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Letters To The Editor, 14th October 2017

Letters To The Editor, 14th October 2017
October 14
10:44 2017

Lessons learned

from the past

Janet Rae Saunders Pinson, 
Public Affairs Specialist in the Pacific for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Auckland, New Zealand

I love Nemani Delaibatiki’s articles in the Fiji Sun.

The late Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States of America, said: “You cannot build character and courage by taking away people’s initiative and independence.

“You cannot help people permanently by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves.”

History is only relevant as we apply the lessons learned from the past.

The North’s progress

Dewan Chand, 
Suva

Fiji Day Holiday and Celebrations sent me into a daydream mode.  As I watched the celebrations in Nadi on FBC TV my mind went into a flashback mode and I tried to capture the past, present and future Fiji. My attention shifted to Vitandra, Bulileka, Labasa where I was born.

It is a sleepy little village and on the banks of Qawa River which springs from the bosom of the Three Sisters Mountain ranges.

Pleasant memories of my childhood flooded my mind. Surrounded by other siblings and other village children whom we had a wonderful life in the rice growing farms.

Our family farm had many animals: bullocks for ploughing, cows for milk, chicken, ducks, goats and pigs. Many vegetables were grown on the farm and there was plenty of rice in the barn.

We fished and collected kai to supplement our diet. Coconut oil and ghee was in abundant supply.

Lentils such a beans, urdi, moong and arhar were in abundance as well. However, there were no proper roads, no piped water supply and no electricity.

People used wood for cooking, wells supplied water and hurricane lamps were the norm of the day. Bicycles were the main mode of transportation.

There were a few motor vehicles and Bulileka Bus Services owned by Latchman & Ram Lal provided services as well.

Those who could not afford their fare walked to town or work. We, the children, were happy to play soccer with balls made out of brown paper tightly wrapped and tied with twine. Gillidanda (type of stick game) was very popular and in rainy season we were delighted to swim in rice fields.

Bulileka Sanatan Dharam Primary School provided education up to class eight level.

The adjacent Ram Lila ground was the meeting place of the village.

Ramayan Mandali met here once a week. And Fiji’s largesr Ram Lila Drama was enacted in the month of October.

People came there in thousands and stayed with relatives for ten days to participate in Ram Lila. Bulileka girls who married in distant places also came home at this time and there used to be very emotional meetings.

However, Bulileka of today has changed substantially. The village now has a secondary school (Bulileka College), tar sealed roads, electricity and piped water supply and telephone lines.

There is regular bus service and every household seems to have a car.

Labasa Sugar Mill is situated on the banks of the Qawa River in its lower reaches. The sugar mill chimneys belching out smoke during cane harvesting season can still be seen from Vitandra.

Sugar workers travel by buses and cars. Bicycles seem to have disappeared. Tar sealed roads and railways provide effective network of transportation.

New supermarkets have opened. The Valebasoga Saw Mill is very prominent.

Labasa has a very modern and large Divisional Hospital. New buildings and other industries have sprung up. Sangam School of Nursing is providing a valuable training to nurses. The University of the South Pacific and the Fiji National University are providing tertiary education from campuses in Labasa.

Labasa College and Labasa Sangam College provide excellent secondary education.

The trans-insular road linking Labasa and Savusavu has done much to promote tourism in the area.

The road from Labasa to Nabouwalu is now tar sealed and commuting is a pleasure.

The Waiqele Airport has been upgraded and there is talk of building a new airport to cater for larger aeroplanes. The seaport at Malau has been modernised and linked via a tar sealed road.

Government’s Look North policy has done much to catapult Labasa into 21st Century. Despite the fact many Labasa people leave for greener pastures to Viti Levu or overseas. I am still hopeful that Labasa will rebound and become a great center trade and commerce.

Fiji is the Hub of the Pacific and a leader in many international matters. This is bound to grow.

Our tourism industry is growing at an exponential rate and the sugar industry is well on its way to full recovery.

Medical tourism is gaining ascendency. Former Fiji citizens are returning home to invest here. Dual citizenship policy of the government has done much to boost Fiji’s economic power.

Fiji has three universities and two medical college providing world class education and all doing so well.

Our retired teachers serve in other Pacific Island states. Our vast communication network and digitisation programme is moving on well.

My day dream will not remain a day dream only. It will become a reality. We will then be able to loudly proclaim “Fiji The Way The World Should Be”

Football standard

Wise Muavono, 
Lautoka

When I was offered a free ticket for this weekend’s IDC final, straight out, I declined and said I am better off having a basin with Allen whilst listening to his stories.

Sorry to say, but this is an indication of how much I despise the current standard of football in the country.

Sad eh!

For real?

Floyd Robinson, 
Nasinu

Will the Australian Kangaroos, including star captain Cameron Smith, be playing in Suva against our very own Vodafone Fijian Bati?

Like some said in the bus the other day, for real?

Well, it must be something special and are we not fortunate to host matches for the Kangaroos.

Meanwhile, watching the PNG Kumuls train at Albert Park, it was obvious that they have power, size and pace.

I look forward to seeing the former Canberra Raiders and Australian captain, Mal Meginga.

I can still recall the days when he was playing alongside our very own Noa Nadruku.

Looking forward to some quality rugby.

The prices of the tickets do not matter because not often do we get the opportunity to see some of the best rugby league players play before us at home.

Best wishes to all the teams, but a special one to the Melanesian teams of the Vodafone Fijian Bati and PNG Kumuls.

It’s for real, the stars of rugby league are here!

Feedback:  jyotip@fijisun.com.fj           

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