(Rev Dr. Kitiona Tausi)
More than one hundred guests witnessed a ceremony held this morning at David’s Drill site to open the site as a national cultural heritage. Attending the ceremony included some Cabinet Ministers, the Resident Ambassador of the Republic of China on Taiwan to Tuvalu, His Excellency Mark Su, the Funafuti Island’s Community Leader, Mr Siliga Kofe and a few other government dignitaries and staff of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Trade, Tourism, Environment and Labour, Ministry of Education and Ministry of Home Affairs and Rural Development, Class 3 and 6 of the Nauti Primary School.
The ceremony began with the normal cultural and religious tradition of having a devotion which was led by the Church Minister of the EKT Congregation at the Fa’kai Fou, Rev Ionatana Panapa. The devotion included a scripture reading, a message and a prayer of blessing. The reading was taken from the Book of Joshua, Chapter 4 and verses 6 and 7 which read:
“Go into the Jordan ahead of the Government Box of the Lord your God. Each one of you take a stone on your shoulder, one for each of the tribes of Israel. These stones will remind the people of what the Lord has done. In the future, when your children ask what these stones mean to you, you will tell them that the water of the Jordan stopped flowing when the Lord’s Covenant Box crossed the river. These stones will always remind the people of Israel of what happened here,”
Rev Panapa delivered a message of God’s might and power in stopping the flow of the water in the River Jordan when the Covenant Box crossed the river. To mark the mighty act of God in the event, Joshua instructed each one of the twelve men who were sent ahead of the Covenant Box to take twelve stones and place them in their camping place. Joshua also put 12 stones in the Jordan and instructed them to tell their children when they ask about the stones.
Rev Panapa compared this biblical event to what has happened this morning. David’s drill is now a cultural heritage and school children will question what this heritage mean. In effect they will learn that it was man’s undertaking to understand coral formation in low lying atolls like Tuvalu.
After the devotion, there were speeches by the Chief Librarian/Archivist of the Tuvalu Natioonal Library and Archive, Mr Noa Petueli Tapumanaia and the Cultural Officer, Mr Martin Vailopa. Then the cutting of the ribbon by three dignitaries; the Minister of Home Affairs (Hon Namoliki Sualiki), the Minister for Education (Hon Fauoa Maani), the Acting Minister for Foreign Affairs, Trade, Tourism, Environment and Labour (Hon MacKenzie Kiritome) and the Leader of the Funafuti Island Community (Mr Siliga Kofe).
After the cutting of the ribbon, the invited guests were invited for refreshments prepared by staff of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Trade, Tourism, Environment and Labour.
Mai I tua o te katiga o te lipine, a tino ‘kami ne ‘kamigina ki se vaiaiga tela ne fakatoka ne tino ga’lue o te Minisitulii o Maaloo ki Tua, Fakataukoloa, Tualisi, ERnivailomene mo Leipa.
While the guests were having refreshments, a group of dancers “Higano Girls” performed a few dances.
Kae koi inu inu a tino ‘kami kae ko fai a fakafiafiga ne se potukau ‘saka ‘Higano Girls’.
It was 9am Friday morning 29 June that all the Polynesian Leaders (taina Polenisia) left the main wharf on Nivaga III for their ‘RETREAT’ at Amatuku.
All PLG leaders wore the same shirts of mixed blue and white colours with black long trousers and Fijian sulus. There was a very tight security down at the main wharf from the Police Force when the leaders boarded the vessel on their way to Amatuku and even onboard. The patrol boat ‘Te Mataili followed all the way to Amatuku after the Nivaga III.
On arrival at Amatuku, the Prime Minister and wife, Deputy Prime Minister and wife and all PLG leaders, together with other Senior Government Officers boarded one of the barges and were met by a flotilla of canoes crewed by Nanumean young men and women singing beautiful songs ‘te mauluulu’ and escorted them to the wharf. The Polynesian Leaders were really impressed impressed and touched by this traditional welcoming that was accorded to them.
At the wharf, they were met by the CEO of the Tuvalu Maritime Training Institute, Capt. Teitimani Simeona, and Chief Engineer of the Institute Taimitasi Paelate and escorted the delegates to the locally built guest house located to the lagoon side of the islet.
