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The CITY STAR Newspaper

team wishes everyone a Merry

X-Mas & a Prosperous New

Purple bench project

launched to honour vic-
tims of domestic violence
in Fiji – Page 4

All glory to Jesus

Sanjay Goundar

With Jesus nothing is impossible believes the highest achiever of Natabua High
School in last year’s Fiji Year 13 external examination.
While being awarded at the 2020 annual awards night of the prestigious institute on
December 2, 19-year-old Samuel Young revealed that his success was only possible
through the blessings of the Heavenly Father.
The first year medical student from Fiji National University was the national topper
in English in the Year 13 external examination last year scoring 97 out of 100. Young
scored 93 in Biology which was the highest for the school.
He also scored the overall highest for the school which was an aggregate of 376
out of 400.
The elated youngster revealed that he never imagined achieving this feat even in
his wildest dream.
Young informed that this was the first time for him to score the highest marks
during his five year stay at Natabua High School.
“All throughout the five years at Natabua I had ups and downs in my studies and
the last year which was Year 13 was most challenging.
“In fact in the first term of Year 13 I failed few subjects and was never in the top
ten of my form.
“It was in actually in term 3 when I finally made up my mind to choose medicine
as my career path so I completely realigned my studies.
“Though I knew I did well in my external examination until the result came out I
was really scared and not sure whether I scored enough to secure a place for MBBS.”
The former Saint Thomas Primary School pupil revealed that when the results
came out he was totally surprised to learn that he has topped the school.
“I strongly believe that my faith in Lord Jesus was the driving factor in this mile-
stone achievement of my life.
“My parents and teachers at Natabua High School are the other instrumental ele-
ments who provided me the much needed guidance to achieve this unexpected suc-
“My only advise to other fellow students is that initial failures should never be a
deterrent to final success and anything is possible if you have faith in the almighty
and desire to turn situations around,” Young pointed out.

19-year-old Samuel Young receiving his spoils for being the highest scorer in the Fiji Year
13 Examination for Natabua High School from Commissioner Western Mesake Ledua.
Photo: Sanjay Goundar

Prominent Lautoka businessman honoured

Prominent Lautoka Businessman and Lautoka Chamber of Commerce President Pyara Singh with the Fiji 50th Anniversary honorary medal. Photo: Sanjay Goundar

Sanjay Goundar recognition from the President revealed his passion to serve the the past 15-years and has also been recognised with the Certif-
community that came as an inspiration from his Late Father icate of Appreciation by Rotary International.
Prominent Lautoka businessman and one of the longest Pritam Singh. Meanwhile, the 80-year-old business icon is married with
serving Presidents of the Fiji Bus Operators Association Pyara “From a very young age my Father was an inspiration for me five children and 10 grandchildren.
Singh was also honoured by the Fijian Government on Fiji’s to join our family transport business. He is currently the managing director of Lautoka General
50th Independence anniversary. “He taught me to drive and repair motor vehicles at a very Transport Company PTE Limited and Lautoka Printery PTE
The Lautoka Chamber of Commerce and industries Presi- young age. With his blessings I became a very successful busi- Limited.
dent recently received the 50th anniversary medal from Presi- ness person. He was very instrumental in establishing the Western Bus
dent Major General (Retired) Jioji Konrote “My father was a very religious person and through his guid- Operators Association in 1972 and served as its President from
An elated Mr Singh said that it is indeed a great honour and ance I have continuously served Lautoka Sikh Guruduwara 1972 till 1984.
privilege to have been nominated for such an award of recogni- since 1960 and have no intention to retire,” he informed. For the last 10 years Singh has continuously served the busi-
tion on Fiji’s 50th Independence Anniversary. Singh has rendered significant and meritorious service by as- ness community of Lautoka as President of Lautoka Chamber
A humble former FBOA President after receiving the special sisting the Rotary Club of Lautoka’s ‘RotaHome’ Project for of Commerce.

My parents my strength – Central Dux

Sanjay Goundar

The 2020 Dux of Lautoka Central College Vashinta Chand

is extremely humbled by the overwhelming support from her
parents in the achievement of her high school dream.
The 18-year-old lass from Lautoka entered the college five
years ago with the dream of becoming the best student of the
institute which finally became a reality this year.
She dedicated this prestigious award to her father Dinesh
Chand a Lautoka based Chartered Accountant and mother Ma-
heshwari Chand, a lecturer in accounting from the Fiji National
University Namaka Campus.
“My parents have been the pillar of strength for my academic
success so far and without their vital support this dux award
would not have been possible.
“My parents gave me time from all the household chores
to fully concentrate on the studies and provided all necessary
items which would assist in enhancing my education.”
She informed that her journey towards becoming the Dux of
the college was a challenge especially with many other capable
students around.
“There was lot of competition among the students which re-
ally pushed me to the wire to achieve my desired goal.
“Along with my parents all my subject teachers also played
a pivotal role which ensured that I never lose the focus,” she
Ms Chand revealed that she intends to pursue a career in
medicine and become a doctor undertaking the MBBS pro-
gramme next year.
She informed that they are fully aware that due to the
Covid-19 pandemic scholarship is not available for the MBBS
programme next year but her parents have committed to finan-
cially support her to attain the degree.
Along with the Dux award she also scooped the award for
scoring the highest mark in Maths, Physics and Biology and
level topper from last year.
She attained the highest mark in the Fiji Year 12 Examination
last year scoring a total of 376 out of 400.
Vashinta is optimistic of scoring more marks in the Fiji Sev-
enth Form Examination this year.
2020 Dux of Lautoka Central College Vashinta Chand (middle) with her parents Dinesh Chand and Maheshwari Chand and
younger sister Vaishali Chand. Photos: Sanjay Goundar



Sanjay Goundar
Break the silence
Women have been encouraged to break the
silence and stop the violence and suffering en-
dured by them over a long period of time.
During the 16 days of Activism campaign
organized by the Women’s arm of Saint Peter’s
Anglican Church in Lautoka on December 10
the various speakers spoke about intensifying
demands to end all forms of violence against
women, girls and children.
According to the Ba Women’s Crisis Centre
Project Officer Punam Kumar violence against
women and children continues to be one of the
major human rights violation in Fiji and the
Kumar added that according to national re-
search on Women’s Health and life experience
in Fiji (2010/2011) 64% of women , almost 2
in 3, who have ever been in an intimate rela-
tionship experience physical and/or sexual vi-
olence or both by her husband or partner in
their life and it is on fourth highest compared
to other Pacific Island countries.
Ba Women’s crisis centre Counselor Advo-
cate and Community Educator Shaireen Mo-
hammed focused on human rights for women
since December 10 also marks Human Rights
“ Women give a lot of emphasis of this day
because the rights of women have never been 16 days of activism vigil at the Saint Peter’s Anglican Church in Lautoka on December 10. Photos: Sanjay Goundar
recognized and women’s rights are human and our moral values and we are born with our Meanwhile, the Vice President of the Asso- clear view of reality. Soroptimist International
rights. rights under the universal declaration of Hu- ciation of Anglican Church Episcopal Unit Viti Lautoka Club President Zareena Bi said that
“If we look through the history books wom- man rights.” Levu West, Va Dansey informed that from the the figures relating to deaths due to domestic
en have been raped, have gone through human Mohammed further elaborated that prob- Biblical perspective Jesus did not see women violence is horrifying as the 2019 figures show
trafficking and used in slavery and are still lems arise due to the gender specific roles through blurred lens of patriarchy. She added that 32 women have been killed by their part-
going through violence. perceived by the society so we need to instill that Jesus did not see women as threat, liability ners in the last 5 and half years and all stake-
“Human rights comes from our churches, changes at home by treating boys and girls as or a temptation to resist but He saw women as holders of the society need to join hands and
the religions that we come from, our cultures equal to change mindsets. leaders, as blessed, as people and He had a raise voices against gender violence.

