22 Jul 2004

Fiji pays tribute to Adi Lady Lala Mara

10:44 am on 22 July 2004

Tributes have begun pouring in following the death of Fiji's former first lady, Adi Lady Lala Mara.

Adi Lala died at the Suva Private hospital yesterday aged 73.

A close family friend and leader of the Fiji Democratic Party, Filipe Bole, says she will be remembered for her wise leadership, vision, compassion and service.

Mr Bole says the death of her husband only three months ago followed by this week's ousting of her son-in-law, Ratu Epeli Ganilau, from the chair of the Great Council of Chiefs must have taken their toll.

The Indian high commissioner, Professor Ishwar Chauhan, says Adi Lala was a pillar of strength for husband during his long years as prime minister and president.

A leading Fiji businessman, Mahendra Patel, says Adi Lady Lala was a great and humble chief and her loss is devastating.

The head of the Roman Catholic Church in Fiji, Archbishop Petero Mataca, says the nation is mourning the death of one of its finest daughters.