(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.

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David’s Drill Site under cultural protection/ Te Vili a Tavita ko Puipuigina

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:

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“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.

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Class 6 of the Nauti Primary School
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Class 3 of the Nauti Primary School

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).

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The cutting of the ribbon/Katiga o te lipine

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.

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Staff of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Trade, Tourism, Environment and Labour posing for a photo

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’.

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Higano girls performing


(Rev Dr. Kitiona Tausi)

More than a hundred people, young and old took part in a Yoga session conducted by a Yoga Teacher, Renuka Pala from the ART OF LIVING Organization of India. Ms Pala was here in Tuvalu this week as part of the celebration of the Yoga’s International Day.

Ms Pala was sponsored by the Indian High Commission in Fiji and she is also based in Fiji.

Last Wednesday evening, she conducted a yoga session for anybody that was interested in, and more than hundred Tuvaluans, young and old participated in the session which was held at the Vaiaku Falekaupule. She was very impressed with the attendance she could feel the enthusiasm of those who participated. She said this was her first visit to Tuvalu and she hopes she can get another opportunity to come back.

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Participants at the yoga session at the Vaiaku Falekaupule

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The ultimate goal of Yoga is moksha (liberation), although the exact definition of what form this takes depends on the philosophical or theological system with which it is conjugated.

According to Jacobsen, “Yoga has five principal meanings: Yoga, as a disciplined method for attaining a goal;

  1. Yoga, as techniques of controlling the body and the mind;
  2. Yoga, as a name of one of the schools or systems of philosophy (darśana);
  3. Yoga, in connection with other words, such as “hatha-, mantra-, and laya-,” referring to traditions specializing in particular techniques of yoga;
  4. Yoga, as the goal of Yoga practice.” according to David Gordon White, from the 5th century CE onward, the core principles of “yoga” were more or less in place, and variations of these principles developed in various forms over time.
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Yoga Teacher, Ms Renuka Pala


(Rev Dr. Kitiona Tausi)

The Nauti Primary School held its 2018 Sports Day on Friday last week. There were 4 teams competing in the sports events. The sports day started in the morning with the teams marching in to the field and were all in their respective uniforms.

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 The teams were named after the birds: Heron, Seagull, Frigate, Pidgeon. At the end of the day, KMT News received a report that the Team that won the events was Heron, followed by Seagull, then Frigate and Pidgeon came last.

The number of students at the Nauti Primary school totaled to over 800 and about 40 teachers serving at the school and three of them are Fijians.


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Nanumea Community dancing group performing at the Vaiaku Falekaupule in celebration of the 2018’s Queen Birthday. Two island communities performing this evening, the other community was the Nui community

(Rev Dr. Kitiona Tausi)

Tuvalu commemorated the 2018’s Queen Birthday last Saturday, 16 June 2018. Because of bad weather, the program had to be adjusted and thus the parade used to be staged by the Police Force was cancelled and the program had to be done indoor at the Vaiaku Falekaupule.

Al the invited guests especially government dignitaries, representatives from island communities. non-governmental organizations, private sectors, religious bodies were at the hall waiting for the arrival of His Excellency the Governor-General, Sir Iakoba Taeia Italeli and Madame Italeli and the Rt Hon. Prime Minister, Enele Sosene Sopoaga and on arrival at the hall the program immediately began with a message and prayer from the President of the Ekalesia Kelisiano Tuvalu, Rev Penitusi Taeia and then a speech from the Governor General.

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Nui island community performing

In fact, this year is the 92nd birthday of Queen Elizabeth the Second and her 66th year of reign. “The longevity of her life and her reign is an indication of success and a blessed reign, said His Excellency, Sir Taeia. Every year we celebrate the Queen’s Birthday in the month of June and this confirms the cordial and warm relationship between Tuvalu and England and her Majesty the Queen.”

“In April this year, the Rt Hon Prime Minister in his recent visit to London, had the opportunity to meet with the Duke of Manchester, Prince William. Prince William told the Rt. Hon Sopoaga that the Queen used to tell them about her joy, appreciation and fond memories of Tuvalu and especially when she had the opportunity to visit Tuvalu in 1982.”

