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From 1913 to 2013, the old Sigatoka Bridge turns a 100 years old
By MICHELLE BROWN Visitors to Sigatoka often ask about the broken bridge, which ends in a graceful slope of twisted metal, into the depths of Sigatoka River. Its a constant reminder of the cyclone oods in 2009, which collapsed it; but for the people of Sigatoka, the broken bridge is a memorial of its remarkable history, and still evokes romance and nostalgia in the hearts of most locals. Lets go back to June 3, 1913. Imagine the excitement, one hundred years ago, when the rst train crossed the newly built Sigatoka Bridge. It was 810 feet of timberdecked road, with a separate rail bridge and a white paling fence. Those watching would have come from the surrounding villages of Nayawa, Laselase and Sigatoka. They probably gathered at the rivers banks to watch in awe, as the black steam engine - pufng billows of smoke, trundled its way from the east to the west bank of Sigatoka River - changing their lives forever. Sigatoka Bridge was built by Australian company, CSR (Colonial Sugar Renery) as part of a complex rail system that still winds its way around beaches, through villages and across small streams and rivers, to transport sugarcane from the elds to the renery in Lautoka. In those days, when the only access into the Sigatoka district was by foot or boat, the new bridge effected a rapid change to the social and commercial structure of the region. By 1915, the CSR train, now affectionately known as the Sugar Train, provided a free passenger service, twice a week, from Ba to Sigatoka; The Colonial Government, established Lawaqa to administer the districts of Nadroga/ Navosa; shops and businesses set up on both sides of the river, to cater for the increasing population, mostly staff and families of the government and CSR. In 1932 the road from Nadi to Sigatoka was built, and on June 1, 1936 Sigatoka was declared a town. Over the years, Sigatoka Bridge suffered several casualties, due to ooding. Each time, it was due to the ooded river depositing debris and uprooted trees against a bridge span until the pressure of the fast moving water collapsed it. Whenever the bridge broke, its Australian guardian repaired it, but in the mid 1970s CSR ceased operations in Fiji and Sigatoka Bridge was left to fend for itself. In 1997 the new Melrose Bridge opened and just two years later, the unthinkable the inevitable happened; Sigatoka Bridge collapsed on the eastern side. Once again, people lined the riverbanks and watched, this time in dismay, as their bridge trembled against the raging river; it shook, groaned, lifted then twisted and broke apart, as it remains today. For many decades Sigatoka Bridge provided a valuable service, as the only access across the river. It linked the Nadi International Airport to the Capital City of Suva - and the Coral Coast tourism belt in between. On a smaller scale, it served the local community and was an essential part of their daily lives for so many generations.

Historical link

The old Sigatoka Bridge in its current form. Photo: MARGARET NAQIRI. INSET: A passenger train crosses the bridge sometime in 1915. Photo: COURTESY OF MICHELLE BROWN.

Today, spanning only way across the river, Sigatoka Bridge seems at peace. Its hard work is done and the pressure is off. It has

become a distinctive landmark of Sigatoka Town and in its humble elegance, is more photographed and appreciated, than ever before.

We look forward to bringing you more historical tales of Sigatoka Town in the upcoming issues of The Stallion.


Three times Australian Olympic swimming gold medalist Shane Gould and her husband Milton Nems (top swim technician) were in the country this month to conduct a Fiji community drowning prevention program at the Coral Coast. Ms. Gould conducted these clinics with villages along the Coral Coast from the 4-12 August. The pair have been conducting these swim programs since 2005 and have travelled around Viti Levu teaching proper swimming techniques to volunteers. Hosted by the Outrigger on the Lagoon Fiji, Ms. Gould and Mr. Nems worked with teenage volunteers, villagers and young children learning to swim. The program has been designed for Fiji to generate the maximum results with limited resources: 1. Recognising that Fijians are naturally athletic people who quickly copy techniques shown to them in the water; 2. Recognising that there is not sufcient infrastructure of either swimming pools or the education system to facilitate a program that would work in developed countries; 3. Encouraging tourist resorts throughout Fiji to take responsibility for the water safety at the villages from which they draw the bulk of their staff by: Establishing a village safe swimming area with simple and inexpensive rescue and safety equipment, such as oats tied to a tree that can be thrown to a struggling swimmer and a bell to raise alarm; Ensuring that water sports staff attend training sessions conducted by Shane and Milton to become accredited and in turn to pass on their knowledge to the people of the local villages; and Encouraging general staff to attend swimming clinics conducted by Shane and Milton. The program also included sessions with the activities staff of the Outrigger Fiji who are responsible for the water safety of their guests. Outrigger on the Lagoon Fiji General Manager Peter Hopgood said the drowning statistics in the country has been alarming over the years and the resort felt it had an obligation to hold a program which focuses on drowning preventions.

Thank you SHANE !


