• Stan Manu

Let's Talk Reunion 2011, Please

Hi everyone


I thought (as a way of getting all your attention) that I post here a new entry as a follow-up to Fr Napa's earlier request about the next Re-Union's date. I feel that our young reunion committee (Nesi Kaufusi, Fatai Nau, Hiko jr and Mele Rea) may need all the help we can provide - after all, it's ours, not just theirs - in whatever way we can in regards to the next Re-Union's planning and organisation. So I ask all of you, wherever you are, to share through this medium or directly with any of the committee members or the host family (Tita and Kuti) your own views and ideas.


But just to get the ball rolling here, let me throw you some dates to consider:


(1) It appears that everyone has already agreed about the month, which is July 2011.


(2) In the month of July, I checked to find that there is no major public holiday (or long weekend) in either New Zealand or Australia. But for those in USA, Monday July 4th is Independence Day, which I believe is a significant event for all our families and relatives who reside there. So I believe the 'American' families may like to stay put in USA during that long weekend.


(3) The only other significant date in July that may need to be considered is the beginning of the school term (at least for the high schools) in Queensland. I found that their 2011 Term 3 will start Monday July 11. It's up to the host family therefore to decide on how much our Re-Union may disrupt those kids of theirs who will be going to school at that time, if at all that's an issue.


(4) I will assume here that the Re-Union of this nature may run for a whole week or so. One of the reasons for this assumption is the fact that those who will be travelling from afar will be quite disappointed to make the long trip if the Re-Union lasts only a few days. So if people are to make the trip, they might as well treating this or be treated to a great 'vacation'. (For the committee, you need to remember that those who will be coming from North America, for instance, will be missing a day; meaning, if they depart North America on July 6, they'll be arriving in Brisbane, July 8).


(5) Based on all of the above, the following dates need to be considered or discussed for the month of July 2011:

(a) Friday July 8 - Friday July 15 (or until Sunday July 17)*.

(b) Friday July 15 - Friday July 22 (or until Sunday 24).

(c) Friday July 22 - Friday July 29 (or until Sunday July 31).


* TWO things to note about (5) above: (i) If people like to wait travelling until the weekend, then the Re-Union can start on Sunday or Monday and ends the following weekend. (ii) I noted extending the Re-Union until Sunday mainly because people may start heading 'home' in the afternoon, evening or even Monday. The North Americans for example are not going to lose a day coming back! So a concluding mass on a Sunday morning with brunch or lunch afterwards might be appropriate.


Of course, the committee needs to take into account here (i.e. the length of the Re-Union) whatever plan(s) they may have and how much time they need. Likewise, they can work their planning around any agreed time-frame esp. if nothing solid has been laid out already.


My suggestion: in addition to having everyone's voice on this (if that's what I suspect the committee needs), is for the committee to discuss this quickly and thoroughly with the host family. (Well, Maggy, Nez and Tia: you can just sit down with your parents and have a chat about this, and then share with the rest of your team.) If you need help with planning, then please click here to read first what Uncle Toni shared with us last year about the wishes, expectations and issues that were raised in the last Re-Union in Auckland, NZ. For more ideas, we also have plenty of advisors (priests, elders, and our first generation aunties and uncles) who are more than capable to guide you in your planning...and most of them are just a click or phone away!


As Uncle Napa noted, some of us need the extra savings if we are actually given the opportunity to plan or book our flights well ahead. Plus, no one will be quite excited about the next Re-union if we keep dragging this much longer. And we can do this wholeheartedly if we feel that we own it and sincerely believe that we all need it as a family (even if we can't make the trip); otherwise, what's the point? This is of course why we have to choose a THEME and use it to guide what we hope to accomplish during the Re-Union.


'Ofa atu,

Stan.

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