Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Building a fence

from w
I was astounded to read that the building of a fence requires Chinese labour instead of local workers. Here is an item from Fiji Exiles Board.

i guess there's no skilled labor in Fiji good enough to build a fence - so we have 20 guys from China building the Presidents fence.

Fiji people are not good enough to do that job of building a fence ?!

whats so special about that fence ?

what kind of fence is it ? a high tech special only known by Chinese fence ?

so we have unemployed people with carpentry skills and experience sitting just 1/2 a mile up the road from the Presidents house in Charles Street and High Street and Toorak Road and Edenville - and none of them are good enough to build a fence.

tsk tsk tsk

Date for fence job at the State house

By Geraldine Panapasa
Saturday, September 25, 2010

THE Government House fencing project is progressing well and should be ready for commissioning in January next year says, the Office of the Prime Minister’s deputy secretary for development co-operation, Eliki Bomani. The fencing project was enabled through direct government assistance from China worth $2.3million.

“The walls have gone up and it’s almost complete. The only thing to start in a few days is the laying of the underground cable for the lights,” he said yesterday. “So far, the project is on schedule. With the weather permitting, it should be ready for commissioning in January.” The fence, made of steel and reinforced concrete, is used for the foundation and columns.

Mr Bomani said earlier the fencing project involved three types. The first involved a decorative fencing which would run along the frontage from the Great Council of Chiefs complex to the entrance to the Botanical Gardens through to Cakobau Road to the British High Commissioner’s residence.

“The fencing perimeter will be about 2.4 metres in height,” he said.

The second type of fencing will serve to separate Government House from the Botanical Gardens and the third will cordon off the properties at the GCC complex and behind Government House.

Mr Bomani said 20 workers had been brought in from the China Railway Number 5 Engineering Group and were housed in government quarters at Domain.

Church birthday and soli in Melbourne

from w
Thank you to Bulou for her photos (on her Facebook page) of the Fijian congregation's church birthday and soli at Chadstone Uniting Church recently. Special guests were Dr Meo and Lisa from Sydney, Ms Dobson the Moderator of Vic/Tas Synod, and others. Dr Meo had a productive ministry there with the establishment of this congregation, prior to his retirement in Sydney. Unfortunately we couldn't be at the birthday function with our many friends because of our need to be grounded in the reality of health concerns.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Call me old-fashioned but

from w
Call me old-fashioned but I don't intend to use the term i-taukei every time I need to describe what the old word 'Fijian' meant. Look at this article and how silly it sounds with every mention of the word i-taukei which means land-owning anyway. Okay, good move by this gentleman to produce books for the school-kids using songs. Way to go. It's only one of the Fijian languages of course. Are there going to be books for the Labasa kids with words such as aaaa in them. A'a'a'a of course is the Labasa word for katakata - meaning hot.

From the Fiji FBC yesterday:
Passion for the language makes Lote write
Sunday, September 26, 2010
He loves his mother-tongue so much that he teaches, produces songs and composes music in it. And now he has written three books in his mother-tongue. Former school teacher Etonia Lote says his passion for the i-taukei language prompted him to write the books“ Moli Koula” – the “Uto ni Moli Koula” and “Na Coke ni Moli Koula.” The three books - written in the i-taukei language were launched yesterday at the Holiday Inn in Suva. Lote says he would like to see the i-taukei students in country be taught their language and their culture.

“I love speaking the i-taukei language ad I love teaching the i-taukei language to i-taukei students. I also love teaching i-taukei students how to behave and how to keep that high discipline in their classroom and how to behave at home. I felt that it would be good to show it in the text books – so that teachers all over Fiji can teach the students – the i-taukei students about what we expect from them.”

Meanwhile Education Minister Filipe Bole had commended Lote for writing the books.

The three books come with an audio CD which has about 30 songs – all in the i-taukei language. Bole says the inclusion of the songs has taken teaching to another level. “This is the first time it’s come out in this form. A workbook for the teachers, a workbook for the students and there’s the story and in addition there’s a CD. It’s a new type of teaching where lessons are taught in music. The words of the music are used in all sorts of things – you know – for grammar and other parts of the i-taukei language.”

The books will be used by forms 5, 6 and 7 students next year.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The people of Navosa

from Peceli,
When I read one feature article in today's Fiji Times it brought back memories of the time when I was a talatala in Navosa and knew these villages that are so far away from Suva and to travel between them meant walking or riding my horse. This was in the early 1960s. Some of our family have been back there also, for example when my niece Mere(Pinky) was married to a young soldier who came from a mountain village. Today roads link some of the villages up there.
Fiji Time: 11:38 AM on Sunday 26 September 2010
Sense of purpose
Fred Wesley
Sunday, September 26, 2010

Simione Tui cuts a forlorn figure on horseback. It's cool as evening approaches in the highlands of Navatusila, overlooking the village of Nabutautau in Navosa. Simi, 30, was about 200 metres away from the top of the mountain range to the north. He had travelled about an hour from Nasauvakarua Village in the south, cutting a path through a series of mountains before he reached the tip of the Delai Navatusila range. He was headed north, to Nabuabua, which would take him another half an hour to reach. He had another horse in tow, headed for Nabuabua.

Nabutautau is surrounded by mountains that rise steeply on all sides. The village itself is in the middle of nowhere, about 3000 feet above sea-level in the heart of Viti Levu.The village sits below the Delai Navatusila mountain range to the East, Ba ni Kavu mountain to the North, Marauralo mountain to the North-West and Delanabitu mountain to the West. It makes up one of seven villages in the Tikina o Navatusila. The other villages are Nasauvakarua, Nanoko, Mare, Tuvatuva, Natoka and Nabuabua. The Delai Navatusila range holds the village in from a deep ravine that stretches from the direction of Nadrau Village in the North, heading down South, past Waibasaga Village a few mountains away, to feed the river which winds its way on to the little tourist township of Sigatoka, a little to the South-West.

The nearest villages to Nabutautau are Nabuabua and Natoka, an hour's walk away - Nabuabua to the North and Natoka down South.

Simi, married with two daughters, has made this trip many times before. This day though was different for a good portion of the way. Over mountains and bushland, he emerged on to the newly constructed Nabutautau Village Road which links the village to the mountain highway that stretches through to Bukuya to the West and meanders its way through breath-taking views of mountains and foliage along the way to Nadarivatu in the East.

