There is not much known about details of life in Erub at that time however our family research is continuing and it is our intention to visit Erub at the end of 2004 or early in 2005 when we intend to further our research both in Erub Island and in the Queensland National archives.

We do know that our great grandfather Raki met and married a local indigenous woman and they had three children. The names of the children were Aisea (our grandfather), Alifereti and Samo.

After they had lived in Erub for probably around ten years, Aisele decided to return to Rotuma. He approached his brother Raki and asked his permission to take our grandfather Aisea back with him. Aisea would have been around eight years of age by then.

Raki consented to his brother's request but made Aisele promise to take care of Aisea as he would his own son - also that if ever in the future Aisele was unable to treat Aisea that way then Aisele would bring Aisea back home to Erub.

So it was that our grandfather Aisea was brought back to Rotuma by his Uncle. They settled in Mal'ia and eventually Aisele married and had eleven children. Over the course of time Aisele became more and more distant from Aisea and neglected our grandfather.

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Aisea felt increasingly lonely and neglected and would often sit on the beach and look out to the distant horizon hoping that there was some way that he could return to Erub and his parents.

The opportunity to return never did arise and so he had to make the best of his situation. When he grew up to be a young man he excelled in sports and would compete and became the island champion in the tradtiional games played at that time. It w as at this stage of his life that he met our Grandmother Maria who was from Samoa and had travelled to Rotuma to visit her sister.

Aisea subsequently married Maria and brought her to Mal'ia. However his clan in Rotuma strongly disapproved of his bringing a foreigner back as his wife and things became so difficult for him that he finally tok his wife and they moved to the bush at the back of Mal'ia. The land at the back of Mal'ia was full of rocks and they lived in very primitive conditions. Life must have been very difficult for them and once a week, on a Sunday, when they heard the church drums beating they would make their way down to church.

As time went by, our Grandfather decided that his wife deserved better than living in the bush and so he worked hard and saved as much as he was able to. Eventually he accumulated enough money to be able to buy two pigs.

He bought the pigs and presented them to Aisea Ponoto of Paptea Village. Aisea then gave our Grandfather the piece of land (Islepi) next to the church in the village. This land still belongs to our family today.

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