Letters to the Editor – September 28

Daughter-in-Law Senileba (left) with husband Paul Hilton (right) helps father Frank Hilton to cut 98th birthday cake during the celebration at Home of Compassion yesterday. Picture: RAMA

Cheers for Hilton
Congratulations to our senior citizen Frank Hilton as the happy lad celebrated his 98th birthday at the Chanel Home of Compassion. Mr Hilton’s contribution to Fiji is immense and endless but his contribution towards the Hilton Organisation, which manages the Hilton Special School, the Hilton Early Intervention Centre and the Hilton House Hostel, would be cherished in years to come. Indeed we are proud to have among us an elderly member who has played an important role in shaping the lives of numerous disabled and disadvantaged children by drawing attention to their plight and ensuring they have access to better education. Mr Hilton has also helped support, assist and nurture the wellbeing of many disabled and disadvantaged children and I believe that this gentleman deserves a wonderful story in The Sunday Times, a story that would be shared with the youths and the generation to come. I am thankful to The Fiji Times for choosing to share the life of an honourable citizen on yesterday’s front page. It makes a difference to those who start their day with their favourite The Fiji Times! I am adamant that Mr Hilton would celebrate his centennial and many more birthdays in style and in a jovial and cheerful manner. God bless you Mr Frank Hilton! Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam Nadawa, Nasinu

Road issue
I was behind two women at the junction of Vidilo Rd and Vitogo Pde when one of them stumbled and fell. I noticed that she had tripped on tar that had been churned up by motor vehicles and formed a hump. The woman stumbled on to the footpath and hit her head on the concrete, bloodying her nose. She was rushed to the hospital. Had she stumbled towards the road into oncoming traffic the incident could have been worse. I heard from staff members of nearby shops that they had seen many people stumble over the protruding tar. I am concerned about this and I hope the road authority will fix the place. Mere Lagilagi Lovu, Lautoka

Naibi or ivi – Letter of the Month- August
DAN Urai laments the use of naibi as the real name is ivi (FT 03/08). Dan’s letter compelled me to pick up my phone and actually call VS, the learned ivi seller friend who displays the naibi board every weekend. The ivi seller explained the issue to me. He said several people had expressed their discontent to him regarding the naibi board. His customers are mainly Fijians of Indian descent and they call it naibi, not ivi. He said he had displayed ivi signs some time ago, but the customers didn’t pay attention, therefore causing him loss of sale. He said he had asked the complainers why they said basi for bus, Niusiladi for New Zealand, Igiladi for England, talevoni for telephone, tikite for ticket, etc. According to VS, the Kiwis and the English may also not like the wrong references to their countries. The naibi seller said he had successfully made his point to the complainers and said that they were generally convinced by his explanation. Now the matter may be referred to Dr Paul Geraghty, sorry Paula Qereti. See! Language is diverse, and whether it is called naibi or ivi or even na ivi or some Chinese name, the thing tastes the same. Dan definitely meant humour through his letter. Me too! VS too, but with some frustration and an argument! I am sure naibi discussions will kick off here and I hope some nutritionist also jumps in with vital information. Sooner or later, we may all have to meet at the makeshift stall just outside Lautoka City, around 500m towards Ba. Interesting. Donald Singh Lautoka

Drugs off streets – Letter of the week ending 27/8-2/9

THE Fiji Police Force’s fight against hard drugs was all over The Fiji Times the other day. Assistant Commissioner of Police Rusiate Tudravu states the police want the drug off the streets and also called for help from the public. He says the police force will do “whatever necessary” to address this issue. I googled its side-effects and it isn’t pretty. So I agree with Mr Tudravu. Let’s fight to get this drug off the streets. But my question to Mr Tudravu is: “what’s necessary” and how did we get to this stage where things have gotten out of hand and there is mass use and production of meth in the country? Is it going to get worse before it gets any better? ACP Tudravu also expressed his concern that members of the public can be hiding information from the police which would make it difficult for them to fight the issue. What would be the incentive for people to hide information regarding this issue from police? I also think asking teenagers to refrain from experimenting won’t solve it for us. Believe me, when my high school teachers told me to stop playing sports and study, otherwise you’ll not become anything in life, I never listened to them, and that was pre-internet days. Let’s have a conversation about this issue that resonates with the young in our society. I don’t think generic calls to action will solve this problem. KELVIN ANTHONY Sydney, Australia.

