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Fiji Text With digital objects
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Slides and photographs of election campaigns during 1966 election in Fiji

  • AU PMB PHOTO 103
  • Collection
  • 1966

This collection of slides and photographs was taken by Robert Norton on his first research trip to Fiji, which took place during the 1966 Legislative Council elections campaigning.

The general Legislative Council elections were held in late 1966, just over a year after the first constitutional conference in London, and five years after the British government announced its plan to prepare Fiji for self-government.

The indigenous Fijian leaders were initially very anxious about this objective, viewing it as a threat to the protection they believed the Fijians had enjoyed under the colonial government’s policies, based in part, on the government’s interpretation of the Deed of Cession by which nearly 100 years before the leading chiefs had entrusted the islands to the British crown.

The Fiji Indians who in the 1960s were 51% of the population, and generally more advanced economically than the Fijians (43% of the population), looked favourably on the prospect of an end to colonial rule and their principal leaders called for a common franchise to replace communal (ethnic) political representation. The very influential but tiny European minority, concerned to preserve their longstanding privileged political representation, stood with the Fijians against radical constitutional change.

The 1966 elections were the first in which broadly-based political parties competed for a substantial power in the colonial parliament. The 1965 constitutional conference had changed the parliament (legislative council) from a council dominated by colonial officials appointed by the governor, to one dominated by elected representatives: 14 Indigenous Fijians, (2 elected by the Great Council of Chiefs), 12 Indians, 10 General electors (Europeans, Part-Europeans, Pacific islanders other than Fijians, and Chinese). The new constitution completed the expansion of the vote to a universal franchise, begun in 1963. Only four seats were reserved for colonial officials.

Most of the electorates remained ethnically defined, and all the seats remained ethnically reserved.

But overlaying the many communal electorates, were now three very large Cross Voting electorates covering the entire colony. They were multi-ethnic, made up from the communal electorates, and each had three reserved seats: Fijian, Indian, and General. The electors were entitled to four votes - one in their communal electorate, and three in their cross-voting electorate. Voting was not compulsory, and to cast a valid vote an elector need tick only the communal seat ballot paper if they wished. Communal seats numbered 9 Fijian, 9 Indian, and 7 General; there were 3 Fijian, 3 Indian, and 3 General cross-voting seats. Indigenous Fijians enjoyed additional representation by the two Council of Chiefs members of the parliament.

The intention of introducing the cross-voting electorates was to give people experience in supporting candidates of different ethnic identities from their own - a step, the British said, toward an eventual common franchise without reserved seats. It was hoped that political parties would each field candidates of different ethnicity, and that these would campaign together - the communal candidates assisting the campaigning of their cross-voting partners.

Some of the slides and photos illustrate this joint campaigning in western Viti Levu, by Fijian, Indian, and General candidates of the Alliance Party. All the pictures were taken on Viti Levu, Fiji’s major island.

The Alliance Party, whose main component body was the indigenous Fijian Association, won 22 seats (12 Fijian, 3 Indian, 7 General). The Federation Party (later the National Federation Party) secured only the 9 communal Indian seats; the party fielded only one non-Indian candidate, Fijian cane farmer Penaia Rokovuni (photos 48-54). Three General candidates were elected as independents.

References

Robert Norton 'Race and Politics in Fiji', University of Queensland Press, 1977, revised edition 1990

Roderick Alley 'The Emergence of Party Politics'. In 'Politics in Fiji' edited by Brij Lal, Allen & Unwin, 1986. Pp28-51

Norton, Robert (1944- )

Oceania Marist Province Archives

  • AU PMB OMPA
  • Collection
  • c.1817-c.1981

The Oceania Marist Province Archives Series (OMPA) is the result of a special project during which records of the Catholic Church in islands of the Western Pacific were copied by Father Theo B. Cook, SM in collaboration with the Pacific Manuscripts Bureau. (Cook was born Theodorus Bernardus Wilhelmus Kok but chose to go by the name Cook in Australia: Povey, 2010). The OMPA series covers the Diocese of Tonga (OMPA 1-25), Diocese of Samoa and Tokelau (OMPA 26-74), Marist Fathers, Rome (OMPA 80-100), Diocese of Wallis and Futuna (OMPA 101-126), Diocese of Port Vila (OMPA 127-178), Archdiocese of Noumea (OMPA 179-360) and the Oceania Marist Province Archives (OMPA 361-400).

