picture from Fiji Times.The girls in purple! Dudley High School students walking near the hundred-year-old baka tree yesterday. Picture: ATU RASEA
I had a laugh about this story in today's Fiji Village about the very old baka tree in the Dudley High School compound. There have been many an intimate conversation under that tree I am sure over the years. I taught there many years ago and remember Dudley very well. When Peceli came visiting, the missionaries frowned and wondered why is this laughing young man having dinner with us!
Baka trees to be cut down
Publish date/time: 09/08/2010 [07:35]
Members of the Indian Division of the Methodist Church of Fiji are saddened with the news that the Baka tree at Dudley High School in Suva will soon be chopped down. The tree holds sentimental values for the members because work on the first mission of the Indian Division of the church began under the Baka tree.
Divisional Superintendent of the Indian Division, Reverend William Lucas said the Baka tree is 100 years old and it has to be removed because the roots of the tree has damaged the school sewer lines. He said it has also forced the closure of six out of eight senior girls restroom facilities.
Rev Lucas said the old Baka tree brings back a lot of memories.
President of the Dudley High school parents and teachers association, Inia Vuakilau said there will be a Baka Tree fundraising drive on the 14th of this month. The money will go to the construction of a multi-purpose court for Dudley High school and a need for proper landscaping.
Wednesday 11 August - how the Fiji Times ran the story.
Baka tree to come down
By Geraldine Panapasa
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
THE landmark baka tree towering over Dudley High School in Toorak, Suva will be removed during the second school term holidays because the century-old roots have damaged the school's sewer line and building foundation. To cover the cost of cutting down the tree, the school's Parents, Teachers and Friends Association (PTFA) is organising a Baka Tree Day on Saturday to raise funds for this project.
PTFA president Inia Vukialau said the target was to raise $1000 per form. "Phase one is the removal of the baka tree due to the damage the roots have caused to the school sewer line and foundations," he said. "The costs will cover the cutting down, carting of the debris and proper landscaping. We have 26 streams (forms) altogether. The baka tree is very sentimental to many. It was the place where the pioneer missionary Hannah Dudley began her missionary work." Ms Dudley was a Methodist missionary who ministered mainly to the Indian community.
"For those who attended Dudley, the baka tree is synonym with the school," Mr Vukialau said. "Therefore, the decision to cut down the tree was very difficult to make. We will try to find ways of continuing the legacy of the trees, perhaps nurture some cuttings and sell it off to old scholars to plant in their own yards."
Mr Vukialau said phase two was planning, approval and building of a multi-purpose court to accommodate assemblies, sports and other extra-curricular activities. He said the PTFA committee was told that old scholars were planning a reunion next year and the Baka Tree Day would kick-start the hype and build-up to the reunion.