Students from Pacific Harbour Multi-Cultural School showered the Roko Sau of Totoya with letters, thanking him for helping the humpback whale, the beloved Prince of the Bay, back to sea.
In October 2012, the Prince swam into the Totoya lagoon but could not find its way back out to sea. The Roko Sau, who is the Fiji Islands Coordinator for Pacific Blue Foundation, worked with locals and Dr. Cara Miller from the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society International to guide the whale back to sea.
After many attempts to lead the Prince out of the lagoon and after holding whale safety education workshops for the village, the Prince finally found his way to sea in early February. The students were grateful that the villages and organizations came together to help the whale. A student nicely summed up their thanks by writing, “I would like to thank you Roko Sau and the Tovu Villages for taking care of the whale.”
One student referred to herself and her classmates as “very good environmentalists,” which is why they were “happy it was swimming around the island” (as opposed to stuck in the lagoon), and why they were thanking Totoya for being “such good hearted people,” “heroes to our planet,” and “for making sure that none harmed it.” They also hoped “the Prince will have a safe trip back home.” One student even asked the Roko Sau to tell the Prince “not to go near any boat.”
The students decorated their letters beautifully with fish, flowers, colors, geometric shapes and whale tails, so readers can appreciate waves circling the margins while reading about how it is “so exciting to save the whale.”
A student told the Roko Sau, “I will always remember this story until I get older.” Hopefully, the village’s efforts to save the whale will be memorable for the children and inspire them to act heroically for their planet in the future.
View all the letters from the students of Pacific Harbour Multi-Cultural School (names were deleted for privacy and protection).