Sketches of Fiji is a personal memoir that tells of the author's life as a local European growing up in a depressed suburb of Fiji's capital city, Suva in the dying days of British Colonial rule, attending Fijian schools and living a free and open life. He experienced at first-hand the dichotomy of being a local Fiji European in a British Colonial society ruled by expatriates.
The book looks at Fiji's independence from Colonial rule through those local European eyes, describes the political adolescence post independence, and the impact of the 1987 military coups. It is personal record of the national rebuilding thereafter, and of the leading role the author played in that rebuilding as the Chief Executive of the National Airline.
The book covers the author's early years as an aircraft engineer with Fiji Airways during a pioneering time in Pacific aviation; of hurricanes and engine changes on tiny Pacific atolls and of the relationships that developed between the crews and the people of those isolated islands.
It speaks of his time as CEO of Fiji's Blue Lagoon Cruises taking visitors to the remote, and beautiful, Yasawa islands; and of the complexity of balancing tourism with communal village life.
He was appointed CEO of Air Pacific (now again Fiji Airways), at the time of the 1987 military coups. Despite the social, political and economic turmoil of those times, he and his executive team took the Airline from the largest financial loss in the history of Fiji to more than ten years of profitability, moved the entire company from Suva to Nadi, and built the international airline it has become. Placing that on record is the central reason for the book
This is a unique record of Fiji's tumultuous history in the final half of the 20th Century as seen through the eyes of a local European who played a significant part in that history.
Sketches of Fiji
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