There they were warmly welcomed by the Master of Ceremony, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, Dr. Tufoua Panapa with a welcoming speech, after which everyone was served with lovely coconut drinks of Amatuku. The leaders also signed the Institute visitors’ book.
From there, all the leaders were escorted to stand outside the ‘Malae Polenisia’ where they were given a pair of scissors each to cut the ribbons to enter the ‘Malae Polenisia to plant the coconut trees.
There were six of them planting the coconut trees; the Rt. Hon. Enele Sosene Sopoaga, and leaders from American Samoa, Samoa, Tokelau, Tonga, and Wallis and Futuna.
While planting, there was a big laughter coming from the onlookers and those witnessing the plantating of these coconut trees especially when the Master of Ceremony Dr. Panapa said, “It is very nice to see you all planting those coconuts and I am sure in years ahead when you visit again our country, you will find those coconut trees all dead.” Everyone gave a big applause after this exciting event.
Moving on from there was the unveiling of the name ‘MALAE POLENISIA’ by the Chairman of the PLG Summit, Rt. Hon. Enele Sosene Sopoaga as in the photo below.
There were also some entertainments, performed by the beautiful young girls of Amatuku.
After the unveiling of the ‘Malae Polenisia’, all the leaders moved to the Faimalaga Falekaupule to begin their RETREAT (formal work), that began with a word of prayer led by the Lieutenant Governor of American Samoa, Lemanu Mauga.
The Formal Meeting of the Polynesian Leaders began with few remarks from the Chair who said, “firstly I want to thank all staff members of the Institute for their kind hospitality in welcoming us. Thanks also to the Master of the Nivaga III and all her crew for ensuring the safe arrival of leaders on Amatuku.
As the Permanent Secretary was saying earlier on, that this islet had a particular significant. It was here that the first Secondary School for Tuvalu (Ellice Islands) those days started under the London Missionary Society (LMS) before it moved eventually to another island.
The name Amatuku has a symbolic meaning. ‘Ama’ the outrigger of the canoe, ‘tuku’ we are moving forward, that’s symbolic rather. We have to take up the battle and move forward our canoe and paddle together.
The name of this house as we can see is Faimalaga meeting hall.
Hon Faimalaga Luka was Minister of Education at the time this hall was constructed n 1994, and it means ‘to a traveller or always travel.’ “I know the Hon. Minister at that time, he used to like travelling and he could travel very, very long trip, said the Rt. Hon Prime Minister. “I know very well because I was the Permanent Secretary then of the Ministry of Education, when and I liked that Minister because we always travelled all over the world. But that’s the meaning of this hall, very symbolic, because it represents the graduates, the trainees from this school to always travel and look for money for their families.”
Excellencies, our work, we have achieved quite a lot of the past three day. We have the Climate Change ‘Sautalaga’ by PLG leaders and our experts and our officials so thank you very much, and on Thursday 28 June, we have extensive discussions on the issues that can be for the PLG attention in plenary. I want to thank you again.”
“Now I also want to acknowledge our leader Tuilaepa, Prime Minister of Samoa and his delegation, unfortunately they have left but I am sure their legs, two of the legs are still in the Polynesian Leaders’ Group. But here, we sit, we were very privileged in order to be advised of the experiences of Prime Minister Tuilaepa. I think we really should have appreciated that opportunity, so we have to give him a big clap of hands.”
‘And we also recognize, we have our colleagues and our friends from French Polynesia, from Cooks Islands, from Niue, but the spirit of their solidarity is felt amongst us and we hope for sometimes they can join our meeting. We also say on behalf of the Cabinet of Tuvalu, all the Ministers, all the leaders, all the secretaries, thank you very much for your support, your guidance and leading us through so that we have a proper arrangement and programme for the meeting of leaders.
Excellencies, we have gone through the discussions yesterday, looking at the picture of the PLG, first the membership of the members who have expressed interest to be in the group, Maori and Hawaii and others and of course we fully endorsed the admission of these Polynesian Group to the PLG Forum Group. We also look into the draft charter and agree that we perhaps come to have a look at it, the final text, the meeting in Nauru so that we can finalized the arrangements for the Secretariat, also look at the possible of funding for the Secretariat but we would like to note and welcome the assistance of the Government of Samoa to start off the work of the secretariat in Apia, Samoa with provisions provideD from sources as an interim arrangement. Those are the main procedural matters that we looked at but also endorsed and approved the Governor of American Samoa to be the Chair of the 9th PLG Summit and also Pagopago to be the venue of the 9th PLG Summit.”
