Alifereti Finau Ulugalala
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Ratu Alifereti Finau (18??-1934) was the eleventh Roko Sau of Lau and the fifth Tui Nayau. He was the son of Ratu Tevita Uluilakeba II and Adi Asenaca Kakua Vuikaba, daughter of the Vunivalu of Bau and self-styled King of Fiji, Ratu Seru Epenisa Cakobau. He was a member of the noble household Matailakeba.
His father Ratu Tevita Uluilakeba II would have eventually succeeded to the title had it not been for his premature death. As Alifereti Finau was still a minor, the title was succeeded to by his cousin Eroni Loganimoce, Roko Taliai Tupou’s son.
In 1898 with the death of Roko Eroni Loganimoce, Ratu Penaia Kadavulevu, Vunivalu of Bau, went to Lau and made Finau Sau ni Vanua and Tui Nayau ahead of Ratu Salesi Kinikinilau (Roko Eroni's son and Finau's rival for the title).
It is assumed that a possible reason for Ratu Kadavulevu’s eventual selection was due to the notion of dynastic extensions of power, as Finau was not only a first cousin but also married to his siter, Adi Ateca Moceiwai. Adi Moce as she is commonly referred to, is recorded to have been influential in introducing Bauan standards, manners and protocols in Lakeba which in time became dominant. This marriage between first cousins was not uncommon in Fijian families at the time. (Adi Moce & Ratu Kadavulevu's father was Ratu Nailatikau, oldest son of Cakobau; Finau's mother was another of Cakobau's daughters Adi Asenaca Kakua).
Ratu Finau was responsible and instrumental in promoting his nephew’s Ratu Lala Sukuna’s education overseas. It is recorded that he levied one ton of copra from every adult male in Lau in order to fund Ratu Sukuna’s education. His intention for this was that he saw the need to groom a powerful and articulate indigenous spokesman in government and in the councils of the nation to combat the increasing aggressive promotion of their own interests by Indians and Europeans. In time his nephew Ratu Sukuna would realize his intentions by becoming one of the most respected leaders of modern Fiji.
Ratu Finau’s patronage for enhancing education amongst his people is perhaps his greatest contribution during his reign. He founded the first school Lau Provincial School in Tubou, Lakeba in 1908, and his policy was to recruit staff from the United Kingdom. Some early pioneering teachers at this school included the famous ethnographer and anthropologist, Arthur Maurice Hocart.