Tuesday, March 07, 2006
Visit to Paul Jaduram at Delailabasa
Paul Jaduram the former Mayer of Labasa invited me his new home on the hill of Delailabasa where most the well-off businessmen built their houses. Standing on the top verandah of Paul's house in Delailabasa after we had a cup of tea and chat I looked towards the township area. These elite houses overlook streets of small houses in a housing development and the town. Tula and Paul Jaduram had built their houses on the best location in Labasa, much higher than the township area which sometimes floods and is low-lying. The houses at Delailabasa mostly cost more than $300,000 or even a million dollars.
When I was a child the grandfather of Tula and Paul, Jagnath, was the first Indian who had a big business in Labasa which was called Nasea then. He had a shop. Then they built the picture theatre and a line of shops in the town. Jagnath's daughter was Paul and Tula's mother. They became one of the wealthiest families in Labasa and Tula is the owner of the Takia Hotel in town, and Paul owns Centrepoint. At one stage Paul owned the tourist resort of Nukubati, down the coast from Labasa.
It is amazing to us Fijians how families like this have worked so hard in Labasa to develop their wealth and status. Other Indian families I knew were Tamana Gurbachan Singh who had a big shop in the town and then a son became a mayor and he has a hotel close to the hospital and he owned many other shops in Suva and Lautoka.