FORMER 'FIRST SERVANT' HONORED FOR FAMILY VALUES
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
SUVA, Fiji — He wanted to be known as Suva's 'first servant' and not as its 'first citizen' when he took up the reins of Lord Mayor of Fiji's capital city in 2003.
Ratu Peni Volavola is a soft spoken man whose humility is well known by those who come in contact with him as well as the local community.
He became the recipient of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' 2011 Family Values Award during a special meeting in Suva on Sunday, 26 June.
Humility comes easily to Brother Volavola because of his upbringing. This valuable trait has always been part and parcel of his professional and personal life.
In receiving the award, Brother Volavola was humbled by the recognition.
"I stand before you in absolute wonder and amazement. When I was informed of it I said surely there must be more deserving cases," Brother Volavola said.
"I thank God for the recognition."
He said we needed to have the characteristics of Christ in order to be humble.
Brother Volavola's most memorable statement was uttered when he was first elected as Lord Mayor of Suva in 2003.
He told his fellow councilors that he would rather be the 'first servant of the city' than being known as the 'first citizen.'
He remained Suva's 'first servant' for the next six years.
Brother Volavola also retired as a manager from the Fiji Electricity Authority last year.
He also received from the Church a framed copy of "The Family: A Proclamation to the World." Elder Wakolo spoke to those gathered at the meeting about the significance of this declaration and how the principles taught in it can bless the lives of families and individuals.
Elder Taniela Wakolo, a senior leader for the Church, reminded members that the award was one that was only given to those outside the Church who lived and upheld family values.
Elder Wakolo also paid tribute to the statement made by Brother Volavola and said it was 'an amazing statement' to be rather known as the 'first servant of the city.'
"We honour you for living and teaching family values," Elder Wakolo said.