For people like Simi, this new highway has lifted expectations. They now understand how better life can be with a properly maintained road linking their little rural villages to the outside world.

I'd first travelled to Nabutautau in September, 2008 where I met Aliti Buna Nawawabalavu. She was 75-years-old at the time, having left her village at Nasauvere in Naitasiri to marry Ratu Sailosi Nawawabalavu and settle down at Nabutautau in 1949.

Her words that day still ring loud and clear. "Isa na luvequ, keitou sa kerea ga me dua na neitou gaunisala vinaka." It was a plea for assistance. A call from the wilderness. A call for something a sizeable number of the population consider a right - a good road. The widow didn't mince her words. There was no need for her to impress anyone. Her wrinkled face, weathered hands and eyes had lived through years of hardship. Her husband died in 2005, at the age of 82. He was a third generation direct descendant of the man (Ratu Nawawabalavu) blamed for the killing of Reverend Thomas Baker on the morning of July 21, 1867.

Aliti sat there, shamelessly emotional. Every one of her three daughters and four sons were born at Nabutautau. The nearest health centre, at Bukuya was a couple of hours West by foot. She'd learnt to deliver her own children and that of other mothers in the village. It was a reality she wanted highlighted.

As most wives in urban centres get off a bus or a cab and walk a few metres home with their shopping, Aliti was forced to get off at Nanoko Village, coming from Ba, with her shopping packed securely in a used 10kg sack to trek through the jungle on a four hour walk home over mountains that would leave most urbanites gasping for breath. Her needs far outweighed the wants of most urban dwellers.

It was the reality of life in the inhospitable terrain. In 2008, there were three ways to get to the village. You could either hop on a four wheel drive vehicle with a driver willing to accept road conditions that could only be described as horrible, rugged, and life threatening, travel on horseback or you could walk.

I remember our trusty Ford Ranger had taken on the elements, and arrived at Nabutautau to gasps of surprise from the villagers. I'd left Suva with my colleagues Asaeli Lave and Anare Ravula at 4.30 on a cool Monday morning. We arrived at the junction at Bukuya which serves as the gateway connecting the highland people to Sigatoka, Ba and Nadi, at 8am. We came to a stop at Nabutautau at 2.30pm.
Nadi, Lautoka and Ba are to the West while Tavua, Vatukoula and Rakiraki are to the North of Nabutautau. Suva is towards the South-East.

To say this village is far is an understatement. Villagers spoke of travelling with ropes, to pull vehicles on portions of the road that were so bad in rainy weather, that even four-wheel drive vehicles had trouble passing through.

"I'd like to be alive to see a good road made for us," Aliti told me that day. Aliti forked out $150 one way to get her produce from Nabutautau to Ba then.

Like her, turaga ni koro Vilitati Rokovesa believed a proper road could change their lives. "We are blessed with fertile land, our crops are plentiful, from watermelons to dalo, yaqona and cassava," he told me that day. "All we need is a proper road to get to town to sell our produce."

The rugged terrain, scarcity of transportation, lack of human habitation and no public transport service made the highlands suitable grazing ground for drug farming.
The fact that mobile phones picked up signals on the mountain roads added credibility to the notion.

But it was something the people of Nabutautau shrugged off. Most are Seventh-Day Adventist church followers. They live simple lives, and off the land.
It meant more respect for tradition and culture.

The ways of old were evident in the far flung land where communication with the outside world was intermittently possible only with the aid of a newly installed satellite phone system in the village, where water flows through plastic pipes from the nearby mountains and lights at night came on from benzene lanterns or the little used generators until solar powered lights came on this year.

Anare's story in the Nai Lalakai on Friday, September 19, 2008 was followed by a Cabinet statement on Tuesday, September 23 which was like a breath of fresh air for the people of Nabutautau. Cabinet approved funding for road upgrades within the Tikina of Navatusila, specifically to the villages of Nanoko, Ebuto, Nasivikoso and Nubutautau. The project was to be carried out by the Ministry of Works, Transport and Public Utilities via contracting the scope of works to the private sector based on public tender.

"We faced many problems before," Simi tells me. "Now we can travel to the urban centres anytime, rain or shine which is very good for us."

They now have a brand new road, one they fondly refer to as ‘gaunisala piji'.

But it was no easy road to build for Mukesh Chand the supervisor roads for A Jan Group of Companies, the contractors for the road works. It was one of the toughest challenges in his career as an engineer. "We had problems with material and water sources," he said. "We eventually had to cart material over from Bukuya and water from Nanoko and Nabutautau. The road at the beginning was rough and demanding but at the end of the day, I think it was well worth it."

Tui Navatusila Ratu Filimoni Nawawabalavu believes the construction of the new road will open up many opportunities for his people. It has not been officially opened yet. He was appreciative of the government effort to build a road for his people. He was one of the major forces behind the campaign to have a proper road for them.
Whether it was a curse that troubled them over the years, or just a matter of simple logistics, people like Aliti, Vilitati and Simi are thankful the door to the world has opened up for them.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Introducing Fiji Times new manager

from w
Radio Australia did an interview with the new manager of the Fiji Times. Sounds like he's pragmatic and will be cautious about stepping on egg-shells.
Returning Fiji Times publisher to negotiate a different Fiji
Updated September 24, 2010 08:48:31

The newly sold 141-year-old Fiji Times has a new publisher, Dallas Swinstead, a former publisher of same newspaper from 1976 to 1980 and several Fairfax mastheads in Australia. One of the dictates of Fiji's media decree is that the country's media outlets must be ninety per cent owned by Fiji nationals, and in accordance Fiji's oldest newspaper was sold by the Australian-owned News Limited to the Motibhai Group of Companies for an undisclosed sum earlier this month.

Mr Swinstead explains how Motibhai chief Mahendra Patel came to select him for the position.

Presenter: Geraldine Coutts
Speaker: Dallas Swinstead, publisher of Fiji Times

SWINSTEAD: I was here as the publisher in '76 to '80 and I had my time and the paper flourished. It was owned by the Herald and Weekly Times then. So move the clock forward to September 3 [2010], I am having lunch with some people and this call came. It was a sort of noisy cafeteria type place and I could not really get the name and I thought it was an insurance call from Bombay or something like that, and I heard the name Mahendra and it was Mahendra Patel. Mahendra Patel is the chief executive and driving force of Motibhai who now own the Fiji Times. And we had a great relationship then because again he was a member of the board which was made up of some expatriates and some locals, but even then Mahendra was a standout and he asked me simply 'would you come to the Fiji Times if I am successful in buying the Fiji Times'. And I thought for around five seconds and I said yes.