Par excellence - Inayah



Phone : (679) 666 0306 / Voda No : (679) 990 8593
Website : www.lgtfiji.com / Email : lautokageneral@connect.com.fj
P.O Box 8 Bouwalu St, Lautoka

Zareena Bi

A year 11 student of Natabua High School who achieved the highest overall marks, 592 out of
600, in the Fiji Year 10 certificate examination in her school last year is thankful to her teachers
and parents for their guidance and support.
Inayah Ali (Pictured above), a pure science student was bestowed with the top honors during
the school’s annual awards night for high achievers in the three external examinations on De-
cember 2.
“I received seven awards for scoring the highest marks in English, Mathematics, Basic Sci-
ence, Office Technology, Commerce and Social Science and Home Economics.
“I also achieved 100 percent in four of my subjects, Mathematics, Basic Science, Office Tech-
nology and Commerce.
“I would not have been able to attain this without the help of my parents and teachers who
supported me throughout the exams and before that.”
Ali’s advise to her fellow students is to follow their study timetables and listen to teachers
and their parents advise. “It feels great to be the highest scorer of Natabua High School because
since I was in year 9 it has been my dream to top my year 10 exams.
“My future aspiration is to pursue a career in the Medical field after high school and preferably
We wish all our Customers, friends & families a Merry Christmas & a Prosperous New Year become a doctor.”
Ali was the Dux of Lautoka Muslim Primary school in 2017 and she also took the opportunity
to thank all her teachers who taught her in Primary school and prepared her for higher education.
We have buses available for special charter 24 Hours, 7 days a week. For Customer
Meanwhile, Ali is also an excellent orator who won first prize in the Soroptimist International
Service Call 24 Hours : 9908593. For Customer Complaints 24 Hours : 9908592 Lautoka Club International Women’s Day oratory competition, Urban Primary school category
in 2017 and she has also taken part in two oratory competitions at Natabua High in year 9 and



Purple bench to honour domestic violence victims

Sanjay Goundar

A new colour has been added to Lautoka’s

popular marine drive area by the Soroptimist
International (SI) Lautoka club members to
honor the victims who have lost their lives in
the country due to domestic violence.
The club took a strong stand against domes-
tic violence by painting benches in purple and
displaying the national domestic free helpline
number on the benches in collaboration with
the Lautoka City Council.
During the official launch of the project on
December 14, SI Lautoka club President Za-
reena Bi informed that this is a concrete effort
to ensure that the advocacy against domestic
violence carries on year around and not only
during the 16 Days of Activism from Novem-
ber 25 to December 10.
The President added that the data regarding
the number of deaths caused by domestic vio-
lence is horrific.
“According to a September 2019 report by
the Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre (FWCC), 32
women have been killed by their partners over
the last 5 and a half years and in 2019 alone,
8 women have lost their lives due to intimate
partner violence.
“Also, FWCC data portrays that 64 percent
of women in Fiji, who have been in an inti-
mate relationship, have experienced physical
or sexual violence from their partners.”
Meanwhile, the Chief Executive Officer SI Lautoka members with Lautoka City Council CEO Anees Khan (5tth from right), Director Health Services Gyneshwar Rao and other invited
of Lautoka City Council, Mohammed Anees guests during the launch of the purple bench project to honour domestic violence victims at Marine Drive in Lautoka. Photo: Sanjay Goundar
Khan echoed the sentiments of SI Lautoka attract a lot of Lautoka citizens.
corners of the society and to every age group of awareness is much needed to ensure that
President in saying that the 16 Days of Activ- They also plan to take this awareness to
that domestic violence is a problem in the women and Children in Lautoka will be free
ism is not only for 16 days but for a whole life schools in order to target the young minds and
country.” from all forms of violence.
time. future leaders of the country.
Lautoka City Council Director Health Ser- SI Lautoka club hopes to continue with this
“The council fully supports this initiative
vices Gyneshwar Rao applauded the group for initiative in 2021 and paint other benches in
and we want this awareness to reach all
their affirmative action and said that this type those areas in the city which are popular and



Tanoa Waterfront’s spark of joy

Zareena Bi

The lighting of the Christmas Tree is the perfect way to begin

the spark of joy and the arrival of festive season.
During the inaugural event of lighting the Christmas tree at
the Tanoa Hotel in Lautoka, the General Manager Tanoa Hotel
Group Narendra Kumar informed that this year is extra special
as not only are they bringing this tradition to Lautoka City but
this is also the first time that the Hotel is hosting this event for
their guests from all works of life.
“Love our locals promotion has prompted us to re-think and
give something back to our loyal guests in Lautoka.
“Tanoa Hotel Group has been first in many occasions during
these trying times and always being upfront to serve our local
guests who had been part of us from the beginning.
“As we continued to accommodate our returning local guests,
we were able to rehire some of the staff and provide job as the
challenges continue.”
Kumar added that 2020 has been a very difficult year for
everyone and we must all be grateful for our health and our
loved ones during this time hence the presence of the Christ-
mas lights and the joy of celebrating the birth of Jesus the Son
of God who came into the world to save humanity.
Meanwhile, chief guest Minister for Employment, Produc-
tivity, Industrial Relations, Youth and Sports Praveen Bala in-
formed that the love Fiji campaign for local tourism has en-
abled a stop gap measure to ensure that operators can continue
to run operations.
“2020 has been a difficult year, and the chain of global events Minister for Youth and Sports Praveen Bala with the Tanoa Waterfront Hotel staff at the Christmas tree lightening function
under COVID-19 has hit our tourism industry hard. Despite
the challenges it has been heartening to see the tourism sector their strong principal and strong corporate culture that they special and this is the time to reflect on the past and then look
display resolve and innovation in continuing to operate, and as are able to sustain this during good times and the not so good ahead to the future.
usual the Tanoa Group is one of them. times”. “It is a time when we thank all our families, colleagues, busi-
“I take this opportunity to thank the chairman of the Tanoa The Minister added that the lighting ceremony during the ness partners and our valued customers for their support during
Group, Mr. YP Reddy and his management for their continued festive seasons has long been part of the Tanoa Groups. Ev- the year, and look forward with hope to a New Year to come.
show of support and sponsorship for many community events ery culture and tradition have integrated lives and ceremonies I am told the annual lighting ceremony is held at various Ta-
and activities. around it to celebrate or to mark significant events. noa Groups of Hotels that is located across Fiji, the Pacific and
“The hard times in their sector has not stopped them from “In recent days we celebrated Diwali as a festive of lights. in New Zealand.
meeting their corporate social responsibility. It is a mark of Lighting of candles is a significant part of Easter celebrations. “This year it is an extra special event as they have brought
For many of us, Christmas and New Year have always been this tradition to Lautoka Sugar City.

The friendly Tanoa Waterfront hotel staff during the Christmas Tree lightening function.
Photos: Supplied

“And tonight as part of their innovations for 2020, they have brought the Tree Lighting Tradi-
tion to Tanoa Waterfront; hosted for the people of Lautoka to experience this joyful moment and
bring light into everyone’s lives as part of the spirit and cheer of this festive season. I acknowl-
edge the hard work behind this event tonight and express my appreciation for the staff on the
ground here at the Tanoa Waterfront in Lautoka”
The Minister also took the opportunity to throw some light on the Government’s initiative in
the other sectors of employment.
“We have also had to look at other sectors to take up the slack in employment in the tourism
sector. I am pleased to inform you all that this morning, 172 Fijians left for Australia to work
under the Pacific Labour Scheme. This was possible through the efforts of the Fijian and Aus-
tralian governments.
“These 172 Fijians will join 220 Fijians who are already in Australia under this same program
which will make a total of 392 Fijians. These measures will no doubt bring relief to many Fijians
as we factor in the multiplier effect of each individuals in this group working in Australia, and
remitting funds to Fiji.
“While we wait for the opening of international tourism, government will continue to work
towards expending on this alternative employment option, come January another 180 Fijians will
join the 392 Fijians in Australia under this program, so in total we will have 572 Fijians by end
of January.



EDITORIAL COMMENT Target achieved - 500 trees

Cautiously welcoming 2021
2020 will be a year we want to forget, but we will not
Though in Fiji we have moved on with our lives, the
reality remains we had never lived through a pandemic
We have never experienced schools being shut across
the country amid the virus. Businesses stopped. Tech-
nology changed. Education systems changed.
We all stayed home. People returned to eating dinner to-
gether at home instead of out at restaurants. We started
wearing masks. We learned to social distance. But we
all pulled through together to battle a novel coronavirus.
And we are still doing it.
While this pandemic showed us the flip side of life, it
also showed us how to value our lives. This lockdown
and pandemic have taught us the hard way about life.
Just over six months in we know this is a benchmark
Some have dearly felt the personal pain of loved ones
dying alone in the hospital from a mysterious virus so
the efficient family did not dare go near. Some have en-
dured the hardship of losing a job deemed non-essential,
left to pray for their next government check to fill the
2020 is the year we survived COVID-19. Most of us did.
Elated SI Lautoka Club members after reaching a milestone of planting 500 tress in various localities this year a bid to join
Remembering the more than a million who have not.
hands with the Fiji Government’s initiative of planting 4 million trees in 4 years. Photo: Sanjay Goundar
In his special Christmas message, Pope Francis, the head
of the Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City Sanjay Goundar cies like Kavika, Wee, pawpaw, citrus Dakua, Sandalwood and
State said this Christmas the season will provide a rea- Dhilo for climate change adaptation, food security as well as
son for hope amid the difficulties of the coronavirus pan- Vibrant women’s non-governmental organization Soroptimist revenue generation.”
demic. International Lautoka Club has achieved their target of planting The President informed that due to Covid 19 and social dis-
During his Sunday blessing, Pope Francis noted that the 500 trees this year. tancing the club took a break for a few months and re-started
Vatican’s Christmas tree had gone up last week in St. The environment initiative which started in March this year at the project on June 6 by planting 50 more seedlings at the
Peter’s Square, and that work is underway to build the the Lautoka City Council’s Botanical Garden where members Sunshine Special School.
life-size Nativity scene next to it. planted the first set of hundred trees culminated at the Sangam “Our efforts continued with 50 trees at Lautoka Andhra Col-
Pointing to the tree from his studio window over the Village on December 12. lege on June 13, 50 trees at Wairebetia Muslim Primary on July
square, Francis said such symbols of Christmas “are According to SI Lautoka President Zareena Bi the club is hap- 11, 50 trees at Amichandra Memorial Primary School on July
signs of hope, especially in this difficult period.” py that they managed this feat despite the social distancing and 18 and 50 plants each at Lomolomo Public school, Saru MGM
He urged the faithful to recall the true meaning of Christ- lockdown challenges brought about by the global pandemic. Primary, Lovu Sangam and the Sangam Village between Au-
mas — the birth of Jesus — and lend a hand to the needi- “We marked this year’s Saturday of Service on March 7 by gust and December.
est. He said: “There’s no pandemic, there’s no crisis that planting 100 seedlings as a bid to join hands with the Fiji Gov- “Ninety percent of the seedlings were sourced from the Min-
can extinguish this light.” ernment’s initiative of planting 4 million trees in 4 years. istry of forest while the rest of the seedlings came from private
That is a strong message delivered by the Pope and hope “Lautoka City Council Horticulturist Shri Charan has advised nurseries.
it inspires us to remain strong while we adhere to the the club that trees will be a source of studies for Botanists and “We will continue with our environment effort in 2021 and
strict health measures. one of the trees has been marked to be tagged in future as a So- we hope to focus on enhancing the coastal green environment
Let us cautiously welcome 2021 with open arms and roptimist International Lautoka project. by planting mangrove seedlings,” she revealed.
pray that the vaccine to cure coronavirus reaches our “The species of trees that have been planted are native spe-
shore sometimes in the New Year.