Sigatoka town is found on the island of Viti Levu and is situated at the mouth of the Sigatoka River, after which it is named, some 61 kilometers from Nadi. In Fiji's last census (2007) the population of Sigatoka was at 9622. Sigatoka is the principal urban centre for the province of Nadroga-Navosa. An ornate temple, open to public and built by Hare Krishna devotees, dominates the Sigatoka skyline. Major tourist attractions include the Sigatoka Sand Dunes near Kulukulu village two kilometers north-west of Sigatoka, the Tavuni Fort and the Kula Eco Park, which houses some 500 birds of 100 species from many tropical countries. The town is also the principal centre for Fiji's coastal tourism belt the Coral Coast which hosts many of the country's leading hotels and resorts.


Blood drive resumes after ve years

Donating blood is the noblest thing a person can do to help save someones life says Sister Muniamma Naicker of the Western Blood Bank. And after a lapse of ve years, her team was in Sigatoka to receive donations from students of Cuvu College on Thursday, July 25. We have come around after ve years and wish to do regular trips from now onwards, sister Muniamma said. She said anyone above the age of 16-years can donate blood and is encouraging students to be part of this worthy cause. Donating blood is like donating the gift of life and students will also feel good about being able to make a difference in the health system with their timely donation. She said the divisional education ofcer western Lorima Voravora has been very supportive of the entire initiative which has now enabled them to travel to secondary schools in the western division with the blood drive.


Sister Muniamma with her colleague Sanjay Mani in Cuvu. Photo: MARGARET NAQIRI.

Beautication and landscaping progresses

Sigatoka Beautication is underway with a landscaping and gardening plan. Beginning with expansion of the councils nursery and collaboration with Amenio Nabureitau, the councils works supervisor to integrate a more uniformed planting scheme and low maintenance foliage in the existing town landscape. The committee is also looking at greening the town with new garbage separation bins and recycling projects. There will be focus on community involvement to educate and engage the public on civic pride and eco-friendly practices. Shop and building owners are encouraged to take advantage of the offer by APCO Paints for a generous discount on paints used to revamp the town buildings. Color scheme advice is also available free of charge by the beautication committee who can be contacted through the council. (Tessa Miller is one of the three members of the councils beautication committee. The other two members are Robert Kennedy and Jason Tutani)

Sigatoka Town Council works supervisor Amenio Nabureitau can be contacted for all beautication and landscaping proposals. Photo: STC.



Special Administrator shares his experience so far

By ILISAPECI MARAMA Cola Vina to you our dear readers! This issue The Stallion Newspaper takes time out to speak to your town Special Administrator Mr Jay Whyte on his term at the Council, development plans and more. ON term: 6 weeks now, the duration of the post will be dependent on the Governments need and my own personal obligations. ON experience: The experience has been rewarding and very interesting. Getting to understand the history of the council, the history of the town and reviewing some decisions made through the years. ON 2013 development plans: As we are well in 2013, the aim has really been to concentrate on reviewing the status quo and determining what areas can be improved. I have also engaged designers for a new public convenience in the town square. We are now at the nal phase of design before we look to begin this major development. We are lucky enough to have private partners supporting this initiative and it is hoped that it will be nished before the end of 2013. We have also submitted to the Fiji Roads Authority the proposal to hand back the Old Sigatoka Bridge to the town, allowing the 100 year old asset to be developed into a wonderful feature for our beautiful town. We are also looking to stage a celebration for the old bridge as it turned 100 years old this year (1913-2013). ON the towns growth as a tourist town: Contributing factors to further development will include private sector investment into the town. The key to any town's success is investment and we would love to see further investment in tourism, sports and ideally it would be wonderful to try and attract some other type of industry to the town and province. ON location: What a great location, 1hr from Nadi and 2hr from Suva, neatly positioned between the two enabling easy access to international airport and the wharves in Suva or Lautoka. ON sport development: The Sigatoka Town Council is hoping to sit down with the Fiji Sports Council and discuss our shared interest in Lawaqa Park as we believe this facility should be upgraded and given the opportunity to host major xtures in terms of local competitions and obviously interna-


Sigatokas Special Administrator Jay Whyte. In the background is the old Sigatoka Bridge which has turned a 100 years old this year. Photo: MARGARET NAQIRI.

tional competition. We are as the history books show, the province with a long history of success on and off the eld. The Nadroga Rugby Union is a major force in the local competitions and have

developed some of the best names to have ever played for Fiji and or other international countries. We really believe this facility could deliver Fiji IRB xtures enabling teams and ofcials to stay in 5 star re-

sorts along the Coral Coast and allow citizens of the east and west a central meeting point to watch the action at Lawaqa Park. ON other issues: We look forward to working closely with all stake-

holders to help grow the town and build a town which we all as citizens love dearly. For an update on these development plans, projects and more, watch this space for your monthly update. Happy reading!!!




Small Businesses in Sigatoka Growth, Stability and Quality

situation for both the employer and the employee; it has taken a lot of hard work to have this bill gazetted. Labour exploitation is considered an offense, rightful wage and time offs should be given to employees, this will only enhance the productivity levels and efciency, not to mention it will reduce workplace accidents as well. Overworked employees are a threat to the business and safety of the rest of the staff members. Accidents do happen on farms as well, so we should not think that this only applies to us sitting in the ofces. As growing businesses, we do not wish to step on toes of FRCA or Ministry of Labour, treating employees fairly and ensuring we are meeting all statutory requirements should be paramount. We should not forget that our mistakes will cost our business nes, penalties or even license suspension and not forgetting the negative marketing. Growing too quickly as a business is very good, lucrative for potential sole proprietors as well, while growing and expanding we need to enhance quality practices and introduce gradual changes in the business which will ensure steady growth and prot and sustainability in the market. Check your business practices, introduce change which will allow growth and expansion and will avoid sleepless nights for you!!!

