from today's Fiji Times
Michael notes changes
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
Michael Amal Deo ... major changes in Labasa
THE town of Labasa in the Northern Division had no housing area and not many shops in the 1970s and people depended on a small market for their vegetable supply. Michael Amal Deo remembers this vividly.
He started work as a cleaner for the Labasa Town Council in 1977. He still does that job today and says he has enjoyed every minute of it.He has done everything from cleaning drains, mowing the lawn on council property to attending to pot plants around the town area. Mr Deo said when he started work, his job involved cleaning around town, starting from as far as Naodamu where a residential housing area now sits. He says there was no such area before when he started work. "There was no housing area in Labasa and not many houses or shops like we have now except for a few houses in Naodamu and about 20 shops in town," he remembers. "There was a small market in town that sold vegetables and I remember there were not many buses and cars like we have today."
Labasa has developed into a major urban centre serving as a meeting place for people in the Northern Division. The township is the only major urban centre in the division alongside Savusavu.
Mr Deo has even noticed a big difference over the collection of rubbish in residential and town areas. "In the past when I first started, there was rubbish every where, scattered all over the place and we used to collect from different places in the residential areas. Today, it is better organised and people know where to pile their rubbish which are now kept in bins or garbage bags."
He says over the years the town has developed but despite this, business people have done a good job in keeping their rubbish stacked in proper places making it easier for collection. Money earned from his job, Mr Deo says, has helped support his family financially."I have been able to educate my three daughters, feed my family and pay for bills so I am enjoying my job," he says."Although people always tell me to look for better opportunities, I enjoy my work at the council and I will continue until I retire."