The weather certainly looked gloomy.
However, out at Deuba, a little over 47km west of Suva, hundreds of people, young and old, converged on its long stretch of sandy beachfront.
The weather was perfect for a day at the beach. The sun struggled to stay clear of dark clouds.
It was cool. Swaying coconut trees offered shade from the sun, and a steady breeze from the south east cooled New Year's Day revellers. It stayed that way until the skies opened up later in the afternoon.
Prior to that, it had been a loud, musically driven night that stretched from New Year's eve to another brand new year in the city. Fireworks lit up the sky at the stroke of midnight. The sound of firecrackers resounded in many parts of the city. It seems this was the same scenario around the country.
On Sunday night, thousands of people converged on the Suva CBD to prepare for and welcome 2018.
They came from all walks of life with the same thought in mind.
It was about farewelling 2017, and embracing the joy that traditionally accompanies the turn of a year in Fiji.
There was fun, joy, laughter and excitement.
That transcended every imaginary demarcation line.
Yesterday, Fijians once again savoured the special day to the brim.
There are many lessons we can consider as important guidelines for us in how we chart our path forward this year.
Sometimes we must remind ourselves that we live in a multiracial country, and irrespective of ethnicity, gender, and religion, we continue to live together in peace.
We are far removed from the ethnic violence that permeates some societies and nations abroad.
Fijians are readily accepting of one another. In fact such events like the New Year celebrations, should remind us of who we are.
No one can take away the fact that we are special people.
On the national front and internationally, a number of events will define how history looks back at 2017.
The challenge is to capitalise on the positives of the past year.
Perhaps we can also look back at how we as a nation viewed the many issues that gained national attention.
There is a message there for us about how we can make a difference in our dai+ly lives that will add up to make a difference in our society, for our family and for our nation.
The onus though is on us as individuals to take the first step forward.
However 2018 pans out for you, The Fiji Times family takes this opportunity to thank you for your valued support, and we hope there are good things ahead for you and your family, and for our nation.Home | Top