The beautiful Coral Coast has many small businesses, arts, fresh fruits and vegies, tailoring, restaurants, etc. One of the farmers from the famous salad bowl was even was awarded with small business exporter award in 2012. With new businesses coming up daily, there is a need to ensure that we all comply with proper accounting standards and practices. Also, we have to ensure that our business is OHS compliant and treats employees fairly as per the 2007 Employment Promulgation Regulation Bill. The bill ensures a win-win

Vani Bogirua of the Micro Finance Unit goes through the rst edition of THE STALLION during her break at Neels Restaurant in Sigatoka. The people and business houses of Sigatoka town now have services from organisations like Micro Finance and FRCA at their doorsteps. Photo: MARGARET NAQIRI.






A designer talks about his model


I have known Philipa Steele and her family very well over the last ten years. Anyone who has ever visited or lived in Sigatoka would nd it impossible not have heard of her famous Kulukulu family. Philipa was just a young girl when I rst met her, running around the place with her posse of cousins and friends, her parents, Koleen and George always relaxed and friendly in the midst of all the family fun and chaos. Philipa, as do her siblings, always stood out from the group with their lustrous, wavy blond hair and fair, fair skin. There is a distinct resemblance amongst the whole family, which makes them instantly recognizable wherever they go. It was one of her cousins Zack Tutani who told me last year about Philipas interest in being a model. I hadnt seen her in a while and so hadnt realized that she was then sixteen let alone interested in modeling! Zack showed me a photo and I instantly saw the poten-

tial in her. She was tall and striking with long blondish hair, porcelain skin and amazing cheekbones. At that time Fiji Fashion Week was having its Teen Model Competition and Philipa was keen to enter. With the support of her many family and friends she went down to Suva and created a big stir there with everybody wondering where this stunning girl had come from. She came third in that competition, which was probably better than she had ever thought she would do considering it was her rst time ever modeling. It was Fiji Fashion Week in October last year that really got the ball rolling for Philipa as she strutted the catwalk for most of Fijis top designers. Her grace, elegance and condence were very impressive but it was her professional manner and quiet but determined nature that really stood out. Ironically she didnt model for me! She was modeling for a different designer who was on after me, so she couldnt make the change in time. I wasnt too worried as I could see the impact she was having at FJFW and that was all that mattered. Since then Philipa has gone from strength to strength doing a Beauty Pageant in Lautoka that she won, to doing photo shoots for different designers and brands around the country. However the biggest coup of all came just a few months ago when she was scouted by Trump Modeling Agency to go and join their books in one of the fashion capitals of the world, New York! What

Philipa Steele, left, and Drue Slatter ank designer Robert Kennedy donning his new collection which will be released Fiji wide. Below: Philipa Steele with another piece from the collection.: Photos: Tappoo Group and Kama Catch Me .

an extraordinary opportunity, one that I am looking forward to seeing the outcome of in the years ahead. I recently managed to grab Philipa out of her busy school and work schedule, to model for me for my new Tappoo, Fiji Market Fashion Collection. She along with another gorgeous Nadroga girl, Drue Slatter, is part of a campaign show casing my new Grand Pacic inspired fashion line. This was the rst time I had worked with Philipa and I was more than pleased with how elegant and professional

she is. These new photos look absolutely stunning and will soon be seen Fiji-wide as part of Tappoos advertising campaigns. I couldnt be happier to have talked about Philipa Steele, at such a young age she has already achieved more than what most girls her age would have ever dreamed of doing. It is hard to believe that the little girl I saw running around Kulukulu Village has come so far and looks set to be going even further. I wish her and her family all the best of luck and fortune in the future.



