Visiting Minister honours Fijian visionaries and seniors

Thakur Ranjit Singh

Thakur Ranjit Singh

Auckland, October 23, 2023

Fijian Minister of Lands and Mineral Resources Filimoni Vosarogo with senior members of the Fijian community in Auckland on October 8, 2023 (Photo Supplied)

Fijian Minister of Lands and Mineral Resources Filimoni Vosarogo joined the Fiji Girmit Foundation NZ Fiji Seniors Group to mark World Seniors Day and Fiji Day on 8 October 2023.

The Minister, who was on a goodwill tour of New Zealand, praised the Foundation for its leadership, especially looking after the wellbeing of the Seniors.

He spoke about his experience in his homeland of Cakaudrove where all races lived together in harmony and the progress Fiji made over half a decade since independence, despite some hiccups.

He reiterated that Fijians in New Zealand were seeds of the tree in Fiji, and therefore wished that they would also work in harmony.

Fiji Girmit Foundation NZ President Krish Naidu honours Fijian Minister of Lands and Mineral Resources Filimoni Vosarogo in Auckland on October 8, 2023 (Photo Supplied)

Mr Vosarogo’s grand forward-looking thoughts were mirrored by a very visionary, commendable and exemplary move by Fiji High Commissioner Inoke Kubuabola.

Collective Forum

Mr Kubuabola initiated the Fijian Leadership Forum at a meeting with Fijian leaders on 6 October aimed to bring together the Fijian Diaspora including ITaukei, Fiji Indians, Rotumans, Chinese and all others to unite under one umbrella.

This is to ensure Fijians collectively come together while maintaining their individual groups.

This commendable gesture to unite all Fijians would encourage all to collectively take advantage of all resources reserved for Fijian Pacifica Peoples. It was pleasing to see this initiative following on the heels of some ten Senior Groups in Auckland, coming together to form Fiji Seniors Federation NZ on 1 October, the International Day for the Elder peoples.

The positive encouragement of the Fijian government to unite all Fijians to come together and work collectively in collaboration and consultation with each other has been applauded by all Fijians. While this a small step for Fijians to come together, it is a leap of goodwill and unity promoted by Kubuabola and Vosarogo, while mingling and networking with Auckland Seniors.

The Seniors Day attended by the Minister was dedicated to recognising and rewarding Fijians aged 80 and above, celebrating dignified ageing and marking Fiji Day.

Fiji Girmit Foundation NZ President Krish Naidu thanked the Auckland Seniors for coming together with other Seniors to work in cohesion to mark International Day for the seniors and thanked the Minister for supporting such harmony.

He added that they recently marked a Fiji Day function in a Tongan Hall, and expressed sadness that Fijians, although being in bigger numbers and relatively more affluent, could not have their own venue. Mr Naidu echoed visions of the Fijian government and Fijians in New Zealand working together to gainfully utilise the resources allocated.

 

Fiji High Commissioner Inoke Kubuabola with Hon Consul of Fiji in Auckland Harish Lodhia with the senior members of the Fijian community in Auckland on October 8, 2023 

Recognition and Reward

The event was also graced by Foundation Life Members Harnam Singh Golian and Nek Mohammed and Trustees and Chair Sam Achary, Mandvi Singh and Founding Trustee Thakur Ranjit Singh.

About 20 Seniors over the age of 80 were awarded medals, plaques, certificates and the Fiji Girmit Foundation shawl. This presentation was a show of gratitude for carrying the baton from the previous generation to the new generation and helping build the foundation on which our culture and the new generation now stand. The honour of presentation was done by Minister Vosarogo and other dignitaries.

The day’s event was rounded off with a combined birthday of Seniors in October and entertainment by Sapna and Jack Punja.

The event concluded with a sumptuous lunch.

It was a grand day of celebration and networking of the Seniors with the visiting Minister and officials of the Fiji High Commission.

Thakur Ranjit Singh is a journalist and media commentator in Auckland. He is a Founding Trustee of Fiji Girmit Foundation NZ and the Foundation Coordinator of Fiji Seniors Federation New Zealand. Email: thakurjifj@gmail.com

 

 

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