‘Man of vision’
28 February, 2019, 10:44 am
THE late Colonel Paul Manueli will be remembered as a man of vision.
In a statement yesterday, Opposition Leader Sitiveni Rabuka said the late Col. Manueli was visionary in that while he embraced the indigenous group rights, he was always mindful of the interests, protection and the rights of the minority ethnic communities who now called Fiji their home.
Col. Manueli was a former senator and minister of finance under the Soqosoqo Vakavulewa ni Taukei (SVT) government led by Mr Rabuka from 1992-1999.
He was also the first indigenous local commander of the RFMF which he headed from 1974 to 1979. Col. Manueli died on Saturday after a short illness.
“His instinct for financial management, and strategic planning and his compassion for the people was second to none,” Mr Rabuka said.
“In his passing, we have lost a great man, who contributed selflessly to the nation, the Rotuman community and his family.” His family said the military officer was a man of great discipline.
“Before he passed, he would remind those of us who were very close to him ‘I am ready to go, I want to go’,” close relative Fatiaki Misau told The Fiji Times yesterday.
“When I leave this Earth, I want to leave this Earth in my own home, these were his words.”
Col. Manueli is survived by his wife Lydia, son Peter, four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
He will be accorded a full military funeral tomorrow after a funeral service at Churchward Chapel in Rewa St, Suva.