Fam­ily full of joy and pride

Kris Dando back­grounds the story of young Porirua rugby league hope­ful Bureta Faraimo.

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT -

The Faraimo house­hold is full of noise, laugh­ter and pride and they’re not unique in this re­spect.

Bureta Faraimo is a Porirua lad, schooled at Rus­sell and Bran­don schools, and Porirua Col­lege. He has 13 sib­lings and, cru­cially, is the youngest boy.

Even with five younger sis­ters, he is re­ferred to as ‘‘mum’s sooka bubba’’ by the tightly-knit Pa­cific Is­land fam­ily.

Ev­ery time some­one uses the ex­pres­sion, it causes ev­ery­one crammed into the kitchen and lounge of the Faraimo’s home in Mi­randa St to erupt into howls of laugh­ter.

Bureta is on the cusp re­al­is­ing his NRL dream.

But to his par­ents, sib­lings, ex­tended fam­ily and childhood coach Lise Baker, he is ‘‘ just Bureta’’ and ‘‘our boy’’, not the ‘‘The Smok­ing Gun’’, as he has been re­ferred to by his Mackay Cut­ters’ team-mates.

While I was vis­it­ing his par­ents’ home to talk about his play­ing for the Amer­i­can na­tional rugby league team – his fam­ily wear United States Tom­a­hawks

of T-shirts with pride – he rang his mother from Aus­tralia for their daily chat.

The monthly tele­phone bills run into nearly four fig­ures as she keeps in close con­tact with her three sons and daugh­ter in Queens­land.

With­out too much warn­ing, I was handed the phone and the kitchen was de­serted.

I had a 10-minute chat with Bureta, who was in Mackay, at the Faraimos’ ex­pense.

Bureta’s fa­ther later told me: ‘‘He rings his mother ev­ery day.

‘‘If I an­swer, he says, ‘Hello’ and then, ‘Is Mum there?’.’’

It’s an ex­am­ple of the love, re­spect and close­ness you con­stantly en­counter among Pa­cific fam­i­lies.

The con­stant mirth and hearton-the-sleeve stuff in some Pa­cific Is­land homes is in­cred­i­ble. And you see it plenty. I come across a num­ber of Porirua East lads who are off to chase their rugby union or rugby league dreams and the pride of their fam­ily is pal­pa­ble.

Medals, tro­phies, team photo- graphs and news­pa­per clip­pings are pa­raded for me, ac­com­pa­nied with mum or dad’s squared-back shoul­ders, and they are smil­ing from ear-to-ear.

It never gets old.

Photo: KRIS DANDO

Sup­port crew: Bureta Faraimo’s fam­ily, with par­ents Opeta and Maria front and cen­tre, be­came Amer­i­can rugby league sup­port­ers dur­ing the re­cent World Cup.

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