International Anti-Corruption Day 2020

A blessed Christmas and New Year to all from the City
Star Newspaper team.

Maika Kasami


PH: 9960 129 / 7844 736

PH: 9189 779 / 7415 752

9322 621


EMAILS: citystarnews15@gmail.com / President Major-General (Ret’d) Jioji Konrote (middle) during the International Anti-Corruption Day. Photo: MINFO
Source MINFO confidence that eventually hinders the growth of a nation, jeop-
Follow us on facebook with daily updates : CityS- ardizing sustainable development and the rule of law, as well as
TAR-Newspaper His Excellency, the President Major-General (Ret’d) Jioji deteriorating health and education.”
Konrote has labelled bribery as one of the most hideous and “It spreads inequalities and perpetuates long lasting poverty.
OFFICE : 15 TUKANI STREET, commonest forms of corruption. It can cripple the economy and, undoubtedly, a major obstacle
During the International Anti-Corruption Day 2020 and for achieving prosperity. Even the simplest form of bribery is a
launch of #Fiji’s Independent Commission Against Corrup- crime against a nation.”
tion’s (FICAC) Anti-Bribery Campaign held at Grand Pacific In order to “Recover with Integrity”, FICAC launched a
POSTAL ADDRESS: PO Box 4230, Hotel in Suva on December 9, President Konrote said bribery is nation-wide public service: ‘I don’t accept bribes’ campaign,
Lautoka difficult to detect due to its clandestine nature. during which all public servants in the civil service and statu-
“Sadly, it occurs across the globe in varying degrees. It brings tory bodies will receive a badge saying, ‘I don’t accept bribes’.
Printed by: Universal Print about inefficiency in public administration which affects public



PM Bainimarama honoured with Earth Champion Award

Source: MINFO

Prime Minister Rear Admiral (Retired)

Frank Bainimarama has been awarded the
2020 Champion of the Earth Award.
Acknowledging the award at the Commem-
oration of the 75th Anniversary of the Unit-
ed Nations – UN Community Day at Prince
Charles Park on December11, PM Bainimara-
ma highlighted that the award is for every Fiji-
an and every Pacific islander.
“Let me begin by saying how deeply hon-
oured I am to be the recipient of the 2020
Champion of the Earth Award. I’d like to
thank the United Nations for this incredible
recognition. But as I stand here today to ac-
cept this Award, I do so not for myself, but on
behalf of every #Fijian, every Pacific Islander,
and every person on Earth whose lives have
been impacted, uprooted, and even lost to cli-
mate change.”
PM Bainimarama highlighted that over the
past few years –– starting with Fiji’s Presi-
dency of COP23 –– we have been among the
world’s most vocal proponents for climate ac-
“As your Prime Minister, I’ve had the privi-
lege of amplifying your voices through speak-
ing engagements throughout the world.
“All across the globe, political leaders, busi-
ness executives, actors and advocates have
heard the story of Pacific Islanders’ struggle PM Frank Bainimarama with his family at the 75th anniversary celebration of the United Nations at Prince Charles Park in Nadi.
for survival. And millions more ordinary, ev- help save the world as we know it.’ platform ‘where we stood on equal footing –– “So, to all of you here today, I ask that you
eryday citizens have had their eyes opened to PM Bainimarama acknowledged the UN for or even with greater prominence –– than the continue to carry the torch of climate advoca-
the immediate, existential threat of a changing providing the platform for Fiji to be able to world’s superpowers. The PM also called on cy, and lead the world by example. No action
climate and rising seas. He stated that because speak and be heard and through COP, and the every Fijian to not lose sight of the ultimate is too small. As you leave today’s celebrations,
of this – Fijians have been agents of progress: many other engagements the UN hosts in its goal and that is ‘Stopping global warming, and look around you, and think like a climate
‘Real, meaningful progress that just might annual calendar, #Fiji has been granted a saving the planet.’ champion.”

Discounted fees for

UniFiji students
Zareena Bi

The University of Fiji has discounted its Foundation and Year 1 fees in 2021 to encourage
students to attend the University despite the slash in TELS sponsorship.
According to UniFiji’s Acting Vice Chancellor Professor Shaista Shameem the University is
encouraging students to attend the University despite the removal of TELS by the Government
for students with Year 13 marks of between 200 and 249.
“The removal of TELS support for students with 200-249 marks is a big blow to many high
school students who, previously, could obtain a university education because they were spon-
sored and thus could realize their dreams.
“In view of the fact that these students would now have to support themselves in foundation
or first year or their parents would have to support them, the University of Fiji had decided to
discount fees to a fraction of what students would normally pay.
“This is to ensure that those with aspirations for a university education would not miss out
and would have the opportunity to attain a qualification that would provide them with a better
The Professor added that first year students who join the School of Business and Economics,
the School of Humanities and Arts, the School of Science and Technology, the Justice Deven-
dra Pathik School of Law and the Centre for iTaukei studies will see a reduction of 12% or
more in tuition fees in 2021 while students enrolling in the Foundation Studies Programme
will enjoy a 44% reduction in fees in 2021.
She further added that students who find it difficult to pay their fees upfront will be able to
arrange payment plans with the Finance Office.
“The University is founded on the principle of accessibility of higher education for those
facing hardship or lack of equal opportunity so we are duty bound to ensure that, notwith-
standing the constraints, no one who wanted higher education would miss out purely because
of lack of sponsorship.
“ The new TSLB policy was sprung on young people in the middle of the year and many of
them had no idea how they would attend University since they could not afford to pay fees,
thus the University Council had decided that discounted fees would be offered to first year and
foundation students.
“In 2021, the University will offer programmes using the “Face-to-Face Online” methodol-
ogy, incorporating the “virtual classroom’’ to help reduce travel and accommodation costs for
Meanwhile, the University has also set up computer labs in Tavua, Lautoka, Sigatoka, Ki-
noya and Labasa for students who have difficulties with internet connectivity and to reduce
travel costs. The University established the PC labs to make it more convenient for students
to attend classes. In addition the University will establish its Ba Campus from January 2021.