PM Bainimarama makes a historic speech in Navosa

Distinguished Guests; Members of Cabinet; Government Ofcials; Students and Community of Navosa. Cola vina and a very good morning to you all. It gives me great pleasure to ofciate at the commissioning of the FEA Grid Extension from Vatubalavu to Keiyasi. One of the cornerstones of my Governments development program has been to bring electricity to those areas of Fiji reliant on generators or kerosene power. It is something that has been neglected by previous governments and far too many people still dont have access to grid power. But we are steadily improving that access just as we are bringing clean water and better roads to many areas of the country to improve the lives of our people. Because of the absence of these in Navosa, I am well aware of the challenges faced by either government ofcials stationed at Vatumali or the communities who live and work in Keiyasi. So Im delighted that the days without power are nally over that the electricity supply has nally reached the interior of Navosa, one of the remotest parts of Fiji. It will revolutionise the lives of people living here from the use of domestic appliances in the home, power tools in the workplace to our students being able to study better at night. I am also here today to launch the commercial agriculture Program taught by the Fiji National University and to inaugurate the Packing Centre funded by New Zealand AID and the Adventist Development Relief Agency. As someone who has often visited Navosa, Im delighted to have witnessed personally the changes in the areas of education, business, agriculture and rural development. We have seen the upgrading of roads up to Nawaicoba, the commencement of work on the Vatumali Hospital and the development of education facilities in Navosa. Now that Vatumali and the two villages of Keiyasi can access electricity, my Government intends to extend it further into the interior through the partnership between the FEA and the Ministry of Rural & Maritime Development and Disaster Management. I urge you all to make the most of this advance and the opportunities it provides to improve the quality of your lives. In the case of the Commercial Agriculture program, this is part of my Governments determination to empower our young people and provide them with sustainable economic futures. We are opening up opportunities for young farmers to enter the agricultural sector by providing them with the skills they need not only for themselves but Fiji as a whole. We have a vision that Fiji can be self-sustainable in food production. Why are we importing so much food when we have such fertile land to grow things on? I want our young people to be part of a national movement that prizes agriculture as a career. I want our young farmers to gain the ability to feed themselves, the nation and eventually establish Fiji as a valuable food exporter. Through the FNU, selected young people are being chosen to undertake a tertiary course to learn the latest farming skills. We are also equipping them with an allocation of land and machinery to give them a head start. After that, it is up to them but we are pinning our hopes on them taking up the challenge to make Fiji a major food producer. Fresh food also requires good handling. So our commercial farming initiative is closely linked to the launch of a packing shed here funded by New Zealand AID and the Adventist Development Relief Agency. This shed will ensure that your produce gets to market in a fresher and better state and you get the maximum price possible for it. So to our partners FNU, NZ AID and ADRA I extend the Governments thanks for joining hands with us to improve the lives of our citizens here. My fellow Fijians, I want to say a few words about the events that will unfold in the coming weeks and months as we move towards the general election in September 2014. At the end of next month we will be unveiling our new constitution, which guarantees political, economic and social rights for every Fijian for the rst time. Ive been disappointed that some politicians have spread lies about the draft Constitution. Theyve been trying to persuade ordinary people that their rights and land owner-


Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama shares a light moment with Sigatokas special administrator Jay Whyte in an earlier event. The Fijian Government has fully committed itself to the development of Sigatoka and the province of Nadroga and Navosa at large. Numerous projects are already underway in the province. Photo: SHALENDRA PRASAD.

ship are no longer safe. I am here to tell you today that this is not the case and that these people will be exposed as liars when the nal Constitution is unveiled. For the rst time, we are guaranteeing such things as the right to clean water, the right to adequate food and the right for everyone to make a living. And of course - as we have promised - every Fijian will have the same chance for the rst time to get on in life through the equal opportunity provisions that are at the heart of our Constitution. Also for the rst time, the new Constitution is being translated into the Itaukei language and Fiji Hindi. I urge you all to try to obtain a copy and read it for yourself. If you cant read, get somebody to read it to you. You

will soon realise that it is a good document despite what the critics say - that will take Fiji forward as One Nation and provide our children and grandchildren with a much better future than they could ever have expected from the divisions of the past. Here today, we see some of the most important elements of my Governments vision for the new Fiji coming together in this remote part of the country. We are switching on the power as part of our slogan We Deliver. We are delivering basic services to ordinary Fijians that in turn, empower them and give them the tools they need to improve their lives. We are training our young people to give them sustainable futures in agriculture,

not only for themselves but to help feed our nation and free it from its dependence on imports. And we see the fruits of the partnership we have forged with donors in the international community to fulll our joint vision to improve the lives of every Fijian. So, My fellow Fijians, I congratulate the FEA for completing phase one in the extension of the FEA Grid. I congratulate FNU for extending the Commercial Agriculture Program to the interior of Navosa. And I congratulate our aid partners and thank them for their assistance. All of us are condent that Navosa and its people will prosper in the years ahead in the new and better Fiji. Vinaka vakalevu. Thank you.



Adults only pool

introduced an adults only pool and bistro Vahavu, which means to relax or chill out in the local Nadroga Fijian dialect and is expected to entice a different segment of tourists who seek a quieter, relaxed environment to enjoy their holiday. The idea is a direct result of feedback from guests and couples in particular, who are seeking a more chilled out, adults only pool alternative at the resort. Our adults only pool and bistro is a game changer for the resort and will offer our guests greater choice of services, stated Outrigger on the Lagoon Fiji General Manager Peter Hopgood. We are now able to cater


Outrigger on the Lagoon Fiji continuously seeks to enhance its products and services to exceed the expectations of its guests. Since opening in October 2000, the resort has always looked at opportunities to ensure a delightful stay for its guests and has introduced new innovations that are proving successful for the popular resort in the heart of the Coral Coast. The Bebe Spa Sanctuary, the Talai Butler Service and the Meimei (nanny) services have been a few of the recent inclusions that have set Outrigger on the Lagoon Fiji apart from the rest. To remain ahead of the game, the resort has recently

Outrigger revamps teen program

for a wider cross section of guests from families to couples who want a little more quiet time in an adults only environment, Mr. Hopgood stated. Whilst we are a fam-

ily resort we also cater for couples and we are just so excited to offer this private alternative to our guests, Mr. Hopgood added. The project which began in September, 2012 cost the

resort $2.2 million and features a 20 meter lap pool, a 35 meter lagoon pool and a swim-up bar. The venue also features a banquets centre and can cater for up to 100 guests. The bis-

tro will offer a more up market bistro menu with shared tapa platters for the more astute clientele. The bistro is set in an outdoor type dining facility featuring a full pool side service and lounge area.

