28 February, 2007

New Westpac outlet at USP

Westpac has opened a new outlet to serve students, lecturers and University workers. The outlet is located opposite the USP Book Center/ANZ Bank branch and is near the Oceania Centre for Arts & Culture and the USP Dining Hall. Businesses and the neighbouring community will continue to use the Westpac Laucala Bay branch which is located at Sport City, behind McDonalds and the Cost-U-Less outlet.

Pacific Sun : buy now and travel by June 2007

Pacific Sun has extended the sale of its domestic flight tickets to 31 March 2007 with travel valid until 30 June 2007. Travel to/from Suva to other destinations are :
  • from/to Nadi, F$68.00 one way plus taxes plus fuel surcharges;
  • from/to Labasa, F$103.00 one way plus taxes plus fuel surcharges.

For more information visit the company's website, www.pacificsun.com.fj.

27 February, 2007

Top players from Marist Sevens to form an All Stars Team

Seven top players from the Marist Sevens Tournament to be held this weekend will be selected to form a Marist All Stars team. The players who will be named after the final on Saturday at the Post Fiji Stadium, Laucala Bay, Suva, will then receive special prizes from the tournament sponsors. This is part of the organiser's efforts to award top players with an incentive. So far, 64 men's teams, 8 ladies teams and 20 under 19 boys teams have been registered to take part in one of the biggest rugby sevens tournaments in Fiji. The tournament kicks off on Friday, 2 March 2007 and continues on Saturday, 3 March. Note : For accommodation in Suva, check out our two bedroom rental home through links at the right hand side of this blog. To contact us, e-mail gilbert@connect.com.fj or call telephone (679) 3396427.

26 February, 2007

Suva on Sale

'Suva on Sale', the annual sale extravaganza organised by the Fiji Retailers Association will be held on 28 April 2007. The Association will be making a formal statement on the one-week event soon. The Suva on Sale week promises to bring shoppers a better shopping experience. Together with night markets allowing people to shop until 10pm every day, organisers are also working on special programmes to attract students, who will be on their first-term break at the time. This will include magic shows, amusement park rides and a first ever cheerleading competition.

Interest to construct towers in Suva

There is interest from foreign investors to construct towers in Suva, however, the city is faced with a problem of space. The Suva City Council is to explore options further to cater for the interest indicated. Perhaps Suva will soon be spotting towers similar to the Sydney and Melbourne Towers and those that distinctly make up other reknown cities.

25 February, 2007

Sunday and church day in Suva

If you are in Suva today or on any other Sunday, you might wish to visit a local church and take part in its Sunday services. Some churches to check out include :
  • Sacred Heart Catholic Cathedral in central Suva with its beautiful architectural design from the olden days and is based mainly on the concept of cathedrals in Rome. The Cathedral also has a crypt at the bottom level, however, there are no graves of former Bishops there;
  • Holy Trinity Anglican Cathedral in central Suva which also has beautiful design but is very different from the Sacred Heart Cathedral and without the high bell towers that Sacred Heart has;
  • St Andrews Presbyterian Church just down the road from the Holy Trinity Cathedral. This church is built entirely of wood and has a distinct design similar to rural churches overseas. It also said to house one of the oldest pipe organs in Fiji;
  • Centenary Methodist Church in central Suva which also has a distinct design and is great to get a sampling of a local choir; and
  • Calvary (Assembly of God) Temple in Samabula which has a more modern design and is one of the only churches in Suva which has a mezzanine floor which you could sit at during the service.

Each of the above churches will have a very different form of worship depending on the denominations that they belong to.

Fijians are very hospitable people and they would usually invite visitors to enjoy a big lunch at their homes after the church service at midday or for a cup of tea after the evening service.

Visit one of these churches and you might have another glimpse of Fiji.

23 February, 2007

New links relevant to Suva

Check out new links to shops, sites, an interactive map and other information on Suva at the right hand side of this blog. Included are stores such as Tappoos and Prouds, the Oceania Centre for Arts & Culture and the FIT School of Arts, Culture & Design. I have also added links to other blogs that have something on Fiji such as Babasiga, South Pacific Travel, Digital Fiji and are more general one, Pacific Islander. We will add more links as we go along.

There is hope for Fijians

An interesting report on Fijians being much more slimmer than their Pacific Island neighbours has just been released. The survey done by the World Health Organisation finds 8 Pacific Island countries within the 10 fattest countries in the world, however, Fiji was not included. Ranked as the top 4 countries were Nauru, Micronesia, the Cook Islands and Tonga. Fiji ranked 68th on the list. Read more on the report here.

Art Exhibition : 'Activate Viti' Pre-exhibition

An Art Exhibition ‘Activate Viti’ Pre-Exhibition starts on Friday, 23 February 2007, from 6.30pm at the Alliance Française de Suva, 14 McGregor Road, Suva, and then runs from Saturday, 24 February to Tuesday, 27 February 2007. This exhibition will be part of the Celebrate Pasifika Festival to be held at Auckland in March 2007 and focuses on contemporary Pacific art. Last year, over 200,000 people and hundreds of performers form all over the Pacific attended this popular festival. The exhibition features artists from Fiji and Rotuma who are travelling to New Zealand for this exhibition. Fiji artists featured include :
  • Ben Fong – Sculpture;
  • Carson Young – Mixed media;
  • Josie Crick – Painting;
  • Craig Marlow – Painting;
  • Letila Mitchell – Mixed media;
  • Seniloli Tora – Mixed media;
  • Makrau Ragafuata – weaving;
  • Marseu Rafai – Weaving;
  • Samu Cabe – Design;
  • Harry Tivaknoa – Design;
  • Akanisi Smith – Design.

Tabusoro Suva Triathlon

The Tabu Soro Suva Triathlon continues on Sunday, 4 March 2007, from 6am at Pacific Harbour. The events will include : (Swim/Bike/Run)

  • Olympic: 750m/20k/5k;
  • SuperSprint: 300m/10/3k;
  • Children U14: 300m/3k/1k;
  • Duathlon: any two events;
  • Team/individual on all events.

Entry fees are F$10.00 per individual and F$15.00 per team.

2007 is going to be an exciting year with the introduction of the Weet Bix Kid Tri Series out of NZ for the development of the junior series in June.

The Club is also planning an Oceanic work shop to train and develop race officials, with the plan to work towards the Oceanic Triathlon Fiji series in 2009.

For more information, contact Ian on 9995625, or Robert: 929 0802.

FIT School of Art, Culture & Design : Saturday Classes for Children

The FIT School of Art, Culture & Design is organising Saturday Classes for Children to offer piano, art and craft, acting and choir lessons. Children may choose one, two or three classes. Parents to call the School's Office on telephone (679) 3387980 and speak with Vilise or Lice by Monday, 26 February 2007, for further information or to enrol their children. Classes begin from Saturday, 3 March 2007.

Upcoming Activities, Events and Accommodation in Suva (Updated 23.2.07)

