30 April, 2006

French artist showcases her talent in Fiji

A Vanuatu born, French national, Catherine Dinevan, will be showcasing her self written play in two Suva shows. The play, Nasabe, is mainly about mixed cultures, mixed ancestry and culturalism. The artist said that through art theatre expressions she expresses her emotions, feelings and thoughts. The play is a one-woman performance done solely by the artist. The play is in English and was played also at the Pacific Musical Festival in Palau in 2004.

28 April, 2006

Fund to develop Suva foreshore

The Fiji National Provident Fund (FNPF) will purchase 15 acres of the Suva Harbour foreshore valued at F$19.5 million from the Suva City Council. The land is for the Fund's future business deelopments which will include a seafront retail and commercial operation. While 3.5 acres of land are already landfilled, the council will reclaim the remaining 11.5 acres over a period of time. The purchase is part of FNPF's strategy to grow its land bank for future developments. The Fund is expanding its property asset base in certain areas adjacent to Suva's central business district where it believes there is tremendous development potential in the near future. It sees the eastern end of Victoria Parade near the Suva Bowling Club with great potential for upmarket commercial growth. FNPF has also purchased the Grand Pacific Hotel and the Holiday Inn through its investment arm - FNPF Investments Limited. The Fund is to announce plans for the first project on the reclaimed land next month.

27 April, 2006

Retailers praise public for friendly approach to tourists

The Fiji Retailers Association has commended the public's attitude towards tourists who visited Suva in recent weeks. The Association said that the tourists who arrived in cruise ships made a difference to the small business community. Tourists go to shops and if they did not buy jewellery, they bought clothes as souvenirs. Some tourists also enjoyed the local food. The Association said that the public has been really good in treating these tourists and looking after them well whenever they were in town to do their Fiji shopping. It said that cruise ships brought in hundreds of tourists that all contributed funds to Suva businesses. The Association also that the police should also be praised for helping keep the good image of Suva. The provided added security which made tourists feel safe to walk around the city. Suva had two cruise ships in port in the past two weeks - Pacific Princess and Diamond Princess.

26 April, 2006

ANZAC Day Commemorated in Suva

Before the first sun ray lit the sky yesterday, 200 people gathered at the Suva Military Cemetary to mark ANZAC Day. Chief guest at the Suva ceremony to mark the dawn of the landing of members of the ANZACs at Gallipoli, Turkey, in 1915, was the Vice President of Fiji, who was greeted by a traditional Maori challenge and welcome. The Vice President then laid a wreath at the Cemetary. The service opened with the traditional forming of the catafalque party and guard of honour. Representatives from Government, the Fiji army, police, the diplomatic corps and returned ex-servicemen were among those at the dawn ceremony. In modern times, ANZAC Day commemorates those who have served during periods of conflict and peacekeeping around the world.

Flower Display on in Suva for the week

Flower growers from Rewa, Naulu, Tailevu, Naitasiri and Suva have converged on Suva for the annual Arbor Week. With its theme "Plant Trees for the Future", Arbor Week displays beside the seawall by the Suva Civic Centre have attracted a lot of buyers. The display started on Monday and ends Saturday. Many growers and sellers said that if the demand continued, they would ask the Suva City Council to extend the sale time as it did last year.

Suva full of visitors yesterday

Suva was full of visitors yesterday after the cruise liner, Diamond Princess, called into port. 800 passengers on the liner then disembarked to see the sights. The ship which has a capacity of 2,674 passengers stopped over in Suva for half a day on its cruise of the South Pacific enroute to Tahiti, Hawaii and Pago Pago in American Samoa. Many of the passengers aboard were retired couples in their 70s.

25 April, 2006

Local touch in Lost Treasure TV Series

Cast and crew of the children's television series, Lost Treasure of Fiji, have started filming the series at Pacific Harbour last week and are expected to finish in two months. The series provides an opportunity for local children to watch themselves on television with over 50 children having featured alongside the two local stars of the series. The film producer also said that filming in Fiji helped provide over tens of millions of dollars to the local economy. Filming will be done around Pacific Harbour which included a traditional Fijian village that was recreated and constructed for the series. The producer said that local touch of skills and knowledge was very useful in bringing about a "Fijian look and feel to the show". In recent weeks, over 60 Australian cast and crew members arrived to work on the series. The series will be aired on Fiji One, Network Ten and the Disney Channel, Australia and ZDF Television, Germany.

24 April, 2006

Fun Day for Kids/Parents

Parents and children had fun celebrating National Children's Day together at Sukuna Park in Suva on Saturday. The part was bright and full of laughter from children enjoying fun activities for the day. More than 70 children of different ages made use of the free snacks, drinks, face painting, games and prizes provided for the day. The event was organised jointly by the Save the Children Fiji and the Fiji Broadcasting Corporation Limited.

