Independence Day a life changing event
September 30, 2020 6:02 am
Fiji Football chief executive Mohammed Yusuf
While thousands of Fijians gathered at Suva’s Albert Park on 10th October 1970, those who could not make it remained connected in their homes, work and schools through live broadcast on radio.
Fiji Football chief executive Mohammed Yusuf was only 12-year-old and remembers celebrating the event in his school in Sigatoka.
Yusuf says their closest link to Suva was radio, and the teachers constantly briefed them about the events leading up to the Independence.
“Weeks before the event there was a lot of hype given by the teachers, every class we were told in the morning something big is coming. Fiji is going to be an independent nation so it really didn’t kick us well at that time, now we realize how important that event was.”
He says there was a lot of excitement among the students and it was ensured that no one felt left out during this historic event.
“The government of the day ensured every child received a Fijian flag, the small noble banner blue. Around mid-day the schools were closed, everybody was out in the assembly.”
The former Naidovi Primary School student recalls how they sang the National Anthem.
“There was cassette playing in the recorders of the Fijian Anthem, at that time not everyone knew how to sing but everyone was listening and trying to sing but later on that became a norm in school, the Fijian national anthem.”
The Fiji FA chief executive confirms they will mark the Fiji Day celebrations on October 10th, as it coincides with the Courts IDC final.