The following events are scheduled for Suva: One-off Events:
  • Kids Netball clinic, from 20 January 2007 for three months, age group categories are : 6-8 years; 9 to 11 years; and 12 to 14 years. (E-mail Alumeci on mecidv@yahoo.com for more information);
  • Oceania Hockey Qualifiers for Olympics, 2007 - time to be confirmed, Suva;
  • Business house 5-a-side soccer tournament, Wednesday, 21 February to Sunday, 25 February 2007, Tattersal Leisure Centre (former National Gymnasium) and the Dome, Laucala Bay, Suva;
  • Colonial Cup Rugby Match : Suva Highlanders vs Tailevu Knights, Friday, 23 February 2007, from 5pm, Ratu Cakobau Park, Nausori;
  • Workshop : "Crisis Management in the Tourism Industry", 22 and 23 February 2007, Training & Productivity Authority of Fiji (TPAF) Nabua Centre, Suva;
  • Art Exhibition ‘Activate Viti’ Pre-Exhibition, Friday, 23 February 2007, from 6pm, Alliance Francaise, 14 McGregor Road, Suva;
  • Art Exhibition ‘Activate Viti’ Pre-Exhibition, Saturday, 24 February, to Tuesday, 27 February 2007, Alliance Francaise, 14 McGregor Road, Suva;
  • Wine Tasting, Tuesday, 27 February 2007, 6pm to 8pm, Bad Dog Restaurant, Victoria Parade, Suva;
  • Blood drive, Wednesday, 28 February 2007, 9am to 4pm, Fiji Times Conference Room, Victoria Parade, Suva;
  • Marist 7s Rugby Tournament, Friday, 2 March, and Saturday, 3 March 2007, Post Fiji Stadium, Laucala Bay, Suva;
  • FIT School of Arts, Culture and Design : Saturday Classes for Children (covering piano, art & craft, acting, choir), Saturday, 3 March 2007, School of Arts, Culture & Design, Carpenter Street (near Garden City), Raiwai, Suva;
  • Oceania Dance Theatre Workshops, 12 February to 2 March 2007, 9am to 2pm each day, Oceania Centre, USP, Laucala Bay, Suva;
  • Queen Victoria School 100th Anniversary Celebrations, QVSOB International Sevens, 16 and 17 March, 2007, Post Fiji Stadium, Laucala Bay, Suva;
  • The Art of Living Basic Course, Tuesday, 20 March, to Sunday, 25 March 2007, 3rd floor, Lords Jewellers Building, 19/23 Cumming Street, Suva;
  • 'Suva on Sale', 28 April to 5 May 2007, Street Sale on selected streets of Suva;
  • Queen Victoria School 100th Anniversary Celebrations, Singing Contest, June;
  • Opening of the new Morris Hedstrom's outlet, June, Thomson Street, Suva;
  • Queen Victoria School 100th Anniversary Celebrations Ball, August;
  • Art Display to coincide with the Double Dialogues conference, 4 to 10 July 2007, Suva;
  • Fiji Hibiscus Festival, 17 to 25 August 2007, Albert Park, Suva;
  • Oceania Women's Hockey Qualifiers for 2008 Olympic Games, from 10 September 2007, Suva;
  • 18th Hobbie 16 World Championship, 10 to 20 October 2007, Suva & Pacific Harbour; Queen Victoria School 100th Anniversary Celebrations, week long celebrations, October 2007.
Recurring Events:
  • Fiji Museum displays, daily at The Fiji Museum, Suva;
  • Taekwondo classes, Mondays and Wednesdays, 4pm to 5.30pm - Junior class, 5.30pm to 7pm - Senior class, Suva Civic Centre;
  • Suva Orchid and Horticultural Group Meeting, from 5.30pm, every first Monday of the month, Wesley Church, Butt Street, Suva;
  • Stormy Monday Blues Night, Mondays, from 9pm, Golden Dragon Nightclub, Victoria Parade;
  • Rasta Tuesday, from 9pm, Tuesdays, Golden Dragon Nightclub, Suva;
  • Jazz at the Holiday Inn, every Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, 6pm to 10pm, Holiday Inn; Rucksack Club Meeting, every second Wednesday of the month, from 6.45pm, St Andrew's Church Hall, Suva;
  • Alternate Rock, every Wednesdays, from 9pm, Golden Dragon Nightclub, Victoria Parade, Suva; 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;
  • SideStep, every last Saturday of the month, 9pm to close, Traps Upstairs Lounge, Victoria Parade;
  • Arts Village Firewalking Show, starts 11am, every Saturday, Grandstand, Arts Village, Pacific Harbour;
  • The Roc Market, every third Sunday of the month, The Roc, Dolphins Plaza, Victoria Parade, Suva;
  • Wai Tui Cycles Ride, every Sundays, from 6am, start at Wai Tui Cycles, Garden City, Raiwai, Suva;
  • Sunday Church Services, 8am or 10.45am, Wesley Church, Butt Street;
  • Jazz by the Beach, Sundays, 1pm to 5pm, Pearl South Pacific, Pacific Harbour.
For accommodation for any events, please check out a two bedroom rental home with seaviews in Suva on links at the right hand side of this blog or contact telephone (679) 3396427, (679) 9921427 or e-mail gilbert@connect.com.fj directly. Those that wish to have their events included can contact me on the e-mail address provided above.

22 February, 2007

New Service : Properties on Mortgagee Sale/Foreclosure in Fiji

Interested in buying a property on mortgagee sale or foreclosure in Fiji? Check out our new service through links at the right hand side of our other blog, http://investinfiji.blogspot.com/. If you are interested in any of the properties listed, send us an e-mail on gilbert@connect.com.fj. We can assist you by getting you more information on the properties or arrange financing.

Suva Highlanders to take on Tailevu Knights

The Suva Highlanders will take on the Tailevu Knights in a Colonial Cup match at Ratu Cakobau, Friday, 23 February 2007. The match kicks off at 5pm local time. The Suva Highlanders team is made up of Suva and Naitasiri rugby players while the Tailevu Knights comprises players from Tailevu (south and north) and Rewa.

21 February, 2007

The benefits of Short Term Rentals

Short term rentals are getting to be an in-thing for travellers to overseas countries. Rather than stay in hotels or resorts, travellers are now opting more to rent a home, flat or apartment at their next destination. The benefits of short term rentals are said to range from being cheaper than hotels, have a more "homely" feeling, enables travellers to really experience the "local flavour" and being more spacious. With hotel rates on the up over recent years as travellers and tourists regain confidence to travel after world incidents such as 9/11, it does make more sense for travellers to try out cheaper accommodation such as short term rentals. Read an article on short term rentals here. Here in Suva, we also offer a short term rental. We have accommodated tourists from overseas and also other locals from outside Suva who attend business or training in Suva. Check out our rental home in Suva through links at the right hand side of this blog and also our guestbook for the home. If you wish to make a booking, e-mail us at gilbert@connect.com.fj or call telephone (679) 3396427 or (679) 9921427.

20 February, 2007

Rain and floods

Rain continued in the Suva area over the last two days with some low-lying parts of the Central Division which are close to rivers flooded. The weather office at Nadi has said that more rain is to be expected over the next two days and is cautioning citizens to lookout for the possibility of floods. Damage in the Suva and Central Division has not been as bad as with the Northern (Labasa) and Western (Nadi) Divisions. Nausori town, which used to be flooded whenever there were heavy rains, has been saved from such catastrophe recently. Much credit for that has been attributed to the dredging of the Rewa River. Citizens are now calling for the same to be done to some of the other rivers including those at Nadi and Labasa.

Marist Sevens Tournament on next weekend

The Marist Sevens Tournament will be held in the weekend 2 and 3 March 2007. The tournament which is the biggest Sevens Tournament in Fiji, will host over 100 teams. Yesterday, a cash sponsorship of F$31,000.00 was handed over to the organisers from long-time sponsors, Fosters Group Pacific Limited/Carlton Brewery. The main prize money for the winner of the tournament (men's team) will get over F$10,000.00. Many of Fiji's rugby representatives were first seen playing at earlier tournaments so there definitely will be scouts out to identify promising players. Note : For accommodation in a two bedroom home with sea views in Suva, check out the appropriate links at the right hand side of this blog. To contact us, you can e-mail gilbert@connect.com.fj or call telephone (679) 3396427.

19 February, 2007

Fiji-Chinese welcome New Year and the Problem of Vatukoula

The Chinese community in Fiji yesterday celebrated the New Year which is the Year of the Golden Pig. The Year of the Golden Pig comes only once in 60 years and is an auspicious occasion for the Chinese. The Year of the Golden Pig signifies good luck, good fortune, success and prosperity. In China last December, The Shanghai Gold Exchange had lowered the size limit for trading in gold bars from one kilogram to 100 grams in a move to make trading in the precious metal more accessible to small private investors. This was done in anticipation of the Year of the Golden Pig. It was felt that the Chinese would look at investing in gold when the New Year came around. Chinese banks were enthusiastically unfolding marketing strategies for gold, while customers were busy buying up gold for their financial portfolios with the New Year. With the rising price of gold in the international markets, interest in buying gold has increased. And then we wonder why we have so much problems at our own gold mine at Vatukoula if current international gold prices are over US$660 an ounce. When prices fell below US$200 an ounce a few years ago, the managers of the mine kept operating. What is the real problem? Have the ore deposits really been depleted? We only hope that the Year of the Golden Pig will bring a favourable resolution to all with regard to Vatukoula.

18 February, 2007

Viliame Naupoto's story

A good story about Suva resident, Viliame Naupoto, current Director of Immigration and former Navy Commander, is in today's Fiji Times. The story covers the time he came from the islands, his study at Queen Victoria School, his struggles, his wife and children, the positions he holds and his ambition to be a 'talatala' (i.e. church minister). First, some background :
  • I met Commander Naupoto when he was head of the Naval Division and we were each representing our organisations (I was representing the Reserve Bank of Fiji where I was at the time) to the Counter Terrorism Officials Group - a committee set up by Government to help put together a contingency plan to deal with an unlikely event there was a terrorist attack on Fiji. We were assigned to be in a smaller subcommittee which was to draft the plan with the head of the subcommittee being Mr Isikia Savua, former Fiji Representative to the United Nations and former Commissioner of Police.
  • From the little time that we were together on that subcommittee/Group, my own recollection of Commander Naupoto was that he was a very intelligent person, someone very easy to get to know and one who can hold his own in a good debate or discussion of issues at hand. From that glimpse of the man, I had a lot of respect for him.
  • He was one of the few senior army, police or navy officers at the subcommittee/Group who contributed freely to the discussions and without rancour.

