Saturday, 5 March 2016

TRIBUTE: A tribute to Mr. Jai Chandra, Nadi fan / University of Fiji Lecturer (Accounting), by Kieran James / Ruth Irwin, 5/3/2016.

Mr Jai Chandra (first on right) with Professor Kieran James (first on left) and Jai's best friend Mr. Riaz Mohammed Azam (third from left) @ University of Fiji Saweni campus.
By Professor Kieran James
1 “TRIBUTE TO JAI: Mr. Jai Chandra worked with me in Accounting Department at University of Fiji from May 2013 to December 2015 so that makes me his last boss. I am very saddened and shocked to hear of his death at a young age. In my last week at UOF last year he presented his research proposal for his Master thesis, a thesis he will now never complete. It would be nice if UOF gave consideration to awarding him the degree posthumously. As all past and present students know he had expert accounting and auditing knowledge and was a dedicated lecturer who gave 10 years of service to UOF. He was widely respected and even slightly feared by the naughty or talkative or lazy students. He always had a grin on his face and that made everyone's day better although sometimes you were not sure if he was laughing with you or at you! He was a dedicated Nadi supporter and I was happy I could introduce him to my friend Henry Dyer (Nadi soccer legend) and the three of us had drinks a few times at Bounty and elsewhere. As mentioned, Jai was a dedicated Nadi fan who would replay disputed goals or penalties on his office youtube the day after big games. He was a just, kind, and fair person with a strong set of internal ethics and values. I trusted him 100% and trusted his judgement on many matters. I will miss him a lot. I'm sure if he had finished PhD he could have been a professor in Fiji or overseas. My condolences to his close friends (such as Mr. Riaz Mohammed Azam) and surviving family. It seems American rockers Creedence Clearwarer Revival were right this time when they wrote "Only the good die young". Go Nadi Go and I hope they can win a trophy for Mr. Jai this season” (by Kieran James, Senior Lecturer, University of the West of Scotland, Glasgow and former Accounting Professor at University of Fiji, May 2013 – December 2015,

By Professor Ruth Irwin

2 "A bus load of us went to Jai’s funeral yesterday. I thought you might like to know how it went.

It was very big – he was a very popular man and very well respected in his community. As you probably know, he was the last person in his immediate family. There were a great many cousins there, and they were deeply affected at his death. One of the women was quite hysterical. It was really sad. I think ... she felt bereft of him, and worried about the future.

He had built a really good concrete house. It was well constructed, with lovely tiles on the floor. Not quite finished but definitely nearly there. He built the whole thing himself. The funeral was in the front porch which had a big corrugated iron awning. Its quite a rural settlement up the Votualevu road. The ceremony was really beautiful. He was in an open casket and there were speeches and prayers. Lots of mention of unifiji, given that most of his adult life he worked here. One of his friends from here gave a speech. Then his cousins performed a ritual, where they were blessed, and then poured herbal water into his mouth, passed incense around his body, put garlands over his head, put the turmeric mark on his forehead and said their goodbyes. That was when the women started wailing. After that, they took him in a van up to the cemetery and the men kept him company while they put his body in a fire" (by Professor Ruth Irwin, Education Professor, School of Humanities and Arts, University of Fiji, Saweni campus, used with permission).

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