Today in history

Sunday, March 25, 1984

PM a shipowner

THE Prime Minister, Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara, became a shipowner after he picked up an inter-island cutter for a bargain $9000 in a Suva auction. Under the new name of Lady Bird, the former Tui Taveuni will carry canecutters from the Prime Minister’s home island, Lakeba, to and from his cane farm at Seaqaqa, Vanua Levu. He said he and his family would also use the vessel for private travel. The cutter was one of two buys the Prime Minister made at the auction. He also bought the 200-tonne barge Bakewa on behalf of the Lakeba Co-operative to transport copra oil from Lakeba to Suva.

Airline faces two strikes

AIR Pacific Employees Association filed five disputes with the Ministry of Employment and Industrial Relations and gave the airline two separate notices of strike action by its members. The association gave notice that it would go on strike on April 19 over four disputes it had with the airline regarding engineers’ pay and meal allowances for cabin staff.

Thursday, March 25, 1976

Shark god man put on bond

A 62-YEAR-OLD who said he was a witchdoctor and a devotee of the Fijian shark god Dakuwaqa obtained $10 from a woman to buy yaqona and a tabua to placate the god, the Suva Court heard. Manoa Laqere Bale falsely told the complainant Anaseini Lewaibau that she was going to die unless she gave him 60c to buy yaqona. The following day he approached Lewaibau again and asked for $10 to buy a tabua or whale’s tooth and if she refused he would change himself into Dakuwaqa. Lewaibau said she later saw Bale in Suva and when she approached him, he ran away.

Sex in Fiji article angers senator

A JAPANESE edition of the international Playboy magazine said in an article that Fijian girls aged between 14 and 15 could be bought for $2 to $10 a night, a senator revealed. Ratu Napolioni Dawai, a senator and also the Tui Nadi told the Senate the Fiji Visitors Bureau was an “evil” body which was trying to paint a wrong picture of Fiji. He said it was a disgrace to the whole Fijian race to see pictures of half-naked Fijian girls in a magazine which enjoyed international circulation.

Thursday, March 25, 1965

African from UN makes brief call

QUESTIONS regarding Fiji’s moves towards self-determination were parried by a United Nations official who paid a brief call at Nadi airport on Tuesday. Coleridge Taylor, a Sierra Leone delegate and a member of the Committee on Colonialism, said Fiji was in a transition period and were moving towards a change in the constitution and form of government. He said, Sierra Leone had voted for “early independence” for Fiji at the Committee on Colonialism meeting.

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