22 Feb
Vale Watson Rauicava

It is with great sadness that we say farewell to our dear colleague and friend Watisoni Rauicava or Watson as he was commonly known. 

Watson had a vivacious and a loved personality. He had an infectious smile, a loud Fijian laugh and he was always optimistic about life. Watson was a friend for life to anyone fortunate enough to have made his acquaintance. He was born on the 28 July 1968 and was 55 years young when he died suddenly in Lautoka, Fiji. 

Watson joined the then Fiji Customs and Excise Department (now the Fiji Revenue and Customs Service) as an Assistant Customs Officer in 1989. He quickly rose through the ranks and in 2009 became the first Fijian to graduate with an academic post-graduate qualification in the field of Customs – a Master of International Customs Law and Administration (MICLA) from the Centre for Customs Excise Studies which was then based at the University of Canberra. During his time of service at the organisation, he helped create a lasting legacy and contributed selflessly of his time to building the capacity and capability of the organisation. He has helped numerous past and present officers in their personal and professional development which included contributing to the national recognition of Customs studies which led to the granting of scholarships to in-service officers. He resigned in 2015 after serving as the National Manager Border Control. 

This was not the end of his affiliation with Customs though. Watson was a Customs person through and through. It was a subject dear to his heart. He travelled the Pacific islands as a Customs Consultant for many years and joined the Fiji National University (FNU) teaching Customs courses at certificate and diploma level. He later joined us here at the Centre for Customs and Excise Studies. 

One of his best friends, Lorima Vosa, visited his wife Aggie shortly after Watson’s passing. She shared with him Watson’s final days in hospital. Watson was due to run an OCO Train the Trainers course in Nadi in the coming week as part of the CCES team. He kept pestering his doctor, telling him that he needed to be discharged by Sunday because he had a course to run the following week. Such was his commitment and desire to help Customs officials in the region. Watson possessed an unmatched selfless passion and deep commitment to the Customs profession – to help it grow to its full potential. He was in every sense of the word – a Customs person! 

So, with great sadness we say farewell to Watson and send our sincere condolences to Aggie and family. 

Moce mada