COUTTS: So obviously there were not any reservations given that you are a long time journalist, a seasoned journalist and writer. But you didn't have any reservations about the current state of the media and the restrictions and censorship there?

SWINSTEAD: Well obviously I am very much aware of it. Reservations, no. I see it as a challenge. We talked to the staff here yesterday and we talked about a lot of things and I did say that the elephant in the room was the relationship between the press and the government. And someone said 'well, what do you think of the government?' Your question - how will you live with the government? And my reply was that by nature, and I stress by nature and not by profession, that instinctively I believe people have got a right to free speech. And I was born with that attitude and my parents nourished it. When I stepped out of line they gave me a whack, both of them - although not at the same time. So I understand the values and the responsibility enjoying the right to free speech and the cost of putting my foot in my mouth. So there is two ways to go here. One is to demand free speech and you can ask News Limited about that. And the other is to try to work with local ownership, with the people and with the government to get this country to where it wants to be. Now it sounds a bit precious, but that's the reality and I am a pragmatist.

COUTTS: I am not quite sure what that actually says - as whether it will be the status quo that you'll pursue, or whether you will pursue the desire and the need that a free press is required and therefore there will be stories examining the workings of the government?

SWINSTEAD: No what I said is that I understand free speech better than most and I understand its value, but here it is not possible under some circumstances. What you have to understand is that 95 per cent of our paper - whether it is Fijians, Indians and whatever is happening here - it's sport results, it's commerce, the whole thing. And inevitably there are going to be stories that will cause the government embarrassment and I hope to be able to find a way to negotiate with good people down there and people here who are somehow or other able to keep some conversation going. I make no promises, and if we have to close our mouths or be shut down, I have no option but to walk around it. Now that's pretty simple.

COUTTS: So if you get a directive not to do a certain story, you will abide by that?

SWINSTEAD: I beg your pardon?

COUTTS: If you get a directive from the government or the censors not to do a story that you think is important and in the public interest, you'll sit it on it yourself? You'll choose to do that? You'll censor yourself?

SWINSTEAD: Well with respect to you, that is a pretty dumb question. Of course, I will. What's the point in having a newspaper shut down?

COUTTS: Well then going back to the original question, what is freedom of speech?

SWINSTEAD: Freedom of speech - my original answer was my parents gave me a pretty fair idea of what you can say and get away with, and when you stepped out of line and they ran the show they knocked you over. So, I mean, I don't like that happening. I am tenacious, but I am a good mediator and a facilitator, and I will be trying to talk to people in government to lead them to understand how valuable a free and open press is. But look, it is a developing country with lots of problems and I am sympathetic to them and I am not angry about censorship or anything else. That's life.

COUTTS: But when it comes to human interest there is the tragic story that availed itself this week where a Fijian came to a grievous end and that wasn't actually covered too well in the local press, so on a human interest level that was still being censored.

SWINSTEAD: As far as I know, we covered it. As I say, I have been here five minutes. I only found out where the toilet was yesterday and I think we covered it and I can't see any reason why we wouldn't.

COUTTS: And staffing levels, will you maintain the level of staff that is there currently?

SWINSTEAD: Too right, yes. I aim to grow newspaper. Look, News Limited left a fabulous paper here and they had no option. I am not critical of them. It is a great newspaper organisation, or media organisation. They have a worldwide obligation to freedom of speech and to stick to their principles. Here, they really had no option in the end to be thrown out.

What do we want, we want it now!

from w
What do the elderly want in a park? There's talk about refurbishing part of the Thurston Gardens near the Museum especially as a park for elderly people. So, who is elderly? Over ninety, or over sixty? And that's me, so what do we want, and we want it now. Already there is a nice little park near the seawall not far from Victoria Parade. The Peace Park, with benches for sitting on, nice trees and environment. But what do we really need? Okay, here's a wish list.
I. cafe for tea and scones and memorabilia on the walls
2. toilets
3. walking paths without potholes
4. ramps or slight gradient rather than steps for wheelchairs
5. a perfumed garden for the blind and seats and picnic tables
6. a touch and feel sculpture for the blind
7. free passes to the nearby museum
8. buses that stop at the corner of the park and also at the other entrance
9. free plants to take home
10. an internet cafe and free computer access for Facebook and emails as some 'elderlies' actually write blogs and email, etc.
And more of course that I haven't thought of because I'm elderly and forgetful.

And in the article is the referece to 'sitting in their homes looking at the walls' well, what about the ninety year old women of Macuata who still do gardening. I don't think Pacific people look at walls.

Park for elderly expected by Christm
Publish date/time: 24/09/2010 [16:19]

Sitting in their homes looking at the walls will now be a thing of the past for senior citizens of the country as stakeholders have come together to construct a leisure center for the elderly.

The park which will be located at the Thurston garden will be the first of its park in the Pacific.

A ground breaking ceremony was held at the Thurston Garden and during the ceremony, Social Welfare and Poverty Alleviation Minister, Dr Jiko Luveni said this is a way to repay the senior citizens in our community. She said that senior citizens have played a significant role and invested many years in the community and the country and the UN has projected that in year's to come 4 percent of the senior citizens will make up the population. The park is expected to be completed in time for Christmas.
Story by: Praneeta Deo

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Delhi Games - to be or not to be

The Commonwealth Games village. From w
At last I see one positive media piece that is not poking fun at India's apparent lack of readiness for the Commonwealth Games. So much written is arrogant and critical and barely sympathetic to the current difficulties. Good luck to the organisers to get it right within two weeks and for the athletes to have a good meet.
I know from the experience of family members what hard work is put in by athletes of this calibre.

Of course Fiji won't be there because of the ban, so Fiji's athletes don't have to worry if the Games are on or not, though it's always good to see the standards and compare with their PBs.

From the ABC Online

Aussie coach shrugs off Games setbacks
By Amy Simmons
Updated September 24, 2010 13:40:00
Miles Wydall says sleep, food and transport are most important for athletes at the Games. (AFP: Prakash Singh)
Commonwealth Games athletes will have more trouble if they are put in a room with someone who snores than if their accommodation is not quite up to scratch, Australian weightlifting coach Miles Wydall says. Wydall is not concerned about the state of the Delhi Games, despite mounting fears over security, hygiene and a dirty, unfinished athletes village.