His story in the Fiji Times today has some "humorous" bits to it, for example :

  • When talking about how his wedding had to be deferred due to him being called back to work to move the naval boats to calm waters on the eve of a cyclone, this is what happened. "He walked from Gladstone Road where he then resided to the home of his wife-to-be. "When I got there, one of her aunts said I couldn't see the bride on the eve of the wedding. So I said the wedding's off. Lillian (his wife-to-be) appeared at the door and so I explained to her what was happening." In the course of their conversation, he gave her the keys to their new home but Lillian threw it into the nearby banana patch. "So I spent the next half an hour searching for the keys in the banana patch", he said."
  • He also says that he loves 'lairo' (land crabs) and would, on occasion, drive to Nasese to pick up the stray ones on the road there. "My wife would come along but that's all she does - come along. I have to stop the car, get out, catch the lairo and put it in the bucket. My wife opens the lid - that's all she does. She hates it (lairo)."

Read more on Commander Naupoto's story here.

17 February, 2007

The age old traffic problem in Suva

The problem of traffic jams has found its way into the media again over the last few days with complaints from the travelling public and vehicle owners about the severity of the problem in the Makoi-Laqere area and at the Nabua roundabout near Suva. Read an article about employers coming into the discussion in today's Fiji Times here. If we look back over the years, the problem has been there for a number of years. It somewhat got better after the development of the two-lane-each-way roadway along parts of the Kings Road between Suva and Nausori. However, with the rise in number of vehicles on our roads and with most of that concentrated in the same corridor, the problem has crept back. Now we need strategic thinking to help solve this problem. Some of the issues, we hear being considered is the widening of the roundabout at Nabua with part of the land belonging to Nivis Motors being taken off to do that. Another is the development of new roads : one to go in-land from near Nausori across the Tovata and Colo-i-Suva hills joining Princes Road somewhere; the other to run alongside the Rewa River and the coastal plains and coming up at Jerusalem Road near the Fiji Golf Course at Vatuwaqa. However, that does not appear to be enough. What is needed is a multi-disciplinary approach to the problem. Some of the suggestions, I can offer are :
  • review the number of vehicle registration licences issued each year to try to set a limit/ceiling on the number of vehicles on our roads e.g. the Singapore system;
  • redistribute the layout of housing settlements to areas inland where new roads can be built to ease the traffic from around the already over-populated semi-urban areas between Suva and Nausori;
  • put in place a new (train) rail system between Suva and Nausori and offer incentives for travel by rail with some penalties impose on those wishing to enjoy their own vehicles;
  • look at moving housing developments to past the Lami area and install a sea taxi system to get workers and students from there through to Suva by sea (from Lami or the Ministry of Fisheries jetty past Lami);
  • employers to allow flexi-time schedules to enable workers to come in later in the morning to work and avoid the traffic jam (workers can also use the time to attend to other chores);
  • schools to move starting times to 9am or 9.15am and finish off around 3.30pm thereby ensuring that they are not on the road at the same time as workers going to or coming back from work and thus relieve traffic congestion.

Those are a few, I could think of. Anyone, wants to add on to the list? Feel free to do so.

16 February, 2007

Upcoming Activities, Events and Accommodation in Suva (Updated 16.2.07)

The following events are scheduled for Suva:

One-off Events:

  • Kids Netball clinic, from 20 January 2007 for three months, age group categories are : 6-8 years; 9 to 11 years; and 12 to 14 years. (E-mail Alumeci on mecidv@yahoo.com for more information);
  • Oceania Hockey Qualifiers for Olympics, 2007 - time to be confirmed, Suva;
  • Fiji Karate Federation Club Championship, Saturday, 17 February 2007, from 8am, Lambert Hall, Marist Brothers High School, Flagstaff, Suva;
  • The Roc Market, Sunday, 18 February 2007, 10am to 3pm, Loftus Street (in front of The Roc Cafe at Dolphins Plaza), Suva;
  • Business house 5-a-side soccer tournament, Wednesday, 21 February to Sunday, 25 February 2007, Tattersal Leisure Centre (former National Gymnasium) and the FMF Dome, Laucala Bay, Suva;
  • Workshop : "Crisis Management in the Tourism Industry", 22 and 23 February 2007, Training & Productivity Authority of Fiji (TPAF) Nabua Centre, Suva;
  • Wine Tasting, Tuesday, 27 February 2007, 6pm to 8pm, Bad Dog Restaurant, Victoria Parade, Suva;
  • Blood drive, Wednesday, 28 February 2007, 9am to 4pm, Fiji Times Conference Room, Victoria Parade, Suva;
  • Marist 7s Rugby Tournament, Friday, 2 March, and Saturday, 3 March 2007, Post Fiji Stadium, Laucala Bay, Suva;
  • Oceania Dance Theatre Workshops, 12 February to 2 March 2007, 9am to 2pm each day, Oceania Centre, USP, Laucala Bay, Suva;
  • Queen Victoria School 100th Anniversary Celebrations, QVSOB International Sevens, 16 and 17 March, 2007, Post Fiji Stadium, Laucala Bay, Suva;
  • Queen Victoria School 100th Anniversary Celebrations, Singing Contest, June;
  • Opening of the new Morris Hedstrom's outlet, June, Thomson Street, Suva;
  • Queen Victoria School 100th Anniversary Celebrations Ball, August;
  • Art Display to coincide with the Double Dialogues conference, 4 to 10 July 2007, Suva;
  • Suva Hibiscus Festival, 17 to 25 August 2007, Albert Park, Suva;
  • Oceania Women's Hockey Qualifiers for 2008 Olympic Games, from 10 September 2007, Suva;
  • 18th Hobbie 16 World Championship, 10 to 20 October 2007, Suva & Pacific Harbour;
  • Queen Victoria School 100th Anniversary Celebrations, week long celebrations, October 2007.

Recurring Events:

  • Fiji Museum displays, daily at The Fiji Museum, Suva;
  • Taekwondo classes, Mondays and Wednesdays, 4pm to 5.30pm - Junior class, 5.30pm to 7pm - Senior class, Suva Civic Centre;
  • Suva Orchid and Horticultural Group Meeting, from 5.30pm, every first Monday of the month, Wesley Church, Butt Street, Suva;
  • Stormy Monday Blues Night, Mondays, from 9pm, Golden Dragon Nightclub, Victoria Parade;
  • Rasta Tuesday, from 9pm, Tuesdays, Golden Dragon Nightclub, Suva;
  • Jazz at the Holiday Inn, every Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, 6pm to 10pm, Holiday Inn;
  • Rucksack Club Meeting, every second Wednesday of the month, from 6.45pm, St Andrew's Church Hall, Suva;
  • Alternate Rock, every Wednesdays, from 9pm, Golden Dragon Nightclub, Victoria Parade, Suva;
  • 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;
  • SideStep, every last Saturday of the month, 9pm to close, Traps Upstairs Lounge, Victoria Parade;
  • Arts Village Firewalking Show, starts 11am, every Saturday, Grandstand, Arts Village, Pacific Harbour;
  • The Roc Market, every third Sunday of the month, The Roc, Dolphins Plaza, Victoria Parade, Suva;
  • Wai Tui Cycles Ride, every Sundays, from 6am, start at Wai Tui Cycles, Garden City, Raiwai, Suva;
  • Sunday Church Services, 8am or 10.45am, Wesley Church, Butt Street;
  • Jazz by the Beach, Sundays, 1pm to 5pm, Pearl South Pacific, Pacific Harbour.

For accommodation for any events, please check out a two bedroom rental home with seaviews in Suva on links at the right hand side of this blog or contact telephone (679) 3396427, (679) 9921427 or e-mail gilbert@connect.com.fj directly. A special rate of F$600.00 per week (or a discount of 40% off our normal rates) is offered for all bookings up to 30 April 2007. Those that wish to have their events included can contact me on the e-mail address provided above.

Carpenters Group continues with Suva foreshore project

The Carpenters Group will be continuing with its Suva foreshore project. The project, which will cost F$200 million, will first involve reclamation along the Suva foreshore before developing the site. To be built on the site are hotels, condominiums and an entertainment centre. In the meantime, construction of the Group's Thomson Street project has been delayed with the opening of the Morris Hedstrom's outlet at the lower floors of the building now scheduled for June. The outlet will include a full department store, food court, bakery, liquor store, pharmacy, butcher and speciality shops such as clothing, banking and jewellery stores on the ground floor. The second floor will house a department store and MH Homemaker outlet.

