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Natabua High School - 2020 Prefect's Induction

February 21, 2020       Natabua High School, Lautoka

The Principal, Mr. Virendra Sharma, Teachers and Members of The Support/Administrative Staff of The Natabua High School;
The Commissioner Western - Mr. Jone Bacau;
The Divisional Education Officer, Western – Ratu Josefa Gavidi;
the Divisional Police Commissioner, Western – SP Pita Keni;
The Traditional Chiefs of The Vanua/Church & Religious Leaders;
Parents/Guardians and Friends;
The Student Body – Boys and Girls.

Ni sa Bula Vinaka, Namaste, Salam Alyakum, Ni Hao, Noa’ia e’ mauri and a very Good Morning to you all.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Students, at the outset I would like to acknowledge, commend and thank the Principal and the Teaching/Administration Staff most sincerely for kindly inviting me to be your Chief Guest during this Year’s Prefects’ Investiture Ceremony.

In fact, as a former Student and Prefect who was badged during my final year, I deem it a great honour and privilege indeed to be attending this auspicious occasion again since I left and enlisted in the Republic of Fiji Military Forces in 1966 and embarked on my long and dedicated journey of service to our Beloved Nation as a Soldier/Military Commander, United Nations Assistant Secretary-General/Force Commander UNIFIL, a Government Permanent Secretary, Diplomat/Head of Mission, a Government Minister – and now it is also such a great pleasure to be addressing you this morning as Your President and Head of State. 

I am so thankful, proud and equally humbled by this great opportunity to come back to the very Institution that taught me the ‘Tricks of the Trade’, the basic principles of being a good leader!

In this regard, and at this juncture, ladies and gentlemen, I believe it prudent that on your behalf I offer our heartiest congratulations to those hardworking students who are going to be inducted and badged as The School’s Head Prefects, Hostel/School Prefects, Form Captains and Deputies.

To these Students, Congratulations and Well Done for you have proven to the Teachers and your peers that you possess the potential to lead! Yes, undoubtedly, you will be our beloved Nation’s leaders of the future!

Leadership is all about having a positive attitude to serve and in the context of a school environment, it hinges on your ability to honour the trust of the Teachers and the Student Body in helping organise and supervise your studies and the many and varied school activities as well.

As Prefects you should remain focussed and committed with your studies, but at the same time be an Inspiration to your peers in instilling in them a Sense of Duty and a Sense of Responsibility and Achievement.

Be The Example to the Student Body in the way you interact with them – Be considerate, caring and compassionate.
Listen and show genuine concern for their views and wishes and ensure that the appropriate remedial actions are effected in the best interest of the School and the common good for all.

Be Firm, Fair and Friendly at all times and do not hesitate nor afraid to, ‘Do The Right Thing’.  Have the Moral Courage to correct mistakes and do not be influenced by Peer Pressure to do anything that is going to be detrimental and a hindrance to Students’ academic progress and bring disrepute to the School as a whole.

Be respectful, show selfless behaviour at all times and please do not ever abuse the ‘authority’ vested in you as a Prefect, just be Yourself.

To the Student Body, please concentrate and also remain focussed and committed with your studies, and be obedient and respectful to your fellow students who have been entrusted with the added responsibility of maintaining discipline and good order within the School at all times.

At this juncture ladies and gentlemen, please allow me to acknowledge, commend and thank the Principal, the Teachers and members of the School’s Administrative Staff for your untiring efforts in ensuring that the Natabua High School remains functional as a premier learning institution and for this we would all like to say, “Well Done And Thank you”.
It would be remiss of me if I do not, at this juncture also acknowledge and thank the Parents, Guardians and Friends of the School for your unwavering and continued support and encouragement for your sons, daughters and dependents to continue to excel in their studies and hopefully become very disciplined, well-educated and productive members of society in future.

