Toni Re­mem­bers Sis­ter When Re­ceiv­ing Award

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As he got up to re­ceive the top aca­demic prize, the only thing on Ulaisi Toni Musuka’s mind was his late sis­ter. Salote would have been 21-year­sold now, prob­a­bly sit­ting next to his mother and brothers smil­ing; watch­ing him as went up to re­ceive the award. But the Dux for Gau Sec­ondary School saw his dear mother, brothers and be­hind him, his fa­ther. And that mo­ment of sad­ness turned into joy, and a sense of grat­i­tude. He couldn’t be more grate­ful of his achieve­ments, which he at­trib­uted to fam­ily and his late sis­ter, who died af­ter a short ill­ness in 2014, as well as for his vil­lage.

Toni said: “I felt happy and over the moon. This is a great achieve­ment for me in­clud­ing my vil­lage, Le­vuka-I Gau. “My main mes­sage to all the youths out there is to work hard and never ever give up. There is noth­ing im­pos­si­ble if the heart is will­ing.” Like other schools in the mar­itime is­lands and the in­te­rior, Toni said it was try­ing times dur­ing stud­ies. “There were a few ob­sta­cles and chal­lenges I faced. One of them was the avail­abil­ity of re­sources here in school. We are not that for­tu­nate like in the ur­ban schools.

“This is in terms of elec­tric­ity. Here in school we use a gen­er­a­tor. In­ter­net con­nec­tions is very poor when we do our re­search.” But he and 15 other Year 13 stu­dents made it through.

“I would like to also thank the school prin­ci­pal, Mo­hammed Feroz, in­clud­ing the teach­ers of

Gau Sec­ondary School.

“I’d also like thank the Almighty God for his love and knowl­edge that en­abled me to achieve this and not for­get­ting my par­ents and my two brothers.” Toni scored an im­pres­sive 333/400 in the final ex­am­i­na­tions. He has al­ready been ac­cepted into the University of the South Pa­cific where he hopes to pur­sue a de­gree in Ge­og­ra­phy and His­tory. He as­pires to be­come a teacher, so that one day he can pass on the same knowl­edge to his stu­dents just as his teach­ers have done for him. Gau Sec­ondary School has a school roll of 171.

The stu­dents are from the 16 vil­lages around Gau Is­land and the neigh­bour­ing is­lands of Nairai and Batiki. Edited by Naisa Koroi

From left: Mother Vasemaca Musuka, brother Inoke and Gau Sec­ondary School Dux Ula­iasi Toni Musuka af­ter the prize­giv­ing cer­e­mony on Fri­day.

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