Outrigger Fiji has revamped its teens program in a bid to create activities which teach an appreciation for the Fijian environment and culture, for its guests aged 12-15 years old. Resort Activities manager Kini Sarai said the Outrigger has always had a designated program for teenagers however there was a need to revamp the activities to make them more appealing to their young guests. We have incorporated programs and activities that will be interesting to our teenage guests. Weve exposed them to lovo preparations and making spears for shing, jungle treks and visits to local schools and villages, Mr. Sarai said. Outrigger on the Lagoon Fiji General Manager Peter Hopgood said the resort believes in offering its guests an unforgettable Fijian holiday for the whole family to enjoy. Keeping our guests entertained is a big part of what we do here at Outrigger Fiji and our revamped teens program is our way of ensuring that our young guests are learning about Fijis ora and fauna, as well as our amazing culture whilst also having fun on their holiday, Mr. Hopgood stated. Our jungle treks and lovo making is a hit with our young guests who can now go back home and tell their mates that they learnt how to cook Fijian food in an earth oven, he said.

Teens with Outrigger Fiji activities staff during a game of volleyball.

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Outrigger Staff Carnival Too Good!

port that they have given to the resort in the rst 6 months of the year. Outrigger on the Lagoon . Fiji is an extremely busy resort and we are blessed with an exceptional team that does a wonderful job in looking after our guests. This year we organized a special treat for our vuvale with the K-9 show by the Fiji Police Force Dog Unit and a meet and great with our champion Outrigger on the Lagoon Fiji Nadroga Stallions, Mr. Hopgood stated. The K-9 show was a hit with our kids and to see the smiles on their faces and to hear our vuvale enjoying themselves was most humbling! he continued. The staff at the resort are very proud to be a part of the Outrigger vuvale. They enjoy coming to work and engaging with our guests. We are a proactive employer that always looks after the health, happiness and welfare of our staff. The carnival was a small way in which we can acknowledge the hard work of our staff, Mr. Hopgood stated. The annual carnival is in its third year running and included vouchers for the families to redeem free rides, food and drinks, face painting, clowns, live band as well as a garage & bake sale. All proceeds from the bake sale and staff stalls will go towards the vuvale community fund for designated projects to assist the community.


Staff and families members of the Outrigger on the Lagoon Fiji vuvale (family) have hailed their annual staff carnival held at the resorts parklands on Saturday 03 Aug, 2013 as too good! Organised by the resorts Human Resources Department, the carnival was an opportunity for the different departments and their families to enjoy a day lled with activities and fun for the children. Outrigger Fiji General Manager Peter Hopgood said, The main reason for the event on Saturday was to thank our staff and their families for the hard work and sup-

Outrigger Fiji kids enjoying the music.

Fence for Conua District School

Conua District School in the hinterlands of Nadroga have a new fence thanks to the efforts of the Food and Beverage Department (F&B) of the Outrigger on the Lagoon Fiji. The school sought the assistance of the resort to help in the construction of its school fence. According to the resorts security, OHS and community projects manager Leo Rokovada the resort contributed half of the costs for the project. We provided the man power and tools to complete the project. We have been working with Conua District School for the last three-years. We have assisted the school to build a covered walkway, last year we renovated their kindergarten and this year we have fenced the compound, Mr. Rokovada stated. Our team from the Food and Beverage department spearheaded the project with our engineers and spent the day erecting the fence at the school, he continued. Outrigger on the Lagoon Fiji Peter Hopgood said he is very proud of the manner in which his staff embrace their commitment to improve the facilities in our local community. It should be noted that we only help those organisations that help themselves. I receive hundreds of letters seeking support but we do not just provide handouts. If an organisation is serious about helping themselves and provides labour and funding then we are happy to look at our involvement, Mr. Hopgood stated. This year we have worked on the Recreational area for the kids playground at the Sigatoka Hospital (carried out by the Human Resources and Sales Dept), Police Wives Community Hall Kitchen at Lawaqa (carried out by Meimei and Activities Dept), the cementing of Una Murrays grave at Malevu (one of Outriggers longest serving staff by the nance team) and a blood drive by all our Outrigger staff (by the Bebe Spa team), he continued. Our community projects are the resorts gesture of saying thank you to the people of Nadroga/Navosa and which also provides us with a means of forging a great working relationship between the resort

F&B staff xing the new fence.

and the locals. These projects give us an opportunity to contribute to improving the facilities for local villages, schools and hospitals, Mr. Hopgood added. Outrigger on the Lagoon Fiji was recognised as the

Best Deluxe Accommodation in Fiji at the 2012 AON Excellence in Tourism awards, as well as the Best Fine Dining Restaurant for its Ivi Restaurant. The resort prides itself on delivering all the luxury of a

ve star property with the unforgettable warmth only found in a traditional Fijian village. Visit the Outrigger on the Lagoon Fiji website (www. to nd out more about our premium services.

