The Provincial Bailiffs were once revered deeply during the Fijian Administration when they action out legal process of their Provincial Council. During this time it is a title of more dignity and power in effect they collected Provincial rates, issue warrants to villagers in the Province. They were the Principal agents of the Roko Tui in carrying out his request to collect rates to support the administration of the Provincial Office.
As financial agents for the Roko Tui of the Province to collect revenues from the villagers of the Province. There were many funny stories circulating nowadays about the Provincial Bailiffs or as they were commonly known as Ovisa ni Yasana. After flipping through old records a name that stands out of the list is Mr Iliesa Matani.
Mr Iliesa Matani was born in the year 1927 and hails from the village of Dama in their clan responsibility as Sauturaga to Turaga Tui Wailevu na Buli Dama of Mataqali Vunirara(Loma-i-Dama) in the Yavusa of Dama. Mr Matani was married to Mrs Amelia Tawake from the Mataqali Navatu.
Mr Matani started working for the Bua Bailiff as Ovisa Buli in 1951 and was promoted to Ovisa ni Yasana in 1954. From the records it was clear that Mr Matani was a really hardworking man and use to be commended highly by the Roko Tui whom he served under for his service to the Province of Bua for 42 years.
Some of the major roles of the Ovisa ni Yasana is to collect Provincial rates from villagers, those who fail to pay a given warrants with failure to pay upon next visit the Ovisa ni Yasana will execute and arrest villagers to be imprisoned.
The Ovisa ni Yasana is requested to submit
Figure below : Monthly Report of Provincial Bailiff Mr Iliesa Matani signed and recorded personally.
Mr Matani was promoted and finished as an Assistant Roko. In 1995 Mr Matani was recognized among ten other names shortlisted to be awarded for service rendered to the Province of Bua. The mark left by the Ovisa ni Yasana as of today lives a mark of great reverence for paving the footsteps that had shaped the Provincial Office of Bua. Especially the aforementioned Mr Matani memories with respect to kindle back the great forefront of work highly seen and stories that will shape and protect their history in years to come.
Prepared by : S. K. TABAKECE IN MEMORY OF MR ILIESA MATANI