15 February, 2007

FMF Dome may change name

The FMF Dome may have a change of name soon if what is reported on Fiji TV today holds true. The FMF company is having some differences with the Fiji Sports Council for payment of naming rights to have the company name affixed to the Dome. Companies have to pay a certain annual fee to the Sports Council for such a privilege. The Fiji TV report mentioned that FMF has not paid the allotted fee since late 2006. The Dome is the largest in-door sporting complex in the South Pacific and was opened for the 2003 South Pacific Games held in Suva. FMF is majority owned by Hari Punja and family and is also traded on the South Pacific Stock Exchange in Suva.

ROC Market this Sunday

Check out the ROC Market this Sunday, 18 February 2007, at Loftus Street in front of the ROC Cafe at The Dolphin's Plaza, Suva. The market will open from 10am to 3pm and will have assorted arts, crafts and homeware for sale. For more information, contact the Market Master at the Republic of Cappucino Café on telephones (679) 3300828 or (679) 9267847.

Blood Drive

A blood drive is being organised on 28 February 2007, from 9am to 4pm at the Fiji Times Conference Room, Victoria Parade, Suva. To make an appointment, call Reginald Kila on telephone (679) 3304111 or e-mail rkila@fijitimes.com.fj.

Business house soccer tournament

A business house 5-a-side soccer tournament, sponsored by Western United, will be held from 21 to 25 February 2007 at the Tattersal Leisure Centre (former National Gymnasium) and the FMF Dome, Laucala Bay, Suva. To participate in the tournament, pls contact Sheik Dean on telephones (679) 3303525 or (679) 9937384. For accommodation in Suva, try out our two bedroom rental home which is advertised through links at the right hand side of this blog. To contact us, e-mail gilbert@connect.com.fj or telephone (679) 3396427 or (679) 9921427.

Marist Sevens Rugby Tournament

The Marist 7s Rugby Tournament will be held from 2 to 3 March 2007 at the Post Fiji Stadium, Laucala Bay, Suva. For teams that wish to participate, pls contact Vilikesa Rauca on telephones (679) 9922088 or (679) 3305577 or email vrauca@ssfl.com.fj. For accommodation in Suva, check out our two bedroom rental home through links at the right hand side of this blog. To contact us, e-mail gilbert@connect.com.fj or call telephones (679) 3396427 or (679) 9921427.

14 February, 2007

Suva Hiking : an extract from David Stanley's book titled "Fiji"

This is an extract from David Stanley's book titled "Fiji".
  • "For a bird's-eye view of Suva and the entire surrounding area, spend a morning climbing up the volcanic plug atop Mt Korobaba (429 m), the highest peak around. Take a Shore bus to the cement factory beyond the Tradewinds Hotel at Lami, then follow the dirt road past the factory into the foothills. After about 45 minutes on the main track, you'll come to a fork just after a sharp descent. Keep left and cross a small stream. Soon after, the track divides again. Go up on the right and look for a trail straight up to the right where the tracks rejoin. It's a 10 minute scramble to the summit from there. A guide would be helpful. There's a far more challenging climb to the top of Joske's Thumb, a volcanic plug 15 kilometers west of Suva. Take a bus to Naikorokoro Road, then walk inland 30 minutes to where the road turns sharply right and crosses a bridge. Follow the track straight ahead and continue up the river till you reach a small village. It's necessary to request permission of the villagers to proceed and to hire a guide. From the village to the Thumb it will take just less than three hours. The last bit is extremely steep, and ropes may be necessary. It even took Sir Edmund Hillary two tries to climb the Thumb."

David Stanley has written several travel books, one of which is the one on Fiji. He also has a website which you can visit here.

New cinema multiplex planned for Suva

A new cinema multiplex is to be built by Damodar Brothers at Raiwai, Suva. Damodar Brothers are the owners of Village Six cinema complex in Suva and Village Four at Lautoka. The location of the new cinema complex will be next to Garden City. The project will cost about F$20 million and will house four cinemas and will be part of a shopping mall. The work will begin later in the year. Cinema goers will have another option for entertainment after the complex is completed.

Seminar : Pacific Island Countries Trade Agreement (PICTA)

A seminar on the Pacific Island Countries Trade Agreement (PICTA) will be held from 8.30am to 2pm, Wednesday, 21 February 2007, at the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat Conference Room, Ratu Sukuna Road, Suva. Details are provided below :
  • Contents - An Overview of PICTA, Export and Import Procedures under PICTA, Assistance Schemes in support of Trade among Forum Members;
  • Target Group - Exporters, potential exporters, importers and interested stakeholders;
  • Fees - Free.

Registration begins at 8am.

For more information, contact Ms Sonal Singh on telephone (679) 3315988 or e-mail sonal@ftib.org.fj.

For accommodation in Suva, check out our two bedroom rental home through links at the right hand side of this blog. If you wish to enquire about the home, e-mail us on gilbert@connect.com.fj or call (679) 3396427 or (679) 9921427.

13 February, 2007

Learning the craft of her mother

Nice story here about a Fijian girl who weaves baskets for a living and to help fund her younger siblings school fees. The girl is from Fulaga Island in the Lau group. She sells her baskets between F$5.00 and F$6.00 a piece. As Fiji modernises, it is pleasing to note that some of our young ladies are taking up the craft of their mothers to keep those skills alive. More on that story here.

QVS 100th Anniversary Celebrations Preparations

Preparations to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Queen Victoria School continues. Programs are being organised and will be spread out between March and October 2007. Thousands of former students of the school are expected to converge at the school in October to celebrate the event. Some of the events planned include :
  • the QVSOB International 7s Rugby Tournament to be held in April;
  • a singing contest scheduled for June;
  • a ball in August; and
  • the week long celebrations in October.

Keep reading this blog for updates.

Rain, rain and more rain

Funny that just a week earlier, the Weather Office in Nadi had forecasted a dry spell over the Fiji group (read our post on 31 January 2007) and then a week later, we had heavy rain and strong winds in the Northern Division. Over the weekend, there has been more rain and parts of the Western Division are under water. Nadi town was underwater yesterday. The weather office last night announced that there will be more rains to come. The Chief Weather Officer said, however, this would clear up by Wednesday. One good thing that we might be able to count on now is that the Monasavu Dam will fill up and will be able to generate most of our electricity needs. That would cut down the need for the authorities to buy more diesel fuel (for fuel generation) and impose surcharges on our bills.

Fiji wins San Diego IRB 7s

Fiji won the San Diego IRB 7s tournament Sunday beating Samoa 38-24 in the final. Earlier, Fiji had won over South Africa 26-21 in a quarter final match and beat New Zealand 19-10 in the semi finals. After the win, Fiji now joins New Zealand at the top of the IRB 7s 2007 Series points table with 60 points each. For more on the game, pls visit this link.

12 February, 2007

Suva compared to Nadi

Another body has been discovered in a swamp at Nadi last Saturday afternoon. The partly decomposed body was found by a group of boys who were playing rugby on a beach. This is not an uncommon occurrence for Nadi which has most of the top tourist hotels in Fiji. For the last two years, every now and again the Fiji news headlines would read that a body has been found somewhere there. Yet Suva, which everyone says is not safe and not good for tourists, does not have this. One would rarely read a headline which says that a body has been found in Suva. Two lessons that we can learn from this are :
  • when in Nadi, it would be best that you be accompanied at all times by a friends or family members, particularly for tourists; and
  • Suva is a safe location for both tourists and locals.

11 February, 2007

Military brass band

The story about the military brass band farewelling the tourists as their cruise ship left harks back to the good old days when they used to do the same. Here is a shot of them from Fiji Live with the departing cruise ship in the background with tourists looking on from the decks. One remembers very well that the either the military brass band or the police band would welcome and farewell the tourists as they arrived or departed on a cruise ship in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Let us hope that this will become a feature again from now on. As for other activities, groups could organise some dance/meke displays, handicraft displays and sale as well as displays and sale of our local flowers. More of these activities could help promote Suva further for tourism. I am not sure what the group forming Destination Suva has done so far or are planning to do, but there is quite a lot that they could do. If they need any help, they need only ask. Go Suva!

Shaista Shameem's story

A beautiful story on Ms Shaista Shameem, the Director of the Human Rights Commission of Fiji, is in the Sunday Times today, 11 February 2007. It tells of her father's arrival from India, his meeting up with her mother, her siblings, the schools that she attended, her stint as a Fiji Times journalist, school teacher, university tutor and then to Director of the Human Rights Commission. A very interesting story indeed. Read on about the Suva girl, Shaista, here. If the lady writes a biography, it would surely be a seller.