Earlier this week part of the weightlifting venue's roof collapsed not long after a pedestrian bridge also came down, injuring dozens of workers. But Wydall says as long as athletes can get a good night's sleep, healthy food and transport to and from their venues, the Commonwealth Games should run smoothly.

"We've stayed in some really fancy accommodation and some places that are very ordinary but I've probably had more of an issue when I've been bunked in with someone whose been snoring all night," he said. "We've been to the Pacific Islands and eastern European countries where there are a variety of standards, but I tend to look at it thinking as long as I can get a good night sleep and there is some quality food there, I'm not particularly too fussed at the standards of the hotel.

"We know what the worst is like and we're hoping it's not like that [in Delhi], but then funnily enough they're the trips that you somehow remember with a certain fondness." He says he has stayed in pristine accommodation where trips have been ruined because of bad food.

"I think it's just having the proper hygiene yourself and making certain food choices and I think these guys are experienced in that and the coaches of course know what do," he said.

Australian super heavyweight Damon Kelly, who competed at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, says he is trying to stay focused despite the problems. "The weightlifiting venue roof is leaking, all the ceilings are cracked, all the sewerage is blocked up, it's not quite finished," he said. "But there's nothing we can do. India won the right to host it so they've got to do the best they can and if that's the best they can, then there's nothing we can do about it. As an athlete, you've just got to be focused on your training and the competition and try not let anything worry you." He says there is no way he would pull out of the Games. "For a lot of sports the Commonwealth Games is just another event for them, but for weightlifting it's almost the pinnacle, our chance to do well and get noticed," he said. "I have been building up for the Games since December last year and this year all I want to do is compete at the Games. That would be the same with all the weightlifters."

The Commonwealth Games Federation president is having high-level meetings with the Indian government today in an effort to salvage the event.
First posted September 24, 2010 13:28:00

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

From Davuilevu - can anyone identify the men?

from w
Now here's one interesting photo from the archives in an Australian collection of photographs by Waterhouse. It's in the Australian Museum. Can anyone identify any of the people in this photo?
Image: Teaching staff, Davuilevu Mission School, Fiji
Description AMS545/31
Photographer: Walter L Waterhouse
Rights: © Courtesy of the Australian Museum
Additional information
Part of a collection of glass plate negatives taken by Walter Lawry Waterhouse during his work at the Methodist Mission in Davuilevu, Fiji, from 1906-1910.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Not the Coral Coast road

from w,
Though the drive from Nadi to Suva has its adventures, lovely scenery and surprises, this week Peceli and I drove along Australia's Great Ocean Road with its twists and turns, and even hills up and down like the big dipper at Luna Park. It was a good way to spend the day because this week many people are thinking of Peace Day and peace-making. We do live in a beautiful world despite the times of chaos and difficulties. We drove to Anglesea, Airey's Inlet, then returned by Bells Beach (a famous surf beach) and Torquay. On the way we visited two camp-sites which were once busy places for our family - the Eumerella Scout Camp and the Burnside Uniting Church campsite (now looked after by the Baptists - what is wrong with the Uniting Church these days!). We had a simple lunch in a bakery in Airey's Inlet looked after by two young surfers. Here are some photos taken yesterday.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Visiting friends

from Peceli
It's always good to see friends, whether they come to us, or we drive to their home. Yesterday Wendy and I drove to Wyndam Vale to visit Sailosi Vakaloloma and Tau and their little grandson - a boy from Bua - was there also, and he goes back to Fiji this week with his mum Lutu. Today we had visitors from Craigieburn, - Andrew Muscat and Waisake from Nairai and we had a small bowl of kava to celebrate our friendship.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Fiji Times sold

from w
After some speculation that the Fiji Sun guys were interested, this morning one small item hinted that the Motibhai Group would be buying the Fiji Times. This afternoon it became official and the story has been posted on various media outlets, including some from Australia.Here's how Fiji Times editor, Netani Rika announced it:

Motibhai Group buys Times

Netani Rika
Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Update: 4:45PM THE Fiji Times has been sold for an undisclosed sum by News Limited to the Motibhai Group. In a statement this afternoon, News CEO John Hartigan said an agreement had been reached for the sale of Pacific Publications (Fiji) Limited.

The sale is subject to final regulatory approval in Fiji with the expected closing date for the sale on September 22, Mr Hartigan said.

Under the Media decree News Limited was given until September 28 to sell at least 90 per cent of the Fiji Times or face closure.

Motibhai CEO, Mahendra Patel, said his company was delighted to have been successful in its bid.

We will continue to ensure that the Fiji Times is the preferred daily newspaper by the vast majority of Fijis population and live by the adage that the day is not complete until you have read the Fiji Times, he said.

Memorial Service today - farewell Rev Inoke

from w
Today there will be a Memorial Service at Centenary Methodist Church, Suva to give thanks for the life of the late Rev Inoke Nabulivou who died recently in Perth and his funeral was held also in Perth. Rev Paula Tekei here writes a tribute to the life of Rev Inoke.

So long talatala

Inoke Nabulivou was born in Levuka, Yale, Kadavu on November 21, 1934, where Semesa, his loving father, was exercising a lay pastoral ministry. Although he was a registered member of Dravuwalu Village, he grew up and spent most of his adolescent years at Nacomoto Village where his beloved mother came from. At Richmond School, Vunisea, Kadavu, he received his primary education and from there he was identified as a very bright and capable student.

In 1947 however, Nabulivou became a confirmed member (Siga Dina) of the Methodist Church. Subsequently in 1953, he was admitted as a lay preacher and after three years (1955), became a lay pastor (vakatawa).

He personally went through this spiritual discernment process with humility, dedication, sacrifice and deep devotion. He be-lieved that he heard God’s calling in his life and he nurtured a divine goal which he ultimately achieved in 1956, when he became a candidate to the Christian Ministry of the Methodist Mission in Fiji.

In 1958, however, the course was introduced at Davuilevu Methodist Theological College in which Alan R. Tappet, M.A. (later) Phd., FLC., was the Principal.

Inoke Nabulivou and his good friend Panapasa Vakatutusa, of Fulaga Island, Lau, were meritoriously selected to come to study at Wesley College, Adelaide, Aust-ralia. Both of them successfully completed their course and became the first students of the Davuilevu College to have passed the LTh Examination.

