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22 October, 2020, 11:51 pm Central - 21°C Clouds
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Fiji 50 Independence

Fiji 50 Independence

By fijivillage
Wednesday 07/10/2020


Military, Navy and Police officers receive Fiji 50 commemorative medals

By Vijay Narayan, Navitalai Naivalurua
Thursday 15/10/2020
RFMF Deputy Commander Brigadier General Mohammed Aziz, Brigadier General Jone Kalouniwai Acting Deputy Commissioner Itendra Nair. [image: Fijian Govt.]

A number of military, navy and police officers received their Fiji 50 commemorative medals from the President Jioji Konrote today.

RFMF Deputy Commander, Brigadier General Mohammed Aziz, Brigadier General Jone Kalouniwai, Captain (Navy) John Fox, Captain Lepani Vaniqi, Colonel Litea Seruiratu, Colonel Onisimo Covunisaqa Lt Colonel Kitione Tuinaosara, Colonel Pacolo Tiko Luveni, Colonel Manoa Gadai, Commander Marika Vosawale, Lt Colonel Samuela Vuetaki, Lt Colonel Jofiliti Talemaibau, Commander Saula Tuilevuka, Major Reverend Ilaitia Tuwere, Warrant Officer Class 1 Sitiveni Jitoko, Warrant Officer Class 1 Joeli Nayacarabuli were the military and navy officers that received the medals.

Acting Deputy Commissioner Itendra Nair, Assistant Commissioners Luke Navela, Isei Vueti, Biu Matavou, Abdul Khan and Juki Fong, Senior Superintendents Eparama Waqa, Suren Sami, Francis Naqesa, Bereta Nasaunivutua, Superintendents Epeli Sicinilawa, Vilisi Waqavesi, Margaret Marshall, Reverend Waisale Tikowale, Force Accountant Krishna Chand and Senior Secretary Karacaini Vunicagi were the police officers who received the Fiji 50 commemorative medals at State House today.




Drysdale accepts Fiji 50 medal especially for his family

By Iva Danford
Thursday 15/10/2020
Model Homes Charitable Trust Founder, Peter Drysdale

Model Homes Charitable Trust Founder, Peter Drysdale says he accepts his Fiji 50 Independence Commemorative medal especially for his family as what he has achieved was because of their support.

Drysdale highlighted this after receiving his medal at State House with 29 other recipients.

He says he could not have achieved what he has today with the building of houses in Koro-i-Pita and as a former Executive Director at Williams and Gosling without his family.

Drysdale is the founder of Koro-i-Pita project in 1985 which had been operating as the Fiji Rotahomes Project under the Rotary Club of Lautoka. They had the objective to eliminate sub-human living conditions in the Western side of Viti Levu by providing basic cyclone-safe homes, clean water and living essentials.

He says he made it this far because of his teams which planted 47 million pine trees and another team which he was also part of which built 1,000 houses for poor families.

Drysdale says the British left a wonderful legacy of institutions that have now been built on and is the foundation for a strong country.

Former Prime Minister and Opposition Leader, Sitiveni Rabuka, Hot Bread Kitchen owner, Doctor Mere Samisoni, FASANOC President, Vidya Lakhan, Pure Fiji owner, Gaetane Austin, former Chief Magistrate Sekove Naqiolevu, Small Claims Tribunal Chairperson and former CEO of British American Tobacco, Joel Sahai, Pio Bosco Tikoisuva, singer Jese Mucunabitu, former Fiji Corrections Service Commissioner, Aisea Taoka, Doctor Joji Malani, former Permanent Secretary and former Vice President of Methodist Church of Fiji, Apisalome Tudreu, Fiji Performing Rights Association Chairman, Eremasi Tamanisau Junior and navy officer Niko Baleiverata were also handed medals by President Jioji Konrote. Other recipients were Susana Evening, Captain Matereti Tuisue, Kolinio Takali, Waisale Vuniwaqa, Meli Tora, Mohammed Rafiq, Emori Tawake, Ernest Dutta, Mosese Tabuya, Raj Sharma, Krishan Kumar, Eroni Antonio, Raymond Mani, Krishan Vilash, Biu Baravi and Savenaca Tuivaga.





No matter how we arrived here, we all make Fiji special – President Konrote

By Semi Turaga
Saturday 10/10/2020
President Jioji Konrote. [image: Fiji Police/Facebook]

President Jioji Konrote says no matter how we arrived here, no matter who our ancestors are, we all make Fiji special and strong.

In his message on Fiji’s 50th anniversary of independence, Konrote says when we stand together as friends, as family, as fellow Fijians there is no challenge we cannot overcome.

Konrote says together we have done great things and together we will do more great things in the next 50 years.

He says this Fiji Day will not be remembered for being lavish, but it will be remembered.

Konrote says history will tell that today despite the great adversity we face our spirits were not broken.

He says in good spirits and good health, Fijians in every city, town and community proudly celebrated our anniversary.



Thousands of people were at Albert Park this morning to commemorate Fiji’s 50th year of independence and also witness the Fiji Day Parade by the Republic of Fiji Military Forces, Fiji Navy and Fiji Police Force.

Albert Park was a sea of blue.

There was a gallant parade by Fiji's disciplinary forces.

President Konrote reviewed the parade.

The playing of the national anthem and the 21 gun salute was emotional for many at the event – especially for veterans that were invited guests part of the ceremony.

Following the 21 gun salute, there was a fly-over by a Fiji Airways Airbus 8350.

Fiji 50th Anniversary independence commemorative medals were also presented by President Konrote to RFMF Commander Rear Admiral Viliame Naupoto, Acting Commissioner of Police Rusiate Tudravu, Sergeant Major of the RFMF Warrant Officer Class 1 Waisake Baleiratu, Sergeant Major of the Fiji Police Force Warrant Officer Class 1 Waisake Kanawale.

[Image: Fiji Police]




World Leaders wish Fiji well on 50 years of independence

By Semi Turaga
Saturday 10/10/2020
President of the People's Republic of China Xi Jinping, Queen Elizabeth II and US President Donald Trump.

Foreign leaders from the around the world have wished Fiji well as it celebrates its 50th anniversary of independence.

In a congratulatory message to President Jioji Konrote, Queen Elizabeth II said she remembers fondly their first visit to Fiji in 1953, as well as their subsequent visits.

US President Donald Trump said the United States will continue working with Fiji to advance democracy, transparency and prosperity in the Pacific region.

China's President Xi Jinping said he puts great importance to China-Fiji relations and wishes to make joined efforts to further strengthen bilateral dialogues, exchanges and cooperation in various sectors.

Apostolic Nunciature of the Holy See

In a congratulatory message to President Jioji Konrote, His Holiness Pope Francis said: “I send cordial greetings to Your Excellency and your fellow citizens on the occasion of Fiji Day. With my prayers that all in the nation will ever dwell in solidarity, peace and prosperity, I gladly invoke upon the Republic the abundant blessings of the Almighty God.”

Arab Republic of Egypt

In a congratulatory message to President Jioji Konrote, the President of the Arab Republic of Egypt Abdel Fattah Al Sisi said: “On the anniversary of the Independence Day of your friendly country it gives me immense pleasure to convey to Your Excellency my heartfelt greetings and best wishes"

“Please accept my sincerest wishes for the best of your well-being and for the progress and the welfare of the friendly people of Fiji.”

Australia

In a congratulatory message to President Jioji Konrote, Australia’s Governor-General David Hurley said: “On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Fiji’s independence, I wish to convey to you, the Government and the people of the Republic of Fiji, my warmest wishes, together those of the Australian Government and people.

