Sunday, August 20, 2006

Bau Island, pivotal role in Fiji's history

Bau Island has been pivotal in Fiji's history, including that of the Methodist Church when Ratu Seru Cakobau embraced the lotu.

Methodist Annual Conferences in Fiji have often been located in places distant from metrapolitan Suva and that’s a good thing – such as Bua, Lau, Cuvu, Levuka. It is meaningful for this church to symbolise its relevance to the people by hosting the meetings in regional areas. It is costly but it builds networks and pride and hospitality and sometimes a renewal of customs. I noticed this particularly at the Cuvu conference held a few years ago.

Fiji Times today:
Ratu Epenisa Cakobau explains to the Fiji Times reporter that the conference, which starts on the island next Monday, had also encouraged the islanders to improve their living standard. "Since last year, we knew that we were going to host the conference so people of Bau who live on the island started renovating their homes and upgraded their surroundings in preparation for the conference."It lifted the standard of living not only on Bau Island but throughout the province of Tailevu," Ratu Epenisa said. Houses on the island stood out in their bright colours decorated with colourful clothing material tied to posts and walls of the homes.Houses on the island were freshly painted for the conference, the lawns were neatly mowed and gardens planted. No rubbish could be seen lying around the island.

Ratu Epenisa said a dress code for those visiting the island for the conference would be monitored. "That's what Bau is, with its customs. Any visitor to the island will know what kind of dress to wear. I'm sure people will bear in mind their dress code on the island," he said.
Hmm. I wonder who is ironing Peceli’s shirt and sulu and polishing his sandals if I’m not there!

Update: Wednesday August 23rd.
A great photo of Bau Island taken from the air has been posted on Pandemonium's blogspot. Check it out.


Anonymous said...

The chiefly Island of Bau is well dressed like traditional bride waiting forv the bridegroom.

I felt home when I put my foot in the Island. More then 2000 Conferance members guests for the Sunday service 10 am in the Ratu Apenisa Memorial Church.

A large Makee tents in the middle of the ground close to Ulunivuaka Community center we all seating there to have the main Sunday feast.
After the feast Iwas looking for Isikeli Tawake the Quentas exengeener in Australia and he is from Lasakau Bau but he was vnot in the Island.

Dont worry about my cloth, ha ha

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

You are so lucky to visit Bau! I haven't been there for years and years.
I thought Isikeli would be there.
One time I took Mum and Dad there and it was a women's soli because the men hadn't paid their communal taxes. There were mekes and it was a delightful day.
Dr Tippett lived there one time didn't he? He wrote papers about some of the customs there.
I'm sure your clothes are neat and tidy. We have a hard-working daughter-in-law!
Watiqu sia!

Pandabonium said...

Wow, that's great Peceli. So much history on such a small island.

I have a picture of Bau which I took from the air on a flight from Taveuni to Nausori. It shows the church pretty well.

I'll try to scan it and post it.

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

Great photo. I'll update my post to refer people to your blog. I won't pinch it though!