So from there, the Chair of the 8th PLG Summit, Rt. Hon. Enele Sosene Sopoaga opened the floor for their comments. All the leaders went through the Declaration of Amatuku page by page before endorsing.
After endorsing the Annex of the Amatuku Declaration on Climate Change and Oceans, all leaders gave a big applause of hands for the work that have been done.
Rt. Hon. Sopoaga said, “I want on your behalf before we end our formal work to extend our sincere appreciation to all our officials, all our staff, our experts, who have been so tired, supportive to the work of PLG leaders a few days ago, but also here in Amatuku.
I want also to thank the Hon. Minister for Education for allowing our ‘RETREAT’ to take place here at Faimalaga Falekaupule here in Amatuku, not forgetting of course the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, the CEO of the Institute, and all staff members and the Maritime Trainees. Thank you all for welcoming us here in Amatuku for the programme, the planting of coconut trees and also the unveiling of the ‘Malae Polenisia’. The people of Tuvalu, the Government and all Members of Parliament have lot of pride, lot of satisfaction for your support leaders. “
Rt. Hon. Sopoaga then invited the Lt. Governor of American Samoa for his remarks.
“Thank you for the opportunity given to me. On behalf of Excellencies, Ministers, Ulu o Tokelau, and of course the Ministers from different islands of the Pacific, we thank you very much for your leadership. We appreciate your patient with us, we appreciate all the guidance and the comfort of the continuation of the leaders around the different islands of the Pacific in terms of getting our nations moving around especially during this time of the ‘Climate Change Sautalaga’, and other issues in terms of communications and transportation, Health and Education and others.
We thank you very much for that, and of course the people of Tuvalu for taking care of us, feeding us, I think too much feeding of the representatives and delegations from the different island nations. And we thank you for taking us to the other islet of Tuvalu, we appreciate the tour and especially your Excellency and islands of Tuvalu.”
There was a big laughter around the table especially when he said, “thank you and we appreciate you and the people of Tuvalu in hosting this 8th PLG Summit and we hope that next year it’s a hard thing to feel but we’ll be coming and see you, give us some payments and some money so we can do a good job, it is the same job that you have done during the 8th PLG Summit. Again we thank you and we hope that your Honourable, the Government and the people of Tuvalu have many blessings from our Heavenly Father. Faafetai.
The Chair then replied, “Malo faafetai the Governor of American Samoa. We really hear you and also we hear the expression of thanks and appreciation from the leaders of the Polynesia ‘taina Polenisia’ around the table and also who are supporting the Polynesian Leaders, those who are also not here supporting the spirit as well.”
In return to his jokes, Rt. Hon. Sopoaga said, “but for money, I think you asked the right question because we have the Deputy Prime Minister of Tuvalu, he’s the Minister of Finance and you may have heard Tuvalu’s Trust Fund under his care, he’s doing rather well. So I think the request is well timed.”
The leaders allowed the Secretariat to polish a little bit the amendments they have done, and the signing of the Amatuku Delcaration by all leaders was carried out at a dinner hosted by the Rt. Hon. Sopoaga and Madamme Salilo Sopoaga on Friday night at the ‘Toa o te Namo.’
Before proceeding for the lunch, the Chair asked the Deputy Prime Minister, Hon. Maatia Toafa to close their RETREAT (Formal Meeting) with a word of prayer.
Lunch continued from there offered by the Tuvalu Maritime Training Institute which the Prime Minister said that, “the Institute prepared the food based on the quality of International Shipping, it is not only the quality but the quantity as well.”
The Polynesian Leaders had their lunch inside the Faimalaga Falekaupule, while the rest had theirs at a tent also provided by the Institute.
After lunch was the launching of Amatuku Solar Project where the ribbon was cut by Tuvalu’s Prime Minister, Rt. Hon. Enele Sosene Sopoaga and witnessed by all the Polynesian Leaders and those present at the scene.
All the Leaders were then escorted to the Guest House before making their way down to the wharf to go to the ship. On their way down to the wharf there were women and a few young men already singing a lot of beautiful songs on the wharf.
