Memories of The Fijian Police


Back in 2006 Linda and I visited the UK for a ten days. tinyfijian policefigi

On the last day of our visit we stayed at a hotel near the airport awaiting our flight home the following morning. Whilst wandering around the hotel I noticed a group of men dressed in navy blue blazers with a distinctive badge of the breast pockets. Being a nosy type I asked one about the badge and the organization to which they belonged. I was amazed when I was told they were Fijian Police on a visit to the UK to compare policing policies. Talk about stirring memories Wow!!! I worked with the Fijian police on New Years Eve 1956. HMS Cockade  was on a good will visit to this amazing island on our way home from the 1956 Olympic Games in Australia. Good relations were important on these visits and as this was New Year Eve our Captain was concerned about his crew over doing the celebrations. Hence we sent a larger than usual Shore Patrol into the City of Suva and being on duty I was a part of that shore patrol. We gathered at the local police headquarters to join forces with the local police, and we were greeted most warmly. Out behind the station we were invited to sit on the grass in a circle. I was not sure what was coming next, and sadly I no longer recall the name of this ritual. In the centre of the circle a police officer past around this half coconut shell containing a mysterious liquid. Everyone sitting in the circle in turn drank from the shell while everyone else clapped, I was nervous not knowing what to expect, but surprisingly it tasted very good . Telling the the gentleman in London he knew immediately what I was talking about and named the ceremony. Sorry I have still forgotten, perhaps someone with a better memory than I will read this and tell us the correct title of this ceremony.One other notable thing from my visit was how everyone talked about Tiny the giant policeman who acted as an escort to Queen Elizabeth on her visit in 1954. I have posted a photo with a large police Sergeant standing in the background.I beleive this was Tiny, he was around seven feet tall but alas I never had the opportunity to meet him during our visit. New Years Eve went off without incident, we hauled a few drunken sailors back to the ship with the help of the police and their jeeps. I think overall we left the island of Fiji as we had found it!!! It was a grand visit and working with such a fine police force has always stay in my memories.

God Bless and keep reading

Please not;  this is my Blog for Wednesday, I’m posting it early because we are in the midst of a violent snow storm and the power is already flickering. Expecting 30 to 45 centimeters of snow, but also high winds gusting to 120 klms, drifts will be everywhere by morning and we will probably be in the dark!!!!

About irishroverpei

Author of "Lily & Me", "The Royal Navy & Me" and Chapter XXl Armageddon. Writer, blogger and RN Submariner, antique automobile enthusiast.
This entry was posted in 1956 Olympic Games, HMS Cockade, veterans and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Memories of The Fijian Police

  1. sunriseweb says:

    I remember that trip to the UK – that was the first time Karen and I met you guys! We were going over to Scotland and we ended up sitting next to you on the plane. After talking we discovered the PEI connection. Who would have thought we would attend church together, and become friends. Just another reminder that it is a small world indeed! That reminds me – I must get up west some time to pay you guys a visit… perhaps even sample a wee dram of Jamieson’s 🙂

    • irishroverpei says:

      Hi Brad good to hear from you,like me you are probably snowed in today. I think your chances of winning a seat this time around are excellent. Sorry I can’t vote for you from Abram Village but I doubt you will need it anyway. I realize the PC party colours are blue but I hope you might lean to a lighter shade of green/blue. We need action on pesticides with stronger rules, closer inspection of what are now supposed to be safe chemicals. The doubling the size of buffer zones. We do not need deep water wells, fracking or more patronage. Seniors need a break from provincial taxes, we presently have lowest provincial tax exemption in the nation. I see these issues as critically important if the Island is going to survive. You have two lovely young children and I’m sure you want to protect their health and their future here on this beautiful island. There Brad that would have been my speech had you knocked on my door!!!Nevertheless once the election is over I would be delighted to sit with you and share a glass of Irish, probably not Jamiesons, rather Blackbush, Ireland’s oldest and finest.
      Slainte Ben

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