Fatai & 'Ekuasi Mini-Reunion in NZ
FATAI-EKUASI FAMILY 'MINI' REUNION
TE UNGA WAKA MARAE
REFLECTIONS from Uncle Toni Rea (message was first published on our 'Reunion' page)
This 'mini' reunion was very much a spontaneous reunion literally planned on the eve of our gathering with family members. The Saturday and Sunday prior to the reunion had been very busy, almost frenetic, with Sela and Mike's wedding on the Saturday, followed by the First Sunday Mass etc. We were fortunate to have the use of Te Unga Waka Marae, the Catholic Maori Marae here in Auckland; this meant we had all the facilities to pray, eat, socialise and sleep together right there for us. Our Reunion opened on Monday 16 February with a prayer service in the beautiful chapel led by Fr. Ekuasi; this set a sound spiritual basis for our gathering. The day followed with Lotiola (jr) leading us in aerobics,Tevita keeping us entertained with musical chairs and everyone enjoying lunch together. In the afternoon we spent time reflecting on our future as a family; some brief notes of this discussion are recorded below.
After a brief rest Fr Lutoviko led us in the celebration of Mass. This was followed by great evening meal brought together through outstanding teamwork in the kitchen and on the barbeque. Chief Judge Latu and Sheriff Vise reigned supreme after dinner as various family members' sins suffered a public airing, who can forget Kuti's sterling defence of Tita which only made sure she received a very heavy sentence. The fines in Judge Latu's court added up to a handy $500 which was forwarded to Fr Ekuasi to assist with work at his school in Fiji.
The Monday evening was capped off with dancing and a round of introductions from all the branches of the family represented at the Reunion. Tuesday saw us all woken up promptly for prayer in the marae at 6.00am by Latu Tavo (Lights on!). The morning's session focussed on discussion about the future of our reunions. After discussion in our respective groups it was unanimously confirmed that the next Reunion be held in Australia with the organising committee made up of the second generation. The conclusion of our Reunion was marked by a Mass led by Fr. Lutoviko and featuring a baptism of one of the newest mokopuna of the family.
OUR FUTURE AS A FAMILY:
On the first day of our reunion we spent time reflecting on our future as a family. We split into 4 separate workshop groups:
-Great Grandchildren/Third generation
-Husband/wives & extended family
-Children of Ekuasi & Fatai
We all focussed on the following questions:
-What are our strengths as a family?
-What are our weaknesses as a family?
-What can we do to develop further as a family?
o As individuals?
o As individual family units within the wider family?
The following is summary of the feedback:
-Coming together to plan events
-Praying for each other
-Providing support for each other
-Parents being there for children
-Developing the talents in individuals
-Our faith in God
-The variety of talents evident in the family
-Respect for different religious beliefs in the family
-Ability to cope with difficult situations
-Maintaining traditional Tongan practices e.g. faka?apa?apa
-Not keeping in touch
-Gossiping about each other
-Arguing & allowing family feuds to stay unresolved
-Miscommunication through language barriers
-Overdoing Tongan kavenga responsibilities, stretching finances
-Lack of patience
-Priorities wrong e.g. delaying visiting a sick relative until you have something to take
-Financial situation of individual families
WHAT CAN WE DO TO DEVELOP FURTHER AS A FAMILY?
-Encourage prayer life in individual families
-Commit time for family events
-Listen to each other
-Supporting family members to achieve a good standard of education
-Keep in contact e.g. internet, telephone etc
-Being ready to forgive