Suva was officially declared a city in October of 1953 when it extended its one square mile boundary to include Walu Bay, Tamavua, Samabula, and Muanikau.
But it began the year as the centre of the celebrations in the Fiji colony for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.
These celebrations however were encompassed the following year when Suva put up quite a show for the Queen when she visited Fiji for the first time.
The starched whites of colonial officials and the colour and revelry of the iTaukeis and the Fijians of Indian decent flooded Albert Park, the centre of the celebrations, with a multitude of colour, ages and races.
Watching the New Zealand Broadcasting Service news reel of the Queen's 1954 tour the other day, thanks to my tau Akuila Qumi, it showed the capital's true character for hosting magnificent ceremonial display on stately, traditional and historical occasions.
Perhaps this was due to the prominent role Suva played in the colony's early beginnings as it was the centre of its two World War efforts, the headquarters of British rule in the Pacific and most recently the Malayan campaign.
It is a role that it has played so well right up to this day and you only have to look at the magnitude of the Suva Hibiscus Festival to see that the capital city sure does know of hosting a party.
In between, the capital city continued to grow thanks largely to its city council which continued in its expansion works hand in hand with the government of the day.
New suburbs were built as Fiji's greatest rural to urban drift started to accelerate with Suva as its centre.
One such child who grew up in Suva during this time is none other than award winning journalist and columnist Graham Davis whose father was a Methodist Church minister in Savusavu.
Graham's vivid recollection of life in Suva is seen mostly, through the eyes of a young boy whose curiosity and recollections were the best part of his young life.
Growing up in Savusavu where Graham was home schooled and schooled, Graham's first trip to Suva on board a Fiji Airways De Havilland Drover plane and boarded the airline's lone Bedford bus from Nausori to travel to Suva.
"For a kid like me, the sense of excitement arriving in Suva was amazing. ...and you'd slowly make your way across the old Nausori Bridge and through the then very rural Koronivia and Nasinu (area) and into town.
"It was before Rewa Dairy was built so the main highlights of the ride in were the Ratu Sukuna memorial School playing fields and the Carreras cigarette factor (which made Crown Cigarettes and Piccadilly) plus the old Tip Top Ice cream factory on the hill towards Samabula," Graham says.
His first description of Suva downtown area back then was reflective of that of a trim and proper English manor complete with its lush rose gardens.
"The sense of awe you'd get about Suva was incredible, especially for a "kai colo" like me. Fiji was then the Colony of Fiji and part of the British Empire. And the way the British ruled was to emulate a lot of the pomp and pageantry you see in Britain today, to try to transplant some of that sense of occasion to the local setting to command and inspire respect for its institutions. Everything about the system was designed to engender respect," Graham says.
He remembered how well kept Suva was in colonial days with squads of prisoners in grey-blue uniforms making the drive into the capital's main traffic lane, Edinburgh Drive like a walk through a beautiful botanical garden with huge tree ferns and the fabulous smell of freshly cut grass.
Recalling the whiff of copra in his nostrils which was the signpost for the wharves as the road led towards the market and past the Phoenix Theatre. Not only did copra dominate the wharves then as cruise ships constantly call into the Kings Wharf with P&O Liners like the Oriana calling in with their passengers.
The tourist industry completely transformed Suva's Cummings Street turning the colony and later the country into a duty free haven in the South Pacific and perhaps signal the start of the golden years of the tourist industry in Suva.
"And every big ship was farewelled in style, played off with colourful streamers and the RFMF and Police bands providing the wharf entertainment and then playing Isa lei as the massive ropes were untied and the ships slipped away. It was always an emotional moment that never seemed to lose its magic for those leaving and those staying," Graham says.
The dress code back then was that the iTaukei men would wear sulus and shirts and a coat and go mostly barefoot or wear "policemen" sandals while the iTaukei women adopted the 'sulu i ra' as their formal wear. Both sexes still retian the 'buiniga' hairstyle though.
Fijian of Indian origin men wore westernised clothes even though their older generation were still wearing Dhotis in the 1950s and 60s. Their women wore saris.
Kai Valagi men would wear white trousers or shorts with knee high socks held up with elastic bands and white shirts while their women would wear dresses, usually colour prints during the daytime and something more subdued for evenings.
"There too, in those days, there was a sense of occasion about shopping because most people dressed up to go to town. If you went downtown, lots of people put on their best clothes, mostly I guess for appearance sake," Graham says.
To see kids walking barefoot is not unusual in those days.
"I had 'policeman sandals' when I was at school and sometimes wore flip-flops when they became popular in the 1960s. But most people just walked around naturally, getting thick layers of toughened skin on the soles of their feet that seemed to protect you from most things," Graham says.
Ice cream was a relatively new introduction to the colony and he recalled the scene this dessert and other confectionary was eagerly consumed.
"Ice cream was a big deal in those days because it was a pretty recent arrival in Fiji. There were hilarious scenes outside MH's and Burns Philip of old iTaukei men trying ice cream for the first time and instead of licking them, wolfing them down and getting "brain freeze". It was magic and there were a lot of 'kailas'." Graham remembered.
He adds that movies in Fiji today are a much sedate affairs whereas in the 1950s and 60s, it was usually a raucus affair with a lot of 'kailas', yelling and stamping of feet for the main boy and boos for the bad guys.
Apart from the sights, the sounds of Suva were another highlight. The roar of the sports crowds at Albert and Buckhurst Parks and of course, the voices of the Fiji Broadcasting Commission announcers. Radio was king then. The Police or Military bands playing on Sundays at the Botanical Garden rotunda. One sound however has been completely silenced. The drone of the Sunderland Flying Boats of the Royal New Zealand Air Force which were based at Laucala Bay, which now the site of the University of the South Pacific.
Civil life in Suva was interrupted in 1959 when as local trade unionists led by Apisai Tora and James Anthony staged an oil and wharf workers strike that led to rioting in the capital city.
Though the industrial dispute was resolved it signalled the independence of locals and the emergence of a new generation of leaders and workers.
Through the 1960s urban expansion continued with more roads and housing sub divisions being built and more settlements also sprang up in the greater Suva area as more iTaukei pour into the city from their home provinces.
The education system eventually became more integrated with all Fijians finally attending school without the discrimination of isolating children in their own schools. So too in civil life where it eventually became policy that discrimination will not be tolerated.
Suva rapidly outgrew its adolescence to become a vibrant young city and brimming full of life and slowly it evolves into the sprawling cosmopolitan it is now.
And one kid who also grew up during this expansion is Bharat Jamanadas a former newspaper and TV journalist in New Zealand and celebrated cook.
Bharat grew up as an inner city kid in Suva and he grew up at Waimanu Road and later at Gordon Street.
"I was lucky as a child to live in multicultural neighborhoods. Grew up flying and fighting kites, playing pani, tops, marbles and soccer at Marks Park. There was a kite and top season and used to chase kites that was cut from Waimanu Rd up to the Suva wharf," Bharat says.
Bharat's dad was a tailor Jamanadas Parbhu who worked for G.B. Hari and Company before starting his own shop called Jamnadas and Co at Victoria Parade.
"Dad came to Fiji in