Confidence in Suva

Despite warnings by travel advisories, tourists have shown confidence in Suva when visiting on a number of cruise ships that berthed at the capital. Yesterday, over 4,900 tourists and crew from the MV Oriana were in the capital. Amid the usual busy Suva Saturday, tourists mingled with the local crowds looking for bargains and souvenirs to take back with them. On Friday, the MV Astor was in Suva. Monday, 12 February 2007, sees the MV Amsterdam in the capital. Business has been good for local retailers and duty free shops. Tourists have also been to visit the local sites in the city including a colourful Changing of the Guard march past and parade at Government House, the residence of the country's President. Yesterday, the military brass band farewelled the visitors as they left.

10 February, 2007

Search for Contestants - Hibiscus Festival 2007

The Suva Hibiscus Festival will be held from 17 to 25 August 2007. The Committee is currently searching for people interested in participating in the pageant. The different categories and requirements are as follows :
  • Hibiscus Queen - contestant to be between 18 and 25 years old, a Fiji citizen, single and never married, and interested to be a good ambassador for Suva city and the whole country;
  • Lady Hibiscus - contestant to be over 26 years old and can be married or a mother;
  • Hibiscus Princess - contestant to be between 9 and 12 years old, confident and have support of her school or sponsor.

For the first time this year, the following categories have been included :

  • Hibiscus King - contestant to be between 22 and 32 years old, a Fiji citizen and single;
  • Hibiscus Teen - contestant to be between 13 and 17 years old, confident and have support of their school or sponsor.

Entry forms are available at The Hibiscus Secretariat, Lower Civic Centre, Suva. Applications close at 4pm, Friday, 23 February 2007.

For more information, contact Aqela on telephone (679) 3311168, (679) 9966608 or e-mail aqela@hibiscusfiji.com.

If you require accommodation in Suva during that time, check out our two bedroom rental home through links at the right hand side of this blog. The home has beautiful sea views and is equipped with a Personal Computer and Broadband Internet access complimentary for guests' use. To contact us, you can e-mail gilbert@connect.com.fj or call (679) 3396427 or (679) 9921427.

Course : Basic Counselling Skills

A course on "Basic Counselling Skills" will be held on 20 and 22 February 2007 at the Training & Productivity Authority of Fiji (TPAF) Nabua Centre, Suva. Details are provided below :
  • Contents - Develop basic counselling skills with an understanding of counselling in the Fiji context; Communicate effectively in a professional yet personal manner; Inculcate verbal communication skills that promote inspiration, motivation and high self-esteem amongst team members; Resolve differences of opinion between two people or within a group that could easily lead to a dispute, conflict or disciplinary situation; Skillfully influence and guide a subordinate staff to improve his/her deteriorating performance or behaviour;
  • Presenter - Ms Selina Kuruleca, MA (Counselling and Psychology);
  • Fees - F$300.00 including manuals, meals and Certificate of Participation.

For more information, contact Asena on telephones (679) 3384777 or e-mail asena_n@tpaf.ac.fj.

For those that require accommodation in Suva, check out our two bedroom rental home through links at the right hand side of this blog. The home is situated close to the main thoroughfare between Suva and Nausori with convenient transport links to TPAF Nabua. If you wish to enquire about the home, e-mail us on gilbert@connect.com.fj or call (679) 3396427 or (679) 9921427.

09 February, 2007

The Queen arrives in Suva

Cruise liner, Queen Elizabeth II, arrived in Suva yesterday beginning a series of visits by cruise liners to the capital city over the next few days. There to welcome the liner with her tourists and to highlight the importance of the arrival during these times was the Interim Prime Minister and his entourage. Tourists then went sightseeing and shopping in the city. One tourist, Andrew Robertson, who was in the country for the first time said that Suva was safe for tourists despite the political situation. Mr Robertson said that overseas media reports painted Fiji as a dangerous place when it is not so. Other cruise liners expected this week are MV Astor, which arrives today, 9 February 2007, The MV Oriana arrives on Saturday, 10 February 2007, and the Amsterdam which arrives on Monday, 12 February 2007. For tourists interesting to find out places to visit in Suva, check out our earlier posts.

Upcoming Activities, Events and Accommodation in Suva (Updated 9.2.07)

The following events are scheduled for Suva: One-off Events:
  • Kids Netball clinic, from 20 January 2007 for three months, age group categories are : 6-8 years; 9 to 11 years; and 12 to 14 years. (E-mail Alumeci on mecidv@yahoo.com for more information);
  • Oceania Hockey Qualifiers for Olympics, 2007 - time to be confirmed, Suva;
  • Oceania Dance Theatre Recruitment of Dancers, 5 to 9 February 2007, Oceania Centre, USP, Laucala Bay, Suva;
  • Secondary School Open Chess Championship, Saturday, 10 February 2007, from 8am, Hoodless House, Suva;
  • Suva Cricket Association Club Games, Saturday, 10 February 2007, from 9.30am, Albert Park, Suva;
  • Kid’s Arts Classes by Kathy Oyagawa, Saturday, 10 February 2007, 10am to 12 noon and 2pm to 4pm, The Homestay, Princes Road, Tamavua;
  • Fiji Karate Federation Club Championship, Saturday, 17 February 2007, from 8am, Lambert Hall, Marist Brothers High School, Flagstaff, Suva;
  • Business house 5-a-side soccer tournament, Wednesday, 21 February to Sunday, 25 February 2007, Tattersal Leisure Centre (former National Gymnasium) and the FMF Dome, Laucala Bay, Suva;
  • Workshop : "Crisis Management in the Tourism Industry", 22 and 23 February 2007, Training & Productivity Authority of Fiji (TPAF) Nabua Centre, Suva;
  • Blood drive, Wednesday, 28 February 2007, 9am to 4pm, Fiji Times Conference Room, Victoria Parade, Suva;
  • Marist 7s Rugby Tournament, Friday, 2 March, and Saturday, 3 March 2007, Post Fiji Stadium, Laucala Bay, Suva;
  • Oceania Dance Theatre Workshops, 12 February to 2 March 2007, 9am to 2pm each day, Oceania Centre, USP, Laucala Bay, Suva;
  • Queen Victoria School 100th Anniversary Celebrations, QVSOB International Sevens, 16 and 17 March, 2007, Post Fiji Stadium, Laucala Bay, Suva;
  • Queen Victoria School 100th Anniversary Celebrations, Singing Contest, June;
  • Queen Victoria School 100th Anniversary Celebrations Ball, August;
  • Art Display to coincide with the Double Dialogues conference, 4 to 10 July 2007, Suva;
  • Suva Hibiscus Festival, 17 to 25 August 2007, Albert Park, Suva;
  • Oceania Women's Hockey Qualifiers for 2008 Olympic Games, from 10 September 2007, Suva;
  • 18th Hobbie 16 World Championship, 10 to 20 October 2007, Suva & Pacific Harbour;
  • Queen Victoria School 100th Anniversary Celebrations, week long celebrations, October 2007.
Recurring Events:
  • Fiji Museum displays, daily at The Fiji Museum, Suva;
  • Taekwondo classes, Mondays and Wednesdays, 4pm to 5.30pm - Junior class, 5.30pm to 7pm - Senior class, Suva Civic Centre;
  • Suva Orchid and Horticultural Group Meeting, from 5.30pm, every first Monday of the month, Wesley Church, Butt Street, Suva;
  • Stormy Monday Blues Night, Mondays, from 9pm, Golden Dragon Nightclub, Victoria Parade;
  • Rasta Tuesday, from 9pm, Tuesdays, Golden Dragon Nightclub, Suva;
  • Jazz at the Holiday Inn, every Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, 6pm to 10pm, Holiday Inn;
  • Rucksack Club Meeting, every second Wednesday of the month, from 6.45pm, St Andrew's Church Hall, Suva;
  • Alternate Rock, every Wednesdays, from 9pm, Golden Dragon Nightclub, Victoria Parade, Suva;
  • 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;
  • SideStep, every last Saturday of the month, 9pm to close, Traps Upstairs Lounge, Victoria Parade;
  • Arts Village Firewalking Show, starts 11am, every Saturday, Grandstand, Arts Village, Pacific Harbour;
  • The Roc Market, every third Sunday of the month, The Roc, Dolphins Plaza, Victoria Parade, Suva;
  • Wai Tui Cycles Ride, every Sundays, from 6am, start at Wai Tui Cycles, Garden City, Raiwai, Suva;
  • Sunday Church Services, 8am or 10.45am, Wesley Church, Butt Street;
  • Jazz by the Beach, Sundays, 1pm to 5pm, Pearl South Pacific, Pacific Harbour.
For accommodation for any events, please check out a two bedroom rental home with seaviews in Suva on links at the right hand side of this blog or contact telephone (679) 3396427, (679) 9921427 or e-mail gilbert@connect.com.fj directly. A special rate of F$600.00 per week (or a discount of 40% off our normal rates) is offered for all bookings up to 30 April 2007. Those that wish to have their events included can contact me on the e-mail address provided above.

