Official and Traditional Welcome: Patron of the St John Association of Fiji
March 24, 2023 St John Association of Fiji, Suva
• The Chairman of the St. John Association of Fiji, Dr. Raiwalui;
• Members of the Diplomatic Corp;
• Order Members;
• The Chief Executive Officer of St. John Association and Commissioner, Mrs. Ema Bovoro;
• Management Team, Staff and Volunteers of St. John;
• Distinguished Guests;
• Ladies and gentlemen.
Miau Sa Bula Re & a very Good Morning to you all! I am greatly humbled and honoured to join you this morning. I greatly appreciate as well and thank you for the official and traditional welcome accorded to us.
As Patron of the St. John Association, I am encouraged to give my full support and that of my office to ensure the Association is provided the relevant support to fulfill its obligations to all community-oriented work. St. John Association of Fiji has existed for many years, and has endured many challenges, and yet it continues to make steady and resilient progress. I wish to acknowledge St. John Association Fiji, for the provision of essential and valuable medical and life-saving services to the public – vinaka vakalevu!
At this juncture, please allow me to digress and share with you of my visit to the St. John International office in London in July, 2022, where I met with its Secretary General and had the privilege of visiting their renowned museum. At the meeting, I acknowledged the importance of the partnership between St. John Fiji and the Fiji Government, in particular during times of crises, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic. The trip was to demonstrate my commitment to my role as Patron of the Association as well as to strengthen the existing link between St. John Fiji and St. John international.
Internationally, the St. John Movement has had a distinguished historical record. The precepts of the St. John Movement are contained in a royal charter which was formally adopted in 1888. The St. John Association of Fiji was established in 1939, over 84 years ago.
At this juncture, it would be remiss of me not to acknowledge the contributions of the respective Order Members and stakeholders who without their dedication and commitment to the service of St. John Fiji, the Association would not have existed thus far.
To the past council members, management, staff and volunteers we acknowledge you for the precedence you set during your respective tenure; the Chairman and the Board of the St. John Association; and Council Members for providing the necessary guidelines that dictate the course that the Association must take in order to remain relevant and effective in its undertakings; the management, staff and volunteers of the Association, who I personally consider to be the ‘engine room’ of the entire operation. You are the machinery and the power center that drives and moves the St. John Association allowing it the reach and influences it has in our community.
To the Order Members, sponsors and donors whose financial backing allows St. John to provide products and services related to health and safety in the communities – Vinaka vakalevu!
To conclude, I note with great pleasure that the St. John continues to complement government's efforts to provide a more defined and focussed approach to providing ambulance services and first aid training to the wider community. The Association, I am informed continues to strive to improve its service delivery to the community, therefore, I urge all stakeholders in government, the private sector and the general public to come forward and support the work of the St. John Association of Fiji.
I am extremely proud to be Patron of the St. John Association of Fiji, and I wish the Association every success in all its undertakings.
With those few words, May God bless us all and May God Bless Fiji!