09/23/2013 DARTS BATTLE: THE LATE LIUTOSE LIUVAIE MEMORIAL TROPHY (pics by telson liuvaie) – click image to enlarge better view
We will all leave the bar after a fabulous time out and any day after tomorrow. But there are for all time successors who inherit the memories, blood and hobbies of those before them.
Strange how we live in interesting times away from one another and not knowing what life has for us. And on missing friends so much from the past as if they too passed away from this life.
Even though we are beaten up by too much sour soup and many obligations all day every day, we find relief to escape the limelight to the comfort of our own homes, sweet home, village and country. There are particular things in our lives that join us together in one location.
A simple darts tournament to contest the late Liutose Saleimoa LiuvaieMemorial Trophy on Wednesday evening 28 August at the Tuatea Lounge bar rapidly turned into a giant event. The Liuvaie family, darts players and friends came from far away for the craze battle. Instead it changed the scene and scale of rouse by the baffling attendance.
Organizers and host members struggle to let their guests down. One saying prospers during the lousy weathered evening; man cannot live on food and drinks alone but by the grace of God. The tale spreads far but the love and unity was overpowering.
Darts fraternity among Hakupu connection aroundNiuecouldn’t stay out from the important meet. Forget the game on a wet and chilly evening? No, they came in force, smile, laugh and play bottoms up, hugging each other like lost sons. Hard to guess if it was the man himself whose memory was devoted to, the trophy, the entertainment and meeting old friends or all of these. It was a big puzzle.
They all think naturally.
With one hour behind and darkness setting the darts tournament began. It happens to be a working day and key players had a level playing field with less time to prime up and sharpen their rust arrows. In the start, organisers’, Andre Siohane Fineone Darts President, Pacific Mautama General Secretary of Fineone Darts and Acting Chairperson of Hakupu Village Council and Kalapu Liuvaie Coordinator of the Liuvaie family were struggling to form the original teams. Names overflowed as the time tick tack its heavy grave yard shift.
Every new arrival means one more problem to contend with. Chrispina Konelio, Malava Siataga and Sufane Touna came handy for umpire and supporting roles adding value to the one sided gender crowd.
The visiting Liuvaie family arrived tooat the hall to honour the competition and grasp a clip of what was like for their idol Liutose to love darts fondly. Everyone knew his passing in August 2012 came as a shock only days after playing darts at Juanna’s Restaurant in Alofi. So the proactive presence of Juanna’s owner Stan Tafatu didn’t surprise the crowd. It was the players in the big lounge who kept vigilant about the veteran darts champion. Stan has scoop championship darts titles inNew Zealand,Australiaand on the mainland though getting wielded in age and playing with the help of reading spectacles.
Other former champions and rookies quickly joined, Ricky Togalilo Konelio, San Juan Talagi, Andre Siohane, Thirdson Akeimo, Texas Tatui, Pacific Mautama,Testament Aue, Maru Talagi,Danny Viviani, Olu Siohane, Deve Talagi, Hubert Kalauni, Oluolu Siohane,Harry Siataga, Ritchie Mautama, Robin Toatolu, Crossley Tatui, Opo Mautama,Vonzed Jackson, Fapoi Akesi, Lanze Mautama, Leki Kalauni, Sima Tanevesi, Kalapu Liuvaie, Siafi Viliamu, Demster Tomailuga, Hiva Levi, Holo Tualau, William Liuvaie, Afe Tatui, Matenly Vilila, Mitch Manukuo, Dimitry Viliamu, Dick Tomailuga, Colin Etuata, Le’Roy Tatui and the lot. Their presence was profound, amazing.
In the buzzing noise, President Andre Siohane opened the tournament followed with remarks by Kalapu Liuvaie on behalf of the family who with fiancée Dee Conrad designed and made the memorial trophy. The Rev Falkland Liuvaie blessed the event before Pacific Mautama announced the rules and players for the battle cymbal to strike.
The lounge transformed to a factory assembly line from the far end of the top stage to the other end by the bar. From the booths that had the brightest lights to the corner on the south stage with dim candle glow. They still aimed, threw darts and wobble if the darts go astray and missed the high spots. Knowing well the word fluke in darts can be magical.
Many players in the first round shivered and half- cried at their odd throws. It became almost impossible to keep the drinks intact from the rolling train. Several times there were clashes for the same drink in the right or wrong place. The Health experts would complain if shown the CCTV results of the mixed up guzzle affair.