Fiji Karate Federation Club Championship

The Fiji Karate Federation opening season Club Championship will be held at Lambert Hall, Marist Brothers High School, on Saturday, 17 February 2007, from 8am. Spectator fees are : Adults, F$2.00 per person and Children, F$1.00 per person.

Secondary Schools Open Chess Championship

The Secondary School Open Chess Championship will be held in Suva, tomorrow, Saturday, 10 February 2007. The competition starts at 8am at Hoodless House, Suva.

Fiji taken away as host of two sports events

Fiji has been removed as hosts of two sporting events, the Commonwealth Powerlifting Championships (scheduled for December 2007) and the World Bowls Singles Champion of Champions. The current events in Fiji have been stated as the reason that two sporting events have been taken away. The Powerlifting Championship will now move to New Zealand while the Bowls Singles Championships will be played in Australia.

08 February, 2007

Workshop : Crisis Management in the Tourism Industry

A workshop on "Crisis Management in the Tourism Industry" will be held on 22 and 23 February 2007 at the Training & Productivity Authority of Fiji (TPAF) Nabua Centre, Suva. Details are provided below :
  • Contents - Major Issues in Tourism Crisis and Recovery Management, Tourism Crisis and the Media, Governmental Tourism Advisories, Dealing with Security, Alliance between Tourism Academics and the Travel Industry, Researching the Market for Recovery in Fiji, Simulation Game : Hypothetical Dealing with Two Crisis Events;
  • Target Group - Hotel Developers, Hotel Managers, Media Journalists, Sales and Marketing Personnel, Government Travel Advisory and other Related Government Officials, Lecturers, Tertiary Students and other interested personnel;
  • Facilitator - Dr David Beirman, founding director of the Israel Tourism Office Australasia and SW Pacific;
  • Fees - F$300.00 including manuals, meals and Certificate of Participation.

For more information, contact Carol Wong on telephones (679) 6725730 or e-mail carol_wong@tpaf.ac.fj.

For those that require accommodation in Suva, check out our two bedroom rental home through links at the right hand side of this blog. The home is situated close to the main thoroughfare between Suva and Nausori with convenient transport links to TPAF Nabua. If you wish to enquire about the home, e-mail us on gilbert@connect.com.fj or call (679) 3396427 or (679) 9921427.

6,000 tourists expected in Suva over the next few days

6,000 tourists are expected in Suva over the next few days as five cruise ships call into the capital city. With the arrival of the cruise ships, the military has announced that it will put on a brass band display to welcome the tourists. The Tourism Department has set up an information booth at the Suva wharf for the visitors. Shopping hours in the capital city are to be extended and a taskforce has been set up to facilitate tours and sight-seeing.

07 February, 2007

Comments not moderated

Readers are welcome to post comments on this blog. Unlike before, they are no longer moderated. However, we request that you be responsible when entering your comments. If we find that comments are unbecoming or rude, we may have to impose comments moderation again. Anyway, read, enjoy and post your comments on the blog.

Up and going : blog visits surpass 100 readers daily

The number of daily visitors to this blog has made another record on Tuesday, 6 February 2007. The number of visitors on that day was 101 - the first time that our daily visitors to this blog has exceeded 100. We thank you readers for continuing to visit our blog. Do pass on to your friends and family the name of our blog and its address at http://promotingsuva.blogspot.com/. If, on the other hand, you have any events or activities that you wish posted on the blog, pls e-mail it to us at gilbert@connect.com.fj and we will put them up for you for free. For those readers residing out of Suva or overseas, we hope that you will visit the capital city one of these days and get to enjoy what it has to offer.

Fiji Visitors Bureau happy with visitor arrival numbers in 2006

The Fiji Visitors Bureau is pleased with visitor arrival figures for 2006 although it was 6% lower than the Bureau's target. Final figures released indicates that there was 545,168 visitors to Fiji last year compared with the Bureau's target of 576,000. Australian and New Zealand tourists topped the list of visitors numbering 197,742 and 108,347, respectively. Despite the political events on early December 2006, a total of 16,121 Australians and 6,139 New Zealanders came to Fiji for the holidays. With aggressive marketing being done by the authorities and the high discounts being offered, the Bureau hopes that it will achieve its aim of having a F$1 billion industry this year.

06 February, 2007

Another record for our blog

We have had another record of visits to our blog and that was 97 visits recorded on Monday, 5 February 2007. Before that, the highest daily visit was recorded last Wednesday, 31 January 2007 at 83. You can see from the number of posts on our blog that activities in Suva are on the rise again after a lull in December and early January. We hope that the rise in activities in Suva will help bring back confidence to visit the city.

Fiji Survivor series debuts this week

The Survivor series shot at Vanua Levu, Fiji, will debut this week on CBS. According to Australian reports, the producer said Fiji offered Survivor's take on the rich-versus-poor scenario where one tribe lives at the luxurious camp while the other is sent to a camp site with a pot, a machete and water that must be boiled for drinking purposes. The Survivor Fiji series is set to attract the usual viewers and will also help promote Fiji's audio visual industry.

Secretariat of the Pacific Community 60th Anniversary Open Day Program

Here is the program for the Secretariat of the Pacific Community's 60th Anniversary Open Day, Tuesday, 6 February 2007, Suva Civic Centre :
  • 8.45am, Guests arrive;
  • 9am, Chief Guest arrives and Prayer by Rev Tatau Vakayatu;
  • Garlanding;
  • Introductory Remarks : Falani Aukuso, SPC Deputy Director-General;
  • Keynote Address by Chief Guest : HE Mr Peter Eafeare, High Commissioner, Papua New Guinea;
  • Raising of the SPC Flag by Chief Guest;
  • Tree planing to commemorate SPC 60th Anniversary;
  • Cultural Entertainment;
  • Viewing of displays;
  • Refreshments served in the 1st floor foyer;
  • 10.30am, Displays opened to the general public.

Display continues Wednesday, 7 February 2007.

For those seeking accommodation in Suva, check out our two bedroom rental home through links at the right hand side of this blog. A discounted rate of F$600.00 per week is offered for all booking to 30 April 2007. To contact us, e-mail gilbert@connect.com.fj or call (679) 3396427 or (679) 9921427.

05 February, 2007

2007 Colonial Cup Rugby Match Schedule

The upcoming matches for the 2007 Colonial Cup are as follows :
  • Friday, 9 February 2007, 4pm, Tailevu Knights vs Northern Sharks, Nasau Park, Koro Island;
  • Saturday, 10 February 2007, 3pm, Western Crusaders vs Suva Highlanders, Churchill Park, Lautoka;
  • Saturday, 10 February 2007, 3pm, Bligh Roosters vs Coastal Stallions, Garvey Park;
  • Friday, 16 February 2007, 6pm, Western Crusaders vs Northern Sharks, Prince Charles Park, Nadi;
  • Saturday, 17 February 2007, 3pm, Coastal Stallions vs Tailevu Knights, Lawaqa Park, Sigatoka;
  • Saturday, 17 February 2007, 3pm, Suva Highlanders vs Bligh Roosters, Post Fiji Stadium Suva;
  • Friday, 23 February 2007, 6pm, Suva Highlanders vs Tailevu Knights, Post Fiji Stadium, Suva;
  • Saturday, 24 February 2007, 3pm, Northern Sharks vs Coastal Stallions, Subrail Park, Labasa;
  • Saturday, 24 February 2007, 3pm, Bligh Roosters vs Western Crusaders, Ra Sports Complex, Rakiraki;
  • Friday, 2 March 2007, 6pm, Coastal Stallions vs Western Crusaders, Lawaqa Park, Sigatoka;
  • Saturday, 3 March 2007, 3pm, Northern Sharks vs Suva Highlanders, Ganilau Park;
  • Saturday, 3 March 2007, 3pm, Tailevu Knights vs Bligh Roosters, Ratu Cakobau Park; Nausori;
  • Saturday, 10 March 2007, Semi-finals, Ratu Cakobau Park, Nausori;
  • Saturday, 17 March 2007, Finals, Churchill Park, Lautoka.

Bird Protection in the South Pacific gets funding

The Birdlife International Pacific, a Suva based organisation that helps protect endangered birds in the Pacific has received a funding of over F$700,000.00 from the British Bird Fair. The funds are to be used in projects aimed at protecting endangered parrots in the Pacific Islands region. Cook Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia, New Caledonia and Samoa will focus on protecting 5 endangered species including the Ultramarine lorikeet in French Polynesia and the Uvea parakeet in New Caledonia. Also part of the project would be a search for the red-throat lorikeet which has not been seen in the last 10 years.

