PM: Despite Our Small Size, We Are Unbeatable When We’re United
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama said last night that our Olympic 7s gold medal win showed us all that while we may be small, we are strong.
“And when we work together, we are unbeatable,” he said while launching and unveiling the rugby sevens commemorative banknotes and coins at the Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva.
He said the victory, one of the most momentous occasions in Fijian history, was a moment that “no Fijian will ever forget, when we took home our first-ever Olympic Gold medal.”
“Tonight, that victory will be immortalised with the launch of a commemorative banknote and coin that honour our players, coaches and staff and give their victory the ever-lasting place in our history it deserves,” he said.
“In Fiji, we have some of the brightest and most beautiful banknotes and coins in the world. The colours, the vivid imagery and the iconic designs all represent Fiji. And our coinage has received international acclaim for that very reason.
“It has been five years since the Reserve Bank of Fiji revamped our currency and adorned our banknotes and coins with Fijian artefacts and flora and fauna that all showcase what Fiji has to offer and remind the Fijian people and our visitors of the natural splendour and our traditions and economic way of life.
“So it is safe to say, the images that we choose to place on our coinage carry enormous importance, because it says so much about who we are as a nation. Our national narrative is woven into the depictions and symbolism on our currency, and, together, those images proudly display our story to the world – the story of Fiji.
“In 2012, when we honoured my now Assistant Minister for Sports, honourable Iliesa Delana’s, gold medal victory at the Paralympics with a commemorative coin, it was because his victory embodied the resilience, determination and tenacity of the Fijian spirit. And it was an achievement that showed the world that, regardless of our small size, we can compete with the best of the best in sport.
“And today, we are honouring the coaches and players on our world-champion 7s side in the same fashion. This commemoration is an acknowledgement, not only of the tremendous feat you accomplished, but for the meaning it held for every Fijian man, woman and child.”
He said the win meant the world to every single Fijian. It came at a time when “we desperately needed a source of inspiration, as we were still reeling from the disastrous effects of Cyclone Winston.”
Reserve Bank Governor Barry Whiteside said Fiji’s circulation currency would now include an iconic and unique $7 bank note, the only such circulating bank note in the world with a 50 cent commemorative circulation coin.
They will be issued into circulation from today, starting in Suva and gradually to other areas.
Edited by Ranoba Baoa