It is with a great sadness that I learned last evening (30th September 2004) of the passing of our Uncle Garsau Mani Varea in Melbourne Australia. Uncle George had been ill for a while and admitted into hospital for the last two years. He is the last surviving of our father's brothers and sister.
I remember when I was about six years of age Uncle George came to visit Rotuma. He was so full of life and the clothes that he wore and his demeanour seemed to be so sophisticated that we were awestruck. I remember that a dance was held in his honour and he got on to the floor and danced the rock and roll with such a lot of expertise that we were so proud that we had an uncle of such class.
Much later during the year 1977 Taumero and I visited him and Aunty Muriel in Moe which is a country suburb of Melbourne.
We had a wonderful time there and he was an expert at playing Electric Steel Guitar. We spent a lot of time making music. When he went to the pub he would sometimes take me and proudly introduce me as his niece. This is where I first learned how to serve beer.
I have sent Aunty
Muriel a tribute to Uncle George and this will be read at his funeral
on Tuesday 5th October 2004
here to read the tribute