Monument Marks Fiji’s History And Strive Forward

The monument is one of many that will be built throughout a new Suva heritage walk which will tell the city’s story.
11 Oct 2020 10:04
Monument Marks Fiji’s History And Strive Forward

No virus, no once-in-a-century crisis could temper the love we share for our nation, our people, our home.

That was the message relayed by Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama yesterday at the unveiling of a commemorative monument to mark Fiji’s 50th Year of Independence.

He said history would remember that even as Fijians endured great adversity the country marked its 50th birthday with patriotism and pride.

The monument, as he explained, was strategically located in the heart of nearly 140-years of history, along Queen Elizabeth’s Drive, in the shadow of the Grand Pacific Hotel, across Albert Park, Thurston Gardens, down the way from State House, and a stone’s throw away from Parliament and the seat of Government.

“This new monument is dedicated to Suva City, our capital through our independent history and long before, all the way back to 1882 when the seat of the then-colonial administration was moved here from Levuka,” Mr Bainimarama said.

“I’m proud of what we have done in recent years to bring life back into this section of our capital, with upgrades and refurbishments which have restored Suva’s shine.

“I love that we have been able to preserve and use the architecture from its colonial past. I love that this city has grown and modernised, yet kept its character. And I love that today we have a chance to celebrate this city and its history. But today is not only about our past.”

He said Suva as a premier city in the South Pacific must continue becoming a better home for its citizens, a hub of finance, technology, and telecommunications for the region and a destination for visitors from all around the world.

The monument is one of many that will be built throughout a new Suva heritage walk which will tell the city’s story.

It also pays tribute to all frontline workers, including doctors, nurses, lab technicians and members of the discipline forces whose tireless efforts and sacrifice have spared Fijians from the worst of COVID-19.

Mr Bainimarama reiterated that while the pandemic continues to rage overseas, the good health of Fijian citizens is the greatest blessing, due to successful containment efforts.

“We are safe – at home in the safest place in the world. The lives of our most vulnerable are not at risk,” he said.

He also mentioned that a nurse who contracted the virus while working in an isolation facility had made full recovery and has since returned home.

Edited by Jonathan Bryce

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