23 April, 2006

Bridge to be completed in June

The Rewa Bridge is expected to be completed on schedule in June. The bridge, the largest in Fiji, which links Suva and the town of Nausori, where the airport is located, spans the widest river in Fiji. The F$30 million EU funded project has been progressing well with no major accidents and mishaps that would have deferred construction. With further developments expected at the Nausori Airport (marked SUV on airline systems), this would open up more tourist potential for the Suva and surrounding areas as tourists can fly directly to Nausori/Suva. At present, the airport receives direct flights from Sydney and a city in New Zealand on 737s.

500-plus people join in clean-up spree

Over 500 people turned up on the Suva foreshore yesterday to help clean up the harbour and surrounding areas. The initiative, jointly organised by the Fiji Ports Corporation Limited and the Suva City Council, was a success. It was said that within an hour the organisers had run out of bags and gloves. While it was not open to the public, the organisers were impressed with the turnout of civil servants and their families. The removal of derelict vessels from the harbour is also part of the clean-up and protection effort. Three weeks before yesterday's clean-up, company barges had been clearing the Suva coastline of large floating debris, making yesterday's effort a lot easier. The organisers said that within three hours, over 900 bags of refuse had been collected including floating debris in waters beyond the shore using local canoeists.

20 April, 2006

Wedding services offered at new gift shop in Suva

A new gift and homeware shop, known as Zest, has opened in Suva at the Garden City Complex at Raiwai. Owned by Ms Cherie Oyagawa and her husband Justin Smith, the store offers catalogue buying, a wedding gift registry, corporate gift service, gift cards and even offers wedding services. Ms Oyagawa said that she found in her many years in the hotel industry that a lot more could be done to make weddings and the process of purchasing gifts easier. She said that from her experience in the industry, she found that the range of quality wedding gifts was very limited in Suva. Hence the birth of the gift registry idea. Guests go to the store for gifts and as they buy an item, they tick off the list left by the couple getting married to ensure that the couple does not get repeat gifts. Ms Oyagawa said the idea of bringing in contemporary homeware was born out of her own needs for fine homeware as she and her husband purchased, renovated and then rented several houses as an investment project. The contemporary items are for a minimalist look. Catalogue buying is another service offerred. The store deals with close to 15 suppliers with their merchandise available in catalogues for customers to choose from. Please visit the store when you're in Suva to check out their product range.

18 April, 2006

Bird Project set for launch

A major initiative aimed at saving threatened bird species in Fiji and other Pacific Islands would be launched next year. The project will be funded from sources in England. Profits from this year's British Birdfair would be used to launch the regional project aimed at saving a threatened parrot species in the Cook Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia and New Caledonia. The main focus will be taking action against invasive alien species, particularly eradicating rats on islands where they are known to be responsible for a serious decline in parrot species.

Measles Alert shrugged off by Visitors Bureau

The Fiji Visitors Bureau has shrugged off a travel advisory issued by the New Zealand Government in light of the measles warning for Fiji. The Bureau said it was liaising with the Ministry of Health and has sent out updates to all markets regarding the intensive immunisation campaign currently underway. The New Zealand Government warned all travellers planning to visit Fiji to make sure their immunisations were up to date.

Upcoming Events in Suva (Updated 18.4.06)