Sandalwood expectation – Letter of the week ending 10/9-16/9

Reading in FT 08/09 about the sandalwood boom in 20 to 30 years worth $500 million, one must admit that will be quite some achievement. It also mentioned that there are plans to set up an extraction plant to produce that higher valued sandalwood oil in Fiji which will increase its value considerably. However, it raises the question about what will happen with those trees during the time it grows and matures. These trees grow another highly valuable product; the seeds which can be turned into oil as well. Only recently a method was found to make the extraction of sandalwood seed oil viable through green super critical carbon dioxide process. Sandalwood seed oil is a rich source of a natural and highly stable, acetylenic fatty acid called Ximenynic acid, with well documented pharmacological results. While the sandalwood oil is highly valuable for the fragrant industry — the sandalwood seed oil, however, is even more valuable because the pharma industry sees the health benefits of this product. I believe apparently 10ml goes for as much as $A50. Setting up the extraction equipment, however, has its price too. Hans B Boernke Savusavu

Drug find – Letter of the week ending 17/9-23/9
HARD drugs have been found by people on Naviti while walking to and fro going about their business. I wonder of what value? A whole heap of full beer kegs I believe but pending analysis of course. All you drug peddlers, stop throwing plastic wrapped parcels into our ocean. It’s such a foolish thing to do. Got to find these fools. Time for all of us to take this menacing “bull” by its horns and kick it out. If there are intel about these people with the authorities, perhaps they can “flick” that to the populace. Let’s not “goof” around with this “bull” stuff. MANOJ LAL PATEL Drasa Ave, Lautoka

Lemon tree lesson – Letter of the week ending 3/9-9/9

FIJI is a nation of unique potentials partly because of our multi-ethnic, multi-cultural and multi-religious make-up. But this uniqueness sits on a fragile borderline of good and evil. On one hand it can be tapped and properly utilised to bring out the best in us if we attempt to pursue achievements in various endeavours of our common interest. It can also be manipulated to magnify our differences making everything we see perceived on a “them against us” basis. A few years ago, I asked a Gujarat friend of mine who runs a successful business in both Nausori and Suva if he can explain to me in a very simple way why Gujarat people are better in running business compared with us iTaukei in his opinion. I asked him to put his answer in very simple terms so that if I take it to the villages, they will understand. No technical explanation and he can take his time before he gives his answer. About half an hour later and after a few glasses of beer, he told me this. “When we Gujarat plant a lemon tree, we manure it, water it and nurture it as it grows. When the tree starts bearing small fruits, we never touch it. The fruits get bigger then start to ripen. Still we never touch them. Then the fruits fall on the ground and rot, still we do not touch them. “When dozens of seedlings start to sprout from those rotten fruits, we then transplant them to different parts of our yard. Again we manure, water and nurture these seedlings to grow. Then the dozens of trees start bearing small fruits and still we do not touch them. When the fruits from this second generation of trees start to ripen, we then harvest half of it and let the other half follow the same process. “But for most iTaukei, when the fruits of the first tree are still green, you harvest all of them.” Could this be a reason why many iTaukei businesses collapse, giving birth to the slogan, “Bisinisi ni iTaukei, duri ga me davo”? (iTaukei businesses were meant to stand and fall). I want to share this because I believe it may help some of us iTaukei in making right decisions in management whether it is at family level, private business, village development committee, school committee and etc. Sometimes when we run a community project, we quickly want to harvest the benefits before the project has sustained itself in the first place. Sometimes the project may still be in its teething period and we arrogantly assume that it is thriving so well. Sometimes, the lack of transparency opens the opportunity for abuse because some may see it as an insult to ask questions that needs to be asked just because they may breach traditional or cultural protocols. Our multi-cultural and multi-ethnic make-up can be a huge blessing propelling us to unity, development and prosperity if we use it correctly and learn vital lessons that needs to be learnt. But it can also become a curse if we choose to just focus on everything negative we can find in it. Today our nation sits on this vital crossroad between cultural and governance reform against those who insist that we should go back and live in the old ways despite the fact that our whole world is moving forward. The decisions we make today will reflect on our future generations tomorrow.

Political life
One day you’re up there, the next you’re gone. Bishop, the former Australian foreign minister is a good example. Dan Urai Lautoka

Another option
On the ballot papers for this year’s general election, we should have the option of choosing “None of the above”. Which will mean that none of the candidates is suitable enough to get your vote. Would be funny if it did. Wise Muavono Balawa, Lautoka

Thank you

First off a big congratulations to our man of the year 2018 Fred Wesley for all his hard work and the deserving award that is most likely overdue to say the least. Vinaka bro, our good man Manasa Kalouniviti must be smiling from the heavens for you, may his soul rest in peace. Vinaka and may the good Lord above continue his blessings on you Fred. Toso Viti toso. Richard M. Abel Samabula, Suva

Changing roles

Before a man takes a wife, they call each other by their individual names, when they marry, it becomes dear, love or hun, then they have a kid, they call each other mum and dad and then the grandkid arrive, they become nana and papa. My son calls his great grandmother nana-nana. Nigel Fiu Owls Perch, Lautoka

Double decker bus

Sorry Edward Kumar, the Bus’ brother is his big brother, so no “minibus”, we shall call him the Double Decker Bus. Allen Lockington Kava Place, Waiyavi, Lautoka

Social media

Ever since I was introduced to social media network, I was attached to it and had spent countless hours on my little screen just doing that. Yesterday I completed one week without it and honestly I can say that I felt like a free man again. I just do whatever I want, whenever and wherever. And I wanted to teach this little screen that I am the controller. Phew! Me i cavai? Pita Soroaqali Nadarivatu

Pressed for time

“Pressed for time” — a new meme is born in Fiji. Hilarious much! Nishant Singh Lautoka

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