The University of Fiji

Celebrating 15 Years

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• Bachelor of Commerce in Management • Postgraduate Cer�ficate in Business Administra�on
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• Bachelor of Teaching (Primary) • Postgraduate Diploma in Language and Literature (English)
• Bachelor of Teaching (Primary) In-service • Postgraduate Diploma in Teaching English as a Second Language
• Bachelor of Arts in English Language & Literature/Management • Postgraduate Diploma in Hindi Literature
• Bachelor of Arts in English Language & Literature/Hindi Language & Indian Culture • Master of Teaching
• Bachelor of Arts in English Language & Literature/iTaukei • Master of Educa�onal Leadership
• Bachelor of Arts in English Language & Literature /Informa�on Technology • Master of Arts in Hindi Literature and Indian Culture
• Bachelor of Arts and Graduate Diploma in Teaching • Master of Arts in Governance and Public Policy
• Bachelor of Commerce and Graduate Diploma in Teaching • Master of Arts in English Literature
• Bachelor of Science and Graduate Diploma in Teaching • Master of Arts in Teaching English as a Second Language
• Graduate Diploma in Teaching • Doctor of Philosophy in English Literature
• Doctor of Philosophy in Educa�on
• Cer�ficate in Founda�on Studies Science SCHOOL OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
• Diploma in Informa�on Technology • Postgraduate Diploma in Informa�on Technology
• Bachelor of Science in Biology/Chemistry • Postgraduate Diploma in Energy and Environment (PGDEEN)
• Bachelor of Science in Chemistry/Physics • Master of Informa�on Technology
• Bachelor of Science in Mathema�cs/Physics • Master of Science in Renewable Energy Management (MScREM)
• Bachelor of Science in Biology/Informa�on Technology • Master of Science in Informa�on Technology
• Bachelor of Science in Physics/Informa�on Technology
• Bachelor of Environmental Science
• Bachelor of Informa�on Technology
• Bachelor of Science in Informa�on Technology Applicants are encouraged to download the admission form from the
• Bachelor of Science in Informa�on Technology/Mathema�cs following link: http://www.unifiji.ac.fj/apply/

UMANAND PRASAD SCHOOL OF MEDICINE AND HEALTH SCIENCES For programme entry requirements and other queries, email
• Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) sas@unifiji.ac.fj
• Bachelor of Public Health and Primary Health Care
• Bachelor of Nursing Science Honours
Completed application forms can be posted to:
• Bachelor of Nursing Post Registra�on (In-service)
CENTRE FOR ITAUKEI STUDIES Student Academic Services
• Diploma in iTaukei Language and Culture The University of Fiji
• Bachelor of Arts in iTaukei and Management Private Mail Bag

Disclaimer : The University of Fiji reserves the right to amend the above Programmes List.

The People’s University

Future Ready
Private Mail Bag, Lautoka Ph: 6640600/ 9999100 info@unifiji.ac.fj www.unifiji.ac.fj

High achievement for Krish Lal

Zareena Bi

Hard work has paid off for Drasa Avenue

Primary School’s highest year eight achiever
Krish Lal.
Lal was awarded the most outstanding stu-
dent of the school during the year eight gradu-
ation ceremony at the Tanoa Waterfront Hotel
in Lautoka on December 9.
He has been a consistent achiever since
joining Drasa Avenue Primary in year six in
2018 with the highest scores in the year six
external exams for the school. In the annual
examination this year he scored an aggregate
of 494/500.
During his speech as Head Boy of the school
Lal congratulated all his fellow classmates for
their wonderful achievement.
“As I look back on my school experience
from year 6 to year 8 here, I feel extreme-
ly proud and grateful to be brought into this
warm and loving family called Drasa Avenue.
“It was here at Drasa Avenue where I was
able to score the highest mark in year 6 exam
and since then continued with my hard work to
create history in year 8 by scoring the highest
“Friends, it is through all the opportunities
and assistance that I was given here, that I was
able to transform into a confident young boy
standing before you today knowing that my
school has not only given me the strength of
character to achieve my dreams, but also the The Most Outstanding Student for 2020 of Drasa Avenue Primary School Krish Lal (middle) with his parents, school head teacher and class
values of justice, freedom, honesty and hard teacher after receiving his spoils. Photos: Sanjay Goundar
work.” am today. know. You are my inspiration and my achieve- “While our focus may have been on the final
The Head Boy gave his heartfelt apprecia- “Last but not the least, I want to thank the ments today are your achievements.” score, but the greatest reward is the knowledge
tion to all the teachers at Drasa Avenue school most important people in my life: my parents Meanwhile, Lal also reminded his class- and the experience we have gained along the
for their support and guidance. and my grandparents. “Dad, words seem less mates that finishing at Drasa Avenue is just way.
“Thank you for being a part of my journey to express my love for you. You are the most one part of their educational journey and not “Whatever path you decide to take, I wish
because without you, I would not be where I courageous and the most thoughtful person I the end. you all the best in the future.”

Learn from setbacks

Zareena Bi “Today we must celebrate the hard work of students as well little more patience for others.”
as teachers, leaders of the school, administrators who have Meanwhile, Head Teacher of Drasa Avenue Sanjeeta Kumar
“Don’t forget to be kind to yourself, you will stumble, we all groomed these graduants into becoming what they are today. said that graduation is an exciting time as it marks both an end-
do or will, work hard and dedicate yourself to something, but “I know the pride of your parents and teachers in you and ing and a beginning and it comes with warm memories of the
when you slip give yourself enough of break to remember that thanks to the great ground work that your teachers have made past and big dreams for the future.
the slips and falls are merely lessons, learn from them push as well as your outstanding efforts. She thanked parents and teachers for having given the grad-
past them and stand back up”. “This is also a moment that every parent and guardian would uants unfailing support and enabling environment for the chil-
These were the important message imparted to the graduating want to witness and cherish in their quest to secure a bright dren’s potentials to be nurtured and development.
year eight students of Drasa Avenue Primary school by chief future for their children.” In congratulating the students she reminded them that they
guest Acting Head of Department Primary School, School of She also advised the graduants to keep three thoughts in will face a faster changing world than a decade ago due to glo-
Education Natabua Campus Dr Taraivini Raiula at the Tanoa mind for their journey forward. balization, the advent of information technology and the devel-
Waterfront Hotel on December 8. “ Be curious, take the time to ask all the what ifs and the opment of a knowledge based economy.
Dr Raiula stressed that graduation day is a special day in the whys. Ask and decide once you are satisfied with answers. “In the face of the challenges we have equipped you to be
life for any student as it is the crowning moment of all the hard “Be brave, speak your voice and mind and be heard. Also, lifelong learners, and with the ability to learn how to learn so
work, frustrations and anxiety endured on course of one’s ac- listen to learn and to realize. that you can keep abreast of changes and become active and
ademic journey. “Be kind as the world could use a little more kindness and a valuable members of our community.”

Krish Lal receiving his spoils from chief guest Acting Head of Primary Education from FNU Head Girl of Drasa Avenue Primary School Vani Moreyawa also made her family proud
Natabua Campus Dr Taraivini Raiula receiving some key awards from chief guest Dr Taraivini Raiula



Embrace true essence of Christmas

Zareena Bi

People should overcome modernization and

materialistic trends of the festivity and em-
brace the true essence of Christmas.
Senior Methodist Church of Fiji Minister
Reverend Dr Immanuel Ruben reminded all
Christians that Christmas is about the joy, the
hope and the peace of the birth of the savior,
Christ in this world.
“Christmas is not a time of feasting , it is
not the time of drinking alcohol, it is not about
shopping. It is the time to give the gift of our
lives to Christ.
“In the world today peace is not there be-
cause on Christmas Eve, Christmas day we
start drinking alcohol, we get aggravated, we
start fighting, we start taking revenge, Christ-
mas is a time of worship
“Today the whole world is gripped in a com-
mercial world, Christmas is a time of savings
too as despite the fact that there is free educa-
tion for our children families need to prepare
for children’s bags, books, uniforms and hos-
tel fees.”
The Reverend challenged and urged all the
Christians to keep Christmas as a religious
“In religion there is no alcohol, in worship
there is no alcohol, in worship is the time Road to Bethlehem program symbolizing the birth of Lord Jesus Christ at the Wesley’s Methodist Church in Lautoka during Christmas last year.
you spend around the meaning of the birth of
have some wisdom in their mind to fulfill the of people: including sinners, marginalized bleeding woman (Luke 8: 43-48), and those
expectations of their families, communities people, tax collectors, the sick, women and with a variety of diseases: “Then great mul-
“This Christmas many families will be
and the nation. children. In fact, he used to eat with notori- titudes came to Him, having with them the
hurt because of the robberies in their homes.
“So this Christmas stay home, stay around ous public sinners in order to guide them to lame, blind, mute, maimed, and many others;
Christmas is not about stealing and you do not
your parents, join in and do some planting to repentance. The love of Jesus is declared in and they laid them down at Jesus’ feet, and He
rob someone to celebrate Christmas.”
benefit your families and also show the envi- many ways. Jesus healed many people afflict- healed them. So the multitude marveled when
Dr Ruben has also urged the youths to set
ronmental concern. ed with a variety of ailments. He healed the they saw the mute speaking, the maimed made
their targets, choose right companions and do
“Also, most importantly stay away from al- leper (Luke 5: 12-15; 17: 11-19), the paralytic whole, the lame walking, and the blind seeing;
not follow what people do but follow God’s
cohol and drugs.” (Luke 5: 16-26), the paralyzed (Matthew 8: and they glorified the God of Israel” (Matthew
call as they have a long way in life.
Meanwhile, Jesus Christ loved all kinds 5-13), the blind (Matthew 9: 27-31), a 15: 30-31).
“All our youths must excel, be educated and

