On Friday, 20 December, the Fiji Corrections Service bade farewell to Deputy Commissioner Senior Superintendent Apimeleki Taukei after an illustrious 31-years in the service.
He had enlisted in the service on October 10, 1987 and has worked across many Units in the orgnisation from Operations, Administrations, Logistics Unit, at Supervisor level, as Assistant Commissioner before taking over the Deputy Commissioner post 18-months ago.
At the ceremony, held in Naboro, Mr Taukei shared that his whole life has always been based on the belief that God answers prayers.
“I thank the Commissioner and my FCS family for the thought and effort behind today’s event to mark the end of my time here,’’ he said.
“Perhaps one of the things I can leave you with today is how we are all called to be part of this organization. I believe we are not here as a matter of coincidence, but its Gods calling for us all to be here to do his work of restoring lives for our Government and for our people of Fiji.
“Today I acknowledge all the support that I have received throughout my career from all of you, especially in this most recent time as your Deputy Commissioner,’’ he said.
“Never in my life did I dream that one day I would be at the top of this organization, but recently I have realized that everything I have achieved in life has been through the power of prayer and hard work.
“That everyone who works hard will be rewarded by God in his own time and that we answer to a powerful being who has mapped the course of our life already.
Mr Taukei said that it was through his faith that he was able to stay humble and loyal to the course of restoring lives.
“We often meet very testing times and also people in your career which will really test yourself, but if we keep the faith we will realize there is always light at the end of the tunnel and that God only rewards those who work hard, work true and to always pray.”
He shared that he was a bit emotional when he learnt about what the FCS had prepared for his send off.
“I thought my farewell was held last week at National Headquarters and was thinking that today we just come together for our festive holiday celebrations. But coming today and seeing all that you have done is quiet humbling and emotional.”
“I didn’t come here to preach, but all I wanted to share with you what has made me cope and grow in my career, and that is the power of prayer and that is the main message I leave with you today.
Commissioner of Corrections Commander Francis Kean said it was very hard to let his Deputy go but life must go on and that all good things must come to an end.
Commander Kean thanked Mr Taukei for his integrity and loyalty to the FCS which also was a reflection of the wealth of experience that he had.
“I thank you for being my right hand over the past 18-months and I must say the transition from your predecessor Mr. Joe Kulinidilo was a smooth one because of your level professionalism and wealth of knowledge that helped guide the men and women of the FCS.
“I thank you for your guidance and your friendship and I specifically would like to thank you for your leadership and invaluable contribution that saw us develop two strategic documents, our Standard Operating Procedures and our Fiji Corrections Act which is now at the Solicitor General’s Office and which we hope will get through to parliament.
Commander Kean also paid tribute to Mr. Taukei’s family for their commitment, patience and support over many years when the call of duty often took him away from home for days and long hours.
On a final note, Commander Kean wished his family well in the future and over the Christmas period and thanked him for sharing his testimony on the power of prayer to the men and women of the FCS.