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The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Hon Maatia Toafa in action and joining his community’s dancing group to boost the momentum of the dance.

In his speech, the Governor General wanted to acknowledge those who have brought us to where we are now through hard and difficult times and especially lack of resources. Tuvaluans and our nation were being blessed. “Now, we are witnessing with our own eyes the realization of their dreams and the fruits of their works.

“We have the belief that the realization of these dreams and works was a result of good working relationship between Tuvalu and our friends from abroad. The strengthening of this relationship can only be achieved through trust and confidence.”

The Governor General also highlighted the threats being posed by the impacts of climate change and that Tuvalu should well be protected from these impacts. “Protection from the impacts of climate change is synonymous with the protection from terrorism,” said the Governor General.

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The Governor General in action, also to boost the momentum of the dance. His Excellency belongs to this community

The Governor General also made mention of the upcoming Polynesian Leaders’ Meeting to be held here in Funafuti, and that “we are expecting the leaders to sign a declaration that will encourage Pacific leaders to support the 1.5 degree Celsius as accorded in the Paris Agreement.”

“In concluding, I would like to congratulate our leaders, the Rt Hon. Prime Minister and his Cabinet for continuing to work hard and lobbying for the protection of our rights as a nation and its people in international meetings and specially to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases and the impacts of climate change.”

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Another round for the Nanumea community and you can notice that there were some invited guests who felt the excitement of the dance joined in the dancing. The invited guests included the same guests who were invited to the morning celebration at the Vaiaku Falekaupule In the photo, right in the foreground was the Speaker of Parliament, Hon Otinielu Tauteleimalae Tausi and his wife.

After the Governor’s speech, refreshment followed and that was all for the day. In the evening, the Governor General hosted a dinner at the Funafuti Lagoon Hotel and then local dancing entertainment provided by the Nanumea and the Nui Community followed at the Vaiaku Falekaupule.

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(The Nui dancing group to their performance putting extra effort and were getting more excited)

The Nui community on the capital has a lesser population than the Nanumea community, but in this evening’s performance, it looked as the Nui dancing group had a bigger number. Some of the Nui’s items Nui were in the Nui/Kiribati language.

While the Nui community performed as in the above picture, the Nanumea community dancing group watched the performance. The invited guests were also watching the performance.

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(Guests on chairs watching the performance)

This year’s Queen Birthday celebrations was also witnessed by two Tuvalu High Commissioners serving overseas; His Excellency, Temate Melitiana, Tuvalu’s High Commissioner to Fiji and His Excellency, Paulson Panapa, Tuvalu’s High Commissioner to New Zealand. The two High Commissioners are here at the invitation of government to participate in the Polynesian Leaders’ Group Meeting (PLGM) due to be held next week.

The two High Commissioners were accompanied to Tuvalu by their wives and they will return to their respective posts after the meeting.




The Nui community presented themselves to the Nanumaga community, in the normal, cultural introductory manner of a dance

(Rec Dr. Kitiona Tausi)
I was at dawn n Monday, 19 March when the Nanumaga Community assembling at the site of its new community hall still under construction when the new community well dressed up raided the camp of the Nanumaga community for a cultural presentation of gifts designated to help the Nanumaga Community in their work. In fact the raid was not at all a war raid but a raid of love presented in the cultural form of dancing.
Fir the past four weeks, the Nanumaga community on the capital, Funafuti behgan wotk on the building of is new community hall. The old community hall has to be demolished to allow room for the new hall. In community works like this, communities that have some kinds of relationship or attachments to that community, there is always a culturaL presentation of gifts and this what happened with the Nui Community.
The Nui and the Nanumaga Islands have historical link back to the colonial times and before the Japanese conquered Tarawa during the the Second Work War. This relationship emanated from the close relationship between the nui and the Nanumaga community of laborers while working for the British Phosphate Commission on Ocean Island or Banaba. That relationship continued from then on up to now. So whenever a kind of big work like this or a big function, the two communities normally come close to each other by means of gifts presentation.

