This tribute was read at Uncle George's funeral
Aunty Muriel, Tieri, Johnny and Jenny. Our thoughts are with you today as you come together to bid farewell to your beloved husband and father. We the Rotuman branch of the family grieve with you as we have lost the last of our father’s line. Yet as we all grieve we thank Almighty God that Uncle George has been relieved of the burden of sickness that he has carried for so long. We thank God that Uncle George is now at peace and enfolded within the loving arms of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
I learned of Uncle George’s passing on Thursday evening and on Friday afternoon, as is the custom in the islands, my husband and I prepared a tanoa of kava and paid our respects to Uncle. In the course of this I spoke in reminiscence of Uncle George and I would like to share my memories with you.
I first came into contact with Uncle George when I was a child of 7 years living in Rotuma with my father, mother brothers and sisters. I saw this man approaching who was full of life and laughter. He joined the family and every where around him there was laughter and joy. In the evening a dance was held in his honour and when he stood up he danced the jive and rock and roll. We had heard that these were the latest dances and everyone just looked on in admiration at a man with such fluidity of movement.
In the short time that Uncle George spent in Rotuma our home was filled with such activity and fun such as we had never before experienced. He was as different from his brother, our father, as chalk is to cheese. Whereas our father was quiet and reserved, Uncle George was active and ellubient.