February 18, 2010 anaigulevu2704
The 18th February, 2010 will go down in history as an important day for my family, because my 2nd grandson was born on this day; that is to my son Jerry and his wonderful wife Sereana.
It has been proposed that he will be named after me. He will carry my full name. That is Apenisa Tuikoro Naigulevu. He will be the fourth Apenisa Tuikoro Naigulevu as far as I remember. My late brother’s elder son, who now lives in the United States, also carry this name, so there are four Apenisa Tuikoro Naigulevu in all, including my granddad who passed away several decades ago. If we allot numbers, my grandson will be registered as Apenisa Tuikoro Naigulevu IV.
I am of course named after my paternal grandfather, who was an Assistant Medical Practitioner or for short AMP. In Fijian term he was a “vuniwai” or doctor in modern terminology. My grandfather actually wanted me to join the medical profession the year I was leaving secondary school, but I was not game for one good reason; I was and still am frightened of the sight of blood that was not mine.
When I told him this, at the Princes wharf, before leaving for the islands, he was really disappointed, because I had already selected a career in the building and civil engineering field; following in the footstep of my maternal granddad. However I am always glad to know that Annette Naigulevu one of my beautiful nieces is doing medicine and going into her last year at the Fiji School of Medicine, which has been renamed recently as the National University of Fiji.
The name Naigulevu was not always our family surname. My great grandfather for instance was called Mataiasi Tuikoro and he was a Methodist Church worker in the village of Wailotua in Wainibuka, when my granddad was born, so I hear, and the village chief named him Apenisa Naigulevu. The Naigulevu family thus, exists to this day outside Wainibuka.
One step from our dads, there are four of us George, Joe, Sovea and I. George had four daughters and one son, Joe had four daughters, Sovea had two daughters and two sons, and I had two daughters and five sons. Our family is now growing again.
Our family is from the island of Koro in the Lomaiviti group. Our granddad lived there, after he retired, until his passing. We are, in Fijian tradition, members of the Yavusa Naulunivuaka, in the mataqali ‘Vusaratavuto, and the Tokatoka Vuniwi. We hail from the village of Namacu on Koro. However originally, my dad told me, our ancestors were part of the Butoni people of Bau Island; and our village used to be, where the Naulunivuaka community hall is now situated on Bau. Our ancestors were the traditional sailors of Bau. I believe we were very close kin to the Vusaradave clan, who are still on Bau Island today.
Quite apart from this aspect of our ancestry; our grand dad married Miss Kiriniyavuka Verewale of the Matavule clan in Bau, who mothered all of my grand dad’s children, until her death due to birth complications. Then my granddad remarried; this time to a lady from Sorokoba, by the name of Adi Makereta Naio Sivo.
My granddad’s mum was Adi Akesa Kuruivalu from Mavana in Vanuabalavu, and that is all I can say for the moment.
It will be interesting how, my grandson, will be referred to on a daily basis. At home I am known as Tutu, because that is how granddads are referred to, in our part of Fiji. But because the little boy is going to be named after me, nobody would be allowed to call him by his name, which is my name, traditionally speaking that is.
For instance, my dad’s relative will always call me, Tukai, Tukana, Tubuna or Yaca, because I was named after my granddad, my own name was never uttered. Likewise my grandson now, but I do not want to guess what name they will use to call this little boy. I am just eager to see him for the first time tomorrow.
His dad is right now in Port Moresby, but he is kept up to date with everything that is happening to his wife and son, thanks to the cell phones that young people carry around all the time. In the old days, if I travel abroad, I will not call home unless it was absolutely necessary. My wife agreed that I should preserve resource whilst away from Fiji. So often, I won’t know what is happening here at home nor will my family at home know what is happening to me abroad. I guess we just have to trust the creator that he is actively looking after our loved ones, at least that is true in my case
Today, it is very different because communication is much cheaper and very convenient. I remember I was in London and returning from a show, at 12 midnight on Saturday, and as we were traveling to my hotel, my host invited me to call home on his mobile phone in the car. When I called, my family was having their Sunday lunch and I got a bit home sick, just talking to my wife and my daughter Lisa. But that was a rare occasion for me.
One of my nieces, Maraia was in China some month ago, and she was able to talk freely with his dad in Santa Rosa, on Skype. Her dad told me that Maraia was listening to Radio FM 96 from Suva while in China. In this day and age I can talk to anyone, anywhere in the world thanks to Skype. My sister in Australia is still setting up her camera so that we can always talk on Skype instead of on our land lines.
Come to think of it, I wonder what communication will be like, when my grandson turns sixty-five many years hence; just as I will turn sixty-five in April this year, and am already enjoying electronic communication, unheard of when my granddad the first Apenisa Tuikoro Naigulevu turned sixty-five several years ago.
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