“Fifty years ago, Fiji took its place in the international community as an independent state and began to make its mark, regionally in our Blue Pacific, and globally. During this time, the Australia-Fiji relationship has had its challenges, but it is now stronger than ever. Always neighbours, we have now become family. Through our Vuvale Partnership, we are committed to a new era of cooperation, consultation and friendship, based on trust, mutual respect and understanding"

“The solidarity of the international community is more important than ever as the world’s nations work together to manage the challenges posed by the COVID-19 virus. Australia is particularly proud to stand in partnership with Fiji at this time.”

Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka

In a congratulatory message to President Jioji Konrote, the President of Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka Gotabaya Rajapaksa said: “On behalf of the Government and the people of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka and on my own behalf, I am happy to convey to Your Excellency, the Government and the people of Fiji, sincere greetings and warm wishes on the happy occasion of the National Day of Fiji"

“Sri Lanka and Fiji enjoy bilateral relations based on mutual understanding and goodwill. I am confident that the friendly ties we enjoy over the time will be further strengthened in the years ahead for the mutual benefit of our two countries and peoples.”

Hungary

In a congratulatory message to President Jioji Konrote, the President of Hungary János Áder said: “Allow me, on the occasion of the National Day of the Republic of Fiji to express my sincere best wishes to You and to all the citizens of your country"

“I highly appreciate the friendship and cooperation between our countries, and I am pleased that we can further strengthen these relations through joint efforts in climate diplomacy, which is so important to both our countries.”

Ireland

In a congratulatory message to President Jioji Konrote, the President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins said: “As President of Ireland and on behalf of the people of Ireland may I convey to your Excellency and the people of the Republic of Fiji sincere congratulations and warmest greetings on the occasion of your National Day"

“May I avail of this opportunity to express, Ireland’s solidarity in the task of achieving a global economy that will be instrumental in offering security on the necessities of life to all the citizens who share our vulnerable planet, and in honouring our shared commitments in responding to climate change and achieving Sustainable Development Goals.”

Japan

In a congratulatory message to President Jioji Konrote, the Emperor of Japan, Naruhito said: “On the occasion of Fiji Day of the Republic of Fiji, this year especially marking the fifty years of Independence of the Republic of Fiji, I have great pleasure in sending Your Excellency my heartfelt congratulations and sincere good wishes for Your happiness and for the prosperity of the people of Your country.”

People’s Republic of China

In a congratulatory message to President Jioji Konrote, the President of the People’s Republic of China, Xi Jinping said “On the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of the Independence of the Republic of Fiji, I wish to extend, on behalf of myself as well as the Chinese Government and Chinese people, to you and through you to the Fijian Government and the Fijian people, my sincere congratulations and best wishes"

“During the 50 years, since its independence, Fiji has been actively exploring the development path that suits its own circumstances and managed to achieve continued socio-economic development. China congratulates Fiji on such achievements"

“China and Fiji are good friends and good partners. The two sides enjoy high-level political mutual trusts and remarkable achievements in various sectors"

“In the fight against COVID-19, China and Fiji joined hands and supported each other, safeguarded the health of our two peoples and deepened the friendship between two peoples.”

President Xi Jinping also said that he puts great importance to China-Fiji relations and wishes to make joined efforts to further strengthen bilateral dialogues, exchanges and cooperation in various sectors, promote the comprehensive strategic partnership between China and Fiji and bring more benefits to the two countries and two peoples.

Republic Of Cuba

In a congratulatory message to President Jioji Konrote, the President of the Republic of Cuba Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez said: “I am pleased to congratulate you cordially on the occasion of the National Day of Republic of Fiji, I hereby renew our willingness to further the bonds of friendship and cooperation between our nations,” President Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez stated in his congratulatory message."

Republic of India

In a congratulatory message to President Jioji Konrote, the President of the Republic of India Ram Nath Kovind said: “On behalf of the Government, the people of India and on my own behalf, I extend warm greetings and felicitations to Your Excellency, the Government and the people of the Republic of Fiji on the occasion of your 50th Independence Day."“India and Fiji are also marking 50 years of diplomatic relations this year. It is a momentous occasion in the history of our bilateral relationship. India values its warm and cordial ties with the Republic of Fiji which are anchored in shared values, common aspirations, convergence of views and cooperation in international fora."

“These relations have been further strengthened through initiatives such as Forum for India Pacific Islands Cooperation, the International Solar Alliance and Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure."

“I am glad that our development partnership encompasses various fields such as climate change, renewable energy, disaster risk reduction and women empowerment. We also look forward to hold the third summit of Forum for India-Pacific Islands Cooperation in near future once COVID-19 situation improves."

“I am confident that our nations shall surmount the current challenge posed by COVID-19.”

Republic of Indonesia

In a congratulatory message to President Jioji Konrote, the President of the Republic of Indonesia Joko Widodo said: “On this proud occasion of the 50th Anniversary of Independence Day of Fiji, I have the privilege to extend my warmest welcome to you and the people of Fiji.

“I am delighted that our two countries have been closely working together in a spirit of partnership. I believe that cooperation between us have benefitted immensely to the prosperity of our peoples.

“Furthermore, as fellow members of the Pacific family, our two countries share many common interests and continuously contributing to the advancement of the region.”

“Allow me, Excellency, to offer my prayers to you and the people of Fiji. May health and prosperity be with you all, particularly during this challenging global environment."

Republic of Korea

In a congratulatory message to President Jioji Konrote, the President of the Republic of Korea Moon Jae-In said: “On the occasion of the 50th Independence Day of the Republic of Fiji, I wish to convey my warmest message of congratulations to Your Excellency and to the people of the Republic of Fiji.

“I hope the friendly and cooperative ties that our two countries have cultivated thus far will bear plenty of fruits. I look forward to engaging in close cooperation with Your Excellency to this end.”

Republic of Marshall Islands

In a congratulatory message to President Jioji Konrote, the President of the Republic of Marshall Islands David Kabua said, “ On behalf of the Government and the People of Republic of the Marshall Islands, I wish to convey our sincere congratulations and best wishes to you and the People of the Republic of Fiji on the 50th anniversary of your nation’s Independence Day on 10 October 2020. It is my fervent hope that the cordial relations between our two countries will continue to be strengthened for the mutual benefit of both our peoples. Furthermore, I wish to convey the Republic of the Marshall Islands’ solidarity with the Republic of Fiji during these unprecedented and challenging times amid coronavirus pandemic and commend the Republic of Fiji’s leadership in its response and containment of coronavirus in Fiji.”

Swiss Confederation (Switzerland)

In a congratulatory message to President Jioji Konrote, the President of the Swiss Confederation Mrs Simonetta Sommaruga said: “I would like to send you my very best wishes for the 50th Day of Independence of the Republic of Fiji. Good, trusting relations between our two countries enable us to address major global challenges together."

“I very much look forward to working with you to meet these challenges. Marking this important milestone in the history of your country, I wish you and the people of the Republic of Fiji happiness, prosperity and every success for the future.”

Spain

In a congratulatory message to President Jioji Konrote, the King of Spain Felipe VI said: “On the occasion of the National Day of the Republic of Fiji, I should like to convey to you my most heartfelt congratulations, alongside with those of the Government and the People of Spain. Please, receive, Mr. President my best wishes for your personal wellbeing and for the peace and prosperity for the dear people of Fiji.”

State of Palestine

In a congratulatory message to President Jioji Konrote, the President of the State of Palestine, Mahmoud Abbas said: “On behalf of the State of Palestine and the Palestinian people, I am pleased to extend my heartfelt congratulations to your Excellency on the occasion of the National Day of the Republic of Fiji."

“On this auspicious occasion, I wish Fiji and its friendly people abundant prosperity and tremendous success. It is my sincere hope the friendship and cooperation between our countries will continue to flourish and prosper. I’m very confident that we will continue to build on the foundations that we have to further enhance our bilateral ties for many years to come."

