Lockington's Everyday Fiji ... Life Goes On


♦ Allen Lockington's column
♦ A Stock Take on Fiji October 2010
♦ White Media, Brown Aotearoa 
♦ Fiji 'Regional Telecommunications Hub'
♦ Remittances and Island Economies
♦ Australian Parl. Sec, on Pacific Islands Affairs  
♦ Ambassador Thomson's Fiji Day Address at UN Luncheon
— and the long posting on Friday 

Allen Lockington is a self-employed customs agent and business consultant who has regular articles published in Fiji. I thank Allen for permission to reprint some of them in this political blog. They remind us that life goes on, whatever the political situation. And it's good to know that.

Did We Miss Anything?

The Commonwealth Games are progressing  well in New Delhi despite media predicitions. It is sad that the world media pounced on the negatives instead of telling the world all that was good about how the Indian government had prepared for the games. They could have shown some of the stadiums and what was in store for the athletes. Somehow “good news” doesn’t usually sell. The sordid and macabre make better news. However, after all the negative news about facilities not completed and photos of dirty toilets, the games are progressing well.

I believe the negatives make up such a small part of how India prepared that if you compared it to the whole preparation it would be insignificant, but given the publicity it looked as if it was really bad. But they move on and the games progress while we sit and twiddle our thumbs here in Fiji. Someone asked me if we are missing out on the Games. I said, “No, not much. Just the following.”

We are missing out on the camaraderie of our Commonwealth brother and sisterhood.
We miss out on the competition and the fun.
We miss out on being there flying our flag for the world to see.
We miss out on breaking records or equaling PBs.
We miss out on finding out where we stand in sports rankings.
We miss out on our athletes who could show their potential and get plucked from obscurity to opportunity.
We miss out on the adrenalin rush and the fingernail biting when our team goes out onto the field.
We miss out on the screaming ourselves hoarse.
We miss out on funding for the improvement of athletics.
And most of all we miss out on the memories that our athletes will have created that would have lived with us forever, to be talked about over and over again. For grandchildren to look at pictures and say, "That is my Grandma/grandpa, he/she won gold in New Delhi and that's why I'm like him/her. I'm going for Gold.”

There have been times when I wonder if there was no politics in sports. Everywhere you turn politics rears its head. Not necessarily its ugly head because politics is good. How one uses it makes it bad. Yes, it’s us humans who make politics look bad. As I sit and watch the replays on TV I imagine our athletes competing over there and when a Fijian athlete is about to take part the cameras would pan across the spectators and focus of Fijian supporters sitting in the grandstand holding up placards saying, “Mon, we are here.” Some will have the names of our athletes displayed and many more messages. Some will even display their village name. This will be flashed all over the world and people who never knew where Fiji was would get an eyeful and ask, “Hey. Where is Fiji?” and they will enquire more.

I was talking to someone in Germany on SKYPE and he asked me if Fiji was in Africa. There was another time I was speaking to someone  was from China. She said I had good English and when I told her about China she said, “But everybody knows about China, I don’t know about Fiji. Where is it?” I directed her to the Internet and she found out a little bit more about us. Another time someone from the Netherlands started speaking in French. He though Fiji was a French territory. When I sent him pictures from my collection he said, “Allen, you live in Paradise. Beautiful beaches and smiling people.” Then he saw that we had had political upheavals and asked if all was well. I told him to visit us if he could. He said he was going to put it in his diary and hopefully one day he will come to Fiji. Just imagine if we had been at the Commonwealth Games. We would have sold a little more to the world of who and where we are.

But good luck to the rest of the Games. We'll be back someday. Those who kept us out of the Games can't keep us out forever. Ways will be found for us to return to the  fold. Next Commonwealth Games we hope we'll be there to fly our flag. Meantime, if anyone were to ask, we'll reply, “Yes, we are recovering.”


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