Fond memories

Kiniviliame Keteca Nausori | Wednesday, October 11, 2017
I WISH all Fijians a Happy Fiji Day. As we reflect on this 47th anniversary of our independence, I look back with fond memories and wish to bring to the fore some moments of the past that can help us in our journey to the future.

On the international scene, we were an active participant in the third conference for the Law of the Sea in 1973. This concluded in 1982 and we were the first country to sign and ratify this convention.

In 1978, we were part of the contributing countries that sent troops for peacekeeping in UNIFIL. We still serve in this theatre among others.

In rural Fiji, in 1970, we the primary school students in district schools then marched around (or attempted to) the school grounds.

We sang the national anthem for the first time. Our noble banner blue was raised, replacing the Union Jack. We had cordial in those round plastic containers. Lots of lollies too.

In Suva, the Prince of Wales bequeathed our nation with our first constitutional documents. The late Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara, our first PM, received these presents on all our behalf.

Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, visited our shores in 1977. There was much merrymaking and festivities.

In 1979, we hosted the South Pacific Games at the new national stadium.

In 1984, Fiji won her first Commonwealth gold medal through Sani Fine in boxing.

In 1987, the coup culture reared its ugly head.

In 1990, Fiji had her second constitution.

In 1997, the third constitution was birthed.

In 2000, another coup d'état! A mutiny at QEB was subdued. Some innocent soldiers were killed.

2006, yet another coup d'état. According to the perpetrator, "no military officers will benefit from it".

2013, yet another Constitution.

2014, another national elections.

February 2016- Severe Tropical Cyclone Winston.

August 2016, our first Olympics medal. A gold!

Much has changed since October 10, 1970. More tarsealed roads. New businesses and bigger buildings. And more.

What has changed?

FRA is fond of re-tarsealing tarsealed roads; every day.

More cars on our roads!

Better pay for politicians; permanent secretaries too.

Contracts for civil servants! No strikes.

Better allowances for our soldiers abroad. They deserve that.

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