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.