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Mobility provides new ray of hope

Laugh and encourage visitors to laugh and have fun. The paralyzed person needs something to think about besides their own condition. Watching educational programs together also encourages learning, said Rosan. He further reiterated that there is an urgent need for family members to be educated on the social, emotional and medical needs of the physically challenged individuals and how to best deal with such situations. He said that ACATA Trust, together with its strategic charity partner, the Vodafone ATH Fiji Foundation is planning to embark on projects that will address the educational and emotional challenges facing the physically challenged and their families. Whilst addressing the challenges of disability in Fiji, ACATA Trust with Spinal Injury Association is also sharing the type of balanced meal to be given to the physically challenged children who have hopes to be healthy and be able to productively contribute in any way possible. While talking to Mauzeem, she said that she just wants to go out and be able to communicate so she can keep her brain active. Vodafone ATH Fiji Foundation Executive, Ambalika Devi reminded the family to keep the paralyzed person moving throughout the day. She also reiterated that the family should accept the challenge and make plans to move forward in any way possible with the help of our disable associations. Change their position at least every two hours in order


26 year old Mohammed Jabed and 28 year old Mauzeem Bano, both of Olosara, Sigatoka, conned to bed for over 6 years due to immobility in their lower body, were full of smiles when a wheelchair was donated to them by the Fiji Wheelchairs and the Vodafone ATH Fiji Foundation last year. Mother, Naseem Bano, said that the wheelchair will allow her to nally take the children outside the house to get a breath of fresh air and sunlight. My children have been ill due to unknown causes and we have been desperately trying to get medical attention for the two children since 2007. I look after my children almost 24 hours a day, which is overwhelming at times and the wheelchair will provide a lot of relief as I have had huge difculty in moving them around. The physical challenges of her children have almost taken over her whole life. Handing over the wheelchair, Rosan Lal, a Vodafone World of Difference candidate working for ACATA Trust Fiji said that physically challenged individuals also need to have distractions from the circumstances surrounding paralysis. Keeping the person's mind active, talking to the person about what is going on in the lives of family members and friends, listening to the news together and talking about world events with paralyzed individuals helps the persons maintain an interest in the world around them. They need to express their thoughts in every way possible.

Mauzeem Bano seen with her mum and Bank of Baroda Sigatoka staff during the handing over of the wheelchairs in Olosara last year. Photo: ACATA TRUST FIJI.

to increase blood circulation. Exercise her limbs carefully according to therapists' instructions. Physical touch and relaxed conversation promote emotional health, said Dr BP Ram, ACATA Medical Team leader. He further said that we need to give the disable children proper food so they can arrest deterioration of conditions. Vinod Kamal, Bank of Baroda, Sigatoka Branch Head helped identify the needy siblings through his community

networking. Once on a home visit, Kamal asked one of his friends Janif, the father of the two siblings, as to how many children he had, age and which school they were going to. When Janifs facial expression changed and he said that his two children, a boy and a girl who were once schooling in form 4 and form 2 are now bed ridden because they cannot move, I was abbergasted, said Kamal. Immediately, I was curi-

ous to know what happened, but when we went inside and saw the children, we could not believe that a once normal children, at age of 12 and 14 now could not move at all, said Kamal. Janif said that they took the children for all medical checks and wherever people told him just to get their children return to normal life but the struggle was not successful and even the doctors gave up hope when they could not say what went wrong and

what the cure was. On behalf of our Chief Executive (Fiji Operations) of Bank of Baroda, we thank the Vodafone Foundation and its Charity Partners for the timely response. Janif waits the day when things will all be normal, and for that day, he is willing to do anything for his two disabled children.





Work is worship for Nirmala

Nirmala Pariachi busy working at her desk. Photo: STC.


Dedicating 34-years of service to a municipal council is no ordinary feat. That is why Nirmala Pariachi who is a proud mother of three children is a rare breed of her kind. Being the longest serving members of the Sigatoka Town Council team, Nirmala has seen the town grow to what it is today and has many stories to tell about how the township has gone through times, both good and bad. I joined the Sigatoka Town Council on August 13, 1979 as a typist and receptionist, Nirmala informed. This year I have completed 34 good years of service with the Council. To mark this important achievement I hosted morning tea for the management and staff just so that I could share with my colleagues about my long journey here, she added. Initially I started with the imperial 80 manual typewriter and in today's world of modern technology I am privileged with a modern device - computer with internet connection. Over the years Nirmala has witnessed rst-hand how the small town has grown big with its service to the entire population of the Nadroga / Navosa province and visitors to our shores. She strongly believes Sigatoka is a unique place in its own right and its many natural attractions and peoples passion for sports sets the town apart from any other in the country. Nirmala has worked under ve different mayors and three administrators since starting her career with the council and believes there is no substitute to hard work. Hard work never lets you down and if you are dedicated to what you do, the sky is the limit.

