Celebrating International Women’s Day; Patricia Wong

March 7, 2024

Today, we shine a light on Patricia Wong, a familiar and beloved figure on Ovalau Island.

Affectionately known as Aunty Pat, she has dedicated over a decade of her life to serving the Levuka Branch of the Red Cross. Alongside her husband, Paul, her entire family actively volunteers, embodying a true spirit of service.

What many may not realize about Aunty Pat is her extensive experience as a trained midwife. She selflessly devotes much of her time to assisting women, particularly young mothers from outer islands, who come to give birth. Living close to the hospital, Aunty Pat opens her home to these women in need, offering them shelter and support during their time of vulnerability.

During our recent catch-up, Aunty Pat insisted I try a new coffee she had discovered through a friend. Her face lit up as she spoke of her friend’s resilience despite facing blindness from diabetes.

Aunty Pat’s conversation then turned to the significant achievements of the Levuka Branch, particularly their role in negotiating the supply of clean water to Moturiki Island. Despite the challenges, she highlighted the importance of the branch’s strong relationship with the Provincial office in advocating for community well-being.

As we conversed, Aunty Pat fondly reminisced about swimming in what she referred to as the “green pool” on Moturiki, only to realize it was actually murky water unsafe for swimming—a poignant reminder of the challenges faced by some communities.

Aunty Pat and her husband are among the longest-serving volunteers on the island, known for their unwavering support and readiness to assist those in need. Their humility and dedication are truly admirable, with Aunty Pat having even helped deliver babies on the island.

As we chatted in her living room, a visitor comes by. Aunty Pat welcomes her in and introduces us. She carries on her conversation and includes the lady in it, you can tell the lady was very pleased to have someone to talk to.

At the end of our conversation, I ask her what keeps her driven and going. She replies:’

“I let go and just be happy. As you get older, you come to realise some things are not worth holding on to. So I let go and live life. I help where I can, especially the young mothers that come from Batiki, Nairai, Naigani and Moturiki. It’s not easy, but it must be done.”

We are very blessed and thankful for Aunty Pat.



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