11 January, 2006
Memories of Suva - 1970s and 1980s
Message received from Kaline, a former resident of Suva. Bula vinaka GV. We were residents of Suva for less than a decade, sporadically from our babyhood until our very late teenagehood. Being that Suva is an Administrative centre for our humble island-nation, one's social life involved a conscious effort to have some fun, especially so, since the majority of entertainment services were located along the strip, within our CBD. Children's Attractions in Suva (circa late 1970s - 1980s) which we loved doing as locals were the Fiji Museum of Natural History visits, Orchid Island tours, the Cultural Centre Show and tour, family dining at the Tradewinds Hotel, the Berjaya Inn when it was the Courtesy Inn (we used to have our family cocktail/dinner dances at sunset at these 2 hotels), our Chinese restaurants (the Great Wok, Sichuan and especially Joe Wong's Cafe (have the best pan fried eggs and grilled cheese sandwiches with tea to die for), the Saturday BBQs at the family parks, the picnics on Nukulau Island, Makuluva Island or Deuba beach on Sundays, the movie theatres on Fridays, Pizza Hut and Pizza King, family walks along our seafront and the mesmerising experience unique of Coloisuva - the family trekking excursions. Well there we have it. Our Suva experience and our Suva revival as a tourist destination suggestion, suited to children. Additional Suva Attractions for Children In the 80s Does anyone still remember the Roller Rink? Many of us would actually go with our pre-packed fresh lunches and fresh fruit juices or fun flavour - the fruit flavoured cartons of milk, attempting to imitate the then roller movies of the time. LOL ... Still remember a line from a NY set movie, "Bluebirds, come out to ppllaayy ..." Is the aquarium still there and does anyone remember the late Satini Lesi (who was amongst our first Fijian Fiji Police Force recruits), with whom we used to hear myths and legends traditional storytelling and later conversed with, about Colonial Fiji at the Travelodge Hotel, which is now the Holiday Inn? Enjoying Suva As A Teen In the 90s Food for certain, one has not experienced Suva, without an order of the infamous Palm Court chicken and alfalfa sprouts sandwich with the most refreshingly fresh lime or passionfruit juices or their rich yummilicious milkshakes. The other must stop-over for a yumptious bite would be at the Bentley's Fish 'n' Chips shop opposite the old MH's which we simply can not recall at the moment. For a home-like feel essence of our local dishes, one had to at least stop at Mary's Cottage, near the American Embassy, to sample the day's specials or one's favourite. For a quick pick-me-up, the Hare Krishna's fresh and home-made yoghurt drinks and ice-cream the usual treats on a searingly hot humid Suva day. Our favourite restaurants were Tiko's Seafood Boat Restaurant (for dinner); the Raffles Tradewinds Seafood Restaurant (for dinner); Penny's Restaurant (for breakfast) and the Lali Restaurant (for the lunch buffet) at the Travelodge Hotel, now the Holiday Inn; the Cafe at the Berjaya Inn for (lunch or dunch), Cardos Steakhouse, the Great Wok, Pizza Hut and the Italian Restaurant above it, at the Corner. NightlifeHands down, the Corner's Bad Dog Bar (which always had an eclectic mix of students and young professionals) and the dance clubs were the ideal at the time, due to the established young clientele. The other favourite which was our runner-up was the infamous Traps Bar which usually had an older, more mature clientele, with a mellower feel to it, compared to the up-beat bounce and beat of the Corner as it was in our teens. Private Soirees? Suva would not be essentially happening without the efforts of our city's private party hosts, who throw their unique cocktail parties, bbq parties with or without alcoholic beverages (usually a balanced mix of the 2), with the usual civilian-attired off-duty police officers for hire (minimum of 2), for the pre and after clubbing winding down parties, usually consisting of relatives and friends.