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Girmitiya descendants visit Nasilai village

October 14, 2015 10:39 pm

Descendants of the first Girmitiyas to Fiji paid a visit to the village that helped save their forefathers from the ship-wreck on the ill-fated evening of 11th May, 1884.

Led by former MP Sardar Harnam Singh Golian, the Fiji Girmit Association New Zealand thanked Nasilai village in Tailevu for what their forefathers did thirteen decades ago.

Taking with them gifts in kind and cash, Golian says they hope to rekindle the relationship bourne out of the generous deed of the forefathers of the villagers.

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I am lost of words on how to profoundly thank you for this occasion and your very warm welcome and hospitality. This goes back to 131 years ago when our forefathers were in the sea here and it was this village that helped them, rescued them, without knowing them. We greatly appreciate your warm welcome and your help given to them and we want to continue that legacy of friendship and coordination.

497 passengers were on board the ill-fated ship Syria when it ran aground on the Nasilai Reef on 11th May, 1884.

59 lost their lives while trying to make it ashore.

For the survivors, some made it to the Nasilai Village shore by swimming and wading through the rough seas.

Others were saved by villagers in their canoes.

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