Halfway through the draws the BBQ was cooking and as the losers fell on the road side the winners fought on. It was neither the light nor the need to see an optometrist, that’s how it goes. It appears from close up remarks from veteran Danny Viviani and Fapoi Akesi that focus, patience and skills matters. Village and darts elder Sefo Lui remarked the gathering a new legend and fabulous evening.
The players raged to keep the legacy of the late veteran and mentor who never say die but who still died in the end. The spin goes right to the core where Stan Tafatu and San Juan Talagi battled the finals. Kalapu Liuvaie and Andre Siohane bowed out in the flash semi finals with pride.
Spectators gazed, grinned and blush just watching the players thrive and tremble with three little arrows to throw to the round board of numbers divided into mini fractions of spots and values.
In the end Stan Tafatu was awarded the trophy by Faatasiga Tatui-Liuvaie, wife of the late Liutose. Lifting the trophy he beamed at the prize and probably thought of the late friend. The crowd screamed and clapped to celebrate the winner of the tournament.
But everyone present deserves to be winners on a winning night. Until a year later the players return to their homes to grind the arrows and rub their shoulders for another shot at the annual trophy.
The family showed their gratitude elegantly having been convinced at the game which robbed them many hours of their love for the man who was gifted in many ways and shared his life to the end. Playing darts with a few pints and meeting old and new friends after a hard day of manual labour in the bush garden. Different game altogether where the soil is pierced using a steel pointer to plant taros.
What an amazing general human being who loved darts and made a difference in community life! Even countless days after he left! A man can have successors but has no substitute ever. Except, his catching smile lives on in his family and friends. You are the man!!
07/01/2012 SURVIVAL OF THE BEST-KIWI/OZZIE UGA HUNTING COMPETITION
Day hunting of coconut crabs competition is set to become a regular event between Australian-based and New Zealand-based Niueans in future.
While on their recent holiday in Niue, Uncle Fotu Mautama of Auckland, New Zealand and nephew, David Mautama from Sidney, Australia agreed for the annual Day Hunting Uga competition between the rivalries to be held in Niue.
During their joint uga baiting at Huvalu Forest in the last days of December 2012 and daylight uga hunting in the New Year, they caught big ‘ugas’. Uncle Fotu was fascinated with the thought and challenged the Australian-based heroes to a real contest. It is touted to be an additional sport to the existing tri-golf tournament organized and hosted alternatively by Niue, New Zealand and Australia if the golf is hosted by Niue. The initiative is a good sign of developing joint cooperation among the overseas based Niueans and their mainland trustees.
Local Coordinator Lanze Mautama is buzzed with the idea and would like to see the challenge properly promoted and fulfilled in future.‘
I believe their deal is on and going to happen as they are serious to start the competition. Day hunting of coconut crabs can be fun and a bit tempted too and risky if the urge is high to get the biggest crab’, he explains.
‘On a rugged track, you have to be a champion not to get hurt, at the same time, have the strength to grasp the big one, if the animal is right on the bait or pull the big one out of a cavern’, Lanze said.
Day hunting of coconut crabs is all about skill testing and the ability to apply personal speed to quickly grasp the ‘uga’ on the bait before it drops into the cavern. During day time, coconut crabs have quick senses and power to surge and drop into hiding.
Imagine during the forefathers’ time, there were no cars and trucks, no torches and they relied on kerosene lantern made from empty beer bottles and a rolled piece of cotton rag. They had to walk or travel on bicycles to hunt coconut crabs.
For many Niuean expatriates who were raised at home before they moved overseas, the feeling of returning home for a deserving break is always an exciting one. Valuable time which they shared with families, going to the bush garden, gathering coconuts, feeding the pigs, hunting uga, taking an open air hose shower after a swim in the sea then a cold beer to slay the thirst.
The initiators see the proposed event as a way for teaching their cousins and children who are born overseas. It will allow them exposure and teaching of survival skills and to experience the life our forefathers went through.
The young generation will face a huge surprise with the various field activities which can be organized for cultural learning and tourism attraction. The organizers believe, it will boost desire to return home and enjoy the festive season or any other time and spend time with families and friends. It gives the blood ties a sense of commitment to the local sports.
National statistics results showed that the village of Hakupu hunted the most number of coconut crabs in 2010.
Further information on the Day Hunting of Coconut Crabs competition on the Rock; please contact email@example.com or the Webmaster, Scan Mitiepo.