The CEO of TMTI, Chief Engineer, staff, trainees and families were all at the wharf to bid farewell to all the Polynesian Leaders making their way down to the MV. Nivaga III.
The ship departed the islet before 3pm heading back to Fogafale and when arriving at the main wharf, there were a lot and lively songs and ‘fatele’ sung by Funafuti women who welcomed back the leaders from their RETREAT held down at Amatuku.
All the leaders were touched by the spirit of enjoyment and ‘fiafiaga’ performed by the Funafuti women who presented all the leaders with garlands and new sulus of different colours and printed on the ‘sulus’ is: The 8th PLG Summit, Tuvalu, 2018. They were also treated with coconut drinks.
In return Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Sopoaga thanked and congratulated all the Funafuti women for a lovely and wonderful welcoming back performed by them and at the same time extended the invitation for them to attend a dinner party that evening at the ‘Toa ote Namo.’
Lieutenant Governor of American Samoa, Lemanu Mauga, represented on behalf of all the leaders to thank the Funafuti women for such a wonderful welcoming performance staged by them down at the main wharf.
KMT News personnel who were at the RETREAT from the beginning to the end, witnessed it as a very successful one. The leaders really enjoyed themselves and even those who had passes to join the RETREAT down at Amatuku islet.
The RETREAT would be of good memories of the 8th PLG Summit hosted by Tuvalu and would never be forgotten in the hearts and minds of all Tuvaluans. YES, Tuvalu you are very small in land areas, but very big deep in our hearts. Actions are important than words.
The 2018 Polynesian Leaders Group Summit was hosted by Tuvalu on Thursday, 28 June 2018. It was also opened by the Governor General, Sir Iakoba Italeli Taeia at the Talimalie II on Funafuti.
Before the opening address delivered by His Excellency the Governor General, as usual and in line with Polynesian culture, The President of the Mainline Christian Church in Tuvalu, Rev Penitusi Taeia was given the opportunity to conduct the devotion. He reflected on the Gospel of Luke chapter 2 which is the narrative concerning the Birth of Christ.”
He said, “to find the realities and fullness of life, we turn to the context of the Galilean Jesus to see how he reacted and resisted the empire. Domination for Jesus is most unacceptable and a blashphemy.
“In the living tradition of Jesus, to know and to love God is to resist and overcome the empire.” In his message he challenged the PLG delegates as to “when are we prepared conditions of those who continue to dominate.
In his opening speech, His Excellency, Governor Iakoba Taeia welcomed all the delegates and especially the Hono Prime Minister of Samoa and his delegation, who arrived on Wednesday on a special Air Samoa flight despite the fact that he had conveyed his apology for not attending due to other circumstances, but in fact he did turn up, it is to “show his commitment to the cause of Polynesia’, said His Excellency.
His Excellency again reminded the PLG about the initial formation of this PLG dated back to 2011. He said the formation of such a group was “based on our aspirations to:
“Encourage sharing of knowledge and experiences, in awareness and education to promote and protect cultures, traditions and languages;
“Encourage respect for the quality of governance, observance of democratic values and human rights, the rule of law, and support the right for self-determination; and
“Encourage the strengthening of connections with institutions, regional and international cooperation.”
The theme for this year’s PLG meeting is “ Polynesian Connection” Taina Faka-Polinesia or The Polynesian Brotherhood of Sisterhood.
The Governor General proceeded to explain the summit’s logo:
“The logo a special bird called the Tavakelau known locally as an early riser to head long distances over the sea to fish. The bird will not return until it has caught enough and some return even at ightfall where the distinct sound they make provide quidance on the direction of land for fishmaen to head back.”
Returning t the issue of climate change, he said “We know of the main threat of climate change in our sautalaga over the last two days. It is affecting our very survival.”
He continued by saying, “Our oceans and waters our livelihood. The Pacific Ocean, which we ae all part of, covers 30 percent of the Earths’s surface, making it the largest water mass on the planet – larger than the land
mass of all the continents combined, Our oceans are inextricably and relationallly linked to the oceans. Our languages, cultures, tradittions, beliefs, survival and sustainability depend on the oceans. We are the oceans and the ocean is us. As a major source of carbn sink, we need to protect and preserve it.”