The following events are scheduled: Recurring :
  • Bird Paintings by William Belcher, currently on daily, Fiji Museum;
  • Yoga classes, every Monday, 5pm to 6pm, Fiji Girl Guides Headquarters, Malcolm Street;
  • Taekwondo classes, 4pm to 5.30pm for Juniors, 5.30pm to 7pm for Seniors, every Mondays and Wednesdays, Suva Civic Centre Hall;
  • Judo Self Defence classes, 6.30pm to 8.30pm, every Mondays and Wednesdays, YMCA Hall, Waimanu Road;
  • Latin Fitness Class, 6pm to 7pm, every Tuesday, The Playhouse, Selbourne Street;
  • Aqua Aerobics, 6pm to 7pm, Tuesdays, National Aquatic Centre, Laucala Bay;
  • Pottery demonstrations, every Tuesday and Thursday, Fiji Museum;
  • Beach Volleyball Club League Competition, every Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 5.30pm, National Beach Centre, National Sporting Complex, Laucala Bay;
  • French Conversation Group to practice your French, every Thursday, 1pm to 2pm, Language Lab, Media Centre, University of the South Pacific, Laucala Bay (admission required - contact rankin_s@usp.ac.fj);
  • Jazz at the Holiday Inn, every Thursday, 6pm to 10pm, Holiday Inn;
  • Ultimate Frisbee Exercises, starts 5pm, Friday, 21 April, and every Friday thereafter, QED Grounds next to Suva Bowling Club;
  • Kids Creative Pacific Dance Classes, from 2.30pm, Friday, 24 March to 26 May, Alliance Francaise, 14 McGregor Road (separate sessions for kids from 2 years up to 12 years);
  • Tom Mawi plays jazz at the Holiday Inn, 6pm to 9pm, Fridays, Holiday Inn;
  • Soul, funk, disco and classics DJ music, from 8pm, Fridays, Traps Lounge, Victoria Parade;
  • Velocity Cycling Ride, from 7am, every Saturday, leaves from The Roc, FNPF Dolphins Plaza;
  • Arts Village Firewalking Show, starts 11am, every Saturday, Grandstand, Arts Village, Pacific Harbour;
  • Waitui Cycles Ride, starts 6am, every Sunday, leaves from Waitui Cycles, Garden City;
  • Sunday Church Services, 8am or 10.45am, Wesley Church, Butt Street;
  • Jazz by the Beach, Sundays, 1pm to 5pm, Pearl South Pacific, Pacific Harbour;
One-off Events:
  • French views on the Pacific (Conference), starts 6.30pm, Tuesday, 18 April, Alliance Francais, McGregor Road;
  • Careers Expo for students, 8.30am to 5pm, Wednesday 19 April to Friday 21 April, Furnival Park; Toorak;
  • Fiji Museum Quiz night, Friday evening, 21 April, Fiji Museum verandah;
  • Information evening one-on-one for youths, 6pm to 7.30pm, Alliance Francais, McGregor Road;
  • Oceania documentary film series - Opening the Other, starts 6pm, Monday, 24 April to Wednesday 26 April, Marine Studies Theatre, University of the South Pacific, Laucala Bay;
  • Ratu Sukuna Week of Celebrations, 22 May, will include meke competitions, oratory, essay writing and mini-agricultural shows, Suva;
  • National Youth Week Celebrations, Saturday, 12 August, various venues in Suva;
  • National Schools Swimming Association main competition, early June;
  • Melanesian (Countries) Festival of Arts, 2 to 11 October, Suva.

Also see the list of aerobic exercise programs available at the Hyndai Fitness Centre, National Sporting Complex, Laucala Bay.

For accommodation for any events, please check out available accommodation in Suva with the links on the right hand side of this blog. Those wishing to get tickets to any paid events can have that arranged at cost and added to their accommodation charges. If you want to have your events included, please e-mail gilbert@connect.com.fj with your details to be posted on the blog.

15 April, 2006

Gujaratis celebrate 100 years in Fiji

2006 marks the occasion of the arrival of the first Gujaratis into Fiji 100 years ago. The legacy that was started by the Girmitiyas in 1879 resulted in the first Gujaratis coming to Suva in 1906. The first two settlers were jewellers from Gujarat. They were followed by others who were tradesmen, farmers and merchants. The Gujarati community in Fiji has over the decades excelled in many ways and made significant contribution to the development of Fiji. They have participated in economic development, education, sports and social development of the country whilst preserving their natural heritage. Though small they have integrated well with all other communities in Fiji and is well respected for their legendary enterprise. This week they are hosting large scale celebrations to mark their 100th year in Fiji. Celebrations which kicks off in Lautoka this weekend will be followed by a road show which will conclude with celebrations in Suva in November. This weekend's celebrations will include sports, cultural shows and will showcase the lifestyle and the origin of Gujaratis. For the first time, teams from Australia and New Zealand are participating in the sports and cultural shows.

13 April, 2006

Fiji Games set to open today

The Fiji Games will open today with about 1,500 medals at stake. Most of the competitions are centered abound Suva while a few will be held at other centres around the country. The Games are aimed at promoting quality local competition for sports people. With the next South Pacific Games around the corner, the Fiji Games provides an opportunity for local sporting officials to identify talents that can further developed. The Games also provides an opportunity for local sports administrators to learn putting together big sporting competitions. For accommodation in Suva for Easter, please visit the appropriate links at the right hand side of this blog or call +679 3396427.

12 April, 2006

City park gets a facelift

Work is being done to improve the image and looks of Sukuna Park, a park in central Suva. The project is part of initiatives to promote Suva as a tourist destination. Work being done includes putting in a new fountain, lifting the image of Ratu Sukuna (a late Fijian statesman and chief after whom the park is named) by about a meter and providing more seats for the public near the fountain. Two park officials will also patrol the park now to caution people against littering and to clean the park's gardens. The park is used both by locals and tourists in an area surrounded by concrete buildings. It is along the Suva foreshore area. The park plays host to functions and displays in the city. Close to the park is the Tiko's Floating Restaurant which provides a good range of seafood cuisine and is a bit highly priced to match its quality and surroundings.