“I would like to seize this opportunity to express our utmost appreciation to you, Fijian Government and the Fijian people for your continuous support to the Palestinian self-determination including the right of the Palestinian people in establishing a sovereign and independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital"

“Once again, I send my warmest congratulations on your Fiji Day.”

Tonga

In a congratulatory message to President Jioji Konrote, King Tupou VI said: “On the auspicious occasion of the celebration of the Independence Day of the Republic of Fiji, I would like to convey my congratulations and sincere wishes for the good health, peace and prosperity of the people of Fiji.”

The Kingdom of Netherland

In a congratulatory message to President Jioji Konrote, King Willem-Alexander R. said: “May I extend to your Excellency my congratulations and my best wishes for the well-being of the people of the Fiji Islands."

“As we mark this occasion, I want to acknowledge that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic represents and unprecedented challenge to us all. I wish you, your government and the people of Fiji Islands strength, courage and health as together we continue our efforts to overcome coronavirus.”

United Kingdom (Britain)

In a congratulatory message to President Jioji Konrote, Queen Elizabeth II said “On the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of Fiji’s independence, The Duke of Edinburgh joins me in sending our good wishes to you and the people of the Republic of Fiji. We remember fondly our first visit to Fiji in 1953, as well as our subsequent visits"

“Our two nations retain a close bond, which has developed over many years, and long may that continue. As you celebrate this anniversary year, I send my congratulations to you all, and my best wishes for Fiji and the happiness, health and prosperity of its people. Elizabeth R.”

United States of America

In a congratulatory message to President Jioji Konrote, US President Donald Trump said: “On behalf of the American people, I congratulate you and the citizens of Fiji as you celebrate 50 years of Independence on October 10."

“The United States has enjoyed shared values and a close friendship with Fiji during the half-century since your independence in 1970. As we address the challenges of 2020, our comprehensive relationship is expanding to include greater cooperation on security, closer coordination on development, and new commercial opportunities."

“The United States will continue working with Fiji to advance democracy, transparency and prosperity in the Pacific region."

Canada

A congratulatory message was conveyed by the Speaker of Senate, George J. Furey and Speaker of the House of Commons, Anthony Rota to the Speaker of the Parliament of Fiji Ratu Epeli Nailatikau on the occasion of Fiji’s 50th Anniversary of Independence.

“It is our pleasure on behalf of the Parliament of Canada, to extend our warmest congratulations and best wishes to you and the people of the Republic of Fiji. This occasion also observes the remarkable milestone of Fiji’s 50th anniversary of independence and 50 years of diplomatic ties between Canada and Fiji.

“Let us take this opportunity to reiterate our commitment to promoting a better relationship between our parliaments through the exchange of ideas and best practices. Indeed, we believe that cooperation is the key to fulfilling the most noble aspirations of our societies and to building resilient institutions equipped to address unforeseen challenges.”

Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka

In a congratulatory message to Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, the Prime Minister of Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka Mahinda Rajapaksa said: “It gives me great pleasure to extend to Your Excellency and the people of the Republic of Fiji, my warm greetings and best wishes on the auspicious occasion of the National Day of Fiji.

“I have no doubt that the congenial relation that exist between our two countries built on shared values and mutual respect will continue to flourish in the years to come.”

Hungary

In a congratulatory message to Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, Hungary’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Péter Szijjártó said:

“Please allow me to express my sincere congratulations on the occasion of the National Day of the Republic of Fiji, the 50th anniversary of the country’s independence.

“I am confident that the cooperation established between our countries in many areas in recent years can be further developed on the basis of mutual respect. Our educational cooperation provides an excellent opportunity for this in the framework of which students from Fiji National University and Szent Istvan University can participate in exchange programs."

“I wish you much success and good health in your highly responsible position.”

Islamic Republic of Pakistan

In a congratulatory message to Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, the Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan Imran Khan said: “On behalf of the people and Government of Pakistan, and on my own behalf, I wish to extend heartiest felicitations on the occasion of the National Day of the Republic of Fiji."

“Relations between Pakistan and Fiji are underpinned by shared objectives and commonality of vision for future. Our two countries share similarities of views on most of the regional and international matters of mutual interests. I am confident that these bonds of friendship would be further strengthened through political, economic, commercial, educational and cultural exchanges.”

Japan

In a congratulatory message to Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, the Prime Minister of Japan Suga Yoshihide said: “This year marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of Japan-Fiji diplomatic relations. It is a great pleasure to see that the cooperative and friendly relations between our countries have been further strengthened through people-to-people exchanges, including student exchanges and actions on climate change."

“I am saddened to hear that COVID -19 has caused immense impact on Fiji’s economy this year. I would also like to convey my heartfelt sympathy to those who suffered from Cyclone Harold, which hit Fiji in April this year.

“In order to overcome these challenges, Japan has provided 20million dollars’ worth of loan assistance to support the disaster recovery. Furthermore, to help Fiji strengthen its measures against COVID-19, Japan is extending assistance worth 6.8million dollars and over in medical supplies and equipment. Japan will continue to strongly support Fiji in various fields, hand-in-hand with Your Honorable Prime Minister, who has shown distinguished leadership.”

Kiribati

In a congratulatory message to Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, the President of the Republic of Kiribati Taneti Maamau said: “It is my greatest honour on behalf of the Government and the people of Kiribati, to extend our warmest congratulations to your good self, the Government and the people of Fiji on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of your National Fiji Day."

“The 10th of October this year marks a significant commemoration where Fijians the world over will celebrate and express their true love for their nation, God and for each other; a day that symbolizes the proud past and a future filled with hope, growth, good health and prosperity."

“I commend and applaud the Fijian Government’s great achievements under your leadership. Despite the unprecedented COVID-19 impacts in our region and the world, Fiji celebrating its National Day safely with the promotion of ‘Decorate Your Home’ initiative. This truly reflects the importance of people’s health over everything in these difficult times."

“May I also take this opportunity to offer my very sincere gratitude to you and your Government for your continued humanitarian support to the Government of Kiribati."

"In particular, with regards to visa waiver and support to our repatriation preparation for our Kiribati populace who are currently stranded in Fiji due to this COVID-19 pandemic and are to return to Kiribati in the coming months."

“Kiribati truly values the close friendship and bilateral relations with Fiji and as you reflect on Fiji’s achievements as people and as a nation, I wish to reassure you Honourable Prime Minister of my Government’s continued commitment to our bilateral relations and I have no doubt that the vibrant and close relations that we continue to enjoy with Fiji and your people will continue to flourish under your good leadership for many years to come.”

New Zealand

In a congratulatory message to Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, New Zealand's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Winston Peters said: “On behalf of the New Zealand Government, warm congratulations on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of independence."

“Fiji is a vibrant and culturally diverse country which leads on critical issues of regional and global importance. We are proud to call Fiji a cherished partner. Our countries have a strong foundation of shared values and people-to-people connection. Since Fiji’s independence in 1970, also the year we established formal diplomatic relations, we have deepened our partnership with the Government of Fiji."

“We have worked together to foster trade, strengthen defence capability and address regional issues. We have stood shoulder to shoulder in good times, as well as in tough times in the wake of natural disasters and other hardships. We now stand together facing a complex global pandemic, COVID-19, which is a test of resilience for us all. For the Pacific, the economic impacts are immense. In this context, we share Fiji’s desire to resume travel between our countries and objective of doing so as soon as it is safe."

“Working together we will be able to recover faster and come back stronger. Congratulations again on 50 years of Fiji’s independence.”

