Today in history July 19, 1975

Mysterious creatures

reported at Lautoka

Students from Lautoka Methodist School have reported seeing about eight mysterious little figures, believed to be dwarfs, in reeds near the school.

The figures, about 2ft in height and covered with black hair, hastily moved away into nearby bushes when the children began to approach them.

The students’ excitement brought more students and teachers from the Methodist school and the nearby Lautoka Fijian School.

Scores of neighbours rushed to the scene as the news spread. The “dwarfs” seemed to have jumped into a pit near the bush, but upon investigation none of them could be found there, the headteacher of the Methodist school, Mr Sadanand Narayan, said.

Since the sighting on Wednesday afternoon, dozens of people have been gathering near the pit in the expectation of the dwarfs reappearing. Some, with the fear that the “little men” might be harmful, sit there for hours armed with torches and sticks.

Boys town takes shape

Work on Fiji’s first boys’ town is progressing well and the Brothers of St Gabriel is Suva say they hope to begin classes by late January.

The boys’ town, at Navesi about 10 miles along the Queens Rd from Suva, will give chance in life to poor, orphaned and unemployed school dropouts from the main centres of Fiji.

Brother Oliver, speaking for the Brothers of St Gabriel, said most buildings on the site should be completed by the end of the year.

The brothers hope to begin enrolling students for the town by late December so classes could begin for the coming academic year.

New church opens at Savusavu

The Bishop in Polynesia, the Right Rev. Jabez Leslie Bryce, dedicated the new St Leonard’s Church at Savusavu last Saturday.

A Fijian ceremony of welcome by the people of Yaroi Village preceded the dedication service.

Among the guests were representatives of other denominations, the mayor of Savusavu, Hugh Thaggard, councillors, businessmen and people in the area.

The priest-in-charge of Cakaudrove district, Rev H Simione, said about $4000 was raised by the people of his district.

USP survey says housegirls

need their own union

The Government should sponsor a housegirls’ union as part of an effort to improve conditions for them, a group of university students recommended after a study of housegirls in Suva.

Twenty-one students taking the foundation social science program at the University of the Soth Pacific, made the study to find out whether the housegirls were being exploited, and if so, what should be done about it.

They filled 340 questionnaires and conducted 36 in-depth interviews in nine areas in Suva.

A report of their findings said that compared with other workers doing similar jobs, housegirls were poorly off. This was particularly as a result of inflation.

Some housegirls were in a better position than others.

In general, those who accommodation provided, who were employed by Europeans in the Domain, Tamavua or USP, and those who were older tended to be better off than young housegirls without accommodation in the Toorak or Samabula areas.

“This does not mean it is largely locals who are exploiting housegirls,” the report said.

Driving defensively

When approaching a bus, you must automatically presume that someone, child or adult, will run out from behind it.

Slow down and carefully watch under the bus of any sign of running legs.

In this you can see the errant pedestrian and take the necessary avoiding action even before he is visible round the side of the bus.

I think the correct use of blinker lights in Fiji is on the increase — and high time too.

But there are still enough drivers around here (maybe more than enough) who will insist on the use of the right-hand blinker light to indicate it is “safe to overtake”.

This driver is a danger to all on the road — he can cause a very serious accident indeed.

Rangers after upset

Rangers will try to upset competition leader Press in the match of the day in the Lautoka football competition tomorrow.

Rangers has not been in form but will be at full strength tomorrow.

It’s coach, Arjun Gopal, said the team had been unlucky this season and had been losing matches narrowly.

“We hope to regain some of last year’s potential and we are making it our business to win tomorrow.

Last year Rangers and Press shared the league title.

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