One year before the Methodist Church in Fiji became a separate conference, Inoke Nabulivou positively affirmed his divine calling and was finally ordained as a Christian Church Minister with the Methodist Church mission in Fiji on July 18, 1963. In the course of his Christian ministry, Rev. Inoke Nabulivou was confidently entrusted by the church with various substantive responsibilities e.g. Circuit minister, Bible School Principal, Administrator, Christian Edu-cator, Literature Co-rdinator, Curriculum Development Officer and Leader. From 1980-1983, furthermore, he became the Chief Pastor (Qase Levu) of the Methodist Church in Fiji. During his exemplary leadership as the Chief Pastor of the Church he positively displayed in all circumstances the substance of the purpose of the church mission, the importance of the people and the sovereignty of God. In his capacity as the President, he was able to participate distinctively in ecumenical movements of the universal church. However, in 1985 after being the Secretary of the Church for almost two years, he emigrated to Perth where he exercised a pastoral ministry.

Because of his love of ethnic Fijian congregation, he applied to work for the Fiji Parish in Sydney for 4 years (1994-1998). When his term expired from the Fiji Parish, he became the Minister for the Sydney Presbytery for two years.

Rev. Nabulivou was the first honorary President of the Ethnic Fijian Conference of the Uniting Church in Australia. He was not only a lifetime devoted minister of the church, but also a wonderful father. He married Lillian Pearson of Perth, Australia, and they had three children (now all adults) Noelene, Anne, Steven and grandchildren.

I remember Rev. Nabulivou as a very magnificent gentleman by any standard. An unsung peace maker and reconciler for the Kingdom and was well-liked by many people for the simplicity of his sermon and teaching. A man who well understood the church and took advantage of the Fijian and Western ethos and diplomatically and tactfully weaved them in his ministry for the sole advancement of God’s Kingdom.

Rev. Nabulivou profoundly understood and effectively practised the theology of a multicultural church and throughout his life and ministry strongly opposed the practice of bigotry, male chauvinism, racism, discrimination, the exploitation of the voicele-ss, the poor and the peddling of the Gospel to innocent followers. He was always positive, approachable, honest, credible, trustworthy and spiritual in his leadership and consciously maintained a clear demarcation between the traditional system and the church.

Rev. Nabulivou was deeply convinced that for the church leadership to heavily rely on the political and traditional power structures for its mission and service is an act of denial of God’s power and sovereignty. Unfo-rtunately, Christian churches have lost a genuine and faithful pastor, preacher, educator, counsellor, evangelist and a church leader in all its true sense. Obviously, his loving wife, children and grandchildren will miss him tremendously. Inevitably, Rev. Inoke Nabu-livou, the true Ambassador of God's Kingdom has humbly and peacefully responded to the ultimate Divine call “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things…. Come and share your master’s happiness” (Matt.25:21)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Fiji and Sugar

from w
Almost every day there is news in the Fiji media of yet another mill breakdown or the difficulties for cane farmers, some having to feed cane-cutters while they wait for news to cut more cane. It's not a money-making business as costs are very high when compared with the income. There was even a story that sugar was short in the shops in Labasa. Now that surely is ironic. We are familiar with sugar cane farming as several members of our family have cane farms and also we have lived in Labasa, Lautoka and Rakiraki - all sugar mill towns. These days though there is an urgent need for people on the land to diversify.Here's what was written on the Fiji Labour Party website recently.

The grim state of the sugar mills
[posted 6 Sep 2010,1530]
Crushing last week virtually halted at all four sugar mills while loaded cane trucks piled up at the mill gates - and the quality of cane in the fields deteriorates every day under prolonged drought conditions.

In Labasa, 30,000 tonnes of harvested cane is lying in the fields. The mill broke down Monday week (August 30) but FSC continued to issue harvest quotas throughout the week until Friday. FSC has not said when the mill will resume crushing again. Nor is it releasing any information to growers regarding the stoppage.

Penang: the mill was out all last week. It began steaming this morning with the expectation that the machines will start rolling later today. Crushing stopped eight days ago on 29 August as a result of boiler problems which have persisted since the start of crush.

Lorries that queued up outside the mill, were told Friday that crushing will resume on Monday, September 6. Lorries were not initially allowed to offload in the stock pile bay even though the facility is intended for such contingencies.

Rarawai: mill has been down for most of the week – it stopped on 31 August with crushing expected to resume today at 3pm.

Lautoka: the mill has been crushing intermittently on a stop/start basis
The situation is simply untenable for cane growers who are losing heavily financially as a result of the stoppages. Their plight is further aggravated by the continuing drought as the standing cane in the fields dry up and lose weight.

The crop size for the 2010 season has already been revised to 1.8 million tonnes due to the prolonged drought. With the dismal performance of the four mills, the average TCTS ratio is more likely to be 14:1 by season’s end. At this rate, FSC sources say, they would be lucky to make 125,000 tonnes of sugar for 2010 – the lowest ever in the industry’s history and almost 40,000 tonnes below the much reduced 2009 production.

Based on these figures and the depreciating Euro, farmers may receive less than the already low forecast price of $45 per tonne of cane. This will hardly meet their costs of production, harvesting and transportation and may force many of them to exit the industry to concentrate on other better paying agricultural pursuits.

At this critical juncture, it is patently clear that the current administration has no idea how to address the fast deteriorating position of the industry. In two years, it has brought the industry to the verge of collapse. Under the guise of de-politicising the industry, it has played its own brand of politics and tinkered with key industry institutions which held FSC to accountability.

The situation is now extremely grave not only for the farmers and the landowners, but for the entire nation which is still dependent on the sugar dollar for its economic health. It is also sad news for the 20% of the population – 200,000 people - who still depend, directly or indirectly, on the sugar industry for their livelihood.

What is the solution?

The FSC chairman who lapped up the good life living in the lap of luxury in the past two years has departed. Growers’ organisations have called for the resignation of the entire FSC board which should take responsibility for the current state of the mills.

We now call on the Sugar Minister to step down as he has failed miserably to provide any leadership or guidance at this critical juncture of the industry’s history. But that alone will not resolve the issue. There is no other way but for Fiji to re-establish good relations with the international community in order to access the funds needed to revitalise the sugar industry. This means a return to democracy.