People’s Republic of Bangladesh

In a congratulatory message to Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, the Prime Minister of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina said: “On the auspicious occasion of the National Day of the Republic of Fiji, it is my honour and privilege to convey the warmest greetings of the government and the people of the Bangladesh to you and through you to the government and the people of Fiji. Bangladesh attaches great importance to her relations with Fiji. Our cordial relations are grounded on our shared ethos of democracy and human rights, common aspirations for better lives of our peoples and for regional and global peace. Both our countries are confronted with similar challenges of development and adverse impacts of climate change. We deeply value the support rendered to us by Fiji in various international fora to carry forward our common causes. I also feel that there remains ample opportunities to enhance our bilateral cooperation through sharing knowledge and enhancing trade and investment.”

Republic of Cuba

In a congratulatory message to Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Cuba Manuel Marrero Cruz said:

“I congratulate you cordially on the occasion of the National Day of the Republic of Fiji. Let me also renew our willingness to strengthen the relations of friendship and cooperation between our nations.”

Republic of Indonesia

In a congratulatory message to Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, the President of the Republic of Indonesia Joko Widodo said, “On behalf of the Government and the people of the Republic of Indonesia, I wish to convey my warmest congratulations to you and the people of Fiji, on the 50th Anniversary of Independence Day of Fiji."

“I am pleased to note that our friendly relations and mutual cooperation have become more robust, as shown by the growing people-to-people and business-to-business relations, particularly in the field of development cooperation."

“I wish to assure you that Indonesia is committed to strengthen our partnership and cooperation in the benefit and prosperity of our people.”

Republic of Indonesia

In a congratulatory message to Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, the Indonesian Minister for Foreign Affairs Retno L.P. Marsudi said, “It is a privilege for me to convey to you my warmest congratulations on the 50th Anniversary of the Independence Day of Fiji. The celebration this year arrived at a challenging time for both of our Governments and peoples. Therefore, further collaboration between our countries, as vibrant members of the Pacific family and the global community is needed to overcome this difficult situation."

"I also wish to take this opportunity to appreciate our partnership at our borders especially for the repatriation of both nationals. The ease of coordination and facilitation for the repatriation process demonstrates how strategic our relations have become.”

The People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria

In a congratulatory message to Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, the Prime Minister of the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria Abdelaziz Djerad said: “The celebration of the Independence Day of the Republic of Fiji gives me the pleasant occasion to extend to your Excellency my warmest congratulations as well as my best wishes for your personal happiness and wellbeing, and progress and prosperity for the friendly people of Fiji."

“I would like, on this happy opportunity, to assure you of my full readiness to work together with you for the strengthening of the ties of friendship and solidarity existing between our two countries.”

The People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria

In a congratulatory message to Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria Minister for Foreign Affairs, Sabri Boukadoum said: “It is with great pleasure on the occasion of the celebration of the Independence day of your country to extend to your Excellency my warmest congratulations as well as my best wishes for the wellbeing happiness and progress and prosperity to the friendly people of Fiji. I would like to seize this happy opportunity to assure you of my entire readiness to work together with you for the consolidation and the promotion of mutual bilateral cooperation for the benefit of our two friendly countries.”

Tuvalu

In a congratulatory message to Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, Tuvaluan Prime Minister Kausea Natano said: “On this momentous and joyful occasion of the 50th Independence Day of the Republic of Fiji, I wish to extend my warmest congratulations to Your Excellency and to the people of Fiji."

“50th Anniversary marks the half-century of your People’s Independence and their resilience and their resilience in overcoming many challenges of different scale which has rightly put Fiji on the Global stage." “Tuvalu will continue to stand firmly with Fiji to further strengthen our existing cooperation and work closely to address our common interest in sustainable development, conservation and climate change.”

Malaysia

In a congratulatory message to Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, the Malaysian High Commissioner based in Suva, Ilham Illias Tuah said:

“I wish to also congratulate you and the Fijian people on the 50th Celebration of Fiji Day on 10 October 2020. May Fiji be blessed and prosper under your able leadership.”

[Source: Fijian Government]




Australia and Fiji are family - Morrison

By Shanil Singh
Saturday 10/10/2020
Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison. [image: ABC News]

As the nation celebrates its 50th year of independence, Australia has reaffirmed that it will continue to strengthen its relationship with Fiji in these trying times.

In a video message to the Fijian people, Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison says Fiji and Australia are family through the Vuvale Partnership where the two countries are forging a relationship based on trust, mutual respect and understanding.

Morrison says as a clear voice and contributor to international peacekeeping, Fiji and Australia have become more than just neighbours.

Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds says Fiji demonstrated the strength of the relationship when they deployed their Bula Force to Australia to assist their communities ravaged by the bush fires.

Minister for International Development and the Pacific Alex Hawke says when Fiji was hit by COVID-19 in March and TC Harold in April, Australia was proud to support Fiji’s response to these challenges with medical supplies, humanitarian supplies and with budget support to stabilize Fiji’s finances in these extraordinary times.

Minister for Women and Foreign Affairs, Senator Marise Payne says over 600 awards have been given to Fijian students to study in Australian universities in the last 8 years.





Fiji Airways celebrates 50th year of independence with ‘Flight against cancer’

By Semi Turaga
Saturday 10/10/2020
The Fiji Airways FJ50 flight that flew over Albert Park today. [image: Fijivillage]

Fiji Airways today celebrated the country’s 50th year of independence with a special FJ50 ‘Flight against cancer’ with 66 passengers on board its flagship A350-900XWB aircraft.

FJ50 offered a rare bird’s-eye view, doing a low flyover around Suva’s Albert Park as part of the Official Fiji Day Activities Programme, as well as some of the most picturesque spots in the country.

Fijians celebrating Fiji Day at Suva’s Albert Park got a glimpse of the A350 as it flew past during the official ceremony.

As an added surprise, FJ 50’s flight path outlined the number “50”, to mark the special occasion.

The flight was operated under written approval from the Civil Aviation Authority of Fiji (CAAF), who also had senior personnel present onboard for observation.

A limited number of seats were made available in return for specified donations.

All proceeds will be channelled to the Fiji Cancer Society (FCS) for the fight against cancer.

The flight collected in excess of $15,000 in donations for the Fiji Cancer Society.

Flight FJ50 guests were treated to a special experience, enjoying breakfast at the Fiji Airways Premier Lounge before boarding the flight.

Managing Director and CEO, Andre Viljoen says their Airbus A350, which is our newest aircraft has been in our COVID-19 short-term ‘ready for flight’ storage programme.

He says the programme requires periodic planned flights to ensure the aircraft is ready to return to commercial service rapidly when required.

Fiji Airways says The aircraft was slated to undertake its periodic storage programme flight in early October, and because today is an important milestone in the country’s history, we are taking an operational necessity, and turning it into something special.

Onboard, guests received a commemorative boarding pass souvenir with unique details of the flight before returning to Nadi at the conclusion of the flight.




I have felt a lasting affection for the Fijian people – Prince Charles

By Semi Turaga
Saturday 10/10/2020
The Prince of Wales, Prince Charles. [image: The Royal Family/Youtube]

The Prince of Wales says throughout all these years Fiji and her people have held a special place in his heart and he had dearly hoped to be here this year to join in celebrating Fiji’s 50th anniversary of independence.

In a video message to the Fijian people, Prince Charles says he is profoundly saddened that this dreadful global pandemic has prevented him from being in Fiji in person.

He says he is with the Fijian people in spirit.

Prince Charles says he recalls with immense fondness his visit to Suva in 1970 when he represented the Queen at Fiji’s independence ceremony.

He says over those past five decades he has been fortunate enough to have visited Fiji on a number of subsequent occasions.

Prince Charles says this anniversary is an opportunity to celebrate all that the Republic of Fiji has achieved over the last 50 years in social and economic development, in ensuring access to education and health services and in preserving culture, traditions and precious ecosystems.

He says on this auspicious occasion, he also wants to pay tribute to the thousands of Fijian men and women who make such a vital contribution to the British Armed Forces – many of whom he had the great pleasure of meeting over the years.

