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Son’s Death Guts Mother

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Son’s Death Guts Mother Mother of the late Senirusi Rauqe, Tokasa Naisere showing a photo of him on a phone, uncle Kolinio Nalawavou, brother Taniela Vakacerebau. Standing: Uncle Sainivalati Naisau (left), and brother Viliame Batidegei at their home in Yasiyasi, Tavua, on June 25, 2018. INSET: The late Senirusi ‘Bruce’ Rauqe. Photo: Peni Komaisavai

Senirusi Rauqe had a childhood dream to become a soldier.

The most important call of his life he had been waiting for came one day late yesterday.

Mr Rauqe, 19, on Sunday,  succumbed to injuries he suffered in a fatal car crash at the Yaqara Flat between Rakiraki and Tavua on June 19.

His mother, Tokasa Naisere, who received the call for Mr Rauqe to report to camp for recruit training from the Republic of Fiji Military Forces, was devastated.

“I am absolutely gutted. It’s so painful it’s hard to accept that he would not realise his full potential – what he would have become if he was still alive,” Ms Naisere said.

The RFMF Chief of Staff, Brigadier-General Ro Jone Kalouniwai, speaking last night from Sydney where he is attending Defence Co-operation talks with the Australians, expressed his condolences saying his sympathy went out to the family.

He said it was sad and unfortunate that the RFMF lost a potential candidate.

“In fact this is the first we have come across a case of this type. It’s quite rare,” he said.

He said they did not keep track of people’s personal circumstances.

Mr Rauqe was one of the two passengers who were on board the fateful car that was driven by the late Mikaele Vauvau Nabaro.

Ms Naisere said: “This morning (yesterday) we were called by the Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF) informing us that Bruce (nick-name for the late Mr Rauqe) made the cut to be in the next recruitment and should report to the Lautoka RFMF base this Thursday.”

She said her son could have been in the next RFMF Basic Recruit Course (BRC) if he was still alive.

“I informed them (RFMF personnel) via phone call that my son had passed away, yesterday (Sunday), you know that hardest feeling is to think about where my son’s potential could take him, but knowing that he won’t because he is gone.”

She said ever since her son was admitted last week, the whole family had been in prayer.

“I was informed by the doctors that there was nothing that could be done for him, as he had suffered severe injuries to his head. He was only breathing through the machine,” she said.

“These is heartbreaking news, it is not something easy for any parent to bear.”

“On Sunday morning I went to the hospital, got on my knees by my late-son’s bed side and asked for his forgiveness,” she said.

According to her, tears started rolling from his son’s eyes and jerked three times.

“That was my miracle, a miracle me and my son shared before he finally left us that afternoon – a miracle that only me and him will share.”

The late Mr Rauqe is also the grandson and namesake of former Fiji Airways Fijian 7s player Bruce Rauqe and is the second child of six siblings.

Families and friends began gathering at their residence in Yasiyasi, Tavua, yesterday to prepare for the funeral on Friday.

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