Letters to the Editor – Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Jerry Tuwai attemps tro steal the ball against France in 3rd place playoff during the Sydney Sevens on Sunday. Picture: TRYSPORTIMAGES

We need big, powerful men

A big request to the selectors of the Fiji men’s 7s team. Please look for bigger physical, robust and powerful men who can compete in rucks and mauls and win turnovers and break the opposition defence. The current team is so full of small and lean players. There is an abundance of bigger players in Fiji in the likes of Army, Police and Tabadamu. Sevens commentator Rob Vickerman used to compliment the Fiji men’s 7s team as the kings of turnovers. We have lost that now because of the choice of the selectors. My plea, please select some big players. Malakai Naduva Malau Rd, Labasa

7s evolution

Watching all the games of the World Rugby 7s series, one can only gape in awe at the great evolution in the shortened version of the rugby games. Seeing the once giants of 7s rugby run to the wire by the once so called minnows of the game is an indication that the game has evolved so much. Younger and much more versatile players are coming up in all teams while players who have been around for some time have been relegated to the bench, or are retiring from the 7s game. I firmly believe that is where our national team’s weaknesses lie, when they continue to play the so-called work horses ahead of the young and energetic players. No offence, but I believe those who have been around for some time need to think of leaving the 7s game once and for all to make way for the upcoming players. Just my 2 cents observation… all the best Fiji 7s! SOWANI VITO, Nailuva Village, Ra

Letter writers

Two prolific letter writers, recently departed for the spiritual realm, leaving us much poorer but wiser, in this 2D material world. Their regular and much read letters, covered various topical issues, usually with light-hearted banter, even if they were doped — serious. We’ll now just have to soldier on and continue writing letters, to try and shorten that long pipeline, so that we can feel much better. Remember to keep within, the boundary in your letters, or it will end up in the waste-bin, right next to the Editor! Moce mada Allen and Simon, till we kaila again, in that new morning. Edward Blakelock Pacific Harbour

National anthem

Our national anthem has two versions, one in English lyrics and the other in iTaukei. The countries that always sing their two national anthems are New Zealand, South Africa and France. They are sung in Maori/ English, Afrikaans/ English and French / English versions. The versions are so touching and inspiring to hear because they reflect the originality of the nations being represented. What is happening to Fiji’s? Samu Silatolu Nakasi

What a man!

WHAT a man in Pene Baleinabuli to “gracefully accept the government’s decision” on the discontinuation of his civil service contract. Mr Baleinabuli has shown others the way of acceptance and maturity to understand the collective decision of a new government. Perhaps his quality to accept the PSC’s restructure process can be a lesson to others. Mr Baleinabuli was our school principal (RIP Mr Singh) and teachers’ favourite student when we were in boarding school up on the hills of Delana, Ovalau. Mr Baleinabuli I believe our OB Epeli Uluiviti will be proud of you, hehe! Indeed there are more positive opportunities outside of the civil service OB. Thine be the glory and all the best Mr Baleinabuli. AREKI DAWAI Suva

Expressing opinions

Some letter writers who had to leave their job or were told to leave because their employers didn’t allow them to write against the previous government or were not happy due to other reasons associated with their writings, should be remembered. No one should be stopped from expressing their views especially on national matters unless it’s not factual or can create some great disturbance to people or the nation. Kirti Patel Lautoka

The debris

The newly-elected government started with some very unhealthy consensus but is now beginning to steadily and transparently steer its way through the “debris” left behind by the FFP. The most critical hurdle is the financial disarray with a $10billion debt. It is mesmerising to visualise the maturity that has been displayed by our Prime Minister, reinforced by his deputies and the rest of his Cabinet. After 16 years of not seeing even a glimpse of such administration, we are so hopeful that democracy has been restored. God bless Fiji and Mr Rabuka. Samu Silatolu Nakasi

New name

While I respect the choice made by the FRU in referring this exercise to the Ministry of iTaukei Affairs, I would love to see if Fiji rugby fans are also given the opportunity to have their say on the proper new name for our women’s Super-15 rugby team, since, the name Drua is more inclined or a name synonymous to a men’s team when we hear it according to your FT 23/01/23. After all, without the support of its fans, there will be no team as we both complement each other, fans and team! FRU can hold a national competition and winners can be rewarded with prizes, just like any normal competition which are promoted by our business communities and even during the proposed new flag design by the FFP-led government in 2016? There is still time left and if the FRU acting CEO is reading this letter or his board, I hope you will take into consideration a view of a Fiji rugby die-hard fan, since you still have time to launch the new name not until your April AGM, if I’m correct. We have February and March to do that name search competition? JIOJI M CAKACAKA, Tadra, Votualevu, Nadi

