Letters to the Editor
Fiji Times Saturday, June 13, 2009
Reading Fiji Youth (FT 7/6) my mind goes back to my youth 1937 and onward at Walu Bay.
Our home was situated behind the Bali Hai and the Phoenix Theatre.
Behind our home was Tom Blakelock.
There used to be a path up to the neighbours at the back.
Opposite our home was Fred Mahabir and family and behind them was Bernard and Olive Wakeham and family.
On the same side just over the hill with steps cutting through soapstone was Martin Wilder and his family and next to their home was Willie Wilder and family they were brothers.
Below the Martin Wilder home was Harry Terry and before him Joe Florian lived in the same house.
By then the bypass road (Edinburgh Drive now) was completed.
A path led up to the Wilder’s house dividing Terry’s home and Red Swan’s family.
Next to them were the Hamiltons and Enshaws and at the end of the lane were Jack Smith and family.
Reading Colin Deoki’s letter brought memories of growing up in a healthy environment.
Yes, we used to flatten out corrugated roofing iron and make tin boats in our front yard.
On Sundays we would paddle across Suva harbour and spend the day on Cave and Mosquito islands and paddle back following the shore with bundles of kake, brim and cod.
Yes, we plugged the holes with coal-tar and cloth and at times the patch would come off and I would be gazing into the clear blue water.
Some Sundays and school holidays we’d be out on the Nasese reef looking for black and yellow shells with Harold, Oliver and Desmond Singh.
Their parents were wonderful and kind people.
The experiences I related were wonderful, as was the playground on Sea Lark hill the old hospital hill.
Charles Whippy’s boat shed was beside the Walu Bay bridge (demolished).
KW March built a copra shed where Edinburgh House is today.
They had a shop in front of the shed and barracks at the back.
Their tenants were the Rounds family, Whippy family and Ah Tack family.
I wish there were more oldies in Suva who could have a reunion and relate the good old healthy days.
On Sundays we would walk up the cascades at Tamavua by the pumping station for a good swim and picnic and used to walk to Lami (which is now Qauia), at times to Suva Point and the list goes on.
And we dived off the Walu Bay bridge into unpolluted water.