Posted by Gloria Auchterlonie, RC Morwell
Traditional Fijian kava ceremony to thank hosts
On a cold Saturday in Moe, a very warm welcome was given to a group of Fijians here on three year working visas.
Sixteen men and four women, between the ages of 20 -45, responded to a Government advertisement calling for workers in the Australian agricultural industry.
They are working at the Moe abattoirs and are billeted in Moe, but not surprisingly, came unprepared for Gippsland’s cool weather.
A call for help received from the Fijian Community Association (Victoria) was met with an immediate response of warm clothes and household essentials from members and friends of Moe and Morwell Rotary Clubs, the local Vinnies stores and businesses.
The Fijians were welcomed with a BBQ lunch at the Moe Botanic Gardens where great Rotary fellowship was enjoyed and  family photos and stories were shared. The visitors keep in touch daily with their families through their phones on facetime, email, texts etc.
Rotary Presidents Di Harrison from Moe and David McInnes from Morwell  in their welcome to the Fijians, made known Rotary’s ongoing support and friendship to them.  Rotarian Pam Wood, representing the new Rotary program ‘International Positive Peace’, made a surprise visit from Melbourne bringing extra gifts of clothes, shoes and food, also offered support.
After lunch, Rotarians and friends were  treated to a traditional Fijian ceremony where kava was served to the hosts with thanks and blessings, and songs were sung in the most beautiful harmonious Fijian voices.