Almost two years since Cyclone Winston swept through Fiji, killing 44 people, the village of Maniava is celebrating its re-birth. Maniava, in the province of Ra on Fiji’s main island of Vity Levu, sits on a hillside at the mouth of a valley. On the night of 20 February 2016, winds of up to 186 mph (300 km/h) destroyed the village and everything in it. Yesterday, Archbishop Winston Halapua, the Bishop of Polynesia, consecrated the newly re-built Church of the Resurrection and blessed 14 new homes and a school dormitory. He also ordained two new deacons to serve Maniava’s 168 residents.
Thirty-four of Maniava’s 38 houses were wrecked by the cyclone, which produced the most ferocious winds ever to strike Fiji. The new homes have been built to a code designed to withstand a repetition of Cyclone Winston: they are tied down, reinforced and braced. Even so, the new school has been designed to serve as a village shelter from any future storms.
The Fijian term for Easter Day is Siga Tucake, which is literally translated as “the day the man stands up”, Anglican Taonga, the news service of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, said. “You could say Easter came early in Maniava this year.”
Read our earlier reports:
14/03/2016 “An ordeal of the most grievous kind” – Fiji cyclone update
7/12/2016 New start for Cylone Winston-hit Fijian village of Maniava