Some of the EU assistance of around $400 million for the industry has been lost but we can still save the day and access whatever is remaining from the 2010-2013 allocations. But that would require engaging with them and the international community generally to work out an acceptable road map back to constitutional rule.
Let us not delude ourselves with talks of reforms etc. The only way Fiji can save its economy is by restoring democratic and constitutional rule.

If the sugar industry collapses, the consequences for the nation will be dire indeed! Trumped up figures on the economy will not be able to save the day.
and from FBC website this evening:
Fiji mill upgrade a failure: Commissioner
Monday, September 13, 2010

Taken from / By: Google
Mill upgrade works carried out at the Lautoka, Labasa and Rarawai sugar mills by vendors from India has been a failure says the Commissioner Western Commander Joeli Cawaki.

Cawaki is the first government official to make the statement.

Cawaki told FBC News in Lautoka that the upgrade work was to have increased production and improve milling efficiencies but this has not happened.

"The mill upgrade - for me - is a failure. It's supposed to be a success but it's a failure. We are not getting the TCTS that is supposed to improve it but on the other hand the performance is poor."

Cawaki who is also chairman of the Committee for the Better Utilisation of Land or CBUL and who also chairs the sugar industry stakeholders meeting says there has been too much crushing disruptions at the mill.

"For me as the chairman of the CBUL committee of the western division we have done everything we could do to acquire land, to go down to the farmers and for the farmers to produce what is needed, but unfortunately the sad story about the sugar industry is the mill that is not performing and this year the forecast price of $45 dollars is pegged at 10. 5 TCTS but the TCTS is over 13 at the moment. I don’t think the farmers will get their money out of the forecast price as it happened last year."

Cawaki says the NLTB renewed 54 land leases in the Nadi and Lautoka area for new farmers to come into the sugar industry this year.

Unfortunately due to the poor mill performance - he says it is not encouraging for these farmers to go into the sugar industry.

Sobosobo what a passing out parade

Students feel the heat during the All Saints pass-out parade. Picture: SERAFINA SILAITOGA

from w
I thought - okay it's just another cadet passing out parade but this time the blistering babasiga heat got to the boys and girls of all Saints Secondary School during a (perhaps long) speech. Down the kids went, one after another, falling in the heat with dehydration. So what do you think about students doing training in an army type corp? I don't like conformity myself and also anything to do with guns, but training cadets to be disciplined seems to be popular in Fiji.

Cadets pass out

Theresa Ralogaivau
Monday, September 13, 2010
IT was a flurry of rescues for groups of Labasa cadets weakened by the scorching sun. One after another, the cadets of All Saints Secondary School participating in the pass-out parade, collapsed under the intense heat of the sun on Friday. Teachers, soldiers and other students ran in armed with water bottles and stretchers. Some of the students had to be carried off on stretchers.

The spate of fainting happened after the students had gone through their drills and were listening to a speech presented by guest speaker, Lieutenant Colonel Inia Seruiratu. School principal Sumiran Pratap said the blistering heat and other factors contributed to the collapses.

"We had health officials on standby knowing that this usually happens because of the heat and the dry wind and the fact that they have been standing for a long time," he said.

"We asked the students to have a good breakfast and take a lot of water before the cadet pass-out."All Saints students on a better day.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

A great Kadavu man who passed away

from Peceli
It's a sad day for the people of Kadavu. Two great men have passed away within a fortnight, the chief, Ratu Nawalowalo and also the Rev Inoke Nabulivou. A few days ago I was told that my good friend, Rev Inoke had passed away. The Kadavu province is well known for its educational opportunities and many good leaders have come from there. I have known Inoke Nabulivou since our youth together when we were at Davuilevu training to be talatalas. His turning point to become a talatala was his Dad's idea, instead of going to Medical School or teachers' college. He was associated with Macuata when he was teaching at Nasoso Circuit School and he was a leader of the Mataveitokani there. He was outstanding in studies, went to Adelaide, and back in Fiji worked in circuits, in Christian Education, and he became President of the Methodist Church of Fiji. In later years he and his wife Lilian moved to Australia where he had a productive ministry in Sydney and in Perth. He was President of the Australian Fiji National Conference at one time. Our condolences go to Lilian and the family and the people of Kadavu.

In the today's Fiji Times

Former church head dies

Netani Rika
Friday, September 10, 2010
A FORMER president of the Methodist Church in Fiji, Reverend Inoke Nabulivou, has died in Australia. Originally from Dravuuwalu Village on Kadavu he emigrated to Australia in the 1970s and joined the Uniting Church.

He made a home in Guildford, Western Australia and continued to serve as a minister until his death.

Mr Nabulivou maintained his links with Fijians in Australia and was a popular preacher at family and community gatherings. He will be buried at Midland cemetery after a service at the Wesley Chapel Uniting Church on Saturday.

Mr Nabulivou replaced Reverend Daniel Mastapha who was the only Indian president of the Methodist Church.

Growing up in Fiji - reposted

from w
I read this on the Fiji Exiles Board and it was posted by 'Animal', so I don't know who wrote it, but it's a lively description of a childhood in Fiji, warts and all.

Growing Up in Fiji
09/08/10 18:08:30
A tad long but I'm sure many of you will relate to it
This is reality ... This was free living, not regulated

TO ALL THE KIDS WHO SURVIVED the 1930's 40's, 50's, 60's, 70's and 80's!! - with some additions about growing up in Fiji.....

First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they Carried us. And ate chillie and fished and gardened washed in creeks and gave our fathers a hiding ....

They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can, and didn't get tested for diabetes.

In Samabula the FIT kids still buy long loaf bread with curry tinned fish or tinned meat in it (my son says - you buy the whole loaf and 2 people share it by taking turns at biting out chunks). And there's no word in Rotuman for Diabetes - that's why we can still eat Fikei...

Then after that trauma, our baby cribs were covered with bright colored lead-based paints.

The Indian settlements still have the hanging cribs where the baby is left swinging in usually outside on the verandah (cos it's hot in the tin shack). And all the toys banned overseas usually make their way here anyway. Just check RB Patels ...

We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets, not to mention, the risks we took hitchhiking.

And walked everywhere so you could spend your bus fare on milk ice-blocks full of sugar and more than a little dirt from unfiltered water. Not to mention shortcutting thru peoples yards, cemeteries and over hills and thru rivers, helping ourselves to mangoes, guavas or oranges from any tree we came across, then getting stung by bees and having blue pasted all over the stings later

As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags. Riding in the back of a pick-up on a warm day was always a special treat.