Sorby the tattooist

By MARGARET NAQIRI Cuvu resident Sorby is a famous man in Sigatoka. He runs Bula Ink Tattoos and is popular amongst tourists due to his unique designs. Sorby has been painting and designing jewellery for 12-years at Outrigger Resort and was inspired by the tourists demands for tattoos that made him start his own little business. He gets his tattoo supplies from the U.S and says tourists are usually after traditional designs that are symbolic. My work is unique with lots of custom designs that makes me different from the rest of the tattooist in the country, he offered. I get lots of bookings online via facebook and emails, Sorby added. I am the only tattoo artist in the world who has none on himself and this is not very convincing on people who I tattoo but seem to make them laugh a joke away.

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More races for a drug free Navosa

In its ght against drugs, the people of Naqalimare in Navosa have adapted horse racing to turn a new leaf for a much better future. This popular sport up in the highlands returns to Navosa after lapse of several years. It heavily involves youths and those that have keen interest in horse racing. The newly-formed Koroua Horse Racing Club, organizer of the event is currently organizing the weekly competitions that are held at the Koroua village grounds. According to tournament organisers, the weekly championship is set similar to that of the famous Melbourne Cup annual tournament. The competition is staged in four different categories. The idea is to host an event at home and bring the best horses from outside to compete with the nest ones in the highlands and the organisers are sure looking forward to exciting competitions in the weeks ahead. Top grade champion is Lucky Boy owned by Sheikh Khan and Tamil Khan. Tuidrau owned by cattle farmer Mohammed Jabbar is also the favourite horse along with Lady and Boy. Fourth grade was between Black Ace from Navuevu Village and Junior Qere from Naveyago in a race which took place this month. In its initial stages of the horse racing development in Navosa every Thursdays, the farmers living nearby Naqalimare villages come together with their fastest horses to make some quick cash. Only two horses compete at a time in the half mile race. Now it has become a weekly Saturday sporting event for racers and followers as well. The organisers also hosted the Bainimarama tournament which saw top grade horses in rst, second, third and fourth grade battling it out in the Navosa tracks. Watch this space for more monthly updates of the horse battles up in the highlands.


Bhan elected president of Sigatoka Club

By SHALENDRA PRASAD The newly elected president of the Sigatoka Club wants to turn the place around into a sports oriented and protable one. Krishna Rattan Bhan, 33, has created history by becoming the youngest ever president for the club. He is the son of late Rattan Bhan, a pioneer businessman of Sigatoka. The Sigatoka Club is a landmark of the township and so many people have been and are associated with this place, Mr Bhan said. My rst aim is to increase membership and work very closely with other elected members to lift the image of this place back to what it was in its glory days. At the moment we have only 80 paid members and we want to increase this and also introduce other indoor sporting activities apart from the pool tables we have here. The plan is to introduce chess and darts and also run weekly competitions in a very professional manner, Mr Bhan said. He said the ultimate plan is to make the club so protable that members start reaping the benets as dividends in the future.




Jiko keeps on keeping on

ship, looking for funding to keep all plans rolling, and maintaining performance of all teams as some of the challenges he faces in his role as president. The stallions currently hold the Telecom Cup, Sanyo Cup, Fiji Cup and Digicel Cup from 2009 until 2012. The president and fellow ofce bearers at the Union constantly strive to maintain all their teams winning standards through procedures and strategies in place. The Unions achievements over the years include having won the Digicel Cup since 2009,2011 and 2012, winning the Farebrother Trophy the most times, Sanyo Cup, Telecom Cup and Fiji Cup. In addition, they have also defended the Farebrother trophy nine years in a row in the 70s and 17 challenges from 2010 to 2012. Watch this space for more updates and personal proling of your Stallion star.


Being the president of the Nadroga Rugby Union is no easy job but indeed challenging. Jiko Matawalu, currently the union president has been involved in the development of Nadroga Rugby for many years. He has also held the following posts in the respective listed years: Nadroga Rep from 2001-2011 Captain from 20032011 Union Treasurer 2009-2011 Union Consultant 2012 Union President 2013 Jiko believes in rugby talents of Nadroga rugby players thus the plan to establish and maintain Junior gradesNadroga U9 to U14, Nadroga U15, Nadroga U17 and Nadroga U19 to join U20, Development, and Senior this year. He lists securing sponsor-

Nadroga Rugby Union president Jiko Matawalu. Photo: SHALENDRA PRASAD.

