No celebration can compare to 1970 Fiji Day: Turiva Qi
September 17, 2020 6:09 am
Although the significance of 10th October 1970 was not completely understood by hundreds of children at the time, many still remember the frenzy of preparing for independence.
Turiva Qi, a wheelbarrow boy at the Suva Market for over twenty years still remembers how teachers, colleagues, and family members all had a part to play in the royal visit and celebrations.
Qi says he and his classmates were more focused on Independence Day than their studies.
“I was still in school at the time. I was seven-years-old. We didn’t know what was happening because there was news about it all over the radio. Saying there was going to be a big celebration at Albert Park in Suva. I was in Rewa but still the boys and I kept hearing the news about it for months and that someone from England was coming.”
With Fiji set to celebrate its 50th anniversary next month, Qi believes nothing can compare to the event of 1970.
“I attended a catholic school in Rewa and chores at that time were strict. Be it attending to the planation or cleaning outside. But that day the nuns, brothers and our priest did not bother. They were more excited about Prince Charles coming. So we were happy that we were excused from our duties and got ready to play our part.”
Originally from Nakelo, Tailevu Qi recalls children at that time piled up roadsides and building corners to get a glimpse of the royal visit.
Now fifty-seven-years-old, Qi has over the years realized the importance of our independence from the British Empire.