Jesus Of Nazareth:
The Gift Of Hope And Love
Jesus was born around 5-4 B.C. of the Holy Spirit of the Living God and his virgin mother
Mary into a humble poor Jewish family: “Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After his
mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of
the Holy Spirit. . . So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord
through the Prophet, saying: Behold the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall
call His name ‘Immanuel’, which is translated ‘God with us’ (Matthew 1: 18, 22-23). “And she
brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger,
because there was no room for them in the inn” (Luke 2:7; 1: 26-38). Jesus was born in a cave
at Bethlehem, a small village in southern Palestine.
He was raised in a pious Jewish family, and lived the religious life of a pious adult Jew. He was
a native of Nazareth, a small town in northern Palestine. Before his active ministry, it is thought
that he worked with his hands as a common laborer, probably in carpentry. He lived among the
poor and identified with them. His disciples were simple folk. The twelve apostles constituted
the inner group of his disciples. During Jesus active ministry of about three and half years, the
twelve apostles accompanied him everywhere he went. They heard all his teachings. They had
private discussions with him. They saw all his miracles. After he ascended into heaven, he sent
them to preach the gospel to the world. All of them except two were martyred because of their
Christian witness. Of these two, one died of old age in exile (the apostle John), and the other
betrayed him (Judas Iscariot).
He started his active ministry when he was about thirty years of age (Luke 3:23a). Although
Jesus’ ministry lasted only a short period of nearly three and a half years, it had a world-shatter-
ing effect. With the exception of a brief visit to the towns of Tyre and Sidon (Matthew 15:21), Je-
sus ministered in Palestine. His ministry encompassed two major aspects: preaching and teach-
ing, and mighty miracles, some of which are unique in the history of humankind. His favorite
method of teaching was by using parables. Jesus’ life and behavior were radically consistent
with his teaching.
The prophet Isaiah prophesied about the mission of Jesus Christ more than seven centuries
before his birth saying: “The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to
preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to
the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to pro-
claim the acceptable year of the LORD.” (Luke 4: 18-19; Isaiah 61: 1-2). The portrait of Jesus
Christ is the portrait of pristine divine love; a love that has no end; a love that knows no bounds;
a love that exceeds our human understanding and comprehension. He loves us more than a
mother loves her nursing baby: “Can a woman forget her nursing child, and not have compas-
sion on the son of her womb? Surely they may forget, yet I will not forget you” (Isaiah 49:15).
The essence of Jesus Christ’s message to us is love: “God is love” (1 John. 4:8b; John 3:16). Our
response to his unlimited sacrificial love for us is that we love him back: “We love him because
He first loved us” (1 John. 4:19). True love strives to please the beloved: “If you love Me, keep
my commandments” (John. 14:15). What are these commandments? His commandments are
that we love both God and our neighbor:



Christmas Trifle
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 40 min. + chilling
MAKES: 12 servings

• 2 cups cubed sponge cake
• 5 macaroon cookies, crumbled
• 2 tablespoons sherry or orange juice
• 2 tablespoons brandy or orange juice
• 3 cups heavy whipping cream, divided
• 4 egg yolks
• 2 tablespoons sugar
• 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1 cup fresh raspberries (use fresh local fruit or canned mix fruit)
• 1 cup sliced fresh strawberries(use fresh local fruit or canned mix fruit)
• 1 cup sliced peeled fresh or frozen peaches, thawed
• 1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted

1. Place cake cubes and crumbled cookies in a 3-qt. glass bowl. Drizzle with sherry and brandy.
2. In a small saucepan, heat 1-3/4 cups cream until bubbles form around sides of pan. In a small bowl,
whisk egg yolks
and sugar. Remove cream from the heat; stir a small amount of hot cream into egg mixture. Return all
to the pan,
stirring constantly. Cook and stir until mixture is thickened and coats the back of a spoon; stir in vanil-
3. Layer the raspberries, strawberries and peaches over crumbled cookies; spoon custard over fruit. Cover
and refriger
ate for at least 1 hour.
4. In a large bowl, beat remaining cream until stiff peaks form. Pipe over custard; sprinkle with almonds.
Yield: 12
servings (1 cup each).

Classic roast chicken KOKODA

& gravy (Fijian Spicy Fish)
This fish dish is a Fijian favorite and utilizes common ingredients of the islands. It is the Fiji ver-
Ingredients sion of ceviche. Serve it with a fresh fruit salad.
1 onion, roughly chopped
2 carrots, roughly chopped • 4 large fillets of white fish such as
1 free range chicken, about 1½ kg/3lb 5oz mahi-mahi
1 lemon, halved • Juice of 3 large limes
Small bunch thyme (optional) • ½ teaspoon salt
For the gravy • 1cup fresh coconut cream
1 tbsp plain flour • 1 large onion, minced
250ml chicken stock (a cube is fine) • 1 small green chile, such as ser
rano, seeds and stem removed,
Method minced.
1. Heat oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5. Have a shelf ready in the middle of the oven without • 2 medium tomatoes, diced
any shelves above it. Scatter the vegetables over the base of a roasting tin that fits the chicken, • 1 bell pepper, seeds and stem re
but doesn’t swamp it. Season the cavity of the chicken liberally with salt and pepper, then moved, diced
stuff with the lemon halves and thyme, if using. Sit the chicken on the vegetables, smother Cut the fish into bite-size pieces. In
the breast and legs all over with the butter, then season the outside with salt and pepper. Place a non-reactive bowl, combine the fish, lime
in the oven and leave, undisturbed, for 1 hr 20 mins – this will give you a perfectly roasted juice, and salt. Marinate overnight in the refrigerator.
chicken. To check, pierce the thigh with a skewer and the juices should run clear. Remove Remove from the refrigerator, add
the tin from the oven and, using a pair of tongs, lift the chicken to a dish or board to rest for the coconut cream, chopped onion, and chile
15-20 mins. As you lift the dish, let any juices from the chicken pour out of the cavity into the just before serving. Sprinkle the tomatoes and
roasting tin. bell pepper over the top. Serve on a bed of lettuce
2. While the chicken is resting, make the gravy. Place the roasting tin over a low flame, then in coconut bilos (half coconut shells).
stir in the flour and sizzle until you have a light brown, sandy paste. Gradually pour in the Yield: 6 to 8 servings
stock, stirring all the time, until you have a thickened sauce. Simmer for 2 mins, using a wood- Heat Scale: Mild
en spoon to stir, scraping any sticky bits from the tin. Strain the gravy into a small saucepan,
then simmer and season to taste.
Chocolate Chip Cookies Ingredients: about 5 tbsp of paste on the leaves and fold
the mixture in the leaves. Wrap these in
Ingredients degrees C). 1. Dalo leaves foil. Roast this in kitchen oven or an earth
2. Cream together the butter, white 2. Coconut Cream oven called lovo for approximately 20 to
Original recipe makes 4 dozen sugar, and brown sugar until smooth. 3. Tinned mutton 30 minutes in medium heat.
1 cup butter, softened Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in 4. Tamrin
1 cup white sugar the vanilla.. 5. Roasted jeera
1 cup packed brown sugar Dissolve baking soda in 6. Garlic
2 eggs hot water. Add to batter along with 7. Ginger
2 teaspoons vanilla extract salt. Stir in flour, chocolate chips, and 8. Salt
3 cups all-purpose flour nuts. Drop by large spoonfuls onto 9. Chillies
1 teaspoon baking soda ungreased pans. 10. Foil to wrap.
2 teaspoons hot water 3. Bake for about 10 minutes in the Method:
1/2 teaspoon salt preheated oven, or until edges are are Pour all ingredients in a bowl except the
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips nicely browned. dalo leaves and foil, mix well and make a
1 cup chopped walnuts paste . Put 3 leaves on a piece of foil ( size
Directions should be large enough to wrap) and pour
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175

Natabua offers best platform

Natabua High School award winners from last year’s external examinations with Commissioner Western Mesake Ledua and School Principal Virendra Sharma. Photo: Sanjay Goundar

Zareena Bi level, creating a healthy competition.

“The awards ceremony is also an apt opportunity for parents and guardians, as well as other
Natabua High School offers one of the biggest platforms where students can develop, stakeholders to bear witness to the accomplishments of the students and the progress made
enhance and showcase their talents and abilities as well as boasting the largest number of by the school in terms of academic results, extra-curricular success and improvements to the
extra-curricular activities. general learning environment.
While officiating as chief guest at the Annual awards function of the school on December 2 “I acknowledge the contributions of the parents and guardians in nurturing your children and
, the Commissioner Western Mesake Ledua commended the school for the cleanliness of the supporting their educational journey.”
buildings, the immaculately kept lawns and the general upkeep of the facility that contribute to The chief guest also took this opportunity to highlight the lessons learnt in the Western Divi-
an environment that is student centered and conducive to the development of children. sion due to the effect of Covid 19 pandemic.
He added that with such an impressive history of old scholars who have stamped their mark “You live in the best geographical location so as the Commissioner of the Western Division,
in the development of this nation, the students are truly blessed to be in Natabua High School. I urge you to make the best use of it.
The Commissioner Western informed the main idea of the awards ceremony is to formally “Our government is very supportive of local businesses, especially farming.
acknowledge the contribution made by the students. “If Covid 19 has taught us anything then it is the invaluable lesson that we must eat right
“It is also an occasion which exhibits and raises the benchmark of achievements to another and live right.”