Tributes pour in

Tributes keep pouring in for our late prominent letter writer, philanthropist and a gentle giant who was a heart throb for the many less fortunate in our society. Allen Lockington, you will always be remembered for your countless dedicated humanitarian work in the Western Division especially during COVID-19. Thank you Editor-in-chief Fred Wesley for dedicating the LTE column towards Allen minus the memory loss contributor Jan Nissar (FT 25/1). You were an inspiration for so many and I totally agree with Alipeti Tuberi of Suva that during Fiji’s 50th Independence Anniversary our nation’s leaders failed to acknowledge Allen. Having met Allen on many occasions, the topics were mainly based on charity work. I am proud to say that alongside Allen, the then NGO Friend director, Sashi Kiran now MP were both chief guests of my donation towards WOWS Kids Fiji. The last two meetings with Allen was at the 91st edition of the Lautoka Golf Club Open last November, and finally during the PAP/NFP joint election campaign rally at the RSL Hotel in Lautoka in December, 2022 leading up to the General Election. Rest in peace, Sir Allen Lockington, your most deserving high seat is in heaven above. Raymond Singh Golf Links, Lautoka

Fijian spirit

The Fiji Times news (30/1) with the picture of an evacuation centre in Auckland “Fijian spirit unites NZ flood victims” (FT 29/1, Picture: Valda Hazelman) touches the hearts of many who understand the Fijians to assist or rescue those who desperately need help in nature disasters. Sometimes we do have differences among us but in disasters we forgive, forget and unite with our neighbours, friends and loved ones to face disasters and work patiently. Unity with manpower is needed most. As human beings we have responsibilities to help one another. We Fijians are traditionally inherited with our customary and cultural ways of care and share that unites us even more in Fiji’s diverse society. Have patience in disaster and love thy neighbour. Tahir Ali Hamilton, New Zealand

An idea

If it hasn’t already been suggested, may I respectfully put forward an idea to honour the work of Allen Lockington. If his family is agreeable, perhaps consideration could be given to setting up the Allen Lockington Community Service Award to be given once a year to a person, group or organisation warranting recognition for their outstanding work and service to the community. While Allen himself would most certainly make light of it with a wise crack remark, it would be one way of paying tribute and honouring a special human being and continuing the legacy he and his band of amazing volunteers have started. Vinaka vakalevu. Colin Deoki Australia

FNPF pension

I fully support Meli Matanatoto’s letter. The Government should restore the FNPF pension of those whose pensions were reduced by 50% in 2012. Maybe very few are surviving. Paras Naidu Lautoka

Tough week

Last week was tough, with news of Unkol passing away, trying to absorb the shock and process the grief. Many memories of us two on the road. Specially your jokes which made us kaila.You were a real king of your own castle. Miss you yaar! Moce mada Unkol! Navneet Ram (TD) Lautoka

PIF unity

Kiribati is back in the Pacific Islands Forum. The entire Pacific is better for it. Utmost thanks to our PM Sitiveni Rabuka and our coalition government for making it happen. Making things happen. To all the detractors of our coalition government, this is how you get it done. In weeks. MANOJ LAL Patel Lautoka

100 days

Can the Government put the road conditions as part of the first 100-day priority list? The potholes are so big in many roads in Lautoka and I am sure if PWD was in operation they would have at least filled up those potholes temporarily. M N Naidu Rd is in a bad state and vehicles can have accidents while avoiding potholes. Geoffrey Chand Lautoka

In his memory

A statue of late uncle Allen hugging one of the trees at Shirley Park in Lautoka would honour his legacy. Edward Kumar Lautoka

A mark of respect

As a mark of respect and honour for the many lives the late Allen Lockington touched, can we consider rebranding the Churchill Park Pavilion number 1 to Sir Allen Lockington Pavilion? This will allow all of us gathering for matches to always remember him for everything and moments he touched the many thousand lives. Vinaka can we start the talanoa and veilomani? Shalwyn Prasad Nabua, Suva

Like kites

The news of some of the high flying officials from the previous government being relieved of their lofty positions reminds me of childhood kite flying days in Suva when we used to kaila ‘kadam!’ when a high flying fancy kite got cut and disappeared. Rajend Naidu Sydney, Australia

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