Ma­hadeo’s Gir­mit Cen­ten­nial Award

Fiji Sun - - Front Page - SHAHANI MALA SUVA Edited by Ranoba Baoa Feed­back: shahani.mala@fi­

John Ma­hadeo, 80, af­ter re­ceiv­ing a cen­ten­nial plaque from Pres­i­dent Ma­jor-Gen­eral (Ret’d) Jioji Kon­rote dur­ing the Gir­mit Cen­ten­nial Cel­e­bra­tions at Al­bert Park.

It was a proud mo­ment for John Ma­hadeo when he re­ceived the Gir­mit Cen­ten­nial Award yes­ter­day. Pres­i­dent, Ma­jor-Gen­eral (Ret’d) Jioji Kon­rote pre­sented him the award dur­ing the launch of Gir­mit Cen­ten­nial Cel­e­bra­tions at Al­bert Park in Suva, yes­ter­day. The 80-year-old said he was happy to re­ceive the award from the Pres­i­dent. “I grew up hear­ing Gir­mit sto­ries. I am proud to be a son of a Gir­mi­tiya,” he said. Mr Ma­hadeo was born and raised in So­mo­somo Vil­lage in Tave­uni. He moved to Suva in 1953 af­ter he got mar­ried. He has five chil­dren and they are liv­ing on their own while Mr Ma­hadeo re­sides with his wife in Suva.

“I was a cook for Fiji’s first Prime Min­is­ter, the late Ratu Sir Kamis­ese Mara for 28 years. “From 1963 to 1975, I was cook for the Sir Henry Mau­rice Scott,” he said. Sir Mau­rice was the first Speaker of the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives then and also a lawyer. “Things have changed over the past few years,” Mr Ma­hadeo said. “There is now unity in Fiji and ev­ery­one is given equal rights and free­dom,” he said. Mr Ma­hadeo said he was happy with the Gir­mit Cen­ten­nial cel­e­bra­tion. “It’s unity here and it’s good to see peo­ple from dif­fer­ent age groups gath­ered to thank their an­ces­tors who came to Fiji as in­den­tured labour­ers. “Their con­tri­bu­tion to­wards Fiji will al­ways be re­mem­bered,” he said. Vidya Wati, 84, mother of the Po­lice direc­tor of Traf­fic Se­nior Su­per­in­ten­dent of Po­lice Mahesh Mishra, also re­ceived the Gir­mit Cen­ten­nial Award. “I am happy to re­ceive this award and be a part of this cel­e­bra­tions. It’s good to see peo­ple at­tend the Gir­mit Cen­ten­nial cel­e­bra­tions,” she said.

Photo: Ron­ald Ku­mar.

Vidya Wati, 83, with Pres­i­dent Ma­jor-Gen­eral (re­tired) Jioji Kon­rote. Photo: Ron­ald Ku­mar

John Ma­hadeo, 80, with his cen­ten­nial plaque yes­ter­day. Photo: Ron­ald Ku­mar

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