Take the
next step
in your
The Graduate
School of Business
Post Graduate
Certificate in
is now inviting Human Resource
applications for Management


With our Programmes you will be able to: Ms. Arti Archana – Student Office
• Become a Visionary Leader Tel: (679) 666 6800; Fax: (679) 666 7133;
Email: arti.archana@usp.ac.fj
• Acquire Critical BusinessSkills to compete in the
Global Economy
Application closes on 15 March 2021
• Foster Innovation Students are encouraged to apply online via


Admissions for Semester I, 2021 Open Now!

Admissions - Online & Higher Programme Resumption of Studies

Persons who have never studied at USP, students who wish Students wishing to resume studies in the same
to apply for admission to a new and/or higher undergraduate undergraduate or postgraduate programme by coursework
or postgraduate programme are invited and encouraged to in a particular semester or trimester may apply online
apply online for admission through www.usp.ac.fj/apply. through www.usp.ac.fj/resume provided that they were
last registered not more than 5 semester(s) or trimester(s)
ago. Otherwise students will need to reapply for admission
Closes Friday 5 February 2021
online at www.usp.ac.fj/apply and the current programme
Note: regulations will apply.

a. Applications received after Friday 5 February 2021 until

Resumption of Studies for Semester I, 2021:
19 February 2021 will incur a financial penalty.
• Opens Thursday 26 November 2020 and
b. Please refer to the USP 2021 Academic Dates for PTAFE • Closes Friday 19 February 2021
Admissions timelines SEMESTER I 2020 BEGINS: 22 February 2021

For any further clarification please contact USP Lautoka

Campus; tel: 6666800 or 9923418 or email: usplautoka@usp.
ac.fj or visit the Campus located at Vidilo Street, Lautoka.




Joshua-Fury for a potential showdown

Source- dailymail.co.uk.

English Sports promoter Eddie Hearn claims the journey to prepare the Anthony Joshua versus
Tyson Fury fight for 2021 starts right away after the former beat Kubrat Pulev on December 12.
Joshua beat his Bulgarian opponent in the ninth round after flooring him twice in the round
three in front of 1,000 spectators at Wembley Arena.
The IBF, WBA, WBO, IBO champion holder has retained his belts as Joshua and Fury prepare
to meet next year in a fight that will bring all five of the heavyweight belts together in a unifica-
tion fight billed as one of the biggest bouts in British boxing history.
Hearn told Sky Sports in a post-fight interview that there is no doubt that Joshua would beat
Fury providing the pair meet in 2021.
Hearn said: ‘We’re going to be friendly, we’re going to be nice, starting from tomorrow we
make the Tyson Fury fight happen.
“‘It’s the only fight in boxing, it’s the biggest fight in British boxing history.
“He (Joshua) wants it, he will break him down, and he will knock him out. He is the best Brit-
ish heavyweight in the world, it’s about legacy and we’ll get it done.”
Joshua put Pulev on the canvas twice in the third round but stepped off the gas to allow the
Bulgarian back into the contest.
The Briton’s opponent managed to stay in the fight until the ninth round where Pulev faced
several devastating uppercuts and one final right-hand jab to end the contest.
Joshua’s record now stands at 24-1 which includes 22 victories via knockout. The 31-year-old
now has four out of the five major belts in the heavyweight class.
The fifth belongs to Fury after he defeated Deontay Wilder in a rematch in February of this
year. The ‘Gypsy King’ has given up on the idea of a trilogy fight with Wilder in order to speed
up the process of taking on Joshua.
Hearn admitted that Joshua has done well to back up his pre-fight talk with the right action
and claimed that becoming a champion is what the Watford-born boxer has been striving for
throughout his whole career.
The promoter added: “I’ve talked a lot over the years, like he’s said it’s less talk more action.
“He came into the office and said he wanted to be undisputed champion of the world. Less
talk, more action.”
When asked whether he would want a Fury fight, Joshua refused to be drawn into talk about
the Gypsy King being his next opponent, describing the potential match-up as ‘no big deal’.
Joshua told Sky: “I started this game in 2013, chasing all the belts, dealing with the mandato-
ries. It’s not the opponent, it’s about the legacy of the belt.
“If that is Tyson Fury, let it be Tyson Fury. It’s no big deal. It’s just one fight at a time, picking
them all off, I have to stay focused.”
Potential opponent Fury took to social media to reveal his dismay at Joshua’s response, out-
lining his own desire to arrange the fight and beat his British rival in the same way he floored
American opponent Wilder earlier this year.
The Gypsy King claimed via Instagram on Saturday night: “I want the fight. I want the fight
next. I will knock him out inside three rounds. He’s a big bomb dosser and I can’t wait to knock
him (out).” Anthony Joshua has refused to be drawn into a 2021 fight with Tyson Fury in his post-match
interview. Photo- Supplied.

Turaga a multisport athlete

Maika Kasami

Kini Turaga Toga (Pictured) is a multisport athlete. However he has set his sight on taking the
sport of athletics seriously when he leaves school.
Toga was recently presented with the Principal’s Award in Sports during the Natabua High
School Awards ceremony on December 2.
He joined Natabua High in 2016 as a Year 9 scholar.
Toga excelled in the school badminton team, basketball and hockey.
He even took up the sport of soccer and was selected to be the goalkeeper of the Lautoka
Youth team.
“I’ve always enjoyed playing sports. Any kind of sport for that matter,” the NHS boarder said.
“I attended Raunitogo Primary School in Valley Road, Nahigatoka, and joined Natabua High
in 2016.
“My dad Setoki Turaga represented Nadroga soccer as a fullback. I’m not really into soccer
but since I was approached to play as a goalkeeper for the Lautoka district youth team I took it
up as a challenge. They probably saw my flexibility in training,” Toga added.
Having represented the school 4x400metres relay team during the Coca-Cola Games in 2019,
he said the sport remains close to his heart.
“Athletics is what I like the most and my goal is to represent Fiji in the not too distant future.”

Press FC qualifies for NCC

Maika Kasami to Service 4-5 after extra time, Rifle Range gave Vitogo Youth a 7-2 hiding
while Press edged Naatak FC 2-1.
One of Lautoka’s oldest soccer club Press FC will represent Lautoka FA for Press FC will try to emulate their achievements of 2016 when they won the
the National Club Championship western playoff. NCC finals at Govind Park beating Suva’s Bureta Football Club 4-2 on pen-
Coached by Lambert Sarju and boasting district reps in Zibraaz Sahib, Jone alty shootout.
Vonu Junior, Aporosa Yada and Sekove Finau beat surprise finalist Rivals FC Lautoka goalkeeper Viliame Tabucala was the hero of the day back then sav-
1-0 in the final at Nadovu Park on December 13. ing two penalty kicks from Bureta’s Ivan Kumar and Tomasi Uculoa to earn
In the semi-finals, Press FC defeated Rifle Range 4-1 while Rivals FC upset Press FC their first ever NCC title.
Service FC 2-0. The NCC could be shifted to be played early in the New Year.
In the quarterfinals, Rivals FC thumped Boomerang 6-0, United Sangam lost



Madhavan refreshes memory at LGC

Maika Kasami now I still refer to Raymond as “Guru”. He is
of course now the LGC Trustee and the man
Veteran golfer Vijay Madhavan returned behind the success of Lautoka Golf Club.”
to Lautoka Golf Club (LGC) after five years “Yes, LGC was once known as the “Goat
and was quite impressed with how things have Track” but Raymond , Wella Pillay and the
changed. hard working committee have transformed
Now based in Suva, and currently the Fiji it into a great and challenging course. It was
Senior Golf Association president, Madhavan great to be back at the course after 5 years and
joined LGC back in 1981 when he worked at take part in the Lautoka Open. I was certainly
the Fiji Sugar Corporation IT Centre as the given special treatment by ‘Guru’ and his team
Computer Operations Manager. which is very much appreciated.”
As current LGC executive Raymond Singh Madhavan added, “When I joined LGC, I
refreshed some memories, LGC used to be played off the maximum handicap of 27, but
known as the ‘Goat Track’ and Madhavan when left to come back to Suva in 1987, I was
would vouch for that. on 14. This was mainly due to the coaching
He returned to the Sugar City with his and advice I received from the likes of Guru
troupe from Suva to be part of the 89th Ge- Raymond Singh, former Fiji rep Shiu Sami
otech Drilling International/Islands Electric Naidu, Keshwan Krishna, Raghwan Krishna,
Lautoka Open Championship that was held on Shankran Kannan, Sashi Patel, ‘Chilai’ Krish-
December 5. na, Kumaran, Nelson Mani and Gaffar Ali.”
As the 72-year-old carried himself around “I remember back then Gaffar Ali was also
the perfect setting via a golf cart off the beau- the Barman/Greens Keeper and lived in the
tiful scenery from atop, old memories began quarters behind the Club House which was
to trickle in. much smaller in those days. I also served as
Madhavan played soccer, table tennis and LGC secretary for one-year.”
was a tennis champ before being introduced to He said there was always something special
golf in his early 30’s. about playing in the west compared to Suva.
He knew nothing about golf before he met “The beauty about playing golf in the West
a gentleman whom he later called his ‘Guru’. was that on Saturdays you play at your home
“I joined Lautoka Golf Club in 1981. Club and on Sunday’s you travel to play in
Though I was into other sports I knew nothing other courses in the west from Emperor Gold
about golf at that time,” he recalled. Mines in Tavua to Reef Golf Club, Sigatoka.
“Mr Bert Snow, Manager of the Bank of I miss those Sunday trips with my group and
New Zealand, Lautoka, introduced me to golf. recall winning most of the prizes those days.”
I used to play in the Business House tennis Madhavan, who is now a real estate sales
team for BNZ. His wife Marie Snow was the executive is already looking forward to revis-
Fiji Netball Coach at that time. iting the Sugar City in the New Year to partic- Vijay Madhavan (right) with Lautoka Golf Club executive Raymond Singh during the
“But it was Raymond Singh who taught me ipate in the 90th edition of the Lautoka Open. recent Lautoka Open Championship. Photo- Maika Kasami.
the finer points of golf. So from those days till

