Son of Vuda
True Blue Son of Vuda
An infectious smile and a God fearing, obedient heart are markers of 31897 Ensign Iliesa Cebaivalu Namuaira, 29 who was recently commissioned as an officer of the Fiji Navy after successfully completing military training at the Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth in the United Kingdom. The College has trained members of the British royal family and some of the world’s prominent naval leaders. As the first son of Vuda to become a military officer, it was a proud day for the vanua and the reason to bring out the fine mats, the village cultural entertainment group and gather family and friends from Fiji and overseas in their finest ‘kalavata’ to celebrate with Namuaira at his home on 31 August. Ensign Namuaira hails from the tokatoka Sawaieke, Mataqali Eloto of Viseisei village in Vuda with maternal lineage to the Tokatoka Emanu, of Yavusa Conua in Sabeto village. It wasn’t always smooth sailing to get where he is today. While still young, Namuaira and his three siblings lost their parents. Mother Livia Roqima Galala passed away in February 2009 and father Ifereimi Rawaqa Namuaira died in December, 2011. Namuaira had just been selected for local military officer training, but the family loss resulted in him falling out of the program. However he continued life’s journey, believing that when one door closes, another opens and that one should never feel discouraged but remain committed and working hard. He said he understood the importance of a stringent upbringing, one done with love that emphasises the strict principles of life’s difficulties and realities. Now as a parent himself, he felt motivated to foster the same dreams his own children might aspire to. “I believe this was a crucial part of this success and I have my namesake, Iliesa Cebaivalu and my aunt Unaisi Cebaivalu to thank for it. They were instrumental in making sure I achieved my dreams and goals by setting good examples.” His namesake said Namuaira started at Holy Trinity Anglican School, then in 2000 when he was in class 6 they moved to Armidale, Australia. His aunt received an AusAid scholarship to do a Bachelor degree in Urban and Regional Planning at the University of New England and then another award to do a Masters degree in Environmental Management at the University of Queensland in Brisbane This taught Namuaira the value of aspiring to academic excellence and becoming the best he could, while Mr Cebaivalu taught him life lessons, including helping the women of the household to cook and do other tasks. Speaking at the large celebration attended by the Momo na Tui Vuda, Minsiter for Youth and Sports Laisenia Tuitubou, church and other leaders and village community, Mr Cebaivalu reminded parents the important exemplary roles they play in raising the future leaders and citizens. Namuaira thanked his wife for holding the fort with his son and daughter while he went halfway across the world to follow his dream and expressed his gratitude to other family and friends for their support.