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Friday, October 11, 2013


IDC good wishes

I WATCHED on Fiji One TV news my favourite team training in Labasa ground with a bu (green coconut) plus a few stones replacing the much fancied reflector cones that's used for grid training and circuit training.

Then I watched other teams at district and club levels with coloured cones for jumping and leaping etc, and I felt for the Babasiga Lions.

Please boys, train and just play well, this IDC.

The idiom "so as you train so shall you fight" always appreciated to the last whistle.


Dedicated to her calling

DURING my recent visit to Fiji, I had this wonderful opportunity to visit the senior citizens home in Samabula, Suva.

I was blessed to spend time with the residents and allowed to have a small prayer meeting with some patients and also donate a few things, which was part of our church — Thrive Church-Hindi Ministry-Elk Grove, CA, USA — outreach ministry.

The most amazing and awesome part was meeting staff nurse Neelym, who was on duty that Saturday during the Hibiscus weekend.

I take my hat off for Neelym for her dedication, love and care that she renders to all her patients. She considers them as part of her family.

She took her time and listened to the residents, spoke so gently and kindly to them, even the environment looked clean and well kept.

For such a young woman, to dedicate her time and care for the senior citizens is not only humbling but a great sacrifice.

She is indeed a true blessing to all the patients there. My prayer to all nurses is that each and everyone of you must not take your nursing duty lightly.

This is your calling in life, something we learnt from Sister Tora at Lautoka Nursing School.

Be kind and gentle, take some time and listen to your patients, give them the respect that they deserve.

I would like to extend my sincere thanks to Sokoveti Baravilala for organising the 2/86 nurses' reunion and inviting Sister Tora. We all had a blast.

Elk Grove

Gold Town

EXCITING, thrilling and classy are just few words to describe the 2013 Gold and Water Carnival.

I have been to many carnivals in Tavua but this year's arrangement was outstanding.

The large crowd gathered at Garvey Park was evidence of our gratitude for the festival.

The people were overwhelmed by the performance of the queens and their great contribution.

The new administrators have really lifted the standard of the festival.

This event has raised a little more than $62,000 which I believe would be put to good use in and around Tavua.

A big thank you to sponsors Vodafone, Shop N Save Supermarket, Fiji Water and Vatukoula Gold Mines for donating hefty sums towards Tavua.

Thank you, Tavua Town Council, for organising such a wonderful event.


Healthy diet

ONE instruction that most of us were drilled to remember as we grew up in the good old days was to study hard, get a good job and live a better life compared to the family struggles experienced in early life.

I take my hat off and praise those who are living the good life and yet still maintain the discipline and simple healthy diet they grew up with.

It is sad that today, kids who eat healthy foods in villages, quickly change their diet as if they had never eaten boiled rourou or bele with cassava once they move to the city.

Worse still is the practice of food discrimination by some mothers who love their children so much that they cannot bear to see them eating vegetables but rather feel that noodles are better for their health.

When they cook traditional vegetable dishes that we grew up with, they will have another pot of stew or curry or noodles just in case the young ones do not like the main dish.

In our fight against non communicable diseases, one solution is to get mothers or parents with the above mentality to change their mind-set and for children to be taught to change their tastebuds for more fruits and vegetables.


Pay increase

I WISH to inform Mr Vakaliwaliwa (FT 9/10 ) that his views on a pay increase is somewhat obscured in the sense that he does not see that it will benefit all.

Those below the poverty line only need to help themselves and come out of their helplessness and start looking for lifeboats to remain afloat.

Also, since this is Fiji and we care for those drowning, we will continue to give a helping hand to get them out of the doldrums.

After all, in the next election, we will only vote for a government that'll help us solve our financial deficits.


Tribute to a hero

I WOULD like to take this opportunity to pay my tribute to Naroi villager, Ratu Lele Vulawalu, who had passed on weeks ago at his beloved village.

Although his contribution in his lifetime may not have any impact on a national scale, his contribution to his village and district is worth mentioning.

His unique personality and attitude can be ranked among the world's best and he really deserved the respect of all sections of the community.

To his children and families, I on behalf of the numerous personnel who served in Moala, would like to convey our condolences and gratitude to this very humble gentleman.

Although you are gone, you are not forgotten and we will remember you.

With utmost respect, I would like to say thank you for your wonderful life and the whole of Moala are proud of you.


Daylight saving

For someone who is so eager to know the disadvantages of daylight saving, here we go:

* We lose one hour of our beautiful sleep;

* Our digestive system starts playing up because of the time change;

* Interior places have student's who have to walk to school in the dark;

* There is more sunshine to bear when knocking off from work and walking home;

* It's hard to go to sleep on the usual time because if we want to make use of that extra hour, we are left behind by the other; and

* No matter how much one spins their head around, one hour is lost in either way.

We are being told that there is no difference but the fact is there is a vast difference and once again I will say a survey is all that's needed.

Daylight saving actually changes everything and the whole routine of one's mental and physical actions.

The fact is that a place like Fiji doesn't need daylight saving and for those who love it can make use of daylight in their own way while normal time and routine is carried out for the rest.


