THE stage was set for some rocking music as people hurried along to get a good seat in the enclosed dining hall. The mood slowly picking up a mild seal of approval as five sturdy-looking figures walked to the centre of the podium where their music equipment sat waiting to get the party started.
It wasn't a party though but a 70s rock concert performed by two teachers and five students.
They called themselves The Black September, and no, they're not linked to the infamous Palestinian terrorist group that murdered 11 Israeli athletes and officials at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich.
It was mere coincidence that they shared the same name, but memories they created at Ratu Kadavulevu School will forever be etched in the minds of those who witnessed an initiative that brought the school community to life.
Saimoni Nainoca, 66, remembers that day as if it were yesterday as he flipped through his photo album.
It was their debut as a rock band and a scene he will never forget. Just the other day, he stumbled on an old picture of his former band mates. He was in his early 20s at the time.
The picture, in black and white, had a few creased lines hugging the top corners.
It was taken in front of what appeared to be a classroom block with the number 78 plastered on a concrete post to the right.
The drum set and sound system complimented the 70s outdoor look they had that day. Saimoni wore a cap with his iTaukei locks beaming out from the sides.
He didn't mind the heat that day, neither did the rest of the band members because they had the crowd moving to the sound of Memphis Tennessee, Daniel Boone's original Beautiful Sunday, The Beach Boys and Neil Diamond's original I'm a believer, a hit when Smash Mouth and Eddie Murphy tweaked it a bit for the soundtrack of the movie, Shrek.
They didn't last long, needless to say, but they did leave a footprint and stepping stone for other talented musicians at Delainakaikai.
"The band was a mix of teachers and students who were music lovers. We came together to change the lifestyle at the RKS. At the time, some borders were homesick, others would look forward to the only form of entertainment which was the screening of a movie on the projector," Saimoni recalled.
"Master Apete Tamani and I were the two teachers in that band. The boring atmosphere at the time was like being shipwrecked in a rural area.
"We did the same thing day in and day out. The sun would rise from Levuka and settle at Delainakaikai — and that was it.
"So we decided to form a band and perform a rock band show. We approached senior students who were interested in joining and two volunteered almost immediately.
"Later we had three senior students in the band - Josefa Soko was a lead singer, Asaeli Tuicolo played the rhythm guitar and Peni Cabenalevu was the lead guitarist.
"Master Tamani was co-leader and played the drums. My stage name then was Biggs and I was co-leader and bass guitarist.
"When the picture was taken, we were performing a live concert at RKS during the month of September.
"We were trying to think of an appropriate name for our band and since it was September and we were all 'black', we thought of The Black September.
"It just happened to coincide with the name of the terrorist group but we weren't terrorists. From then on, the name just stuck.
"I remember going into the dining hall with the others and asking everyone which they preferred — movie screening or a rock band concert.
"Everyone said to do away with the movie and approved the rock band.
"Out of 1000 students who wanted to join, only 50 were shortlisted. It dropped down to the selection of three talented students."
The band, according to Saimoni, didn't just whip out 70s rock music. They also engaged the crowd with English, iTaukei and Hindi songs.
Their name spread like wildfire to nearby villages that shortly after their debut, they were invited to perform at various social functions.
The crowd, he says, responded like crazy fans. After a performance the night before, he would see the students chatting away about how the show went down. They became the talk of the school community.
"That evening, the dining hall was jam-packed by 7pm. Teachers and their families came, parents, guardians and people from nearby areas were there for the concert.
"When we started playing, we just rocked the stage so much so that even the dead may have risen up to listen to our music," Saimoni says.
"It really showed our love for music and the individual talents that the students possessed. Our stint came to an end when we were transferred to another school and the senior students had left. But that was an experience I will cherish.
"Master Tamani had passed away and Peni is now a talatala. I'm not sure about Soko but the last I heard, Asaeli had joined the military.
"It would be nice to catch up with them again." Saimoni went onto join two other bands in Sigatoka, Beatniks and Timebreakers. Today, he is the Fiji Paralympics senior development officer.
The Black September crew may have gone their separate ways after a 'rocking' stint four decades ago but they will always be remembered for jazzing up the dining halls at Delainakaikai.