Tasavi Tom Tony, a 71-year-old Chief from North Efate has set the record on being the oldest man to travel around Efate, on foot and within 1-day, 9 hours and 45 minutes.

Tasavi, or Chief Taripoaliumanu is from a village in Nguna called Tanoropo, located off the northern coast of Efate in Undine Bay.

Born in 1949, Tasavi preferred being described as a ‘sportive man’ with an athletic background of being a swimmer, a hiker and a cyclist in his prime years.

Last year, Tasavi began his walk early in the morning of December 30th at Anamburu, traveling North-West and returning back to his checkpoint on December 31st, in the evening.

“It has been my New Year goal to make a complete circuit on foot,” he said with pride.

“From the past years in 1951, there have been elders around the ages of 60-70 who travelled by foot around the island, but it took them three days and three nights to make a complete circuit.

“I’m proud to be one who did it in approximately 33-hours and 43-minutes.”

Tasavi has set a new challenge by carrying with him only a bag with his water bottle, towel and extra clothes.

“I had no time to talk to people I met along the way or from villages and communities I passed.

“It rained six times but I had no time to stop, I had to refuse a number of kind people offering me a ride during my walk, I was walking against time.”

Tasavi said with no time to spare, he had to eat and walk at the same time. “It was getting dark the moment I reached Epao, I had no phone and no flashlight, it was a struggle to walk in the dark but despite the fuss people say, I had no encounters with any evil spirits (Nakaimas) which is one thing people from North Efate feared the most when walking alone at night.

“Whenever I become drowsy, I had to jog to keep me awake.”

The old man said his aim was to make a memorial record of 2020 which he will pass on the tale to his six children.

“We’ve all had a drive around the island, only to see the view in a split-second from the window of a moving vehicle,” he reflected.

“It’s a whole different experience when traveling on foot, you get to be in the moment, breathe the air and see the places in a different perspective.”

Tasavi leaves off with an encouragement to youths, to “stop sleeping too much and make use of your raw, God-given talents, in order to leave behind a legacy worth remembering”.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.