Prayers for drowned Fijian teenager; she’d been staying with a family in Whitby

Press Release – Anglican Church in Aotearoa
It is with a great sense of sadness that the Anglican Archbishops of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia ask for prayer after the death of a Fijian teenager who had been on holiday in Wellington.

18-year-old Deepika Kumar had been in Wellington since December and she was due to return to Fiji this week after attending the Parachute Festival. She died in Waikato Hospital after being found in the pool of a motel in Hamilton on Saturday.

The teenager had been cared for by the Sisters of the Community of the Sacred Name, living at St Christopher’s Home in Suva, Fiji. Deepika was to return to Fiji to begin university and was accepted to train to be a teacher.

Archbishop Philip Richardson says the prayers of the church are with the Sisters of the Community of the Sacred Name in Suva.

“They have lost a young woman that they cared for as a child and our prayers are with them at this time as well as the sisters who live in Christchurch, the community here and in Fiji have lost a family member.”

The archbishops are also asking for prayers for the Anglican Parish of St Mary’s in the Wellington suburb of Whitby. Deepika had become part of the parish family during her time in New Zealand staying with a family who treated her as a daughter.

“This is such a tragedy to hold alongside a life that was to offer so much and so our prayers are with those who have cared for Deepika and will now miss her,” says Archbishop Philip Richardson.

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