Son of Vuda

mailife - - Contents - By RUSIATE CEBAIVALU Pho­tos SUPPLIED

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.

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