Prize­giv­ing re­ports

Le­qeua looks for­ward to re­turn to is­land and re­build fam­ily home, farm bat­tered by Cy­clone Win­ston

Fiji Sun - - Big Story - JOSAIA RALAGO SAVUSAVU Edited by Naisa Koroi Feed­back: josaia.ralago@fi­jisun.com.fj

Au­to­mo­tive en­gi­neer­ing stu­dent Mika Le­qeua made a prom­ise to stay in school and grad­u­ate, and he did.

The 20-year-old yes­ter­day grad­u­ated from the Montfort Tech­ni­cal In­sti­tute in Savusavu.

But the real driv­ing fac­tor be­hind his ef­forts was the fact that he was deeply hurt by the dev­as­ta­tion that Trop­i­cal Cy­clone Win­ston caused on Tave­uni Is­land. The sto­ries shook Mr Le­qeua and he re­mem­bered cry­ing when his par­ents con­tacted him to re­lay the bad news. “Our yaqona farm, which was our main source of in­come, was com­pletely de­stroyed. When I heard of the news I made a prom­ise to my­self that I would fin­ish school and re­turn home to help my par­ents with the re­build­ing of our home and our yaqona farm,” he said. “When I re­turned dur­ing Easter break, I saw the dev­as­ta­tion the cy­clone had caused. Fam­i­lies were liv­ing in tents, and the set-up of the en­vi­ron­ment was not as I had re­mem­bered. It was bad.” Mr Le­qeua had wanted to stay and help out, but his fa­ther urged him to re­turn to school. “With what­ever funds he re­ceived, he made sure I re­turned on time to school and with all that I needed,” he said. “Now that I have grad­u­ated, I will be re­turn­ing home with my par­ents. I have been talk­ing with my fa­ther. They have started work on the other parts of the house and is yet to be com­pleted.

“We will also be restart­ing our yaqona farm dur­ing this Christ­mas, so yes, there is a lot to be done.”

His fa­ther, Pe­la­sio Le­qeua, said: “I could not be any more proud of his achieve­ment and I look for­ward to work­ing with him dur­ing this break to pick up the pieces of our lives shat­tered by Win­ston.”

Photo: Josaia Ralago

From left: Mother Iowana Le­qeua, grad­u­ate Mika Le­qeua, Kalara Mere, and fa­ther Pe­la­sio Le­qeua.

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