BY HENRY FOLEY WHALE'S tooth, similar to
that presented to the Pope several years ago, will be offered to a young Fijian priest after his ordination in Westminster Cathedral tomorrow week (November 20).
Beam o Ratuloco. the son of Ratu Vika, the Chief of Solevu on the island of Vanua Levu, will he ordained by Bishop Foley of Fiji during the Capitular Mass at 10.30 a.m.
The whale's tooth will be presented immediately afterwards at a reception in the Sacred Heart hall in Horseferry Road.
The Fijians, dressed in their native dress of tooth-shaped skirts. known as .cults, or in grass skirts will squat on the mat-coveted floor and their leader, st ith great ceremonial will offer to Ratuloco the whale's tooth, called a 1(110 /!
This will be followed by the yangeona ceremony, which is
performed in complete silence, apart from controlled handclapping.
In some of the villages in Fiji, until the beginning of the century. if anyone made any noise, a sneeze or even a cough. he was taken away and clubbed to death. Accordingly. long before the ceremony was due to take place, all the animals, the babies and children were taken well out of earshot.
PLANTS FROM FIJI
Powdered root of the native yanggona plant—flown from Fiji— will be ceremoniously mixed with water in a large wooden howl. A half coconut shell will be dipped into it and the drink offered first to the young priest and then in turn to all present.
Ratuloco was educated by the Marist Fathers at their Mission of Solevu and then at their boarding school on the island of Ovalati. After his secondary education at St. John's College, Cawaci, be began his studies for the secular priesthood at Riccarton, Christchurch, New Zealand.
HIGHER STUDIES Bishop Foley, who was born at Sandgatc. Kent, selected him for higher studies and he was entered at Propaganda College. Rome, where he is completing his studies.
Fr. Thomas Foley, S.M., headmaster of Cawaci. will be present at the ordination. There are twelve Fijian priests in the islands, seven are Marists and five seculars.