From Kindergarten to Lifeguard: The Inspiring Journey of Paul, a Beloved Member of the Shangri-La Yanuca Island, Fiji, Resort Team

At the heart of every excellent resort experience lies a dedicated team that ensures guests have an unforgettable stay. Among the remarkable individuals that make Shangri-La Yanuca Island, Fiji, shine, one team member’s journey is truly extraordinary.

Meet Paul, a lifeguard and boat captain who recently joined the resort’s security team. What makes his story even more remarkable is that he is an essential part of the resort and an alumnus of one of the kindergartens built by The Bilo Bar Club.

For those familiar with the resort’s history, Ratu Tevita Makutu (Snr) needs no introduction. Renowned for his serenading and Kava ceremonies during the early years at Bilo Bar, Ratu Tevita holds a special place in the hearts of many. Through his adopted son, Paul, his legacy lives on as a beloved member of the resort team.

Paul’s journey began in Cuvu Village, where he attended our Cuvu Kindergarten and subsequently the Cuvu District School for his primary education. He later moved to Nadroga Navosa High School for Years 9 and 10 before enrolling at Queen Victoria School, a boarding school in Tailevu, to complete his secondary education. Despite facing financial constraints, Paul’s determination led him to pursue a Diploma in Electrical Engineering at Fiji National University.

While studying at the university, Paul faced financial difficulties that cut short his pursuit of a diploma. However, he refused to let adversity deter him. To support himself financially, Paul worked part-time as a bartender at a nightclub in Suva. His resilience and work ethic demonstrated his unwavering commitment to achieving his goals.

In 2019, Paul made the difficult decision to leave Suva and return home to care for his father, Ratu Tevita. He dedicated himself to his family for two years, providing the support and care his father needed. After his father’s passing, Paul joined Blue Lagoon Cruises as a crew member while simultaneously enrolling at the FNU Maritime School.

Paul is enrolled in the challenging Class 5 Boat Master Course at FNU Maritime School. As he navigates through the program, he also works towards completing his sea time, an integral part of his training. His determination to expand his skillset and knowledge in maritime affairs reflects his unwavering commitment to personal growth.

In late May 2023, Paul embarked on a new chapter in his journey by joining the esteemed team at Shangri-La Yanuca Island Resort, Fiji. His role as a lifeguard and boat captain for the resort’s security team showcases his exceptional skills and dedication to ensuring guests’ safety and enjoyment.

When you encounter Paul during your stay at the resort, be sure to offer a big warm Bula recognising his remarkable journey and his passion for his role. His story serves as a reminder that dreams can be realised through determination, resilience, and the unwavering support of charitable organisations like The Bilo Bar Club.

Paul’s incredible journey from a kindergarten built by The Bilo Bar Club to becoming a valued member of the Shangri-La Yanuca Island, Fiji, team, inspires us all. His unwavering commitment to personal growth, overcoming challenges, and embracing responsibility showcase his remarkable character and dedication.

As we encounter Paul during our stay at the resort, let us celebrate his achievements and the extraordinary impact that The Bilo Bar Club has in transforming lives and fostering opportunities for a brighter future.

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