DON BOSCO ARRIVES IN THE CANNIBAL ISLES

Bilibili-making (bamboo rafts)

FIJI

Fiji - the word conjures up a raft of images: resorts and beaches for the hedonists or, to be fair, for those deserving some rest and relaxation in the holiday of a lifetime; for those with an eye to history and a touch of romanticism, it could be the ‘Cannibal Isles’ which come to mind, and the image of Cap’n Bligh scooting through the straits with the dark, scruffy descendants of Ham in hot pursuit (the Mormons regard the Melanesians, Micronesians and Polynesians as descendants of the ancient tribes of Israel).

The area where Bligh passed through the Fiji Islands

A NEW IMAGE

Now there is a new image of Fiji, at least for the Salesians, most of them denizens of the Pacific Islands already but destined now to make Fiji their home for some time.  naming of a school, came permanently and very visibly to Fiji from January 1st 1999. Initially this presence has been a Formation Community, as young Pacifican Salesians pursue their theological and secular studies in several institutions around Suva.

BEGINNINGS

The Salesians are grateful  for the support of the Marist Brothers who leased their property and buildings in the suburb of Vatuwaqa (pronounced Vahtoowongga), outside Suva, just so the Salesians could begin in adequate circumstances for their large initial group. . Located close by the Pacific Regional Seminary, and immediately attached to a Catholic (Marist) Primary school, and not far from any number of schools and gathering places for young people, The Marcellin Centre was renamed Don Bosco House for the period of  occupancy. The University of the South Pacific’s central campus (central to twelve nations) was just down the road.-- But  since the year 2000 the Salesians have their very own residence at Nakasi, in Nausori parish.

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