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This week in FIJI

Ruby Taylor-Newton
Sunday, December 02, 2012

December 1, 1973

Mother dies at 12th baby

The death of a woman having her 12th baby has brought a warning, from the Fiji Government.

The woman, who had had 11 pregnancies, since 1950, died from bleeding at her home in Vanua Levu.

A government spokesman said she had been advised to have her 12th baby in hospital.

The secretary for health, Dr Dharam Singh, said that because of the dangers of having frequent babies, some women preferred to have a minor operation to stop pregnancies.

He added: In spite of the very well advertised and easily available family planning assistance, the patient had a number of deliveries by traditional birth attendants at home and was apparently not convinced by the advice given."

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CWM has its 50th birthday

Tomorrow, the Colonial War Memorial Hospital will celebrate its 50th anniversary. The Governor of Fiji, Sir Cecil Rodwell, officially opened the hospital, one of the largest buildings in Suva on December 2, 1923.

Celebrations will begin at 8am tomorrow with an ecumenical service conducted by major religions of Fiji until 11am. It will be an open day for the public, who will be able to take refreshments and visit patients in most wards. Singers Sakiusa Bulicokocoko and Saimone Vuatalevu will perform at the open day.

Monday, December 3, 1973

Letters to the editor: Free Parking

Sir - I was appalled to read that Suva city councillors have voted to separate themselves from their fellow citizens by giving themselves the special privilege of not paying parking meter dues.

These dues have been levied on Suva road users by Suva City Council.

Their purpose, reinforced by law defining the use to which they are to be put, is to help in the establishment or extension of parking facilities for the city.

Councillors who carry on their cars the proposed exemption stickers will be declaring their refusal to contribute to the cost of an important amenity for the city whose interests they have been elected to serve. They will be proclaiming that they are unwilling to share a burden they have - with good reason - imposed on other citizens of Suva.

If I were still a member of Suva City Council, I would, under no circumstances accept, let alone use, an exemption sticker, because it is a badge of shame. - LG USHER, Suva.

Blind class gets $6000 room

PUPILS of the blind class at Fiji Crippled Children's School outside their new classroom after the president of the Fiji Blind Society, Mr Oliver Edwards, opened it. With them is Miss Makelesi, who will help the headteacher, Mr Mohammed Khalil. The classroom is valued at more than $6000. Earlier this year, the school's principal, Mr Frank Hilton, suggested a separate classroom on spare ground at the back of the school.

Tuesday, December 4, 1973

The land is one thing - a house is another

Ana Bulitimai has land, but it is no good to her unless she can get help to build a house.

Ana, a 60-year-old widow, lives with her 70-year-old brother, Romio, in a tumbledown house at Nasole six miles, near Suva. They have been there for about 30 years, but now the Housing Authority wants the land for development. It offered the old people an alternative site, but they have no money at all to build a new house.

They have no regular income and Romio is too old to work or plant.

Ana makes a few baskets to sell whenever she can, but they depend mainly on relatives to help them get by.

The Housing Assistance and Relief Trust (HART) may be able to help by providing materials and building them a house. The trust provides houses on its own land for destitute families, makes loans to people to build low -cost houses programme.

Budget profiteers checked

The Consumer Council of Fiji says it is investigating reports that some merchants have been hoarding goods to take advantage of new excise duty rates.

A council official said yesterday he would check invoices of beer deliveries to make certain that beer which merchants sold on Friday at higher prices, actually reached them on Friday, the day the higher duty took effect. The official said, beer which merchants had in stock before Friday, had to sell at the old pre-Budget prices.

..."the important point is that the higher tax can be applied only to new deliveries of goods. Old stock must remain at old prices."

Wednesay, December 5, 1973

King gets honorary degree

The new Chancellor of the University of the South Pacific, President Hammer DuRoburt, of Nauru, confers an honorary degree on King Taufaahau Tupou of Tonga, at a university graduation yesterday. It was the university's first honorary degree of doctor.

President DeRoburt awarded bachelor degrees to 54 students, diplomas of education to 61 students and graduate certificates of education to seven students.

Water supply for Tagitagi

The Public Works Department has completed the first connection on new Tagitagi settlement water supply near Tavua. The connection is part of a scheme which will eventually serve more than 100 families and cost about $26,000. A spokesman for the Ministry of Works said yesterday that the scheme consisted of a borehole with a diesel-driven pump which pumped water to an 11,000-gallon reservoir.

Vandals on rampage

Vandals slashed tyres of 19 cars and lorries parked in Lautoka streets in an orgy of destruction on Sunday night. Police arrested and charged five men on Monday. In Lautoka Court, the men denied the offences and were remanded. Police said the vandals ripped open all four tyres on some vehicles.

Fiji dishes are delicious....

Most countries have their culinary specialities - and Fiji is no exception.

The dedicated gourmet can have a grand time sampling unique South Seas dishes like kokoda (pronounced "kokonda"), palusami and rourou, turtle casserole, kai soup, and if its in season, the asparagus-like delicacy called duruka.

Because of the difficulty of preparation, few of these dishes are available on regular hotel menus, but you'll find most of them at special feast nights and on visits to Fijian villages.

On feast nights staged at hotels and resorts throughout Fiji, the food is cooked in the Fijian "lovo" or earth oven. This method of cooking produces food of quite unexpectedly magnificent flavour. Pork and fish prepared in the lovo become food fit for kings.

There's nothing extraordinary about holding a lovo, however, its part of ordinary life, in the islands as well as something special to show visitors.

Meat, fish and root vegetables like dalo (something like a potato, but of heavier texture) cassava and yam emerge from the earth oven with a faintly smoked flavour unlike anything produced through more sophisticated cooking techniques. The food streams in its own juices, so there are no unhealthy cooking fats either!

Other Fijian favourites include products of the sea like kaikoso ( a small mussel), vasua (clam), vivili (rock snail) and cawaki ( sea egg). Seafood is served in various ways, but the most popular method of preparation is to marinate in coconut milk, lemon and chillies, leaving it otherwise, raw.

A big hit with visitors is the raw fish dish called kokoda, usually made with the fine, white flesh of the walu, or spanish mackerel. Another delicacy is curried qari, or saltwater crab.

Indian influence in Fiji has led to a tendency to curry just about anything - from goat meat to pumpkin.

Fijian families add coconut milk to curry, giving it a unique, rich flavour.