Showing posts from February 13, 2011

Lockington's Everyday Fiji ... Life Goes On

WEEKEND READING. Scroll down to  ♦ Gujerati: Wealth and Poverty  ♦ Britain to Deport Fijian War Hero by Christopher Booker, Sunday Telegraph  ♦ Friday's postings. It is also a good time to read last week's comments on the postings by clicking on "Comment" at the bottom of each post.
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.

                                      Going to Church
There are so many churches in Fiji now and this includes the little breakaway denominations. Often when I ask a friend how he met someone, he or she would say, “Oh we go to the same church.” When I was growing up we never said that we went to the same church, we usually said that we went to the same school, worked together or someone introduced us.…

Gujarati: Wealth and Poverty

Thoughts from a Reader
During the days of girmit, Gujarati from northwest India came to Fiji as free settlers as  they were British subjects. They came as small traders and craftsmen dealing in jewellery, clothing, shoes and laundry work and many, to set themselves up, borrowed from kin in Gujerat and other Gujerati already in Fiji. Imported articles from India, costing a rupee were sold for a dollar in Fiji, making twenty-fold profits. Within two generations, some once “poor” Gujarati became multi-millionaires. Most other Indo-Fijians arrived in Fiji as indentured or contract labourers (girmiti) and while some of their descendants have done well, many are among the ranks of the poorest people in Fiji.

Britain to Deport Fijian War Hero

This is a disgusting story of the way Britain has treated and is treating a Fijian war hero. Britain has a long history of using up colonial peoples in its service and then casting them aside. Modern Fiji is an example of that, writ large. This story is the fine print.  -- Roderick Ewins.

Your Help Please, Labour Mediation and Social Justice, Land Bank Progress

N0134. AN APPEAL TO READERS. My youngest daughter (who had most of her primary and secondary school education in Fiji) has been pestered by friends and colleagues to explain what is happening in Fiji.  She has suggested the blog would be improved with tabs to FAQ and a timeline.  I would be most grateful if readers would share this work with me by suggesting Frequently Asked Questions (and answers) and parts of a timeline from, say, 1999.

I would also be grateful if readers would suggest topics for publication, especially if they provided all or some of the material.  Without this input, all topics chosen are mine and I have no way of knowing whether my selection is the most appropriate. 

N0135. LABOUR MEDIATION AND SOCIAL JUSTICE. The Ministry of Labour’s mediation service performed strongly throughout 2010, resolving 79% of all employment grievances referred to it by individual workers, most of whom are not members of any trade union and recovered $411,979 for the workers. Minister f…

Ratu Iloilo Laid to Rest

In the face of death we are all equal. We are human and mortal. And things that divide us are put aside as we remember the life of the deceased and the sorrow of those close to him. And so it was in Fiji. 

The i-reguregu (tradional presentations) were made by all 14 provinces, by the high chiefs of the three confederacies,  by numerous vanua, by religious and public institutions, by business, by members of the diplomatic community, by government, and by people of all races. 

For a short time Fiji stood still and remembered what its people have in common and what makes Fiji so special.

The former President and late Tui Vuda Ratu Josefa Iloilo has been laid to rest in an historic state funeral at Viseisei.

Thousands of people from all walks of life attended the church service and entombment ceremony in Vuda, with masi and black cloth covering the chiefly village grounds. The Tui Vuda was accorded the highest military honour, the 21 gun salute, during the ceremony.

His casket was …

Minerva Reef: Media and Expert's Unbelievable Nonsense

N0131. MINERVA REEF.  If you've read Olaf Ruhen's book by the same name you'll know that 40 years ago a Tongan boat, the Tuaikapau on the way to Gisborne, NZ, was wrecked on the reef.

The crew spent over a year living (and some died)  in a wrecked Japanese fishing boat, the only area above sea level at high tide. They waited for rescue that never came and their families in Tonga, believing them dead, held funeral services for each of them.

Giving up hope of rescue the crew built a small outrigger canoe from timbers in the wreck, named it Malo e Lelei, and three of them — the captain, his son, and a crew member —  sailed it to Kadavu, south of Viti Levu,  where they had to abandon it and swim for shore. Inside the reef the son told his father he could go no further. They held each other, prayed, and the son drowned.

Theirs is the  incredible story of courage, survival and faith that is echoed many times over in stories of how Pacific Islanders have survived in what to other…

Ratu Iloilo: Man for All the People; Australia Repeats Itself

The casket of the late president, Ratu Josefa Iloilovatu Uluivuda leaves the Government House. PHOTO: Jonacani Lalakobau, Fiji Times.

N0129. RATU ILOILO PRACTISED WHAT HE PREACHED. Man of all people has left a new comment on your post "Ratu Josefa Iloilovatu Uluivuda 1920 - 2011":

Croz, It's interesting to see the outpouring of genuine sadness and fulsome tributes from the Indo-Fijian community at the death of the Tui Vuda. I don't think anyone realised the extent to which Ratu Iloilo not only engaged that community but stood alongside it.

I was struck by the tribute made by the Rev William Lucas, the head of the Indian division of the Methodist Church. He disclosed that when Ratu Iloilo was a teacher in Labasa, he chose to worship at the local Indo-Fijian church and was a lay preacher there. This is almost unheard of in the local context and speaks volumes for Ratu Iloilo's belief in a multiracial Fiji.

I agree with "What Matters Most?" that the Tui Vu…

Blog Reports on Typhoid and the Denarau Decree

NEW QUOTE FOR THE WEEK in the right sidebar.
Photo: Denarau Marina.
Line up of three Blogs. Thank goodness for FijiToday.It is now the only reasonable anti-government blog.  Coupfourpointfive once shared this honour before it became a factory for churning out venom and false rumours.

The typical FijiToday article contains its political message in the title; the article itself is usually published unedited and the source acknowledged. My typical article relies less on the heading for its political message which is embedded in a precis of the original article, with source acknowledged. Both approaches are honest in that they are clearly opinions and not news.  This was my gripe with a recent Michael Field article on the FRU crisis (see N0116). Opinion masqueraded as news, and was therefore dishonest.

Typhoid Outbreak — Remember Michael Field

A recent article by FijiToday complained about the delayed information on a typhoid outbreak in Upper Naitasiri. I find nothing unusual about t…

Ratu Josefa Iloilovatu Uluivuda 1920 - 2011

Of the many messages of condolence received,  I have selected a few extracts to show something of the qualities of the man whom Government opponents claimed was feeble, ailing and rubber stamping Government actions.


“Ratu Josefa will always be renowned and remembered with great respect in our region’s history for the many accomplishments he achieved in his country and for the Pacific. He was one of the great statesmen of Fiji.

“In all his endeavours, whether as Head of State, as a politician, or as a paramount traditional chief and leader of Vuda, he was characterised by the traits of his loyal, firm, polite and humble demeanour – a true gentlemen of the Pacific.

“May God Bless Ratu Josefa’s family, the Government and people of Fiji during this difficult and trying time.” –  Lord Tu’ivakano, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Tonga.


“Fiji, and indeed, the world, has lost an extraordinary leader whose commitment to the progress of his country and the betterment of al…