With pleasure and strong sense of optimism, His Excellency finally declare the 8th Ploymesia Leaders Group Summit open.
The Prime Minister, Rt Hon Enele S. Sopoaga addressing the Vaitupu and the Nanumaga communitie during the entertainment programme for the opening of the Polynesian Group Leaders Climate Change Sautalaga
(Rev Dr. Kitiona Tausi)
After welcoming the participants from Polynesian countries to the Polyensian Leaders Group Climate Change Sautalaga on Tuesday, 26 June 2018 at the Kainaki II Falekaupule, the Governor General, His Excellency Iakoba
Taeia Italeli honored their arrival in Tuvalu and their participation in this ‘saulataga’ which he said could be an ‘eye opener to the vulnerabilities faced by Polynesia countries. like Tuvalu, to the impacts of climate changes.”
He also said, Coral atoll nations like our own are really at the frontline of the impacts. Our oceans and coastlines are our livelihoods and the centre of our culture.
Before concluding his speech, the Governor General suggested an item for the list of recommendations from this ‘sautalaga’. He suggested ‘that this meeting could recommend that Tuvalu establish a Centre of Excellence on Coral Atoll Adaptation. Such a Centre would allow us to share our experience and create opportunities for scientists, engineers, community adaptation experts to come and study here and share their experiences.”
This ‘sautalaga’ will enable the secretariat of the session to draft a Polynesia Leaders Declaration on Climate Change and Oceans that has been presented to the Polynesian Leaders Group meeting on Thursday last week.
Tuvalu has also the opportunity for the attendance of two very important persons in line with the Green Climate fund, Ms Espinos and Ms Daiane MaCFadzien, the Polynesian representative from the Cook Islands at the GCF Secretariat.
(L-R): The Prime Minister, Rt Hon Enele S. Sopoaga, the Governor General, His Excellency, Iakoba T. Italeli and the Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC, Ms Patricia Espinosa during the opening
(Rev Dr. Kitiona Tausi)
The 8th Polynesia Leaders’ Group Summit was opened on Tuesday afternoon, 26 June 2016 at the Kainakai II Felakaupule. The summit was opened by Tuvalu’s Governor General, His Excellency Iakoba Italelei Taeia. The opening Ceremony began with a gospel message and then a prayer by the President of the Ekalesia Kelisiano Tuvalu, Rev Penitusi Taeia and then the Governor General delivered the opening address.
After the Governor General delivered the opening remarks, then Ms Espinosa delivered her remarks.
In the evening, there was dinner at the new extension at the government’s main office building followed by live dancing entertainment provided by two island communities, Nanumaga and Vaitupu.
A MORE COMPREHENSIVE REPORT OF THE OPENING REMARKS BY THE GOVERNOR GENERAL AND OTHER PROCEEDINGS WILL APPEAR IN THE NEXT ISSUE OF KMT NEWS
ON MONDAY, 02 JULY 2018
(Rev Dr. Kitiona Tausi)
The rest of the delegates to the Polynesia Leaders Group Summit finally arrived in Tuvalu on Tuesday, 26 June 2018. In all there were 9 Polynesian countries who were represented at this meeting.
After they were being met by government liaison officers at the airport, the delegates were escorted to the Vaiaku Falekaupule for the formal welcome ceremony.
In te Falekaupule, government dignitaries were already present including His Excellency, the Governor General and his wife, the Hon Prime Minister and his wife, the Speaker of the House of Parliament, Cabinet Ministers, Miss Tuvalu, EKT President and the Funafuti Island Community’s dancing group and others.
9 Polynesian countries gathered in Funafuti, Tuvalu’s capital to discuss issues that are pertinent to the well-beings of their region. This gathering is the 8th Polynesian leaders group and this meeting started on 26 June and ends today, Friday, 29 June 2018.
Overseas delegates including representatives from other Pacific agencies including the Ambassadors of New Zealand, Australia and Japan to Tuvalu were also in attendance and started arriving in Tuvalu on Saturday, 23 June 2018.
Air Fiji flight on Saturday bringing in the first delegate to arrive was delayed by about 30 minutes and Cabinet ministers and government and local dignitaries were already assembled in the Vaiaku Falekaupule to await the arrival of the overseas delegates.
