Grace Deoki, who died on March 20, made an immense contribution, not only by providing pastoral care and serving her Lord, but also by helping the wider community and especially women’s groups in Fiji.
Grace Magdalene Herman was born in Levuka, Fiji, in 1917. Her parents were Christians from Kerala, India, who had settled in Fiji.
Grace married the Rev. Ramsey Deoki, who became the first Fiji-born Indian to be ordained a minister of the Methodist Church in Fiji.
When Mr Deoki died in 1964, Grace immersed herself in serving the people of Fiji.
The Fiji Government recognised her contribution and she was awarded the Order of the British Empire.
After moving to Australia, Grace took keen interest in Uniting Church activities and was in touch with Methodist ministers who had served in Fiji. She attended Ipswich, Chapel Hill and Centenary Uniting Churches.
The Methodist Church recently recognised Mr Deoki’s contribution by dedicating a church at Nasinu, Fiji, in his name: the Rev. Ramsey Deoki Memorial Church. People of all races worship in this church and it is growing fast.
The seven children of Grace and Ramsey Deoki live in Brisbane, Sydney and Auckland and Fiji.