Monday, August 25, 2008

Adi Mei passes away

Adi Mei passes away
ROBERT MATAU - Tuesday, August 26, 2008
THE eldest daughter of Fiji's first President, the late Ratu Sir Penaia Ganilau, has passed away.
Adi Mei Torika Kainona Gauna, eldest in a family of seven, passed away after suffering from a long illness. Adi Mei was a former member of the Soqosoqo Vakamarama, the Cakaudrove Provincial Council and a former announcer at Radio Fiji.
She passed away at her sister, Adi Sivo Ganilau's home at Waila near Nausori.
Adi Mei's younger brother and second eldest of Ratu Sir Penaia's children, Ratu Epeli Ganilau, the interim Defence Minister said his sister had always been a close friend and a tower of strength in their family.
Ratu Sir Penaia had seven children from his first marriage to Adi Laisa Delaisomosomo Ganilau who hailed from the Nabaubau clan of Bau Island.
Ratu Sir Penaia was also the Tui Cakau and loved by his people. Adi Mei was the eldest followed by Ratu Epeli, then Adi Sivo, Ratu Jone who was born in Malaya, Ratu Josefa Sukuna, Ratu Isoa Fugawai and the youngest is Ratu Rabici.
Ratu Epeli said Adi Mei had been suffering from a long illness which saw her undertake a long medical trip to India.
"Upon returning we were fortunate that a close family member Joe Browne looked after her at Waila with his wife who is a doctor," Ratu Epeli said.
"For this the family is deeply thankful to Mr Browne and his wife the good doctor."
Mr Browne's mother Adi Losalini Ravucake, is the sister of Ratu Sir Penaia. The funeral gathering will be held at 112 lower Ragg Avenue, Namadi starting tomorrow.
On Thursday, he said a memorial service would be held at midday at the Soqosoqo Vakamarama headquarters at Nabua.
After that the funeral cortege will proceed to Walu Bay where the cortege boards the Tovuto for Adi Mei's final trip home to Taveuni.
"Her body will lie in state at the family home at Vuniduva on Friday for the whole day and night before a church service at Somosomo and then her body will be taken to the family burial ground at Vuniduva.
Ratu Epeli said as his elder sister he always respected her and she had very sound judgment particularly on things Fijian.
"I will miss her advice and company and having somebody there for companion as we were are a very close family.
"She had been a part of my life for a long time and we all felt it when she left us for India.
"But we got used to it because she has been sick for a long time."
Adi Mei was very close to her late father. She was married to former banker Penisoni Gauna and they have three children.

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