konrote dur­ing the wel­come at the cel­e­bra­tion of the 100th birth­day for Ben­ina Ciri­avesi, held at the Sam­ab­ula Se­nior Cit­i­zens’ Home yes­ter­day.

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