Look Back | A little bit of Fiji in Essex

Girl guides in their costumes for the Fiji Expo. Picture: FILE.

The Fiji Times on June 4, 1968 wrote an article on an exhibition of Fijian village life, crafts, foods and other Fiji island attractions in Essex, England.

The article stated this was staged by Mr and Mrs Stuart Boardman at a church hall and all proceeds of about £100 were sent to the Pacific Theological College fund in Suva.

The highlight of ‘Expo Fiji’ was a group of 15 people from Fiji that lived in Britian at the time and they added local colour when seated on mats by a bure erected by the Boy Scouts, sang Fijian songs and served yaqona at “6d a bowl.”

“The hall was decorated with hibiscus blooms made by the church’s Brownie group, and the Guide, dressed in Fijian costumes sang Isa Lei, partly in Fijian, as the visitors left,” the article reported.

“Expo Fiji included films and colour slides taken in Fiji by Mr and Mrs Boardman, who visited the colony three times in recent years.”

The article added that souvenirs from the Suva Market sold well and copies of The Fiji Times were eagerly bought and Fiji stamps supplied by Suva Post Office attracted many collectors.

“A bar serving tropical fruits and delicacies was organised by Heather Boardman.

“A church service featured a taped address sent by Dr George Knight about the work of the Theological College and a record of the Centenary Methodist church choir was used as an anthem.”

Fijian people at Expo Fiji were Saimoni Qasenivalu, Iliesa Ravutu, Ben Whippy, Paula Cavu, Ana Patel, Brian Watson, Marika Tukutuku, Inoke Baravilala, Richard Levula, Isireli Raobosa, Pen Naituku, Charles McGoon, Munivai McGoon, Fane Morel and Miss Saga Buadromo.

More Stories