Ovalau a home to people from different places for decades
April 20, 2021 12:25 pm
Ovalau is one of the islands in Fiji populated by people who hail from the highlands of Navosa, parts of Lau, and the Solomon Island.
Speaking to FBC News, Levuka Vaka-Viti Village elder Ratu Jope Sigaruarua says majority of those living in Ovalau were brought in by Europeans who first settled in Levuka in the late 1800s.
He adds they were brought in as labourers to build colonial homes, roads, and the 199 steps leading up to the hills of Delana in Levuka.
“People who are originally from Ovalau were not allowed to carry out labor work when Levuka was developing to become a town. We have people who were brought in from Tailevu and Bukuya in Navosa to carry out this work. That was an opportunity as well for them to permanently settle on the island.”
This is the same story for Viro villagers situated along the South-Western coast of Ovalau.
Viro villagers are originally from Ono-i-Lau and Vatoa but their ancestors had bought a piece of freehold land in 1959 where the village currently sits.