THE WHITTONS $65,000: A TOUR through the FijiFirst Party Donation List throws up an array of donors, with the owners of Rosie Holidays (which rebranded in 2018 to Rosie Travel Group, RTG), the country's largest inbound tourism operator, topping up the donor chart among the non Indo-Fijian FFP donors, with $65,000. The RTG also owns and operates two of the country's premier island resorts on the Mamanuca Group - Malolo Island Resort and Likuliku Lagoon Resort.
As we have pointed out previously, most of these donations are legitimate under the Donation Decree. Moreover, the scion of the Whitton family, Rosie Whitton's own rise from rag to riches in the founding of their tourism business empire, is much to be admired and emulated in Fiji. RTG's managing director Tony and his wife Brigid Whitton made a donation of $5,000 on 9 August 2014. It was via Direct Debit to FFP Treasurer Vimlesh Kumar. On 31 August 2017, Tony, Brigid and Rosie Whitton donated $10,000 each ($30,000), and on 8 October 2018, Tony and Brigid donated $10,000 each ($20,000), followed by Rosie on 30 October 2018: $10,000. Total: $65,000. In March this year, Tony Whitton reported that the company lost $15million in sales as a result of lost business from COVID-19 and 25 executives had taken a ten per cent pay cut to sustain the company which employs 600 people https://www.fijitimes.com/tourism-tycoon-loses-out-on-sales/
RAG TO RICHES: https://fijiplus.com.fj/dream-makers-rosies-scion-tony-whitton/
On 15 June 2014, the Italian-born businessman Flaviano Pisoni, the owner of The Italian Shop, donated $5,000 to FijiFirst Party. Flavio (as he is known) made his money on the motor racing circuit in Europe and drives the only Ferrari in Fiji.
HANNAH RAFFE, of the Plantation and Lomani Island Resorts on Malolo Lailai Island in the Mamanuca Group, donated $5,000 on 9 August 2014, via Direct Debit, to FFP Treasurer Kumar. The two resorts are part of Raffee Group of Hotels. The family also own Fiji Gateway opposite the Nadi International Airport terminal. Plantation Island which was founded by her late father, Reginald, celebrated its 50th anniversary last November. Her husband Brian Kirsch, of Robinson Crusoe Island Resort, also donated to FFP. On 18 September 2017, Kirsch donated $5,000. RN: 858. There is no evidence who received the donation. On 8 November 2018, he donated another $5.000. There is no receipt or who from FijiFirst Party received the $5,000 from Kirsch. In August 2020, he was elected President of the Fiji Hotel and Tourism Association. We wrote to Hannah Raffe but received no reply from her.
In 2014, came flying TIM and SUSAN BOYCE with their $10,000 for FFP. They donated via Direct Debit (70) to the party treasurer Vimlesk Kumar. The couple own the Pacific Flying School in Nadi.
The Pacific Flying School is subsidiary Joyce Aviation (Fiji) Ltd.The owners and directors, Tim & Susan Joyce, have been living in Fiji for the past 11 years. They established Tandem Skydive (Fiji) Ltd and Adventure Sailing Fiji in 2004, Joyce Aviation (Fiji) Ltd (trading as Heli-Tours Fiji) in 2009 and recently purchased (July 2014) Sunflower Aviation Limited / Pacific Flying School Limited.Tim is the Managing Director & CEO for each of these companies.