Thank you

A BIG vinaka vakalevu to entire FBC team for bringing live coverage of EPL matches free of charge. What seems to be impossible for some company, though people were willing to pay and watch, is now made possible by FBC and that too free of charge. Once again vinaka vakalevu, dhanyavad and thank you for securing the rights. Our blessing will always be with your company.


Cemetery pain

MR Chang has clearly highlighted his grave concern on the state of the Enemanu cemetery. This place is more than an eyesore. It definitely needs tidying up. I suggest that the Nadi Town Council take the responsibility of maintaining the area as they do to the famous Wailoaloa beach for picnickers. I am sure the council can give back something to citizens of Nadi who made Nadi what it is today who lie there now. Let's give them a decent resting place.


Colour cartoons

THE cartoons by Sachin in The Fiji Times are the most attractive part for me. Great thinking and a job well done. Keep up the spirit.


Daily humour

ALLOW me to appreciate Sachin's absolutely delightful work as cartoonist of The Fiji Times. I make sure that my day starts with the two busy man Raj and Tukana. Good job Sachin.


Daily struggle

THE cost of living is skyrocketing and I am compelled to think how many of our people are struggling daily to make ends meet. On the onset, our business houses continue to cry foul that their businesses are barely surviving. It's kind of a constant battle between these two but the elite triumphs as always. One may then ask, what is the solution? At least a decent pay packet for the average wage earners. The two extremes in Fiji is far too obvious. While the poor continue to fall in the quagmire, wealthy reap the benefits of a comfortable life.


High costs

I WAS lucky enough to be able to come back home to Fiji with my wife and bring my four-year-old daughter for the very first time. It has been almost six years since we last visited Fiji and we were pretty surprised by the high cost of living. Almost everything was close to quadruple the prices from our last visit in 2006. What happened since then that's caused a high rate of inflation?

Salt Lake City

7s confidence

I WAS at a grog session and the topic of the new coach came up. One of the old timers said we now have confidence that Ben Ryan is the coach. And interest in sevens rugby would once again be raised. Only time will tell.


Our progress

IN 43 years of our independence, Fiji has had four constitutions, seven prime ministers and is now a republic.

Even though some claim that we have lesser numbers of constitutions and prime ministers, we have progressed well as a nation.

And, despite production now falling to only a third of the peak levels in the early nineties, sugar is still the highest export commodity and a cornerstone of the economy. May God continue to bless Fiji and her people.


Lest we forget

IN 1840, John Brown Williams of Salem, Massachusettes, USA, formerly a US Consul in New Zealand was appointed commercial agent for Fiji.

After a preliminary visit to the islands, he obtained permission in 1845 to move to Fiji, leaving a vice consul in NZ. He arrived in 1846 and began buying land. He acquired Nukulau and Laucala across Suva Point for the purchase prices being thirty dollars for Nukulau and fifty dollars twenty cents for Laucala, all paid in muskets, ammunitions and trade goods.

Williams was frequently involved in disputes with the local natives nearby.

In 1849 Williams was celebrating the American Independence day of 4th July, with salvoes from cannon and muskets, when one of his cannon being fired by a slave named William James, burst at the touch hole. James' arm was torn off and the house at Nukulau caught fire.

There were some natives nearby off the coastal district of Rewa, staying at Nukulau at the time. And since among Fijians at the time, a fire was always an occasion for legitimate plunder rather than for assistance in putting it out, these people seized what they could and made off with the loot.

The affair seemed unimportant enough at the time, except to Williams but it had international repercussions and before long Williams had involved Ratu Cakobau and other chiefs in a dispute with the government of the US.

The dispute assumed such proportions that it overshadowed and conditioned the affairs of the next 20 years.

Williams, for his losses, he awaited the arrival of an American warship to press a claim for compensation.

Later on the damages at Nukulau were referred to Ratu Cakobau, the claimant to the Tui Viti title.

The incident at Nukulau became a major contributing factor to the ceding of Fiji, firstly to the US and secondly to Queen Victoria of Great Britain of which she agreed thus the Deed of Cession at Levuka, Ovalau, on October 10, 1874.

Indeed Williams fire seemed at the time to be a mere incident, but set in motion such a train of events,that it marked an epoch in the history of Fiji.


43rd birthday

AS we celebrate our 43rd birthday so to speak, let's look back as a nation and learn from our past and try to improve on the future.

Let's work together in getting the little nitty gritty details right so that come 2014, we may have our elections and hopefully move forward as a nation.

Happy Fiji Day to you and me, and let's keep that flag up until the weekend for our boys on the Gold Coast.


Move it back

ISA, back in the old days the public holiday would be moved to Friday or Monday so that people could really enjoy a long weekend.

I wonder how many will be all sore and hung over on Friday, the day after Fiji Day. We could be considerate and do it like the old days.


Kids say the darndest things

AT Albert Park during Fiji Day celebrations, I found myself standing next to a mother with a three-year-old son.

After the cannons were fired, the disappointed little boy turned to his mother and asked "Sa oti na dakai?" (Have the guns stopped?) "Io, sa oti." (Yes, it's over) "E vacava? E maca na kena bateri?" (What happened? Did the batteries go flat?)


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