Detailed indexes were prepared for the six diocese and those records copied in Rome. These can be found at http://asiapacific.anu.edu.au/pambu/collections/microfilm.php or compiled in The Catholic Church in the Western Pacific: a guide to records on microfilm (Robert Langdon, ed.), Canberra, 1986.

Oceania Marist Province Archives

Fiji photographs

  • AU PMB PHOTO 70
  • Collection
  • 2009

This collection of 54 photographs records a visit to Fiji in August 2009 by Bill Gammage. The visit was to see friends and look around. The photos were taken in Suva and around Viti Levu. PMBPhoto_101 complements these photos.
Subjects include Suva, Suva hinterland, Bau, Takalana Bay and Moon Reef, Tongan hill fort and views, Nausori Highlands and Bukuyu Village. The Sigatoka Sand Dunes and Mt Victoria (Mt Tomanivi) are also subjects.

Gammage, Bill

Extracts from the autobiography of William Diapea alias Cannibal Jack

  • AU PMB MS 1432
  • Collection
  • 1843 - 1847

William Diaper was born in Ardleigh, England on 11 November 1820. His parents died when he was young and in 1937, at the age of 16, he left England for Hobart Town on board the Joshua Carroll, using the alias John Jackson. He spent the remainder of his life as a beachcomber, living in, and travelling around the islands of the Pacific Ocean and neighbouring countries.

Diaper (spelled Diapea in this manuscript), who came to be known as Cannibal Jack, filled 19 copybooks with accounts of his life. This manuscript is books 9, 16 and 17 only; the remaining books were burned after his death. These three books were given to the Rev James Hadfield by Diaper in Mare, Loyalty Islands (New Caledonia) in 1889. They describe his life and travels in Fiji, Fortuna and Tonga, covering the period 1843-1847. The manuscript was not considered appropriate for public consumption until 1928, when it was published by Faber and Gwyer of London, albeit with the omission of one passage from this the original manuscript.

In these pages, Diaper gives his accounts of fights and other close encounters, observations of various cultural practices, trade of beche de mer, tortoiseshell and other commodities, Tongan communities in Fiji, absconded sailors, the volcano at Tonualei, tensions between traditional and Christian beliefs, pig farming and court cases, amongst other stories and observations.

He refers to places such as Ovalau, Monta, New Caledonia, Wallis Island, Manila, China, India, Horne Islands, Fortuna, Vanuau Levu, Cikobia, the Macuaca coast, Neteva Bay, Naviu, Udu Point, Taviuni, Somosomo, Lekeba, Ogea, Wacewace, Vatoa or Turtle Island, Hapai Islands, Komo, Moce, Tonga or the Friendly Islands, Tofua, Kaau islands, Tugua, Lefuka, Vavao, Niafu, Tonualei, Utue, Fonualea and other places.

He mentions plantations managers Mr M (R. Estate) and Mr E (Deumbea Estate), missionary Rev J Hunt, Bonavidogo, Tue Macuaca and his widow, George Rodney Birt, Proctor, Sam the King, King of Lomaloma, Tuecakau, Cakobau, C. Pickering, Dr Lythe, Chief Lua, Vuetasau, Mr and Mrs Calvert, Ratu Finau, Captain Bligh, Ande Litia, missionary Paula, Komo, Mara (half-brother of Cakobau), Uluqalala, Josiah alias Lauji, missionary Mr Webb, King George alias Tupo or Tuekanokopulu, missionary Mr Raborne, Miss Lepone, Master Joele, Mr J. Williams, old Joe, Netane, Utue, Maata, missionary Mr Turner, Old John, American whaler Powel, Robert Stevens, Captain Dillon/Chevalier Dillon and others.

Diaper, William

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