On October 9, 2013 we attended a party organized by the Service Center employees. The theme was Fiji Independence Day. We all enjoyed a wonderful program put on by the staff. I work with Mili (to the right) all the time. She always has that big beautiful smile on her face and is so cooperative and helpful when I have financial problems to solve for the mission.Venina and Shivi also offer service with a smile.
During the evening the Master of Ceremonies asked trivia questions about the history of Fiji. I learned so much and it was fun. The staff were very knowledgeable about their beloved Fiji. Did you know that on 10 October 1896 Fiji village chiefs ceded the island to Queen Victoria to be under British rule? Then 96 years later to the day (10 October 1970) it accepted a democratic system of constitutional parliamentary government. That independence remains a great source of pride and joy to all Fiji citizens.
We all sang the Fiji National Anthem. Here are the words:
Blessing grant oh God of nations on the isles of Fiji
As we stand united under noble banner blue.
And we honor and defend the cause of freedom ever
Onward march together God bless Fiji.
Chorus: For Fiji, ever Fiji, let our voices ring with pride.
For Fiji ever Fiji her name hail far and wide,
A land of freedom, hope and glory to endure what ever befall.
May God Bless Fiji forever more!
Blessing grant oh God of nations on the isles of Fiji.
Shores of golden sand and sunshine, happiness and song
Stand united, we of Fiji, fame and glory ever
Onward march together, God bless Fiji.
These ladies are having so much fun dancing together. There is Mili on the left. Next is Anna who is on our housekeeping staff along with Kara on the far right. Milika worked in the distribution center and now is the receptionist. The other woman handles all the utility payments for our churches and schools in Fiji. Closest to the camera are President and Sister Seru of our Suva North Stake. He is a dynamic and energetic leader. I love to hear him preach a sermon. He is passionate in leading the members of his stake in truth and righteousness.
Fun Fiji Facts
Fiji is an island nation in Melanesia in the South Pacific Ocean. Its closet neighbors are Vanuatu to the west, France's New Caledonia to the southwest, New Zealand's Kermadec to the southeast, Tonga to the east, the Samoas, France's Wallis and Futuna to the northeast, and Tuvalu to the north. It is due west of the northern part of Australia. It has been inhabited since second millennium BC. The main island of the republic is named Viti Levu with the next largest island called Vanua Levu.
The estimated population of the country is 849,000 or about twice as many as the city of Mesa, Arizona where I come from. The total area is 7,056 square miles. In comparison, my home-state of Arizona is 114,000 square miles which is 16 times larger. Maricopa County where I live in Mesa is the 14th largest county in the U.S.A. It is 9,224 square miles or about 30% larger than all of Fiji. Fiji has a high literacy rate of 93%. Education is compulsory and free till the age of 16.