Also in the Vaiaku Falekaupule were the dancing group from the Funafuti Island Community who were also waiting for the arrival of the overseas delegates as they will be providing the welcome entertainment of local dancing. The group was really anticipating the arrival of the delegates and were more than ready to perform.
Also outside the Vaiaku Falekaupule were members of the public who would like also to witness the welcoming ceremony and police were all around the hall to provide the security.
As the final moment has now arrived, the Fiji Air plane touched down about just after 12 noon and government officers who had been assigned to meet them outside the plane proceeded to the plane.
The first arrival were escorted to the Vaiaku Falekaupule where they were traditionally received and welcomed by government officials including His Excellency the Governor-General and his spouse, the Rt. Hon Prime Minister and his good lady and the dancing group from the Funafuti Island community.
In the falekaupule, they were welcomed with local dancing performed by the Funafuti Dancing Group.
After e performance of three items, the Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs, Trade, Tourism, Environment and Labour, Hon MacKenzie Kiritome formally welcomed the first arrivals of delegates to Tuvalu and that was the end of the welcoming ceremony.
In the evening, there was no programme and the delegates had a free evening.
The next day, Sunday, there was also no programme but in the afternoon there was lunch at the te Niu Fakamauganiu and the delegates were joined in by the Head of State and his spouse and Cabinet Ministers, MPs and government dignitaries.
The Vaiaku Choir was invited to provide hymn entertainment while lunch was on.
Participants to the TANGO Forum on Climate Change Induced Migration
(Rev Dr. Kitiona Tausi)
The Prime Minister, Rt Hon. Enele Sosene Sopoaga has confirmed to the nation through his statement addressing the participants to TANGO’s Climate Induced Migration Forum which was held in Funafuti on 12 – 13 June 2018 which was broadcasted live on Radio Tuvalu. He said ‘Tuvalu has no plan to be relocated in the case of climate change, but we have to continue working and develop Tuvalu to ensure that our people live in great prosperity and in security and peace.”
Tuvalu is in the forefront in the fight against the impacts of climate change taking into accounts its smallness and vulnerability.
Rt Hon Sopoaga and Mr Tong are called twin brothers and champion in advocacy works on climate change.
The title of the forum was ‘Climate – Induced Migration Forum and the Rt Hon Sopoaga suggested a change to include change after climate thus, the name is now “Climate Change-Induced Migration Forum” which will make the forum more relevant to the current issue of climate change.
The forum was made possible by the Tuvalu Association of Non-Governmental Organization (TANGO) who also coordinated the forum’s programme. Rt. Hon Sopoaga commented that ‘this forum is like a warming up meeting before the Polynesian Leaders Group Summit which will also have climate change as its main issue for dialogue.
There were presentations delivered by presenters on respective topics. H.E. Anote Tong delivered the keynote address. Emele Duituturaga, PIANGO’s Executive Director presented on ‘Climate-Induced Migration from a CSO Perspective. The Senior Magistrate, Simon Kofe delved on the topic of “Implications of Climate Change of Statehood”. USP Centre Director, Dr. Rosiana Lagi talked on “The Future of Traditional Knowledge.
Ms Peptua Latasi, the Director of ‘Climate Change Policy and Disaster Coordination Unit’ presented a paper on the “Loss and Damage – From UNFCCC to Tuvalu and TANGO Coordinator, Maina Talia talked on the ‘Non-Economic Loss and Damage. Netani Rika, Programme Secretary for Communications of the Pacific Conference of Churches presented a paper on “Migration from an Ecumenical Perspective”
The General Secretary of EKT, Rev Tafue Lusama presented a paper on “The Role of the Church/Migration” while Dr Tapugao Falefou, the Secretary for the Ministry of Communication and Transport, presented the issue of “Identity and Sovereignty”.
The participants to the forum were island community leaders, representatives from members of TANGO, CSO, the private sectors and governments.
KMT NEWS WILL PUBLISH SPECIAL ISSUES ON SATURDAY, 23 JUNE, MONDAY 25 – FRIDAY, 29 JUNE 2018 SPECIALLY TO COVER THE POLYNESIAN LEADERS’ GROUP SUMMIT
(Ms Afasene Iosefa)
It was in the evening of Tuesday, 21 June when Tuvalu saw the ‘talanoa session’ in the Marketing Programme of the Tuvalu USP Campus.