04 February, 2007

Secretariat of the Pacific Community starts 60th anniversary celebrations

The Secretariat of the Pacific Community begins its 60th anniversary celebrations this week. In Suva, the Secretariat will be hosting an Open Day at the Suva Civic Centre on Tuesday, 6 February and Wednesday 7 February 2007 where it will provide a display of its history since it was set up in 1947 by our Pacific forefathers. The Community is inviting members of the public and schools to attend the Open Day to get an appreciation of the role the Community plays in our Pacific Islands. For those that require accommodation in Suva, check out our two bedroom rental home throught links at the right hand side of this blog. A discounted rate of F$600.00 per week is offered for bookings up to 30 April 2007. The home includes a Personal Computer and Broadband Internet access provided complimentary for guests' use.

Suva Highlanders wins over Coastal Stallions

The Suva Highlanders team won the first match of the Colonial Cup Rugby Series over Coastal Stallions 23-21 at the Post Fiji Stadium in Suva last Friday. The Highlanders team is made up of mostly young players which coach Etuate Waqa says was to the advantage of the team. In the second match at Ratu Cakobau Park, Nausori, yesterday, Crusaders won over Tailevu Knights 20-13.

Fiji wins over NZ but loses to Samoa

Fiji won over NZ at the IRB Wellington Sevens, 31-0, in their semi-final match but lost to Samoa in the final 14-17. The win over NZ has Fiji fans adulating after recent actions by NZ with regard to Fiji's participation at the Wellington 7s. The turning off of the stadium's lights while the game was still on has irked some of the Fiji fans who have stated that the IRB should look into the matter. Anyway, congratulations to Samoa and better luck to our boys at the next led in San Diego.

03 February, 2007

Kids night at JJ's on the Park

JJ's on the Park, Sukuna Park, Suva, has a special program for kids with a kids night menu on Saturdays. The program is aimed at children under 12 years of age and offers great fun, free movies and great food. For F$5.00 per child, the hotel offers a menu including fish & chips, chicken nuggets, mini pizzas, spaghetti, mini quiche, mini hamburgers, dogs on a stick, BBQ drumsticks and chicken wings, coleslaw, potato salad, ice cream with jelly or assorted toppings, banana split and fresh fruit salad with child friendly cutlery and crockery. Parents can order from the hotel's ala carte menu. For reservations, call telephone +679 3305005.

Learn French, Fijian and Hindi

The Alliance Francaise de Suva begins a new term on Monday, 5 February 2007, where people can learn French, Fijian or Hindi. Classes for adults, teenagers and kids, private and corporate available. Enrol now and get ready for the Rugby World Cup in France. For more information, call the Alliance Francaise on telephones +679 3313802 or e-mail allifra@connect.com.fj.

Suva Hibiscus Festival dates confirmed

The Hibiscus Festival will be held from 17 to 25 August 2007 at Albert Park, Suva. For enquiries, contact Aqela on telephone +679 3311168, +679 9966608 or e-mail aqela@hibiscusfiji.com. For those seeking to spend time in Suva during that period, check out and book our two bedroom rental home through links at the right hand side of this blog. To contact us, you can e-mail gilbert@connect.com.fj or call telephones +679 3396427 or +679 9921427.

Special launch fares with Pacific Sun

Some minor changes to the fares posted earlier on this blog to Pacific Sun's flights servicing Suva-Nadi and Suva-Labasa. The revised fares are as follows :
  • Suva-Nadi or Nadi-Suva, F$77.00 + F$25.00 surcharges = F$102.00;
  • Suva-Labasa or Labasa-Suva, F$93.00 + $25.00 surcharges = F$118.00.

Visitors from overseas may wish to book their domestic flights once they get to Nadi or Suva. Booking over the Internet from overseas is more expensive for the same flights.

Oceania Dance Theatre seeks dancers

The Oceania Dance Theatre is calling for passionate young talent to register for this year's upcoming projects in dance and drama. The theatre's intensive schedule aims to cater for the enhancement and development of the talented youth as well as to set and maintain high standards of performing arts within the local and regional communities. This year's schedule is a buildup to international tours and collaborations with overseas dance institutions later in the year. Details :
  • New recruitment registrations from 5 to 9 February 2007, at the Oceania Centre, USP, Laucala Bay, Suva;
  • Dance workshops from 12 February to 2 March 2007, 9am to 2pm each day.

Places are limited. For enquiries contact Ann on telephone +679 3232832, e-mail tarte_a@usp.ac.fj; or Allan on telephone +679 3232733 or e-mail alo_a@usp.ac.fj.

For accommodation, check out our two bedroom rental home through links at the right hand side of this blog. A discounted rate of F$600.00 per week is offered for bookings up to 30 April 2007.

Surving Global and Local Tourism Growth : USP Seminar

A seminar organised jointly by the Department of Tourism and Hospitality of the University of the South Pacific and the European Union is scheduled as follows :
  • Topic : Surviving Global and Local Tourism Growth with a Shrinking and Changing Workforce;
  • Presenter : Mr Anthony Brien - a seasoned hotel industry practitioner and manager of university hotel degree programs;
  • Date : Thursday, 8 February 2007;
  • Time : 6.30pm to 8.30pm;
  • Venue : Room S024 in the FBE Building, Ground Floor, USP.

The public lecture will review one of the industry's key strategic business partners - your workforce, and discusses the international challenge of recruiting and retaining the best staff. The presentation challenges the industry to 'think' about business success and sustainability pragmatically, in what could be termed as 'cooperatively working with, and competing for, their workforce partners'.

Mr Brien was a past Board Member and Director of the London based Hotel and Catering International Management Association and in his role of Academic Management and Senior Lectureships in hotel/hospitality degree programs at Auckland University of Technology, Oxford Brookes University (UK) and presently Lincoln University (NZ), he brings global thinking and information to the industry.

For further information, contact the Department of Tourism and Hospitality on telephone +679 3232107.

If you require affordable accommodation in Suva, check out our two bedroom rental home through links at the right hand side of this blog.

02 February, 2007

Upcoming Activities, Events and Accommodation in Suva (Updated 2.2.07)

The following events are scheduled for Suva:

One-off Events:

  • Kids Netball clinic, from 20 January 2007 for three months, age group categories are : 6-8 years; 9 to 11 years; and 12 to 14 years. (E-mail Alumeci on mecidv@yahoo.com for more information);
  • Oceania Hockey Qualifiers for Olympics, 2007 - time to be confirmed, Suva;
  • National Boxing Championship, from Wednesday, 31 January, to Friday, 2 February 2007, Raiwai Youth Hall, Raiwai, Suva;
  • FTIB Exporting to Canada Seminar, Friday, 2 February 2007, 8.30am to 10am, FTIB Boardroom, Level 6, Civic Tower, Suva;
  • Colonial Cup Rugby match between Suva Highlanders and Coastal Stallions, Friday, 2 February 2007, 6pm, Post Fiji Stadium, Laucala Bay, Suva;
  • Art classes for kids taken by Suva artist, Kathy Ogawa, Saturday, 3 February 2007, from 10am to 12pm and from 2pm to 4pm, The Homestay, Princess Road, Tamavua, Suva;
  • Fiji National Rugby League AGM, Saturday, 3 February 2007, from 10am, FASANOC headquarters, Bau Street, Flagstaff, Suva;
  • Colonial Cup Rugby match between Tailevu Knights and Crusaders, Saturday, 3 February 2007, 3pm, Ratu Cakobau Park, Nausori;
  • Suva Triathlon Meet, Sunday, 4 February 2007, from 6am, National Aquatic Centre, Laucala Bay, Suva;
  • Oceania Dance Theatre Recruitment of Dancers, 5 to 9 February 2007, Oceania Centre, USP, Laucala Bay, Suva;
  • Secretariat of the Pacific Community 60th Anniversary Celebrations, Open Day, Tuesday, 6 February, and Wednesday, 7 February 2007, Suva Civic Centre;
  • Seminar : Surviving Global and Local Tourism Growth with a Shrinking and Changing Workforce, by Mr Anthony Brien, Thursday, 8 February 2007, 6.30pm to 8.30pm, Room S024 in the FBE Building, Ground Floor, USP, Laucala Bay, Suva;
  • Oceania Dance Theatre Workshops, 12 February to 2 March 2007, 9am to 2pm each day, Oceania Centre, USP, Laucala Bay, Suva;
  • Queen Victoria School (QVS) International Sevens, 16 and 17 March, 2007, Post Fiji Stadium, Laucala Bay, Suva;
  • Art Display to coincide with the Double Dialogues conference, 4 to 10 July 2007, Suva;
  • Suva Hibiscus Festival, 17 to 25 August 2007, Albert Park, Suva;
  • Oceania Women's Hockey Qualifiers for 2008 Olympic Games, from 10 September 2007, Suva;
  • 18th Hobbie 16 World Championship, 10 to 20 October 2007, Suva & Pacific Harbour;
  • Queen Victoria School's 100th Anniversary Celebrations, November 2007.