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Food items presented by the Nui Community

The Nui community came dancing and joyful and they were well received by the Nanumaga community at the work site. They presented an ‘alofa’ meaning a gift and the gift consisted of imported food such as rice, biscuit, sugar, frozen chicken quarter legs, packets of tea, milk powder and other smaller items’


Esthers of Nanumaga presenting a traditional gift presentation to the Nanumaga community on the capital at the site of the work

(Rev Dr. Kitiona Tausi)
Esthers of Nanumaga are those Nanumaga women who have been taken away by men from other islands in Tuvalu in marriage. I am sure they have not completely renounced their membership of their beautiful birthplace have decided to follow the footsteps of Queen Esther in the Bible, to help her fellow Jews to escape an evil plan to annihilate the Jews. But for these Esthers of Nanumaga they came to support their birth community, Nanumaga on the building of a new community hall on the capital.

Their gifts included foodstuff of rice and sugar and freezer goods like chicken quarter legs and smaller items, all from the shops.

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Today is the beginning of the third week since the start of the work and yesterday, 4 inner columns have been filled with cement and today, 4 more inner columns have been erected and ready to be filled with cement


(Rev Dr. Kitiona Taui)
Although dogs are pet animals, but without masters they can be a nuisance to public security and can also a domestic blessing. It is a nuisance when they harm people and it can be a blessing when they are means of home security, helping families to ward off night intruders. On the capital, dogs are danger to plane landing and taking off. There have been incidences in the past when planes coming down to land and had to return to airborne because of dogs roaming in the runway.
One past government had tried to eliminate dogs but had not been successful. In the meantime the Funafuti Kaupule is making another attempt with the assistance of the government allocating some funds to the Funafuti Kaupule and also dispatching the police officers to assist in the hunt for stray dogs.
The Secretary of the Funafuti Kaupule, Rev Taualo Penivao has confirmed that up tp now, the Kaupule has slaughtered about 300 dogs and they are still continuing the hunt for stray dogs.. He said the Kaupule has offered prices of $50.00 for a female dog, $40.00 for a male dog and $30.00 for a young dog to any person turning in a dog.

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Secretary Rev Taualo Penivao on the right and Iosia Apelu, a member of the community.


Faihouloto II before it was demolished

(Rev. Dr Kitiona Tausi)

The Nanumaga community on Funafuti flashed back their memories thirty two years back when they got together on Tuesday morning, 27 February at the hall to say farewell to it before it has to be demolished that same morning. It was 5.00am in the morning when members of the community gathered for a special morning devotion for that occasion.

It may not be a sad moment for some of the communities but it was for some, especially those who were involved in the work of the Faihouloto II Community Hall in 1985-1986. The building as it stood before demolition still had a very strong concrete structure, but it had to be demolished because it can no longer accommodate the current members of the community, which in fact had doubled.

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After the first day of work
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After the second day of work

The carpenter of the work, Mr. Tapa Sione said that the work could take 3-4 months and it could be earlier than that. This all depends on the efforts and the time commitment of the young men and young girls of Nanumaga.


(Rev Dr. Kitiona Tausi)

The Project Manager for the “Outer Islands Maritime Infrastructure Workboat Harbour”, Mr Vete Sakaio confirmed to KMT News that the landing ramps on the islands of Nanumaga and Niutao will be re-constructed soon. Mr Sakaio said that the company that won the contract to construct the work boat harbour at Nukulaelae will also construct these ramps and construction works to begin sometimes in the middle of this year, 2018.

The ramps that were destroyed by Cyclone Pam I te 2015 had been very convenient in the unloading and loading of cargoes from the workboats to the shore and from the shore to the workboats. These ramps were requested by the communities of these two island to re-build and was approved by government.

Mr Sakaio said that works on these two ramps will be carried out once the employees of the company and their equipment and materials arrive in Tuvalu sometimes in May this year. The company will first deliver their machineries, equipment and materials to Nukulaelae and then it will send two teams of workers to Nanumaga and Niutao to begin works on the ramps. The works may take about 2 weeks.

3 issue harbour2.jpgThe site of the landing ramp at Nanumaga that was destroyed by Cyclone Pam in 2015.
Te tulaga o te sameni tau pooti i Nanumaga tela ne ofagina ne te Cayclone Pam i te 2015.