Deputy Prime Minister and National Federation Party Leader, Professor Biman Prasad says the late Vinod Patel despite being harassed, intimidated and incarcerated as an ardent supporter of the NFP-FLP Coalition Government after the 1987 coups, remained fearless and steadfast to the principles of democracy and justice.
While paying homage to Patel who passed away at the Aspen Lautoka Hospital on Friday night at the age of 84, Prof Prasad said democracy, truth, justice, care, compassion for all and national interest were the fundamental principles of the late politician and businessman.
“His sad and untimely death marks the end of an era of one of Fiji’s most prominent personalities who was passionate just about things that promoted unity, solidarity, democracy and resulted in advancing the livelihood of the people.”
He was a member of the National Federation Party since its inception more than 60 years ago in 1963 was Mayor of Ba for 8 years.
He was a Member of Parliament for 7 years from 1992 to 1999. He served as Treasurer of the Party for 18 years from 1986 to 2004.
From April 2000 till his death, Patel was one of the Trustees of the NFP.
“Mr Patel always had care and concern for the people. He always devoted time and energy towards social and charitable work. In politics, Mr Patel was a close ally of former NFP Leader Justice Jai Ram Reddy.”
“We convey our sincere and deepest condolences to Mrs Patel and the entire Patel family and may Lord grant them the courage and strength to overcome this immeasurable loss.”
Patel’s funeral service will be held from 11am on Tuesday 9 January at Vinod Patel, Park, Ba Town, followed by cremation at Varoko Crematorium from 1.30pm.