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Fiji Time: 12:40 PM on Sunday 20 April

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In memory of the Thomsons

By Ashwini Prasad
Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A STAINED glass memorial window at St Andrews Presbyterian Church in Suva was dedicated in memory of Sir Ian and Lady Nancy Thomson.

Sir Ian served as an elder of St Andrews through much of the 40 years of his service in Fiji.

His work in Fiji included many years as chairman of the Fiji Sugar Industry, the Coconut Board, the Economic Development Board, the Native Lands and Fisheries Commission and Air Pacific.

He was president of the Fiji Returned Servicemen's Association and of the Suva Rotary Club.

On a number of occasions he acted as Governor-General and Commander-in-Chief of Fiji.

He died in Scotland on March 14, 2008.

Lady Nancy Thomson was born at Vatuwaqa and died in 1988.

She also led a life of service to Fiji, especially in relation to the Young Women's Christian Association (of which she was Vice-President), St Johns Ambulance Brigade, and the Fiji Girl Guides Association (of which she was President).

She bore eight children, four of whom were married at St Andrews in Suva.

The design of the Thomson memorial window was mindful of the Scottish roots of St Andrews Church and the process by which the church has been a home away from home for Pacific Christians from Kiribati, New Zealand, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and Korea.

The window represents a marriage of two potent symbols: firstly the ancient Celtic cross formed by the trunk of the tree, the blue bar of the ocean, and the circle of the moon rising and reflecting on the lagoon; and secondly, the ocean-side coconut tree - a true icon of life in the Pacific Islands.