USP Campus Director Dr. Lagi said, “this special session had the school leavers from all the island communities attended.
The USP Tuvalu Centre requested our students’ leaders to go to their communities and invite at least five school leavers or more to come to the session.
During this session. There were presentations on courses and programmes and their alignment with whatever their future career they intend to do. Students were able to discuss on their respective options for studies with USP staff.
Dr. Lagi said it is the USP’s responsibilities to market its program and courses to provide encouragement to Tuvaluans to educate themselves in order to have a well-educated and marketable workforce.
Vaitupu 7’s rugby team, Tofaga Rangers, declared winner of the 2018 Queen’s Birthday Rugby Tournament after winning the grand-final against Lakena Knights of Nanumea, that was held yesterday afternoon at the Tuvalu Sportsground.
The tournament was proudly sponsored by Edwin Food City Store owned by Mr. Mohammad Abdullah.
Less than five minutes into the first half of the game Waisea from Tofaga Rangers touched the ground for the first try of the match with 5 points on the board for his team with unsuccessful conversion from Lofeagai Bici.
Not long after the first try, Mr. Bici, again from Tofaga Rangers added another try and this time conversion was successful from Mr. Bici. The score was then 12 points in favour of Tofaga Rangers.
Lakena Knights tried its very best to score a try but Tofaga Rangers never gave up, its defence was very strong leaving its opponent nil in the first half.
Both teams entered the second half of the game and Tofaga Rangers scored another try from Joe Willy and converted again by Mr. Bici with 7 points.
Few minutes left into full time, Lutelu from Tofaga Rangers managed to score the last try of the match and conversion was unlucky from Mr. Bici with 5 points.
The score at full time was 24 points in favour of Tofaga Rangers and nil for Lakena Knights.
Lakena Knights did its very best but because of so many handling errors and plus the lack of fitness among the players resulted its defeat in the grand-final of the game.
Prior to the grand-final was the play-off between Tamanuku Eagles and Nauti in which the Tamanuku Eagles won by 20 points to nil.
The Sportsground was fully packed with fans and spectators cheering for their favourites teams.
The presentation of prizes to the winners commenced straight after the grand-final which were presented by Satar on behalf of the sponsor.
The 2018 Champ of the Queen’s Birthday 7’s Rugby Tournament, Tofaga Rangers, was presented with a golden trophy and a cash prize of five hundred dollars which were received by its captain, Mr. Joe Willy.
The first runner up, Lakena Knights, was presented with a silver trophy and a cash prize of three hundred dollars and were received by its captain.
The prize for the second runner up went to the Tamanuku Eagles of Nukufetau with two hundred dollar-cash prize and was received by its captain Mr. Binesh Ielemia.
The top try scorer went to Waisea of Tofaga Rangers who scored ten tries and he received a fifty-dollar prize money.
Joe Willy also from Tofaga Rangers was named man of the match and he received a small trophy and a cash prize of fifty dollars.
Representing on behalf of the Tuvalu Rugby Union, Mr. Peteli Paulo firstly conveyed a very big thank you to the sponsor ‘Edwin Food City Store’, for fully supporting the one-day tournament which ended successfully.
He also thanked every participating team who took part in the game, hoping to write up a report on this tournament and present it to all the teams in the near future.
Mr. Paulo said, “The report will be based on what they have learnt from this tournament. Another tournament will be coming up shortly after the Polynesian Leaders Group Summit, and this will be announced so that every team would be aware of.”
Before they dispersed, Melei Telavi stood up on behalf of Lakena Knights to congratulate its opponent Tofaga Blues for its victory and also wished them good luck in games ahead.
Beside that Mr. Telavi also made an appeal to the committee to make sure every team is aware of any tournaments.
“Let every team knows the tournament at one time and not just announced to one or two teams only leaving the others to know at the very last minute. Like our defeat this time, I am sure we were not fit because we had not enough time to train for this tournament, and I truly appeal to the TRU Committee to treat the teams fairly in announcements of future games.”
In return, Mr. Paulo again thanked all the participants and said the TRU committee will look into the appeal brought up by the Lakena Knights for the betterment of all rugby tournaments in the future.
The presentation ceremony ended up with three cheers from all the participating teams and those present at the scene.