Prince Charles says as we honour and celebrate the achievements of Fiji over the past 50 years, we can also look forward to a future of continued partnership.

He says the United Kingdom and Fiji share a truly special bond as fellow members of the Commonwealth and as friends and beneficiaries of a common heritage.

Prince Charles says he has every confidence that we shall remain trusted partners over the years ahead.

He says his family will continue to champion this bond in whatever way they can. 





Thousands celebrate Fiji’s 50th year of independence at Albert Park

By Semi Turaga
Saturday 10/10/2020

Thousands of people were at Albert Park this morning to commemorate Fiji’s 50th year of independence and also witness the Fiji Day Parade by the Republic of Fiji Military Forces, Fiji Navy and Fiji Police Force.

Albert Park was a sea of blue.

There was a gallant parade by Fiji's disciplinary forces.

President Jioji Konrote reviewed the parade.

The playing of the national anthem and the 21 gun salute was emotional for many at the event – especially for veterans that were invited guests part of the ceremony.

Following the 21 gun salute, there was a flyover by a Fiji Airways Airbus 8350.

Fiji 50th Anniversary independence commemorative medals were also presented by President Konrote to RFMF Commander Rear Admiral Viliame Naupoto, Acting Commissioner of Police Rusiate Tudravu, Sergeant Major of the RFMF Warrant Officer Class 1 Waisake Baleiratu, Sergeant Major of the Fiji Police Force Warrant Officer Class 1 Waisake Kanawale.


Among those at Albert Park for the celebration this morning was 67-year-old Litia Racule.

She says this is a good time to reflect and show our love for one another.

54-year-old Savaira Kotobalavu says she was in Class 2 when Fiji became independent on 10th October 1970.

Many people we have been speaking to have made special plans for today.

Fiji Day celebrations are also planned in other divisions around the country.





Hundreds of people spend Fiji Day at Fiji Day Food Fair at Fiji Sports Council carpark

By Navitalai Naivalurua
Saturday 10/10/2020

Hundreds of people from all walks of life are spending Fiji Day at the Fiji Day Food Fair at the Fiji Sports Council carpark.

A total of 70 vendors and other small businesses including ride operators, face painters, entertainers, cultural performers and essential services including the Fiji Revenue and Customs Service, Fiji National Provident Fund, National Fire Authority and St. John’s Ambulance are also part of the event.

Baulevu resident, Suresh Prasad says he brought his family to the Fiji Day Food Fair to give them a special Fiji Day treat.

Sanjay Vikash Prasad of Tacirua Heights says he is spending Fiji Day with his daughter as most of the time he is working.

Prasad says he will also be taking his family to watch the Courts IDC semifinals and will be cheering for Labasa.

There is also live music at the event.

The Fiji Day Food Fair at the Fiji Sports Council carpark will finish at 8pm today.



Fijians share Fiji Day plans and special memories

By Semi Turaga
Saturday 10/10/2020

There is excitement and happiness around Fiji today as we celebrate 50 years of being an independent country.

It was on 10th October 1970 at Albert Park when Prince Charles handed over the instruments of independence to Fiji’s first Prime Minister Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara.

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Fiji’s first Prime Minister Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara and Prince Charles at Albert Park  on the 10th of October, 1970. [image: Fiji Archives]

President Jioji Konrote will officiate at the official Fiji Day Parade at Albert Park this morning.

That will be a joint parade by the RFMF, Fiji Navy and Fiji Police Force.

There will also be a gun salute.

The RFMF will be firing the ceremonial guns.

54-year-old Savaira Kotobalavu says she was in Class 2 when Fiji became independent on 10th October 1970.

Many people we have been speaking to have made special plans for today.

Fiji Day celebrations are also planned in other divisions around the country.







Sigatoka’s Melrose Bridge lit up in Fiji Blue

By Semi Turaga
Saturday 10/10/2020
The Melrose Bridge in Sigatoka.

The Melrose Bridge in Sigatoka was lit up in Fiji Blue last night to commemorate Fiji’s 50th year of independence.

Minister for Local government Premila Kumar says they still remember the wonderful day when Fiji won the Melrose Cup in Hong Kong on 23 March 1997.

She says the bridge was named Melrose Bridge by the then President of the Republic of Fiji, the late Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara to commemorate the achievement of the Fiji 7s team.

Kumar says the Melrose Bridge remains an expression of Fiji’s relationship with the European Union, the major donor for the construction of the bridge.

She also congratulated companies and businesses who have existed in Sigatoka for over 50 years.

They are Tappoos, Sigatoka Electric Ltd, PD Singh, Billmoria and Kanta Construction Ltd.




Tudravu recalls special independence day memories

By Semi Turaga
Saturday 10/10/2020
Acting Commissioner of Police Rusiate Tudravu [image: Fiji police]

Acting Commissioner of Police Rusiate Tudravu says on 10th October 1970, he clearly remembers walking on the gravel road from his village to buy bread and butter before they went and sat down near Thurston Garden to wait for the arrival of the royal entourage.

While speaking at the celebration of Fiji's 50th year of independence at the Fiji Police Force Headquarters, Tudravu says he considers himself fortunate to have been able to witness the ceremonies back in 1970.

He says some of them will not be around when Fiji celebrates its 100th year of independence but they can play their part by working hard to help create a safer environment that the future generation will have to enjoy.

Police officers are deployed all over the country today to ensure we are able to celebrate today without any major incidents.




Residents of Father Law Home celebrate Fiji Day

By Semi Turaga
Saturday 10/10/2020
Minister for Education Rosy Akbar acknowledged the residents of Father Law Home for their contribution to our progress as a nation. [image: Fijian Govt]

Residents of Father Law Home shared a meal together and were given gifts during their celebration of Fiji's 50th year of independence yesterday.

While speaking at the celebration, Minister for Education Rosy Akbar acknowledged the residents for their contribution to our progress as a nation.

Akbar says senior citizens have played an important role in shaping our future.

She also emphasised the importance of according senior citizens the respect and the love that they deserve and that a society’s moral standards are reflected in its treatment of senior members.

Akbar also thanked the staff of the Father Law Home for the tremendous support and care that they provide to senior citizens. The Education Minister provided Fiji Flags, t-shirts, cereal hampers, clothes and dinner for the residents.




Fiji Day is about celebrating the privilege of being Fijian - PM

By Semi Turaga
Saturday 10/10/2020
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama [Photo: Office of the Prime Minister]

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama says today is not only about celebrating the birth of our nation – of an independent Fiji.

He says it’s about celebrating the privilege of being Fijian because that’s what we all are now - Fijians irrespective of our background, who we know, or where we come from.

While speaking to FNU students during their Fiji Day celebrations, Bainimarama says that is a Fiji to be proud of.

He says every year, the 10th of October holds a special place on our calendar.

Bainimarama says we gather with family and neighbours, we celebrate with friends, and we put on our best Fiji blue to show our pride in our country.

He says Fiji Day is about overcoming adversity and tapping into our true potential.

The Prime Minister says it is about coming together as we chart a course for our country that will bring us unity, bring us harmony, and bring us hope.






Goundar shares memories of their independence day celebrations in Kavanagasau in 1970

By Semi Turaga
Saturday 10/10/2020
Goundar is one of the people that received a commemorative medal for Fiji’s 50th independence anniversary.

63-year-old Saras Wati Goundar vividly remembers everyone celebrating together in their settlement in Kavanagasau in Nadroga on 10th October 1970.

She says she was 13-years-old at the time.

Goundar says her father was a farmer and she was brought up in a multiracial environment.

She says during those times, everyone worked together and this is why they all happy to be free from British rule.

Goundar is one of the people that received a commemorative medal for Fiji’s 50th independence anniversary.