Isa ... they should see the open carriers here - cos everyday is a warm day - every now and then someone falls off and dies, but when you're a family of 8, this is the only way you're all gonna get to town the same day.

We drank water from the garden hose and NOT from a bottle. We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and NO ONE actually died from this.

And what about the "taki"? And grog drinking? What germs? ...all shared here!! My germs yours too bro!

We ate cupcakes, white bread and real butter and drank soda pop with sugar in it, but we weren't overweight because WE WERE ALWAYS OUTSIDE PLAYING!

Next time the bus driver stops for his tea - just count the number of spoons of sugar he adds to his tea ....

We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on. No one was able to reach us all day. And we were O. K.

Till your mother screamed your names and you could hear it 2 streets away and you ran like hell back home cos you can just hear it her voice that one big hiding was coming your way...

We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem.

And sliding down hills using cut up cardboard and stealing mum's cotton to fly our kites and smashing bottles to make "maja" and running like hell back home after pounding the kids from the end of the street

We did not have Play stations, Nintendo's, X-boxes, no video games at all, no 99 channels on cable, no video tape movies, no surround sound, no cell phones, no personal computers, no Internet or Internet chat rooms..........WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them!

And some forgot to go home so each house always had a few kids over what actually belonged there. But no-one called the cops.

We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no lawsuits from these accidents. We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever.

Cos we had good old caster oil and cod liver oil and all kinds of Fijian medicine for dirty stomachs, cuts, sore muscles, headaches, boils (remember the soap poultice?), running stomachs and blocked stomachs and tooth aches and worms.

We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays, made up games with sticks and tennis balls and although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes. Not to mention guli-guli ganda, pani, our version of softball, marbles and hide and seek just when it was getting dark, playing "he", and flying kites and making our qiqis with coconut frond stems or old tires

We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just walked in and talked to them! Cos you just heard that they got a new board game or toy and you had to have your turn ...

Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that!! Cos our parents usually swore the life out of the coach (or punched him)

The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law!

And when you DID get home - you got a father of a hiding. I remember Tyrie Williams used to get the dog chain and she'd show off her huge bruises with pride!! And we would be so impressed cos we only had the wooden spoon broken on us or you had to pick your own stick to get a hiding with and you got really good at selecting one that was guaranteed to break on the 2nd whack at least...

This generation has produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors ever! The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas. We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned HOW TO DEAL WITH IT ALL! No wonder our skins are thicker, our livers & hearts are stronger and our sense of humour's truly warped....

And YOU are one of them! CONGRATULATIONS!

You might want to share this with others who have had the luck to grow up as kids, before the lawyers and the government regulated our lives for our own good. And while you are at it, forward it to your kids so they will know how brave their parents were. They're tired of hearing it....cos we like to remind them ALL THE TIME!!

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Ro Kepa's charges dropped

Almost a year and a half ago there was a to-do about the planning of the Methodist Conference for August 2009 and charges laid against several talatala and a high chief, the Marama Roko Tui Dreketi. Well, the charges against the high chief have been dropped.
from Fiji Village journalist writes:
Charges withdrawn against Kepa
Publish date/time: 08/09/2010 [17:02]
The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions has withdrawn the charge of conspiracy to disobey an unlawful command, faced by the Marama Roko Tui Dreketi, Ro Teimumu Kepa. Official sources at the DPP's Office have confirmed that the charge was dropped on Monday.

Ro Teimumu had initially pleaded not guilty to the charge.

For the one count that Ro Teimumu was charged with, it was alleged that last year between July 12th and July 29th, Ro Teimumu conspired with Methodist Church Ministers to host the annual Methodist conference in Lomanikoro in Rewa even though a directive was given by the Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama not to hold the conference.

She will not face any charges now in relation to this.

However it has been confirmed that the charges against the Methodist Church ministers and officials still stand.

Story by: Paradise Tabucala.

Monday, September 06, 2010

When there is no Methodist Conference

Nasea Methodist Church, Labasa, handicraft initiative.

from w
When there is no Methodist Conference - as banned by the current Fiji leaders - there is still work to be done. It is good to see functions organised at the local level, youth events, fund-raising festivals, initiatives in provinces and rural areas. Even a tour overseas for a Methodist High School choir - Lelean. Decentralisation at its best. Also, the ordination of new ministers and deaconesses has gone ahead without the core activities of the Methodist Conference. Choirs sing wherever they are, but this time not centralised in Suva or a designated place. Ordinations are significant events and Peceli remembers way back in about 1964 when he was ordained alongside several colleagues at Centenary Church. Isa, most of his colleagues are gone now.

From the Fiji Times today; something about ordination and the story of a deaconess.
In the name of the Lord
Samantha Rina
Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Reverend Tukilakila Waqairatu (left), Ame Tugauwe (middle) and Laisiasa Ratabacaca at the ordination in Suva. Picture: IVAMERE RASABASABA
HUNDREDS flocked to a special church service at the Centenary Methodist Church to witness the ordination of 23 ministers and deaconesses. The ordination on Sunday was the result of five to six years of studying and training for the 23 who took vows to commit their lives to serving God. Head of the Methodist Church's Indian Division Reverend William Lucas explained that the ministers, which includes two women, completed three years of studying at Davuilevu Theological College and an additional three years of practical and training at various circuits.

"Four deaconesses, who completed three years of studying and two years practical, were also ordained at the service. Families and friends came from as far as Rotuma and Vanua Levu to witness the event," he said.

Upon completion of their practical and based on assessments of their superiors, the ministers and deaconesses were then ordained. Of the 23 ordained, two ministers and a deaconess were from the Indian Division.

Reverend Elijah Dass, who serves for the Indian Division in Taveuni, said he had waited six years to be ordained and was lost for words to describe how he felt. "I am honored to be chosen as a servant of God. It is a great day for me, and my family is proud of my achievement. The six years leading up to this day had its share of hardships and struggles but I have always been empowered with the word of God," said the father of two.

A special lunch was held at Epworth Hall yesterday where the newly ordained clergy members celebrated the event with family and senior members of the Methodist Church.

