Today in history Oct 5

On October 5, 1973, The Fiji Times published the

following articles:

Top civil servant to quit

One of Fiji’s leading civil servants has announced his retirement from the Government after a row over his political links.

He is the Secretary for Transport and Tourism, Mr Tomasi Vakatora (47), who has been with the Government since 1948.

The Secretary for the Public service, Mr Vishnu Prasad, said Mr Vakatora had given six months notice of his intention to retire.

Mr Vakatora may retire under Fiji Civil service regulations.

Few Australians flying to Fiji

Airline officials at Nadi Airport yesterday reported a big drop in the number of passengers coming to Fiji from Australia as a result of the Sydney Airport shutdown.

“All flights between Nadi and Sydney are cancelled indefinitely,” he said.

“All services are being rerouted through Melbourne.”

He said Nadi Airport was operating normally and there were no plans to cancel any flights.

“But fights which normally run through Sydney are flying through Melbourne,” he said.

Space station closes in Suva

The European Space Research Organisation (Esro) has closed its Fiji-based transportable tracking station at the University of the South Pacific Campus.

The station was part of a chain of emergency receiving stations Esro set up to monitor a multi-million dollar space satellite.

It comprised an air-conditioned unit and a collapsible aerial. A three-man team operated it for 13 months. Esro has given substantial part of the station equipment to the University of the South Pacific for use in its satellite communications experiments.

Livestock is stolen

Thieves stole cows and goats worth more than $900 at Ba last week.

A police spokesman said in Suva that 12 cows and nine goats worth $910 disappeared from a private grazing area Busabusa between Tuesday and Sunday.

Guesthouse liquor racket alleged

Most guesthouses were centres of bootlegging (illicit liquor sales) and prostitution, the Senate heard.

Senator Kuar Battan Singh said they were centres also for pimps and “parasites on society.”

“There were a few genuine guesthouses in Suva,” he said.

Senator Singh was speaking in the debate on a Bill to license and control hotels and guesthouses.

He said there was some merit in the idea of controlling prostitution.

Fiji to go to Sydney

The Royal Fiji Police Band and a contingent of about 36 dancers will visit Australia this month to perform at the Sydney Opera House official opening celebrations.

The band members will arrive in Sydney on Board the liner Himalaya on October 22 and their first engagement will be to play the ship into Circular Quay.

Afternoon and evening recitals at the Opera House on October 23 will be their first official concerts.

The dancers will leave Fiji on October 16 to give themselves time to know the city and see the Opera House.

NZ will send star-studded team to Fiji

The New Zealand Barbarians side to meet Fiji on October 13 has a core of All Blacks backed by a successful Junior All Blacks.

The match will mark the Fiji Rugby Union’s diamond jubilee.

The Barbarians will arrive at Nadi by Air New Zealand on October 11 and travel to Suva on the same evening to stay at the Hotel Southern Cross.

Colin Meads will lead the visiting team.

Other current All Blacks include Ian Kirkpatrick, Ian Stevens, Peter Sloane, Murray Jones, Mark Sayers, Alan McNaughton and Ken Stewart.

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