She has long served as the administrator of the Multicultural Centre.






FNU celebrate Fiji’s 50 years of independence with PM

By Lanieta Alfreda-Rosi
Friday 09/10/2020

FNU Students Association President, Ketan Lal says today is one of the most profound moments for him because students can celebrate this event with unity and pride as Fijians and not divided into groups based on gender, religion or race.

He says this wouldn’t have been possible without the great work of the Prime minister and his government who have developed the nation for future generations.

Lal highlighted this during the FNU Student Association celebration of Fiji’s 50th year of independence at the Nasinu campus.

During his keynote speech, Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama says tomorrow marks a milestone in Fiji’s history and he could not think of a better place to honour this new chapter than at the Fiji National University.

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He says this year is particularly momentous as it highlights five decades of trials and triumphs for our great nation.

Bainimarama says the students are the generation that has been shaped by Fiji's independence and they are the generation that will shape where we go next.

The traditional sevusevu presentation was the highlight of the event as well as a Fijian meke performed by students.

After the formalities, students took photos with the Prime Minister before heading for lunch that was provided by the FNUSA.




Della Shaw Elder dedicates commemorative medal to her late parents

By Navitalai Naivalurua
Friday 09/10/2020
Weightlifting Fiji President Della Shaw Elder with her husband.

Weightlifting Fiji President Della Shaw Elder has dedicated her commemorative medal for Fiji’s 50th Anniversary of Independence to her late parents who have always supported her in her sporting career.

Shaw who was part of the 30 people who received the commemorative medal says from her parent's support she was able to reach the place she is in today.

She says her sporting career started in 1990 as an athlete and it has continued till today.

Shaw says when she got the call that she would be one of the recipients for the commemorative medal, she did not expect it but she was overwhelmed that she is being recognised for her contribution to the development of weightlifting in the country.






Commemorative medals for Fiji’s 50th Anniversary of Independence is a wonderful thing a nation does for its people- Lt.Col. Jackson Evans

By Navitalai Naivalurua
Thursday 08/10/2020
Retired Lt. Col. Jackson Bernard Nato Evans with family

Retired Lt. Col. Jackson Bernard Nato Evans says it is wonderful to see the nation honouring the people by giving commemorative medals.

Evans says he hopes that young people can also be rewarded as many people are working behind the scenes and are never rewarded.

He says during the 1970 celebrations, he was in primary school and seeing the wonderful things that happened on that day was very emotional.

The retired military officer says what happened in 1987 and 2000 has been a learning platform as those were some of the dark days of the nation.

Evans was part of the 30 people that commemorative medals for Fiji’s 50th Anniversary of Independence.



Mate passionately recalls independence day memories

By Semi Turaga
Thursday 08/10/2020
75-year-old Manoa Mate.

75-year-old Manoa Mate recalls standing as a proud Fijian alongside thousands at Albert Park on 10th October 1970 with tears flowing down their faces as the Fiji flag was raised for the first time.

Mate was one of the many vendors that celebrated Fiji’s 50th year of independence at the Laqere Market today.

During the celebrations today, Mate proudly carried with him a portrait of the late Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara who was Fiji’s first Prime Minister.

Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara received the instruments of independence from Prince Charles at Albert Park on 10th October, 1970.

Every single stall at the Laqere Market was decorated today to commemorate Fiji’s 50th year of independence.

Kasalaini Lewadali was given the award for the Best Decorated Stall.

Her decorations reflected the path Fiji has taken as a country in the last 50 years.

Lewadali says she remembers they took a family photo on 10th October, 1970 and that photo still proudly hangs in their house today.



30 more people receive Fiji 50 Independence Commemorative medals

By Navitalai Naivalurua
Thursday 08/10/2020
[Image: Fijian Government]

Another 30 people who have contributed to Fiji’s development and progress in the past 50 years were today awarded with commemorative medals for Fiji’s 50th anniversary of independence by the President Jioji Konrote.

The recipients include the High Commissioner of Fiji to Samoa, Ratu Tui Cavuilati, Fiji's Ambassador to the US, Amenatave Yauvoli, former Fiji Ambassador to South Korea, Romanu Tikotikoca, Permanent Secretary for the Office of the Prime Minister and Immigration, Yogesh Karan, Fiji Pensioners Association President Hari Raj Naicker and Weightlifting Fiji President Della Shaw-Elder.

The ceremony was held at State House.

Other recipients are former Acting Police Commissioner and military officer, Lt.Col Jimi Koroi, Ambassador Litia Mawi, Dwarka Prasad, Lt.Col(Ret'd) Jackson Evans, Dr Sereima Bale, Christopher Dard Keung Lee, Dr Indu Chandra, Anthony Blake, Shammi Lochan Lal, Vigyan Chand Sharma, Sashi Singh, Adi Laisa Balavu, Sepeti Matararaba, Manoa Cama, Sikeli Tuinamuana, Barrie Sweetman, Narendra Prasad, Rev. Nathaniel Hem Raj, Simon Cole, Subash Chandra, Parveen Naidu Chandra, Joni Soro, Ilisoni Koroi and Peter Knight.



Raivoce recalls proud independence day moment in 1970

By Semi Turaga
Thursday 08/10/2020
Retired Colonel Sakiusa Raivoce.

Retired Colonel Sakiusa Raivoce says it was a proud moment for him to be one of the guards that was at Albert Park for the official independence ceremony for Fiji on 10th October 1970.

Raivoce says he has not seen a crowd of that size at Albert Park since that day as many showed up to see the Fijian flag for the first time.

Raivoce is one of people that received commemorative medals for Fiji’s 50th Anniversary of Independence.

He was in the RFMF for over 33 years before he left to join the United Nations.

Raivoce says he also spearheaded the recruitment of our men and women in the British Army in 1988 when he was in Scotland.

He says now more than 3,500 of our people are in the British Army.

Raivoce says he then came back to Fiji to start the security company Global Risk.

He says the hallmark of his career was being the ADC or aide to the late President and Tui Cakau Ratu Sir Penaia Ganilau.





Hundreds gather at the Suva Market to celebrate Fiji Day

By Shanil Singh
Wednesday 07/10/2020

Hundreds of people gathered at the Suva Market today as the vendors celebrated Fiji’s 50 years of independence celebrations.

People from various ethnic groups were seen getting together and enjoying traditional items by vendors, wheelbarrow boys and the Vude Queen Laisa Vulakoro.

Suva Market Vendors Association President Sofia Talei says this is the first time the Association has celebrated Fiji Day together because they feel they had to do something special to mark the nation’s 50th year of independence.

She says singing of the national anthem is a very touching moment for her as it reminds Talei of her late grandfather who fought in World War 2 in Malaya.

Talei says her grandfather was present at Albert Park when Fiji gained independence 50 years ago and always came to Suva on Fiji Day to march for the soldiers who fought in the war.

121016249-739677763252708-8505477493204794166-n She says being part of the celebration is a special feeling for her.

Meanwhile Suva’s longest serving vendor Balram Thapamagar says Fiji Day for him is all about being free and it was a very special occasion when Fiji gained independence.

Balram who has been a vendor for 45 years now says Fiji is the best place to live.

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Hard work and unity in Nausori Town has seen so many developments - Premila Kumar

By Navitalai Naivalurua
Wednesday 07/10/2020
[Image: Div Damodar/ Twitter]

Hard work and unity of the people of Nausori has resulted in so many developments in Nausori Town for the past 50 years.

While highlighting this during the Nausori Town Council and Nausori Market Vendors Association Fiji 50 celebration at the Nausori Municipal Market, Minister for Local Government Premila Kumar says two major developments in Nausori is the construction of the biggest municipal market in Fiji and the Pacific and also the development of the Nausori Bus Stand.