Navosa Rugby gears up for B division playoffs

By JAY WHYTE The Navosa Rugby Union is preparing for their B Division Play offs with the boys being in camp for some four weeks now. Coach Kele Leawere has chosen to base their camp in Lawaqa Methodist Church enabling the squad to have direct access to the High Performance Gym at the Lawaqa Park facility. The squad is made up of players from all twelve registered clubs of the Navosa Rugby Union and the young men have enjoyed the camp thus far. On Thursday, August 8, the squad had a practice match against The Stallions from the Nadroga Rugby Union. This hit out would help prepare the team for when they face their opposition beginning on August 21, 2013. The practice match which took place at the Kalevu Ground was a great way for Coach Leawere to assess where his players stood and what weaknesses they had to work on moving forward. While the result mattered little, the score at the full time whistle saw the young squad claim a narrow victory 8 - 5. The Navosa Rugby Union is extremely grateful to their sponsors for the 2013 campaign and they are:- SIGATOKA RIVER SAFARI, TAPPOOS, NIKHIL BUSES, NAMAKA MEDISURE, KT TAPE, RAINBOW COOL TECH, FOODHALL SUPERMARKET, KOKO'S BAR FIJI & UNIPRO.

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14th - 16th November 2013

Lawaqa Park, Coral Coast




Nadroga cruises into Digicel Cup nals

Defending champions Outrigger on the Lagoon Nadroga is through to the Digicel Cup Finals after thrashing Namosi 35 3 at Lawaqa Park on Saturday, August 10. The Stallions proved too strong for the underdogs Namosi, who were laced with four current Fiji Sevens reps. Nadroga ran in with ve tries, most of which were converted by y-half Semesa Takirua while Namosi only managed a penalty. Nadrogas Nemani Raiwalui kicked an early penalty and conversion. Namosi struck rst and were looking good with early possession in Nadrogas 22 meter line and missing a penalty from 35 yards. Little did they know that would be the last points to their side of the scoreboard. Nadroga pulled their high gears and did not look back from there, with a penalty and 2 converted tries, with tries coming from Ratu Meli Kurisaru and went to break with scores 20 3. The stallions made three changes at the breather and started the game where they left off at the break running a riot in second half scoring 3 tries and sealing a grand home nal.

Red Rock representatives with Philip Toogood of Bayleys Fiji and Melodie Robinson during the launch at Outrigger on the Lagoon Resort. Photo: ALLAN STEPHEN.

Sevens stage set

said. "This tournament is special because it is international and set in a country that loves rugby plus the champion of champions format is very attractive." The former Black Fern, who also won the Hong Kong Sevens playing for New Zealand, said sevens was one of the reasons she loved rugby so much. "Rugby is my passion and I have the job Ive always dreamed of though it is very rare to bring my husband and family with me so it is a real honour to be here in Fiji. "Fiji is a special place for so many reasons but one of them is the sheer athleticism and air that Fijians have brought to the game of sevens. The way Fiji has been such a force on the international scene is a real credit to everyone in the country." Robinson recently returned from RWC Sevens in Moscow, where the Fijiana won the Womens Bowl, and highlighted the development in the womens game. "With women playing at the Olympics I have seen exponential growth over the last year. Five of the teams that play on the circuit are fulltime athletes and teams have been created to compete internationally. "The Aussie Pearls, who won the Na Iri Trophy last year, used this tournament as a launching pad for new stars that were in Moscow 2013, where they won the Plate, so thats how signicant this tournament is for them. "The game has new stars like Portia Woodman, Kayla McAlister, Moonia Gerrard and Tyla NathanWong coming through and will become more recognisable as we get closer to the Olympics," said Robinson. Robinson aims to return to the tournament, which has Bayleys Real Estate as its rst naming rights sponsor, this November. "This is an event that is really relevant to us as a family company," said Philip Toogood, Managing Director and Partner, Bayleys Fiji Ltd. "Rugby sevens unites families, communities and villages and is denitely Fijis sport of choice and for us to be involved in something that does all that at a domestic level and also grows this fabulous sport is a great opportunity for Bayleys. "We are condent that the standards we like to set as a company will be mirrored by the organisers, the teams and all the other sponsors, were very excited and were looking forward to having a lot of fun." Representatives of Red Rock, the defending champion, were in attendance at the launch. The Suva club will be one of 24 mens teams vying for the I-wau trophy while 12 womens teams will contest the Crest Na Iri Trophy. Along with Bayleys, Goodman Fielder Fiji, Fiji Airways, Outrigger on the Lagoon Fiji, Warwick Fiji Resort & Spa, Naviti Resort, Hideaway Resort & Spa, Coastal Rental Cars, Nivea Men, Tappoo Group of Companies, Fiji Chemicals Diversey, Serevi Rugby and Sigatoka River Safari are the major sponsors of the tournament.

The Bayleys Fiji Coral Coast Sevens celebrated 100 Days To Go at a luncheon at Outrigger on the Lagoon Fiji on Tuesday, August 6. The resort hosted more than 40 sponsors, media and special guests in the countdown to the fourth edition of the tournament on 14-16 November at Lawaqa Park in Sigatoka. Guest speaker Melodie Robinson, the IRB Womens Sevens commentator, said she saw the Bayleys Fiji Coral Coast Sevens, featuring the Crest Na Iri Womens Trophy, as the start of something big. "With the inclusion of sevens on the Olympic calendar and the massive growth in the numbers playing the game and new tournaments popping up then what you are doing here has the potential to be the premier tournament in the South Pacic," she




Minat Terkait