Father tries to cope with loss

Marika Bolavucu Snr pictured with his sisters from left, Esita Torowaqa, Vosa Vakaloloma and Mereia Masei shows a photo of his namesake son Marika Bolavucu Jnr at their home in Nasova, Nasese on Saturday, October 12, 2019. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

“TA kua ni leqa, iko na lesu mai au na waraki iko tiko I vale.” (Dad, don’t worry. When you return, I’ll be waiting for you at home)

These were the final words eight-year-old Marika Bolavucu Jr told his father, Marika Bolavucu before they parted ways on Friday afternoon.

Marika Jr drowned while swimming with his friends at the seafront along the Nasese foreshore in Suva. Speaking to The Fiji Times from his home at the Nasova Police Barracks in Suva yesterday, an emotional Mr Bolavucu said he still cannot believe that his only son was gone.

“I am part of the Fiji Police Band, we were at the ANZ Stadium waiting for the national anthem to be sung for the Prime Ministers XIII game when I was called aside and asked to come see Jr in the hospital,” he said. “When I reached the hospital, Jr was lying their silently.

“Even until now I still can’t believe that he is actually no more.”

Mr Bolavucu described his son as someone who was always close to all his friends and a young boy who also enjoyed playing sports.

“He would usually only play around the compound here in Nasova and he’s never gone out to swim like he did on Friday.

“He is my only son, however, I have accepted that he is no longer here and I would like to thank God for allowing me to take care of him until his last day,” he added before he bowed his head and cried in the presence of his three sisters.

Police spokeswoman Ana Naisoro confirmed the children who were swimming with Jr had all been accounted for.

“Three of the children were found safe at their homes while one was found in a state of shock and walking towards Suva Grammar School yesterday (Friday) by another police officer.”

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