She says in 1970, the population of Nausori was only 4,000 with 2,000 ratepayers but today through major developments more than 57,882 Fijians call Nausori their home with 4,385 ratepayers.

The Minister reminded market vendors that without a competitive spirit, business progress cannot be what it is today.

Kumar also thanked all vendors and the organising committee for a beautiful display of unity that has given life to the town of Nausori.

The Nausori vendors have decorated their stalls with Fiji Blue balloons, material and flags.

More than 1,800 vendors also sang the national anthem to mark the Fiji 50 independence day celebrations.




Special Fiji 50 coins and banknotes unveiled

By Navitalai Naivalurua
Wednesday 07/10/2020
Governor of the Reserve Bank of Fiji Ariff Ali and Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama at the unveiling of the Special Fiji 50 coins and banknotes.

Every child from Year 1 to 13 will be receiving a specially packaged Fiji-50 cents coin each starting from today.

This was highlighted by Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama during the unveiling of Fiji's 50 years of Independence Commemorative $50 banknote and 50 cents coin at the Grand Pacific Hotel.

Bainimarama says the package will be given to students so that every Fijian boy and girl remember this Fiji Day for the rest of their lives.

He says the Reserve Bank, in coordination with the Ministry of Education will work to distribute commemorative coins to all schools over the next few weeks.

He adds that he hopes that these coins find a special place in the lives of Fijian children everywhere, sitting cherished on bookshelves, or stored among their prized possessions.  

Meanwhile, Governor of the Reserve Bank of Fiji Ariff Ali says over the years, the structure of our banknotes and coins has continued to evolve in line with the changing transaction patterns, customers' demand and security standards.

Ali says the commemorative currencies first took shape three years ago and while the new coin was clear, simple and finalised promptly, it took more than a year of meetings for the banknote design to be completed.

He says the final design and other technical characteristics of the currencies were approved by the Board of the Reserve Bank of Fiji in May 2019.

The Governor adds the new notes and coins will be in distribution from today and they will be a legal tender just like any other circulated banknote or coin.

The commemorative polymer $50 banknote is vibrant, sharp and multi-coloured, primarily blue, yellow and orange synonymous to our multicultural glorious island nation.

The front of the banknote predominantly features the first raising of our beloved Fiji flag at Albert Park on 10th October 1970 depicting the birth of Fiji as an independent nation.

notes

[Image: RBF]

 The government building clock is also depicted chiming 10 o’clock, precisely the time when the new flag was raised to the mast-head.

The Fijian shield is depicted along with the signature of the Governor of the Reserve Bank of Fiji towards the left of the banknote.

They have also used a clear window with the image of the Fiji shield that can be seen both from the front and back of the banknote, a feature that looks spectacular on the banknote.

When placed under an ultra violet light source, as a security feature, certain areas of the banknote, for instance; the serial numbering towards the right of the banknote and area around the shield and clock will glow and the numeral “50” towards the centre of the banknote will be revealed.

There are also colour changing elements around the shield and clock which can be viewed upon tilting.

The reverse of the banknote features Fijian children from various ethnic backgrounds moving together waving the nation’s flag.

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[Image: RBF]

When placed under an ultra violet light, certain elements of the children’s imagery fluoresce yellow.

There are also two vertical lines of raised dots on the top right-hand side of the banknote which can be clearly felt and are there to help the blind and the visually impaired to authenticate the banknote.

Features of the Commemorative Circulation 50 cents Coin

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[Image: RBF]

The front of the 50 cents coin features the Fijian Coat of Arms, the word “FIJI”, the issuing year “2020” and the denomination “50 cents”.

The reverse of the coin features a coloured extract of our Fiji flag with the words “50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE” and “10.OCTOBER.2020” inscribed around the image. The coin is round shaped with milled edges and inner do-decagon edges.

Album photos courtesy of the Office of the Prime Minister.



Lorraine Seeto receives Fiji Day 50 commemorative medal

By Semi Turaga
Wednesday 07/10/2020
Lorraine Seeto (right) with close family members after receiving her commemorative medals for Fiji’s 50th Anniversary of Independence.

The Chairperson of the Housing Authority of Fiji Board Lorraine Seeto today paid tribute to her late brothers as she was one of thirty-five people that received commemorative medals for Fiji’s 50th Anniversary of Independence.

She was recognised for her community work.

Seeto also spent 38 years at the Reserve Bank of Fiji and was also the Logistics Director for COP23.

She says it is good to see that some people valued the work she has done for the community and nominated her.

Seeto says she was in Class 5 in the then Fiji Chinese Primary School when Fiji became independent in 1970.

She remembers they were given Fiji flags, medals and food on that day.

Seeto says many were excited about Prince Charles visiting Fiji.



Other people that received commemorative medals today were former Ambassador Sir James Ah Koy, former Minister for Defence, National Security and Immigration Timoci Natuva who is also a retired Captain in the Fiji Navy, former National Federation Party parliamentarian and Public Accounts Committee Chairman, Sayed Abdul Khaiyum, Retired Lt Colonel Sakiusa Raivoce, Retired Major Ifereimi Waisale Soata, Retired Lt Colonel Jovilisi Kacilala, Professor Vijay Naidu, Bachubhai Umakant Patel, Peter Mazey, Dr Rajni Chand, Lorraine Mar, Elizabeth Fong, Ishwari Prasad, Aileen Burness, Guru Dayal Sharma, Urmila Devi Arya, Mau Lutudromu, Saras Wati Goundar, Praveen Naidu Chandra, Irene Rose Kumar, Bishwa Sidal, Nai Kamanalagi, Michael Nacola, Maharaj Kumari Bhindi, Samu Yavala, Marica Tokalau, Jerome Kado, Aisake Vulawalu Tabuadua, Akuila Bulivono, Maretino Nemani, Livai Ratunigaloa Tila, Epi Jioji Lailai, Investment Fiji CEO Craig Strong and Isireli Uluinakubou.




Ratu Epeli, Bainimarama, Chaudhry and Naivalurua among the 32 people receiving Fiji 50 medals today

By Vijay Narayan
Monday 05/10/2020
Recipients Former President, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, former Prime Minister, Mahendra Chaudhry, and Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama [Image: Fijian Government]

Former President, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama and former Prime Minister, Mahendra Chaudhry are among the people who have received commemorative medals for Fiji’s 50th anniversary of independence by the President Jioji Konrote.

The ceremony was held at State House.

Other recipients are former senior military officers, Major General Ioane Naivalurua and Brigadier General Apakuki Kurusiga, Fiji flag designer, Tessa McKenzie, former Methodist Church of Fiji President, Reverend Tevita Nawadra, former Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister, Taufa Vakatale, former Finance Minister, Sir James Ah Koy, former Home Affairs Minister, Joketani Cokanasiga, former Suva Lord Mayor, Ratu Peni Volavola, and businessman Kantilal Punja.

Daryl Tarte, Doctor Robin Mitchell, Reverend Pauliasi Vatanitawake, Ratu Tui Cavuilati, Adi Finau Tabakaucoro, Doctor Eci Nabalarua, Doctor Esther Williams, Doctor Angeela Jokhan, Bernadette Rounds Ganilau, Ratu Jo Nacola, Ratu Iliesa Tuisese, Brother Fergus Garret, Hafizud Dean Khan, Setaraki Macanawai, Misau Fatiaki, Joji Qaranivalu, Jane Ricketts and Sitiveni Raturala were also recognised with medals today.

Former boxers, Alipate Korovou and Sakaraia Ve also received the Fiji 50 medals.

Stay with us for updates.





PM launches official Fiji 50 song 'Children of Fiji'

By Shanil Singh
Monday 05/10/2020
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and FBC CEO Riyaz Sayed-Khaiyum

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has today launched the official song "Children of Fiji" for Fiji's 50th Independence Anniversary.