Recurring Events:

  • Fiji Museum displays, daily at The Fiji Museum, Suva;
  • Taekwondo classes, Mondays and Wednesdays, 4pm to 5.30pm - Junior class, 5.30pm to 7pm - Senior class, Suva Civic Centre;
  • Suva Orchid and Horticultural Group Meeting, from 5.30pm, every first Monday of the month, Wesley Church, Butt Street, Suva;
  • Stormy Monday Blues Night, Mondays, from 9pm, Golden Dragon Nightclub, Victoria Parade;
  • Rasta Tuesday, from 9pm, Tuesdays, Golden Dragon Nightclub, Suva;
  • Jazz at the Holiday Inn, every Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, 6pm to 10pm, Holiday Inn;
  • Rucksack Club Meeting, every second Wednesday of the month, from 6.45pm, St Andrew's Church Hall, Suva;
  • Alternate Rock, every Wednesdays, from 9pm, Golden Dragon Nightclub, Victoria Parade, Suva;
  • 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;
  • SideStep, every last Saturday of the month, 9pm to close, Traps Upstairs Lounge, Victoria Parade;
  • Arts Village Firewalking Show, starts 11am, every Saturday, Grandstand, Arts Village, Pacific Harbour;
  • The Roc Market, every third Sunday of the month, The Roc, Dolphins Plaza, Victoria Parade, Suva;
  • Wai Tui Cycles Ride, every Sundays, from 6am, start at Wai Tui Cycles, Garden City, Raiwai, Suva;
  • Sunday Church Services, 8am or 10.45am, Wesley Church, Butt Street;
  • Jazz by the Beach, Sundays, 1pm to 5pm, Pearl South Pacific, Pacific Harbour.

For accommodation for any events, please check out a two bedroom rental home with seaviews in Suva on links at the right hand side of this blog or contact telephone (679) 3396427, (679) 9921427 or e-mail gilbert@connect.com.fj directly.

A special rate of F$600.00 per week (or a discount of 40% off our normal rates) is offered for all bookings up to 30 April 2007. Those that wish to have their events included can contact me on the e-mail address provided above.

Art Classes for Kids

Suva artist, Kathy Ogawa, will be taking art classes for kids on Saturday, 3 February 2007, from 10am to 12pm and from 2pm to 4pm at The Homestay, Princess Road, Tamavua, Suva. The sessions for kids, aged between five and fourteen, will cover arts and crafts lessons with a juice and cookie break in-between. Fees are F$10.00 per session with each session limited to 12 children. For more information, contact Kathy on telephones +679 3370395 or +679 9943206 or email kathy_fiji@yahoo.com.

More rigorous sales pursued by furniture dealers

People would have noticed the more rigorous sales pitch on TV being done by our furniture dealers. Whilst citizens would not have much spare cash to splurge on furniture these days, they are being attracted by techniques being bandied about such as just paying F$1.00 and you can enjoy the luxury of a sofa seat that costs over F$2,000.00. It is interesting also that most of the furniture being promoted are all imported. Where are our locally produced furniture. Yes, there are those ones from Pacific Green which are made of coconut fibre but whose prices are really beyond the reach of the ordinary citizens and there are those from Mahogany Industries of Fiji. Incidentally, mahogany furniture which costs less than coconut furniture, a very durable and aesthetically pleasing. Mahogany also makes very good outdoor furniture as they stand well in the rain or sun. If you want to check out some of the range offered by Mahogany Industries Fiji Limited, visit their website http://www.mahoganyindustries.com/. We also hope that more local industry would be set up that would promote our local designs.

Suva boy dies in plane crash

A Suva resident, Frederick Mitchell Jr, died after the plane that he was piloting crashed into the hills outside Lautoka yesterday. A picture of Frederick and the crash scene taken from the Fiji Times today is shown above. Frederick was 21 and had just graduated with his pilot's licence in December 2005. He was a well known face on Fiji TV after being captured on some of their advertisements as a model when he was still at high school. Frederick attended Dudley High School and did his pilot training at one of the aviation schools in Nadi. To the Mitchell family, we extend our condolences at the loss of a young life and wish God's peace be with you all at this time.

01 February, 2007

Highest daily readership of the blog recorded on 31 Jan 2007

Readership of this blog has picked up again after the events of early December 2006. The highest daily readership (since Google Analytics statistics was enabled) was recorded yesterday, 31 January 2007. It was 83. Before that, the highest daily readership this year was 57 which was recorded on 9 January. In December, highest daily readership was 58 on 14 December with readership dropping after that and into the later part of December. Total readership for the months were as follows :
  • December 2006 - 767 visits of which the top 10 countries were : Fiji, 208; Australia, 144; United States, 125; United Kingdom, 59; New Zealand, 44; Canada, 26; Cote D'Ivoire, 17; France, 13; India, 11; and Togo, 10;
  • January 2007 - 788 visits of which the top 10 countries were : Fiji, 225; United States, 145; Australia, 117; New Zealand, 61; United Kingdom, 49; Canada, 30; Nigeria, 15; Cote D'Ivoire, 15; India, 12; and Switzerland, 9.

Other points to note :

  • Readers from the United States overtook those we have from Australia in January and are the second highest from any country after Fiji;
  • Readers from New Zealand overtook those from the United Kingdom in January, becoming the fourth highest from any country;
  • Total readership for the month of January 2007 has exceeded that recorded for December 2006;
  • Most of our readers are from Fiji (and from Suva), which means that this blog does have a good chance of advertising events and activities scheduled in Suva;
  • The rise in readership of a blog promoting Suva may substantiate a post made earlier that tourists have begun to show interest again in visiting Suva, or Fiji for that matter.

For those activities and events organisers who wish to advertise their events on this blog, send me your details by e-mail to gilbert@connect.com.fj or call telephones +679 3396427 or +679 9921427.

Cruise ships come to Suva

Things must be almost back to normal again with 8 cruise ships being expected in Suva this week. Tourist numbers went down after the events of 5 December 2006, however, with the rigorous marketing efforts by the Tourism Action Group and the Fiji Visitors Bureau, tourist numbers are beginning to rise again. Most operators have offered discounts of up to 40% off their normal rates in efforts to attract tourists. Suva's weather has been bright and sunny for the last few days and is expected to remain so for a while (read earlier post on weather forecast). We therefore hope that those tourists and anyone who finds their way to Suva will enjoy their stay. While you are here, you may wish to check out the following places :
  • the Suva Bus Terminal;
  • the Suva Flea Market (opposite the Bus Terminal) for handicrafts, sarongs and other items;
  • the Suva Municipal Market (next to the Bus Terminal) for fresh fruits;
  • the Suva Handicraft Centre (along the seawall and behind the Suva General Post Office) for assorted handicraft items;
  • the Fiji Museum (on the other side of Albert Park) for its historical collection and art galleries;
  • Thurston Gardens (next to the Fiji Museum) which forms a large part of Suva's history;
  • a view of Government House (along Queen Elizabeth Drive and next to the Fiji Museum and Thurston Gardens) where the President lives;
  • the Great Council of Chiefs complex just down the road from Government House (with its "bure" structure);
  • Parliament House (along Ratu Sukuna Road) with its traditional structure using modern building items and the scene of so much activity in our history.

There are many other places to visit in Suva if you have the time.

Note from GV : For those that wish to stay for a few days in Suva, check out our two bedroom rental home through links at the right hand side of this blog. The discounted rate is now F$600.00 per week and will run until end April 2007. To contact us, e-mail gilbert@connect.com.fj or call telephone +679 3396427.

IRB Wellington 7s starts Friday

The IRB Wellington 7s Rugby Tournament starts midday Friday, 2 February 2007, with games relayed live on Fiji TV. Fiji is defending champions having won the tournament last year. Earlier, the NZ Sports Minister said that there will be no official welcome for the teams given that Fiji was participating and to reflect NZ's official position regarding the Interim Government. I might say, however, that it does look to have been a good psychological tactic being played by NZ. We hope that our boys will not be demoralised and that they will rise up to the challenge. Go Fiji!

Colonial Cup Rugby Tournament starts

The Colonial Cup Rugby Tournament starts tomorrow, Friday, 2 February 2007, with a match between the Suva Highlanders and the Coastal Stallions. The game will be played at the Post Fiji Stadium, Laucala Bay, Suva, and will start at 6pm. On Saturday, the Tailevu Knights will take on the Crusaders (of Nadi/Lautoka) at 3pm, Ratu Cakobau Park, Nausori. If you are free, this will provide you an opportunity to watch our rugby talent as they prepare for the 2007 Rugby World Cup in France.