from a website -
Labasa Town The town established in 1922, this town was formerly a village with an earth road having deep side drains. During the spring tide you could fish in the middle of the commercial sites that were surrounded by cane, rice, coconut and cattle farms.
wrong - Labasa was never a village. It is the name of a river. The village was Naseakula and the area called Nasea by most people.
The present site of the Civic Centre was the site where James McCober family occupied four bure houses and the site was covered with tiri patches that became lowland swaps at high tide. There were no water supply, electricity or telephone services and people used well and tank water, kerosene hurricane lamps, and horses as the means of transportation.
Tiri is mangrove.
There were a few stores scattered in the area facing the CSR tramline, which was the main highway in those days.
and the attractions -
There are several charming and interesting attractions here like the hot springs at Waiqele or the floating island at Nakelikoso lying 26 miles from town. The swinging bridge here was built in early days and is still in use. You can also enjoy the lovely beaches at Nasealevu/Nukutatava, or the cascading clear Lekutulevu Waterfalls. Three sisters, is a mountain with a legendary background. This natural beauty is quite popular and has 3 knolls that give it its name.
and sports -The Council provides sporting areas for rugby, soccer, volleyball, netball, lawn tennis (operated by an association), squash courts, swimming pool. The FSC (Fiji Sugar Co-operation Ltd) has a bowling green and a golf course.
from the Cyclopedia of Fiji 1907, the following are listed as living and working in Labasa, mainly at the sugarmill. Some of the names are still around in Fiji in the Part-European community.
Mr Alfred Hill, Mr Charles Hill, Mr Edgar Masters, Mr Robert Duncan McPhee, Mr Charles R Innes, Mr John Moore, Mr Trevor Jones, Mr Charles Carne, Mr James Hillhouse, Mr Angus Morrison, Mr James Simmons, Mr Isaac Simpson, Mr Michael Dyer, Captain H Hansen, Mr James M Shute, Mr William James Barrack, Mrs Ellen E Harman, Mr Mathew Siompson, Mr James Brand Simmons, Mr Charles Ormond Eyre, Mr Julian Bathie Miller, Mr F Whippy, and others.
It's interesting that they give little bios for each person, emphasising schooling overseas mainly, then their job. They don't pay much attention to the Fijian or Part-Fijian wives of many of these men.
The Cyclopedia seems to have been compiled to attract overseas investors in Fiji. I don't dare copy some of the awful descriptions the author/authors have of the indigenous population and the Indian indentured labourers!
The class structure was replicated in the housing of the families in Labasa - the people with the highest status on the hill in large bungalows, engineers and moderately skilled staff half-way down the hill, and the lowest area for the 'lines' which were crowded barracks for labourers. These 'lines' remained for more than eighty years. I saw some of the 'lines' in Lautoka one time and they were two small rooms per family in a long rectangular wooden building which housed about fifteen families.