Khan has the final laugh for Suva

Maika Kasami rail Park to bask in glory and hoist their third
Vodafone Fiji FACT title beating Nadi 1-0 in
They say patience is a virtue. the final.
And it takes a lot of courage to have it. In an interview after the FACT win, Khan
Not everybody knows what coaches go revealed it was not easy for his players to re-
through to assemble a formidable and winning cord back to back victories (National League)
side especially for a big team like Suva FA. and it needed more than a fight to reign again.
There was a time when coach Babs Khan “It wasn’t easy for us. It needed heaps of
was ready to quit the top job. dedication from the players to be at their best
The pressure was mounting and the result and deliver the goods,” he said.
was not forthcoming. “Nadi is always tough to beat. They always
The Capital City side as in the past had al- play with lots of guts and courage and we were
ways had the players to win anything on offer lucky in the end to win the Fiji FACT.
but for some reason had often disappointed its “We had trained in similar conditions back
followers. home in our preparations and it showed in the
Unlike for any other district especially character of the players as they played their
during these trying times, Suva (as in the past) hearts out and stood in there for me when it
has had no problem securing sponsorships mattered,” Khan added.
from cooperate bodies who are always ready Suva became the most successful team this
to pump in the cash. year winning two-tournaments, similar to the
During this year’s Punjas Battle of the Gi- feat achieved by Labasa in 2019 and Thaggard
ants, the first tournament in-charge for the remained calm on his future.
former Nadi right defender, news speculat- “It’s up to the Suva FA to decide. I’m always
ed around Churchill Park that Khan alias ready to help and will always be available.”
Maxwell Thaggard would be stood down as Suva and Rewa will become the first south-
coach after the Capital City side went down to ern teams to represent Fiji at the Oceania
Nasinu 1-3 in their second pool match. Champions League ending the dominance of
The side needed to beat Ba (who had al- western giants Lautoka and Ba.
ready qualified) to earn a semi-final berth. The Meanwhile, in the FACT proper an own
Whites edged the Men in Black 1-0 to reach goal-by Nadi gifted the Capital City side their
the top four. second major win of the season and their third-
The side went on to overcome the unbeaten FACT win overall.
Nadi side 2-1 before losing to Rewa 1-0 in the Though the Jetsetters had won four- Fiji
final. The two-crucial wins was enough for the FACT meet in the last eight years, Subrail
former Nadi coach to keep his job. Park proved lucky once again for the Whites,
After some soul searching Suva looked a a tournament they had also won in 1995 at the
different team post BOG as they did well in same venue over Labasa.
Suva upset Labasa 3-1 in the semis while Nadi’s Rusiate Matarerega (left) and Suva’s Filipe Baravilala battle for possession during the
the second round of the Vodafone National
Nadi overcame Rewa 2-1. For their fine effort 2020 Punjas Battle of the Giants semi-final at Churchill Park in Lautoka.
League recording some crucial points to close
the gap on pace setters Rewa. throughout the three-week tournament, the the golden glove award to Beniamino from their second successive final appearance.
The Filipe Baravilala/ Ravinesh Karan Babs Khan coached side went home $17,000 Mateinaqara, golden boot award to Sairusi Suva had lost to Nadi 1-2 in the final last year
Singh captained side defied all odds to clinch richer while the Kamal Swamy coached side Nalaubu while the player of the tournament at Churchill Park and this time around stamped
the league title. And weeks later ploughed settled for $5000. Other bonus achievements award to nippy Sahil Dave. their mark on atrocious conditions to become
their way on the atrocious conditions at Sub- for the National League champions include Nadi also received the fair-play award apart the most successful team of 2020.



King Jerry remains humble

Maika Kasami

Jerry Tuwai heaped praises and showed respect to other

nominees despite being declared the world sevens player of the
decade by world rugby.
The 2019 world player of the year beat out nine other final-
ists for the illustrious honour, including former Fiji teammate
Samisoni Viriviri, Fiji-born New Zealand international Tomasi
Cama and Samoan sevens icon Mikaele Pesamino.
The pint sized playmaker made his debut for Fiji at the 2014
Gold Coast Sevens and has gone on to win three World Se-
ries titles, an Olympic gold medal in 2016, and is a three-time
world sevens player of the year nominee.
“I’m very happy but I know I have a lot respect to the nomi-
nees like Cecil [Afrika from South Africa] and Tim Mikkelson
[from New Zealand] - those two guys really stood the test of
time in rugby,” Tuwai said.
“To all the nominees, like [Tomasi] Cama, Perry Baker, Wer-
ner Kok, [Seabelo] Senatla, Samisoni Viriviri, I respect them
and I love them as a rugby player and a human being.
“I’m very happy to receive this award on behalf of them, of
Fiji, my family and on behalf of everyone who loves playing
Fiji coach Gareth Baber said 31-year-old Tuwai was a de-
served winner who, despite his success, remained humble and
dedicated to his craft. Jerry Tuwai with his family members after arriving with the Fiji 7s team in an earlier tournament. Photo- Sanjay Goundar.
“To find an individual of that quality is quite unique in a gen- best of the decade, I think, is a phenomenal accolade. We’re tournaments- which enable individuals to suddenly jump up
eration. I don’t think I’m pushing it too far when you talk about all so proud of him and very proud for me to see that as a coun- and release the potential that potentially they’ve grown since
him playing on the same team as [Fijian sevens legend Wais- try we have the ability to produce such quality individuals.” they were 15-16 years of age. “Jerry happened to be 25 but
ale] Serevi and doing himself justice the two of them together.” Tuwai grew up on the outskirts of Suva and, despite playing there’s nothing to say that for Jerry at the age of 18 or 19 that
Despite standing just five feet seven inches tall, Baber said rugby from a young age, was a late bloomer - not making his it would have worked at that stage. It’s a different model, it’s
the former Fiji captain regularly defied his small stature with international debut until seven months after his 25th birthday. a unique model to Fiji but it’s one that’s worked and it’s pro-
giant match winning performances. Baber said Fiji did not have the same development systems duced one of the best players of the last decade.”
“He’s unbelievably skilful and he’s almost acrobatic, gym- and processes that existed in many major rugby countries, Meanwhile, among the other award winners, Black Ferns
nastic in what he can do on a rugby field. I think he’s kept peo- which could lead to talented players falling through the cracks. star Portia Woodman was named the Women’s Sevens Player
ple entertained, not as just the way that he is able to do that to “What you get sometimes is missed individuals or late de- of the Decade, former All Blacks captain Richie McCaw was
opponents but also in the way that he behaves in and around the velopers,” he said. “You get a very strong sense in the country recognized as the Men’s Fifteens Player of the Decade and
series and he’s a credit to his country and to the sport generally. there’s lots of talent around playing rugby but they’re not af- Jessy Trémoulière of France was recognized as the Women’s
“For the country, having one of their sons crowned as the forded the same opportunities - other than playing local Fifteens Player of the Decade.

Jerry Tuwai in action against the USA 7’s team in a tournament prior to the emergence of the
Covid 19 pandemic. Photo- Supplied.



