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This week in Fiji Dec 9

Ruby Taylor-Newton
Sunday, December 09, 2012

On December 9, 1971, (Thursday), the Fiji Times ran the following articles:

Please Santa...

"This is what I want for Christmas" — four-year-old Sharon Bing, of Suva, holds up a giant Santa Claus which she hopes will be among her Christmas presents.

Cruise boat hits reef

The cruise boat Sayandra damaged a propeller when she went aground on a reef off Nasese, Suva, yesterday. The Sayandra was on her way to Levuka. She was towed off the reef at high water by the New Zealand ship Maranui. The Sayandra is owned by Tradewinds Marine Ltd, of Suva.

War bulletins

Radio Fiji will broadcast special daily news bulletins by the BBC Hindustani department about the India-Pakistani war during its hindustani breakfast sessions. The broadcasts will begin today and continue for a trial period of two weeks.

Overtime stops at Kings wharf

The Customs Department has stopped overtime work at Suva's Kings Wharf between 4.30pm and 6pm on weekdays because importers are not taking advantage of the service.

The extra working hours were provided to help importers to clear their goods from the wharf's congested storage sheds.

Unprofitable: The Marine Department's Traffic manager, Captain Robert McCaig, said yesterday that because of the small number of importers taking advantage of the service, it was not paying.

The wharf sheds are full of overseas cargo waiting to be cleared, with more ships in port in the next few days.

Western Division canecutting is delayed by rain

Wet weather is disrupting farmers' efforts to harvest sugar crops in the Western Division and get the cane transported to mills in time for crushing.

Two canefarmers' leaders yesterday urged South Pacific Sugar Mills Ltd to allow more time for crushing. The growers' senior representative on the Sugar Advisory Council, Swami Rudrananda, said the cane crushing season should be extended further to ensure that all the standing crops was harvested.

Continual rain during the past week had delayed harvesting and transport of cane to the mills," he said.

Lightning fuses lights

Lightning caused power and light failures in Nadi Town on Monday night.

A Fiji Electricity Authority official said that several fuses were hit by lightning during a violent thunderstorm, which lashed the town for two hours.

Lower duty urged in bid to cut taxi fares.

Lifting of import duty on taxis as a way of keeping taxi fares down were suggested in the House of Representatives by HW Yee (Alliance , Suva) during the Budget debate.

Mr Yee said he doubted that tax increases would check the flow of new car registrations. Fiji's roads would become more and more congested. Taxis were a different matter, Mr Yee said.

He said increases in car prices would affect the earning power of taxi owners.

If the price increases were passed on, the public would face higher fares.

The government might help by allowing taxi owners to buy replacement vehicles duty free.

Exam error questioned

Questions about a decision to change the pass mark in the Fiji secondary schools entrances examination from 200 to 220 were asked in the House of Representatives by Mrs Irene Narayan (NFP, Suva).

The Minister for Social Services, Mr Jonati Mavoa, said the pass mark was raised when it was discovered, after the examination result was issued, that the scaling procedure had not been fully done.

Raiwaqa co-op chief resigns

A man who charmed hundreds of overseas visitors while he was commissionaire at Suva's Grand Pacific Hotel, has resigned as head of one of the city's biggest cooperative movements.

Mr Nacanieli Vunibola (57) has resigned as manager of Raiwaqa Duavata Co-operative Society Ltd "to go into something different."

His resignation, which has been accepted by the board of directors, will become effective on December 31. Raiwaqa Duavata Co-operative Society Ltd owns and operates a big supermarket in the Raiwaqa area.

Mr Vunibola said he was still head of Meke Entertainment Co Ltd, which was the start of the co-operative society and Raiwaqa Salavata Transport Co Ltd.

Graduation day

Miss L.A Waqatabu, sister-in-charge of Sigatoka Hospital is congratulated by Professor CL Bailey, head of the Department of Education, Victoria University of Wellington, as he presents her with the diploma she gained at the New Zealand School of Advanced Nursing Studies in Wellington.

Miss Waqatabu had a World Health Organisation fellowship to study in New Zealand.

At the school's graduation ceremony, five other overseas nurses, from the Republic of China (Taiwan), Republic of Vietnam, Thailand and Tonga, received diplomas.

Teacher nears completion of training

Mr Mohammed Khalil of Suva, who was sent by Fiji Blind Society for teacher training in New Zealand, is due back in Fiji this month.

Mr Khalil, a primary school teacher, is undergoing training at Homai College, which is run by New Zealand Foundation for the Blind.

He had been seconded to Suva Crippled Children's School where he taught the four blind children there before going away.

On his return to Fiji, Mr Khalil will continue at the school until a school for the blind is opened next year.

New Parliament will cost twice the price

Fiji's enlarged Parliament in 1972 will cost nearly twice as much as the present one. The estimated expenditure for 1971 is $218, 685. The estimate for 1972 is $402,023.

The biggest increase, from $25,000 to $123, 835, a rise of 396 per cent, comes under the heading "Expenses in connection with House of Representatives and Senate," in the re-current Budget estimates.

an explanatory note says the increased amount is "to cover accomodation and travel allowances and incidental expenses for the House of Representatives, and attendance, accomodation and travel allowances, etc for the Senate."

Money sent overseas is a drain on Fiji's dollars

Fiji was losing foreign exchange because of money being sent overseas, Mrs Loma Livingstone (Alliance, Western) told the House of Representatives yesterday.

"The more we control the rate of exchange on our own money, the more we save, the more we give to the people," she said.

"There are so many people of all races sending money out of this country, and we are losing on it, that is not even funny."

Mrs Livingstone referred to hotel development and said Fiji needed hotels.

But she added: "The cruel fact of it is there has been quite a racket in this."

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