Every parent wants what’s best for their child and education is often the most important area a parent wants to see their child excel in. Success in education whether it be a certificate in class for behaving or a merit award for academic success brings much joy to any parent. And if you have ever had that feeling seeing your child with an award in hand, you know your kid has potential for bigger things ahead. And that is the exact feeling or state of mood, the parents of Bev Hera Vai are feeling at this very moment.
Earlier this month, the young lass from Hanuabada Village was appointed as the Deputy Head Girl of Adi Cakobau School, an all girls’ boarding school in Fiji. It’s a rare achievement for a Papua New Guinean, particularly on foreign soil, and of course any achievement like this is a significant and proud achievement for the whole family and even those who have family linkages between the two island nations.
The status of the school itself deserves mention because it adds more significance to Bev’s achievement and potential.
Adi Cakobau is a prestigious school with a proud history dating back to 1948 when it was first established. It is named after the granddaughter of Seru Epenisa Cakobau, the King of Fiji who united the islands under his authority in 1871 and subsequently ceded the nation to the United Kingdom several years later.
The school has an “elite” status in Fiji with notable alumnae including Kuini Speed Head Girl in 1968 (Fijian Deputy Prime Minister 1999-2000), Jiko Luveni (Dentist, Fiji Minister for Health), Dr. Lady Tuivaga (One of Fiji’s first women doctors), Amelia Rokotuivana (Head Girl in 1960 and a nominee for a noble peace prize) and many more.
Bev’s achievement sounds out a message to Papua New Guinean parents wanting to enroll their child overseas. The most obvious “go to” place has been Australia but in recent years, parents are starting to view Fiji as an alternative and perhaps a more affordable alternative without diminishing the quality of education.
But on a more personal level, Bev is destined for greater things if her recent success in a school with a long history of producing some of Fiji leading citizens is any indication.
The second child of proud parents Steven and Muduka, Bev’s “Fijian family” have described her as “humble young lady groomed for a great future”.
Her achievement posted by other Fijians in Port Moresby has already created a lot of interest with parents wanting to know more about how they can enroll their child at this prestigious school.
Bev’s father Steven, an accountant, has worked for Air Niugini for close to two decades and perhaps it is through his regular trips to Fiji that enticed him to transfer Bev from St. Joseph.
As for her mother Muduka, she has described her daughter’s achievement as “mega proud”. Her work colleagues at the international law firm of Ashurst here in Port Moresby will attest that she has been a “frequent flyer” on the POM-NAN route – perhaps much more than the PX cabin crews themselves! 😉
And without doubt Bev’s success is also largely attributed to the tremendous support of her loving parents and siblings.
The Vai family hail from the Mavara/Kahanamona Clan of the Big Village which has a popular expression “Milk Na Moale Gauna”. Quite simply, it means MILK (which is short for the conjoined clans of Mavara Idibana Laurina Kahanamona) is a happy place or a clan of joy and happiness. And quite rightly, Bev has indeed lived up to her clan’s expression bringing much joy and happiness to the family and the clan from a distance much longer than the length of the clan’s nese (walkway).
Of course it is still early days for this young lass but what is apparent now is the foundation she is building for herself for a brighter future and of course a path she is creating for other Papua New Guineans interested in following.
Well done Bev Hera Vai – your achievement is indeed a Moale Gauna!