News article

Soldier's mother thanked for generous contribution to cancer fund

This world location news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Deputy High Commissioner Daniel Salter personally thanked Mrs Naomi Rika for her generous donation to the Beatson Cancer Charity

Honouring her late son’s wishes, Mrs Naomi Rika donated part of his compensation to the Beatson Cancer Charity to thank them for taking care of her son as he battled his cancer. Major General James Cowan CBE DSO (late Black Watch) General Officer Commanding the Army’s 3rd Division presented the cheque to the Beatson Cancer Charity on behalf of Mrs Rika, who resides in Fiji..

Deputy High Commissioner, Daniel Salter and the British Army Welfare Officer, Major (Retd) Jim Hall visited Mrs Rika at her home in Lautoka today to present a framed photograph of the cheque presentation and an official letter of thanks from the British Government.

Mr Salter thanked Mrs Rika for her generous donation that would greatly help those being cared for at the hospice in the UK, as well as providing much needed support for their families. He added:

Mrs Rika’s commitment to fulfilling the wishes of her son are matched by the dedication shown by LCpl Tabua to his service in the British Army. We are honoured to have such outstanding soldiers in our ranks, and we wanted to show Mrs Rika just how grateful we are, both for her donation and also the service her son gave to the British Army.

Late LCpl Sevania Tabua served with The Black Watch, 3rd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland (3 SCOTS), having enlisted in the Army in March 2000. Although one of the youngest of the Fijians in the Battalion he was a reliable and conscientious soldier, deploying to Kosovo and Iraq within his first few years of joining. He later moved into a specialist role joining The Black Watch Reconnaissance Platoon, a specialist unit selected from the best soldiers in the Black Watch. He deployed with the Platoon to Northern Ireland, Kenya and Afghanistan.

His Platoon Commander in Kenya, Captain Rob Colquhoun said:

LCpl Tabua was an excellent recce soldier; reliable, highly competent and strong as an ox and a fit and accomplished sportsman on the rugby field.

LCpl Sevania Tabua died of cancer in December 2012.

Fellow recce soldier and rugby player, Filipe Tawayaqa said LCpl Tabua was devastated to be diagnosed with cancer, but throughout his many operations and endless bouts of chemotherapy, his thoughts were only of getting fit enough to soldier again with his friends.