Deaconess Volirua serves Indians
Samantha Rina
Tuesday, September 07, 2010
NUMEROUS doors seemed to shut when Unaisi Volirua began her search for employment.
And after writing one too many letters of applications to education institutions in the hope of getting accepted, she decided to stop and reconsider her purpose in life.
"I completed Form Seven at Ballantine Memorial School and applied to nursing school, Lautoka Teachers College and even the Police Academy but it seemed like every door I knocked on was closed," she said. "When she finally landed a six-week training stint with a media company, Ms Volirua said instead of feeling satisfied at having found a possible job, she instead felt 'misplaced'. "I returned home to Labasa and it was then I heard God's calling for me. I became an active member of almost every club in church. For five years I was a prayer leader and these experiences motivated me more," said the 34-year-old native of Kade Village, Lomaiviti. Ms Volirua became a confirmed preacher in 2004 and immediately took up deaconess training after being selected as one of the top four candidates from the Macuata Methodist Church division.

Yesterday, she was one of four deaconesses ordained at the Centenary Church รน the difference being that Ms Volirua serves in the Indian Division in Dilkusha, Nausori. "I learnt to speak Hindi in primary school and I enjoy living and working with my Indian brothers and sisters. I would like to bring more of them to know God and to help them understand that He loves us all and is not a racist," she said.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Babasiga and a beka

from w
A bat caused the President of Fiji to enjoy a few more hours of babasiga hospitality the other day. How? Catching a flight from the airport the President was leaving Labasa for Suva when a flight of birds or bats stopped the plane. A bat was caught in an engine! So Ratu Epeli went back to Labasa town (about 20 minutes away) to have a cup of tea. No harm done to the President...but what about the poor little beka!

Long wait for downed flight

Theresa Ralogaivau
Saturday, September 04, 2010
THE President, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, waited for about three hours at Labasa airport because his flight was grounded by a bat.

Official secretary in the Office of the President Joeli Rokovada confirmed Ratu Epeli was supposed to depart Labasa at 3.30pm on Wednesday but a bird strike caused the delay. A bat was stuck in the aircraft's engine.

Pacific Sun general manager Jim Samson said they had to divert a second ATR42 returning from Funafuti to collect the 35 passengers stranded in Labasa. The flight also carried a flight engineer to fix the grounded plane.

"The incident delayed the remaining Suva-Nadi-Suva flights last night," Mr Samson said. "Engineers worked through the night on the damaged engine in Labasa and the aircraft resumed service on Thursday morning."

"Well there was no harm to the president except that he had to return to Labasa town to have a cup of tea before departing the airport at 6.30pm."

Meanwhile, there has been a call for communities livi-ng within the vicinity of airports to contr-ibute to airport safety. Airports Fiji Limited Nausori Airport Manager Luke Koroi said the bird strike at the Labasa airport indicated the need for everyone to be responsible in making flights safe from wildlife. Mr Koroi said a Wildlife Committee had been recently formed for the Labasa airport. The airport falls under the Nausori Airport management.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

A little bit of help from your friends

from w
Recently a container of goods arrived in Macuata from Geelong Donation in Kind and many lovely gifts were distributed to places such as Dreketi and Navunievu in Bua. Here are some photos - one of unloading the container, others at the kindergarten class in Navunievu village. Vinaka to Ema's Vakalala Wetherell's sister for the photos and to Joy Baxter of Geelong who initiated the sending of the container and to David and Ema Wetherell for their particular help with the Navunievu project. Vina'a va'a levu.

Friendly North Festival

from w,
Once again the Labasa people can enjoy a festival to celebrate their lives, meet their friends and the young women and young men enter a competition to be a winner. Here are some pictures taken from the Fiji media.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Policing the Salt

from w
Good to see that the hospitals in Fiji are noticing that diet is very important for patients - and everyone in Fiji - especially the over-use of salt, sugar, fats. Our household now has a salt police (that's me) to try and change our way of thinking about the food we prepare and eat. That means less salt, sugar, fats and we can still have tasty meals with a bit of chillies, garlic, and spices!

From Fiji Sun news today:
Hospitals to cut salt, sugar intake
A 20 per cent reduction in the purchase and consumption of salt and sugar in the country's State hospitals has been ordered by the Minister for Health, Dr Neil Sharma. He said low salt and sugar initiatives in the Hospital setting have been undertaken.

"I have directed a 20 per cent reduction in the purchase and consumption of both items to address the Non Communicable disaster we are facing in Fiji," he said. "Taste is an acquired process and can be unlearned over some time," he added. He advised dieticians and nutritionists at the country's hospitals to alter flavour. "Flavour can be altered with chillies, herbs and lemon slices which we can cultivate in our own hospital gardens which you are directly in charge of," he told participants at a national workshop.

About 50 nutritionists and dieticians are attending a workshop on nutrition at the Studio 6 motel in Suva.

He praised hospitals that have taken the initiative to plant their own gardens to assist in the provision of food and vegetables to patients. "Some of our health establishments have taken the concept to heart and gardens are thriving with roots, vegetables and fruits," Dr Sharma said. "I am aware of the weather differences and the seasonal nature of growing food but the concept can be successfully developed for even inter-hospital transfer of crop in some areas," he added. He also highlighted the urgent need for dieticians and nutritionists to improve the quality and presentation of meals they serve to patients.
The information coming out about salt is staggering - too much salt is as bad as smoking for your health! This is from the Channel Nine website:
Salt - it's the deadly food addiction that's claiming the lives of 2000 Australians every year. According to nutritionists the amount of salt we’re eating, on average more than 10 times the recommended daily allowance, is killing more of us than smoking.

So which foods contain the most salt?

Sometimes the worst offenders aren't the most obvious. Breads, cereals, sauces and canned savoury goods, like soups, are surprisingly high in salt.

Some quick salt facts:

• Half a pizza contains four grams of salt - your total daily allowance.

• 100 grams of ham contains four to five grams of salt.

• A bowl of low fat cereal and a couple of slices of toast will add up to half of your recommended daily salt intake.

• A quarter of all the salt we consume is in our bread.

Top tips for cutting back on salt in your diet:

• Don't add any salt to food you're cooking or at the table.

• Choose reduced salt bread and breakfast cereals.

• Cut back on processed foods.

• Cut back on takeaway and fast foods.

• Buy fresh vegetables rather than canned. • Buy "low salt" (contains less than 120mg/100g) or "salt free" versions of commonly ready-made sauces.

• Use herbs and spices, instead of salt, to add flavour to meals.