Fiji 7s continues preparations

Maika Kasami speed, ball skill, is it understanding of the
game and all of these things go beyond
The Fiji Airways Fiji 7s team could be just whether the players get it on the field
the only national side competing in the and do what they do best,” he reportedly
HSBC World Sevens series that has con- said.
tinued with its preparations amidst the With the final sevens tournament on
spread of the coronavirus worldwide. Taveuni now complete, Baber then fielded
After the first few months of the pan- two teams during the Kombat Uluinakau
demic reaching our shores and success- 7s tournaments at Ratu Cakobau Park in
fully being contained, the national side Nausori minus a couple of first team play-
wasted no time getting back to business to ers including captain Ratu Meli Derenala-
prepare for the August Olympic Games in gi who was part of the Army team during
Tokyo that was later deferred to next year. the FMF Sukuna Bowl challenge which
Coach Gareth Baber’s contract was to was eventually won by Police 32-8 at the
have expired on December 31, 2020 but ANZ Stadium in Suva.
was renewed until after the Tokyo Games Meanwhile, the Fiji Babas White and
in 2021. Fiji Babas Blue played in the final of the
The Games will now be held on July Uluinakau 7s which the Whites won 26-
23-8 August. 24.
Meanwhile, the Welsh man was recently The winners received $5000 while the
fascinated with the talent and quality on Blues collected $1000 as runner-up.
display at the 13th Fiji Bitter Wairiki 7s However, after the final both teams gave
in Taveuni. their prize money back to the Uluinakau
The tournament saw many upsets that rugby club. Uluinakau rugby president
saw world sevens player of the decade Jer- Epi Kolinivala turned emotional after an-
ry Tuwai’s team the Babarians finally tast- nouncing that both teams donated their
ing victory by beating the consistent Blues prize-money back to the club.
Gas Police Blues team 24-5 in the grand As a result, the club reimbursed $100
final. Commenting on the overall perfor- each to the 24 clubs that featured in the
mance of the players in the tournament, tournament.
Baber said the quality of rugby shown was Kaminieli Rasaku was named the play-
exceptional. er of the final. The other winners were
“Lots of players are playing at a good Uluinakau Blue (Bowl), Nadi Yellow was
level and what I look for is a notch up crowned the Fellow Fijians winner, Ta-
from that level,” he said. badamu took out the Plate final and Mala
“I try to see what they got that makes Young Boys finished at the top in the Fiji Airways Fiji 7s coach Gareth Baber with the HSBC Sevens trophy while returning from a
them different. Is it size, physicality, or Youth competition. tournament in 2019. Photo- Sanjay Goundar.

Whites set to host FACT

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The Suva soccer team during the 2019 Vodafone Fiji Fact Tournament where they lost to Nadi
in the final. Photo: Sanjay Goundar
Maika Kasami

Vodafone Fiji FACT champions Suva will have the opportunity to defend its title at home
when the tournament is played in May, 2021.
Fiji Football Association chief executive officer Mohammed Yusuf revealed in an interview
that the Whites who had won this year’s tournament at Subrail Park have earned the right to host
the meet at the ANZ Stadium.
This year’s tourney was held outside its scheduled date due to the pandemic which hit our
shores in March.
16 Nasoki Street, Fiji FA took the risk of hosting the meet in Labasa in November a date that was initially set
Lautoka aside for the hosting of the Pacific Cup in Fiji at Govind Park in Ba.
Lautoka was set to defend its title this year on Fiji soil but will now keep the Pacific Cup title
Mobile: 9998891
for yet another year after the boarders were closed prompting the organizers to call off the meet.
Yusuf also revealed they are hoping that Govind Park will be ready for use before October.
Kings Highway, “We are looking at having the Courts IDC in Ba but of-course we are keeping our options open
Yalalevu, Ba in-case the ground is not ready on time, we will then look elsewhere.
Mobile: 9998893 “And the Battle of the Giants could be heading to the north at Subrail Park but we should
confirm this later,” Yusuf added.
Suva, meanwhile, who also won the Vodafone National League this year will first take on
Courts IDC champions Labasa in the Pillay Garments Champion versus Champion series to kick



tops at
LGC executive Raymond Singh (right) with professional winner Zoheer Ahmed (left) and amateur champion Abid
Hussein during the Geotech Drilling International/Islands Electric Lautoka Open LGC
Maika Kasami

Nadi based golfers Abid Hussein and Zoheer Ahmed reigned su-
preme during the 89th edition of the Geotech Drilling International/
Islands Electric Lautoka Open Championship on December 5.
Hussein, who is the undisputed number one amateur player in the
country scooped his fourth Lautoka Open title with a solid two-under
par 67 for a four-shot victory, while Ahmed continued with his fine
form walking away with a handsome payout of $800 cash to win his
third consecutive professional title.
He grossed a three under par 66 on a very closely contested battle
with Tomasi Tuivuna, who had to settle for second place on 67, fol-
lowed by Amitesh Chandra and Anasa Seruvatu on 70.
Sam Lee, Roneel Prakash and Taitusi Tuivuci, all grossed 71. The
NTP prize on the second hole went to Amitesh Chandra, Anasa Seruva-
tu on the ninth and Waisake Vati hit the longest drive.
The professionals battled for a $4000 cash prize.
The A-grade gross went to Lawrence Naidu on 71, a shot clear of
Moh’d Rizwan and Ba’s Rohit Chandra.
Young Denarau-based golfer, Lawrence Low netted 68 to win the
A-grade nett title on a count-back from Ba’s Rohit Chandra. Veteran
Dennis Singh came in third on 70. Zavir Khan of the Fiji Golf Club
walked away with the B-grade gross title with a patient 77. Labasa’s
Jitendra Sami, in his first outing, easily accounted for the B-grade net
on 63, followed by Lawrence John on 66 and Salen Naidu on 67.
Subhash Chand hit 80 to solidify the C-grade gross on 80. Young
Aariz Khan pipped Fiji Seniors Golf Association president Vijay Mad-
havan for the C-grade net title on a count-back. The duo netted a fine
65. Ananda Madhwan finished third on 67. The youngest junior title
went to Tobias Allan with Noor Ali grabbing the beginner’s category.
NTP on the second hole went to Daven Mudaliar, Andy Low on the
ninth, while Lawrence Low hit the longest drive on the third hole.
Lautoka Golf Club executive Raymond Singh also acknowledged
the contribution made by Vuksich & Borich, Long Run Fiji, Gecko
Trucking and David Rocher of Natadola Bay Golf Championship Golf
“Despite the trying times we are going through we managed to attract
close to 100-golfers for the one-day meet. We would like to thank all
the participants from around the country and all our sponsors for mak-
ing it a huge success.”

Hexagon Hotels Director Azam Khan with the Lautoka Golf Club
junior golfers during the Lautoka Open on December 5.



Lucrative Lautoka Open set for 2021

Maika Kasami

Lautoka Golf Club has announced a lucrative 90th edi-

tion of the Lautoka Open Championship in 2021 after the
successful completion of the 89th event this year.
LGC executive Raymond Singh made the announce-
ment during the prize presentation at the culmination of
this year’s event.
Singh proudly revealed that their sponsors like Geotech
Drilling International, Vuksich Borich and Gecko Truck-
ing have yet again promised to come on board in the New
Year with a bigger sponsorship worth $10,000.
The Lautoka Open in recent years has been attracting
professionals as well together with the amateurs.
The professionals have applauded this move as this has
greatly benefitted them playing competitively throughout
the year.
“We feel proud to announce a bigger and better 2021
Lautoka Open Championship which will be worth
“And at this juncture I must thank our sponsors for be-
lieving in us and continuously sponsoring a tournament
that has a very rich history in Fiji,” Singh said.
First played in 1931 during the Colonial Sugar Refining
era, the Open has attracted the cream of Fijian golfers,
with former World number one Vijay Singh posting back
to back wins in 1981 and 1982.
Other notable winners includes players such as Mah-
mood Buksh, Shiu Sami Naidu, Daven Gopal, Arvind
Lal, Mohammed Rafiq, Jalen Raman, Indra Warjan, Ra-
jen Goundan, VK Singh and Daniel Nair Jr.
Roneel Prakash, (left) Raymond Singh and veteran golfer
Vijay Madhavan during the Geotech/Islands Electric Lautoka
Open Champiosnhip at Lautoka Golf Club on December 5.
Photo- Maika Kasami.

Fiji PGA thanks LGC for support

Fiji PGA secretary Amitesh Chandra (left) with Lautoka Open amateur grade champion
Abid Hussein.

Maika Kasami

The Fiji Professional Golf Association (Fiji PGA) has acknowledged the continuous sup-
port shown by Lautoka Golf Club towards its members.
Speaking on behalf of the association, Secretary Amitesh Chandra said LGC has always
prioritised its members during most of the tournaments this year.
Chandra said 2020 was a challenging year for them due to the pandemic but they have man-
aged to pull through with such sponsors provided by LGC.
“We are quite fortunate to have LGC who include the professionals in most of their weekly
tournaments and in particular Raymond Singh who has always supported golfers and the Fiji
“We have 22-professionals registered members under the Fiji PGA and during the Lautoka
Open 17 of our members took part and were handsomely rewarded,” Chandra said.
The professional this year battled for the $4000 prize-money during the Geotech Drilling
International/Islands Electric Lautoka Open Championship on December 5.
Nadi based golfer Zoheer Ahmed was declared the winner grossing a 3-underparr 66 to
claim the $800 first prize-money.
He was closely contested by Tomasi Tuivuna, who had to settle for second place on 67,
followed by Chandra and Anasa Seruvatu on 70.
Sam Lee, Roneel Prakash and Taitusi Tuivuci, all grossed 71. The NTP prize on the second
hole went to Amitesh Chandra, Anasa Seruvatu on the ninth and Waisake Vati hit the longest
Meanwhile, Ahmed revealed that Singh had been supporting him since he was a junior and
took time out to thank the Islands Electric boss for his dedicated contribution towards the
upcoming players.


20 DECEMBER 2020 - JANUARY 2021


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