While speaking at the launch, Bainimarama says the song is an anthem of the moment which captures the spirit of courage and compassion in these difficult times.

He says no matter what the challenge is, we have always seen that Fiji is at its best when we all stand together.

The song which is composed in collaboration with government broadcaster, Fijian Broadcasting Corporation is sung in English, iTaukei, Fiji-hindi and Rotuman languages.

The Prime Minister says he believes this is the first time where an official song includes Rotuman lyrics.

FBC CEO Riyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says they decided to compose the song around 5 months ago that could become a modern patriotic anthem for the young generation.

Sayed-Khaiyum says song expresses the resilience of the Fijian people in any situation and celebrates the passion for things that binds us together as a modern nation.



Chaudhry and Kurusiga thankful after receiving the Fiji 50 Independence Commemorative Medal in recognition of their services

By Vijay Narayan, Iva Danford
Monday 05/10/2020
Former Prime Minister, Mahendra Chaudhry and senior military officer, Brigadier General Apakuki Kurusiga.

Former Prime Minister, Mahendra Chaudhry and senior military officer, Brigadier General Apakuki Kurusiga say they are thankful after receiving the Fiji 50 Independence Commemorative Medal in recognition of their services to the country.

Chaudhry says he has been in politics and also trade union movements and has done his best to serve the people of Fiji, and will continue to do so.

He says we are facing very difficult times now in the history of Fiji and we all should be working hard to alleviate the suffering.

Meanwhile, Kurusiga says being amongst the prominent people in Fiji awarded with this medal will be a moment that he will never forget.

He says he is glad to have contributed positively to the nation while working with the Itaukei Affairs Board and the Republic of Fiji Military Forces.

While speaking at the Investiture Ceremony, President Jioji Konrote says the 32 people were awarded the medals to acknowledge and reward them for serving selflessly and contributing immensely towards Fiji's socio-economical and political process and development over the years.

Konrote says he had asked the Chairperson and members of the College of Honour that despite the limited number of medals to be presented, they are to ensure that this special medal is presented to the serving members of the public, private sector and civil society.





Qaranivalu dedicates his Fiji 50 Independence Commemorative Medal to all the scouts in Fiji

By Iva Danford
Tuesday 06/10/2020
Fiji Scout Association Executive Commissioner Joji Qaranivalu and retired minister of the Methodist Church in Fiji Reverend Pauliasi Vatanitawake .

The Fiji Scout Association Executive Commissioner, Joji Qaranivalu has dedicated his Fiji 50 Independence Commemorative Medal to all the scouts in Fiji.

Qaranivalu says being a scout has also been his pride and the highlight of his life.

He says we should be thankful for such a good community that we live in.

Qaranivalu also thanked the government for allowing scouts to be held in schools.

Meanwhile, the oldest retired minister of the Methodist Church in Fiji, Reverend Pauliasi Vatanitawake says he is thankful that people have appreciated his service in the Methodist Church.

90-year-old Vatanitawake says to be part of a nationwide recognition of this level is an unforgettable moment for him.


Former President, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama and former Prime Minister, Mahendra Chaudhry are among the people who have received commemorative medals for Fiji’s 50th anniversary of independence by the President Jioji Konrote.

The ceremony was held at State House yesterday.

Other recipients are former senior military officers, Major General Ioane Naivalurua and Brigadier General Apakuki Kurusiga, Fiji flag designer, Tessa McKenzie, former Methodist Church of Fiji President, Reverend Tevita Nawadra, former Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister, Taufa Vakatale, former Finance Minister, Sir James Ah Koy, former Home Affairs Minister, Joketani Cokanasiga, former Suva Lord Mayor, Ratu Peni Volavola, and businessman Kantilal Punja.

Former boxers, Alipate Korovou and Sakaraia Ve also received the medals.



Fiji Day celebrations at Albert Park will be at half capacity- PM

By Shanil Singh
Tuesday 06/10/2020
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama [Photo: Office of the Prime Minister]

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has confirmed that Fiji's 50 year Independence Anniversary celebrations which will be held at Albert Park this Saturday will be at half capacity.

Bainimarama says the Republic of Fiji Military Forces will parade at the very spot that Prince Charles handed over our Independence Instruments 50 years ago.

He also says throughout this week Fijians can enjoy pitching flags, planting trees and decorating their homes in the lead-up to Fiji Day itself.



31 more people receive Fiji 50 Independence Commemorative medals

By Iva Danford
Tuesday 06/10/2020
Women in Business President, Dr Nur Bano Ali, Chair of Investment Fiji, Jenny Seeto and Dr Salanieta Bakalevu who is the Associate Dean of Learning and Teaching at USP.

Another 31 people who have contributed to Fiji’s development and progress in the past 50 years were today awarded with commemorative medals for Fiji’s 50th anniversary of independence by the President Jioji Konrote.

The recipients include Women in Business President, Dr Nur Bano Ali, Chair of Investment Fiji, Jenny Seeto, CEO of Energy Fiji Limited, Hasmukh Patel, Commander Inoke Luveni and former Permanent Secretary for Education Dr Brij Lal.

The ceremony was held at State House.


Other recipients are Fiji FA President Rajesh Patel, Dr Salanieta Bakalevu who is the Associate Dean of Learning and Teaching at USP, the Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor Education Prof Jito Vanualailai and the FNU Director TVET, Dr Isimeli Tagicakiverata

Joji Mocevakaca, Lorine Devi, Raditini Manueli, Digby Bossley, Noor Jahan Begum, Mark Halabe, Vasiti Fuli, Henele Qasetimoala, Senior Superintendent Niko Rabuku, Aisea Mulia, Nacanieli Waqatoga, Bob Kolitagane, Sister Esther Powell, Professor Arvind Patel, Sanaila Nabukelevu, Sereana Kolinisau, Luke Qase, Kaliova Turaga, Epeli Matata, Paula Radrodro, Josua Seduadua and Kitione Saumadu were also recognised with medals today.






Witnessing the lowering of the Union Jack was an emotional moment - Janiff

By Shanil Singh
Tuesday 06/10/2020
Caines Jannif CEO Iqbal Jannif.

Caines Jannif CEO Iqbal Jannif says he experienced mixed emotions during the lowering of the Union Jack on the evening of the 9th of October, 1970 and the raising of the Fiji flag because as a kid he grew up with the Union Jack.

Jannif says as a young photographer back then, he was one of the few people who was allowed in the press area at Albert Park when Fiji gained independence.

Jannif says this a great time for the country to reflect on what we have achieved.

He also says that constant technological changes for over a hundred years has been a major contributing factor to the way they do business.

Jannif says when Caines Jannif started in 1904, it used a technology known as glass plate negatives where the photographer went under a dark cloth to focus after several technological advancements over the years, but they now use digital technology.

He says in the days of films, customers had to wait for a few days to collect their photos because it took time to process but now people can collect their photos instantly.

Jannif says while the new technology may have been beneficial to customers, it also means that they have had to invest a lot of money to purchase the equipment.




As a student of QVS, I felt sad as the Union Jack was lowered on the eve of Independence - Qaranivalu

By Iva Danford
Tuesday 06/10/2020

65-year-old Joji Qaranivalu says he clearly remembers being one of the 120 cadets who peri-metered Albert Park on October 10th 1970.

Qaranivalu says the events of the day is still fresh in his mind as he was in Year 11 in Queen Victoria School.

The Fiji Scout Association Executive Commissioner, say as a student of Queen Victoria School, he felt sad as the Union Jack was lowered on the eve of independence in 1970.

Qaranivalu says with the sadness also came a sense of freedom because Fiji could then decide on its own destiny.

He says as we celebrate 50 years of independence this Saturday, we should remember that the spirit of believing that we can stand on our on two feet has brought us this far.





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