We end our 2018 year with a love story from our very own Pacific Homecare community.
Subamma and Lakshman, a couple of Indian descent born and raised in the Fiji Islands, have been married for over sixty years today.
Parents to seven children (including an adopted son), Subamma and Lakshman’s story goes way back to their childhood days, where they grew up as neighbours in the city of Lautoka in the Fiji Islands.
Lakshman being the older of the two was always looked upon to babysit Subamma when her family needed to go out.
Subamma was born and raised in Sigatoka city where she was living when Lakshman moved next door with his parents and siblings. As youngsters, they became good friends and enjoyed each other’s company. This worked out beautifully, because unbeknownst to them at the time, Subamma’s family had betrothed her to Lakshman.
The couple married in 1957 and later moved to Lautoka city to raise a family of their own. Subamma enjoyed a career as a Nursing Superintendent in Lautoka Hospital teaching first aid. Following in her husband’s footsteps, she later used these very same skills as a member of St Johns sharing her knowledge and experience as a teaching superintendent.
Lakshman was a joiner/carpenter at the Public Works Department. His passion for caring for the public drove him to join St Johns at the age of twenty-seven. He volunteered the large majority of his spare time helping others as a St Johns brigadier and was appointed to the position of Divisional Officer in 1991.
Much of Lakshman’s time and energy was devoted to taking care of those that were in need. If he wasn’t working at his day job or volunteering at St Johns, he was offering his services to the community as a healer, using herbal remedies and massages to manage general illnesses including arthritis, diabetes, and many more. Subamma was always in tow to help prepare the medicine.
Lakshmans efforts were recognised in 1993 when he was admitted as a SERVING BROTHER of THE ORDER OF ST. JOHN (formally known as Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem) sanctioned by her majesty Queen Elizabeth II and presented under the presidency of Ratu Sir Penaia Kanatabatu Ganilau. An honour that remains etched into Lakshmans memories till today, right alongside his memories of playing soccer.
At the age of fifty-five and sixty-six (Lakshman), the couple made the inevitable decision to move closer to their children in the land of the long white clouds. This move marked the end of a long-serving relationship with the St John community in Fiji. To this day, the Reddy’s maintain their status as healers and continue working with the communities surrounding them right here in South Auckland. Their commitment to the community has generated patients right across the country.
The Reddy’s joined our PHC family in 2016 with Nalini Kumar as their regular Support Worker. Coincidently, Nalini and the Reddy’s are actually connected to each other through Mr & Mrs. Lal who taught the Reddy children back in Lautoka city, proving once again just how small our world is ……… and even smaller in the islands.