To the Prefects and Student Body, please be mindful that you are going to be entrusted with the Leadership Roles of our beloved Fiji in future – whether it would be within Government, The Church, The Vanua or The Private Sector and Civil Society.

Be Attentive and Obedient to your Teachers and endeavour to excel in your studies to enable you to cope and meet the many challenges of “The Real World” when you complete your Secondary/High School education phase and leave the safety and sanctity of this Institution.

Ladies and gentlemen, please allow me to digress a little bit from the gist and thrust of my presentation to the Students and draw your attention to some of my additional responsibilities as your President.

Since assuming the role of Champion and Lead Advocate of our national effort to effectively combat the prevalence of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) in our midst, I have been very vocal and committed in trying to draw the attention of our people to this scourge which unfortunately and sadly, have over these past decades, claimed the lives of many of our young and middle-aged citizens, reduced productivity to an extent and cost Government a substantial amount of its financial allocation to the Medical/Health Ministry in treating patients with NCD related ailments.

These are much needed funds that could be better utilised in improving the standard and quality of Education in Fiji.

In supporting Government’s Wellness Programme, I have demanded from the members of my Household Staff to be fit and well at all times and be the Example to the Nation in our level of physical fitness, bearing and work ethic.

Ladies and gentlemen, at the State House, my Staff and I strongly believe in Leading by Example as I alluded to earlier on, so I set the pace by – ‘Running the Talk’.

As a former Military Commander and now Commander-in-Chief of the RFMF, I believe in keeping fit and well at all times, so my plea to you the Students, Teachers, Parents, Members of The School Alumni and Friends of the Natabua High School Family, is to adopt a Healthy Lifestyle by having a well-balanced diet at each meal time and equally important, Exercise daily.

Food Security is critically important for the survival of humanity and national progress and prosperity and in this regard, I am very happy to let you know that as an avid Farmer, my Security Team and I take great pleasure and pride in the fact that to compliment our daily Physical Training Programme, we are presently cultivating the land and producing our own root crops (dalo, tavioka, banana, kumala & yams) together with vegetables within the State House compound. 

This is our contribution towards promoting the Government Ministry of Agriculture’s Backyard Gardening Initiative.

To the members of the Student Body, be mindful of the fact that not everyone will be destined for a White/Blue collar job when you enter the job market and for those of you who come from rural communities and are gifted with “Green Fingers”, you should seriously consider becoming a Farmer, because there is potential for you to prosper.

Ladies and gentlemen, ‘Climate Change’ has been a very topical and important issue because of its inherent profound impact on humanity’s future and survival and we should be so thankful and equally proud of Fiji’s unwavering and undying efforts in drawing the global community’s attention, particularly the World’s Polluters, to the need to be more caring and compassionate towards small developing island States like Fiji and some of our Pacific Island neighboring States whose very survival and existence is now being threatened by the phenomenon of Global Warming and Rising Sea Levels.

In our collective effort to try and mitigate the impact of Climate Change to Fiji, in protecting and preserving our pristine and rich biodiversity environment and eco-system,  I gladly accepted the request of the Honourable Osea Naiqamu, Minister for Forestry to launch Government’s 4 x Million Tree Planting Initiative within 4 x years in the beginning of last year.

And I believe that during today’s programme, I will be joined by the Principal, some Teachers and Students in planting some indigenous trees in the School compound.

In conclusion, ladies and gentlemen, I would like to once again Congratulate the newly inducted Prefects, and wish them well during their tenure this year.

To the Principal Mr. Virendra Sharma, Teachers, Administration Staff, The Student Body, Thank you once again for kindly inviting me to officiate as your Chief Guest.

To the Parents/Guardians, Old Scholars and Friends of the Natabua High School, Thank you for your continued support and gracing this morning’s Prefects’ Induction Ceremony with your presence.

Vinaka Vakalevu, Dhanyavaad, Fai’a’ksea, Xiexie, Thank you and may Almighty God bless you all.