10 April, 2006

Internet Access Sites for Visitors to Suva

Arising from a request from one of our regular readers, Peceli and Wendy of Australia, we provide some information here on where visitors to Suva can have access to the Internet. A number of coffee shops in the city provides Internet access points including Kahawa's at the Suva Central Building. Just on the other side of the road from it, is The Roc where visitors can get access to the Internet through wireless connection points provided they bring their own notebooks/laptops. Internet kiosks are also available at Connect Fiji's Internet Cafe on the front of the Suva General Post Office Building and at the FINTEL office along Victoria Parade. A number of other places in the city and in the suburbs also provide Internet access, particularly at stationery or coffee shops. The rates charged are quite reasonable with something like F$5.00 for an hour of use. An option that visitors can also take is to hire portable wireless modems from Unwired Fiji, an Internet Provider, which they can use to access the Internet. However this service is only available in the Suva and Lami areas. My rental home, which is advertised by clicking on the appropriate links at the right hand side of this blog, will have a Personal Computer with ADSL access provided free for guests. For enquiries or bookings, please use the contact form on the website where you access the rental's information or e-mail me directly on gilbert@connect.com.fj.

08 April, 2006

Guest Comments

We thank an Australian visitor to Suva for a comment left on our guest book. Here it is : "Had a fantastic time in Suva when I visited there- didn't get to spend enough time sight seeing. I think next time I would like to spend more time there so I can get e really good feel for the place!" We will be putting up guests/visitors comments on their Suva experiences on the blog. For those that have suggestions on what things they wish to include here, we will also work on those. Please leave your comments by clicking on the appropriate link at the right hand side of this blog.

New Carpenters Shopping Mall to open for Christmas

The new Morris Hedstrom's Shopping Complex is expected to be ready by Christmas 2006. The three-storey complex being built in central Suva will house a full department store mall, with a supermarket on the ground floor as well as a bakery, food court, liquor store, pharmacy, butcher and other specialty shops. The second floor would be a department store including the company's homemaker department. On the third level will be another high-end food court and carpark. Work will continue on a tower level which will be the highest one in the Pacific Islands region.

06 April, 2006

Hyndai Fitness Centre - Fitness Programs

Here is the fitness program at Hyndai Fitness Centre over the next week.

  • Mondays - 9am, Step Aerobics; 1pm, Aerobics/ Yogalates; 5:30pm, Step Aerobics;
  • Tuesdays - 9am, Back to Basic/ Circuit Aerobics; 1pm, Aerobics; 5:30pm, Back to Basic/ Circuit Aerobics;
  • Wednesdays - 9am, Aerobics and Butt/Thigh; 1pm, Aerobics/ Yogalates; 5:30pm, Aerobics and Butt/ Thigh;
  • Thursdays - 9am, Body Step; 1pm, Aerobics/ Yogalates; 5:30pm, Body Step;
  • Fridays - 9am, Body Jam; 1pm, Aerobics; 5:30pm, Body Jam/ Body Attack;
  • Saturdays - 8am, Body Step/ Yogalates.

Call Hyndai Fitness Centre on +679 3312177, extension 128, for further information.

05 April, 2006

Portable Internet in Suva can benefit tourists and other business visitors

Unwired Fiji has launched a new portable internet service which can benefit tourists and business travellers to Suva. The service, which makes use of a nomadic wireless telecommunications network where a phone line is not needed for a dial up connection, is being aimed at tertiary students. The company also says that it would be an attraction to tourists (and business travellers) to Suva as they can hire a modems during their stay to keep them connected. Since its launch last month, 100 tertiary students have already registered for the product.

Melanesian Arts Festival preparations launched

Preparations for the Melanesian Arts and Cultural Festival to be held from 2 to 10 October in Suva, was launched yesterday. About 300 guests gathered to mark the occasion and witness the launch of a new website about Melanesian arts and culture. Traditional Fijian dances were performed and the choir sang the festival song. The Melanesian Spearhead Group member countries are the ones who will be participating in the festival. These include Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, and New Caledonia. The coordinators said that the festival gathering was not only to showcase the best of Melanesian culture but they were move into trying to preserve their almost forgotten culture. Note from GV : Those visiting Suva can rent a beautiful two bedroom home with sea views. Please click on the appropriate links at the right hand side of this blog.