Thinking of Once was the Heyday of Respectability

In an earlier blog published on 17.04.10: ‘Dravuni victorious at the Canoe Race during HM Queen Elizabeth’s Coronation Visit 1953’, I had marveled at the beauty and the picturesqueness of the largest number of outrigger canoes from Kadavu (similar to those pictured) that I had ever seen, when they were setting sail for Suva on that fine December morning after over-nighting on Dravuni.

These outrigger canoes were to provide part of the floating flotilla to greet the newly-crowned Queen Elizabeth II when she arrived on her royal yacht. I had speculated then that if that compelling picture had been captured on canvas by an artist, it would have lent itself as a masterpiece – in my book. That was a first impression.

I have a second impression. This is to do with what can be interpreted as the munificence which that picture depicts and which points directly to the people’s ready response to the clarion call by the authority to national duty. However, this impression has developed and evolved over the years, obviously fueled and enhanced by my growing awareness of cultural and traditional sensibilities and how these have inevitably transformed overtime as my cultures and tradition age and respond to the debilitating challenges of modernity and globalization.

I will reflect on the latter impression in my next contribution under Reflections.

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