Former Methodist pres­i­dent Rev Manasa Lasaro dies

Fiji Sun - - Front Page - FILIPE NAIGULEVU filipe.naigulevu@fi­jisun.com.fj

Rev­erend Manasa Lasaro, well known for sup­port­ing Si­tiveni Rabuka in the 1987 mil­i­tary coups, has died. He and oth­ers later took over the Methodist Church lead­er­ship from Rev­erend Josateki Koroi. Rev­erend Lasaro re­placed Rev­erend Koroi as the pres­i­dent in 1993. Rev­erend Lasaro died at the Colo­nial War Me­mo­rial Hospital in Suva on Mon­day.

In a state­ment yes­ter­day, Methodist Church in Fiji pres­i­dent Rev­erend Te­vita Bani­vanua said the late Rev­erend Lasaro’s back­ground in so­ci­ol­ogy and pas­sion for so­cial work and com­mu­nity de­vel­op­ment as well as his wider min­istry was grass­roots-based.

“Aside from his na­tional lead­er­ship roles, he was in­volved in the es­tab­lish­ment of many so­cial em­pow­er­ment ini­tia­tives, in­clud­ing the early squat­ter re­lo­ca­tion pro­grammes in Suva, which re­sulted in many peo­ple be­ing re­set­tled in Narere, How­ell Rd and Jittu Es­tate com­mu­ni­ties be­fore these were trans­ferred to the state,” Rev­erend Bani­vanua said.

Rev­erend Lasaro’s life and ca­reer Rev­erend Lasaro, who was from Tavea, Lekutu in Bua, was a teacher of agri­cul­tural sci­ence at Ratu Ka­davulevu School from 1960 to 1961 be­fore join­ing the Fiji Police Force in 1962. He joined the min­istry (Cavuti Talatala) in 1966 and be­gan min­is­te­rial for­ma­tion at Davuilevu The­o­log­i­cal Col­lege in 1969, com­menc­ing min­istry in 1970 in the Depart­ment of Chris­tian Cit­i­zen­ship and So­cial Ser­vices. Rev­erend Lasaro was or­dained as a min­is­ter in 1972 and served the Church in a num­ber of dif­fer­ent ca­pac­i­ties. In 1972 he was ap­pointed as the Di­rec­tor - Depart­ment of Chris­tian Cit­i­zen­ship and So­cial Ser­vices, serv­ing in this po­si­tion un­til the end of 1974. Dur­ing this time he also re­ceived a schol­ar­ship to un­der­take stud­ies for a Di­ploma So­cial Ad­min­is­tra­tion in Swansea, Wales and a Master of Arts in So­ci­ol­ogy from the Univer­sity of Read­ing in the United King­dom. From 1975 to 1980 he was a lec­turer at the Pa­cific The­o­log­i­cal Col­lege in Suva and was in­volved with the es­tab­lish­ment of the Cen­tre for Ap­pro­pri­ate Tech­nol­ogy and De­vel­op­ment, serv­ing there from 1981 to 1984, be­fore re­turn­ing to the Church’s head of­fice in 1985 as Di­rec­tor - Depart­ment of Chris­tian Cit­i­zen­ship and So­cial Ser­vices. · Rev­erend Lasaro was church Gen­eral Sec­re­tary from 1986 to 1992 and served as Pres­i­dent from 1993 to 1995. In 1996 he was both Prin­ci­pal of Navuso Agri­cul­tual School and Sec­re­tary for Chris­tian Cit­i­zen­ship and So­cial Ser­vices. In 2000, Rev­erend Lasaro be­came the cir­cuit min­is­ter in Makoi, and also served on a part time ba­sis as Sec­re­tary for Chris­tian Cit­i­zen­ship and So­cial Ser­vices in 2001 un­til tak­ing on the role sub­stan­tively in 2002 un­til re­tire­ment in 2012.

Le­gacy Rev­erend Bani­vanua said Rev­erend Lasaro taught him in­clud­ing Rev­erend Ame Tuague, the late Rev­erend Tuik­i­lak­ila Waqairatu at the Pa­cific The­o­log­i­cal Col­lege.

“His le­gacy of min­istry con­tin­ues to­day with his son Rev­erend Etu­ate, who serves in the Saukasa Cir­cuit of the Bau Divi­sion. “Our thoughts and prayers are with Nanise, the chil­dren and grand­chil­dren and the com­mu­nity in Nadera and Lekutu, Bua and the Methodist com­mu­nity as a whole,” he said. Rev­erend Lasaro is sur­vived by his wife and part­ner in min­istry, Nanise and three chil­dren and grand­chil­dren. Edited by Maraia Vula

Photo: Google

Rev­erend Manasa Lasaro.

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