The Fiji Association was born in the 1970's when the Labour Government of Prime Minister Norman Kirk commenced its policy to permit permanent settlement from among professionals from Fiji.

Cottage meetings were held in and around Mt. Roskill. The Foundation Committee of the Association met, contributed their own personal funds to set up a working group to oversee the writing up of a Constitution.

Following a public meeting held at the Edendale Primary School in Sandringham the Association was registered as an Incorporated Society.

Early successes included celebrating the 1979 International Year of the Child with sponsorship from the United Nations.

In 1979, an Essay Competition was offered to Fiji secondary schools to encourage the themes advanced by the United Nations. The winner was awarded a trip to New Zealand, where Mr. Ami Chand, a student from Labasa College attended secondary school at Auckland's De La Salle College for a term to experience life in a different community environment.

The Association commenced a radio program on Access Community Radio, with Mr. Pravindra Singh leading weekly slots at a time when there were no ethnic stations. It also ran movies on the large screens for members, courtesy of Damodar Brothers. In those days there was no video outlet offering Hindi movies. The Association's film presentations became social events with prolonged intervals where people met, shared snacks and news with each other. With the advent of videos, that project was closed, but is well remembered by many.

Over the years the Association has arranged many special events and ceremonies - such as officially welcoming The Queen on several occasions, the Head of State of Fiji, distinguished guests from India, including in 1986, welcoming the Prime Minister of India, Rt. Hon Rajiv Gandhi at Auckland International Airport. Three children - Shona, Ranija and Anokh - were selected by Prime Minister David Lange to accord a ceremonial welcome to Mr. Gandhi on the tarmac.

Sir Edmund Hillary's 50th anniversary of the assent of Mt Everest was celebrated by the Association, along with its 25th Jubilee in 2003, at Government House Auckland. Her Excellency Dame Silvia Cartwright had to absent herself in order to attend the State Funeral of the President of Nauru that day, so Sir Edmund Hillary "acted" as the vice regal representative for us, delighting members and friends, gathered for the special event.

The Association has presented many submissions to Commissions of Enquiries such as on Births, Deaths and Burials, Immigration, Education and a host of subjects. It has gifted special artifacts on memorable occasions – e.g., a specially embroidered ribbon for placement in the foyer of Parliament marking the opening of the new premises at the Beehive, a large Rajasthani brass and copper urn to the Waikumete Crematorium to mark its refurbishment and re dedication in 1990, and in 2006, the Association presented a 100 year old kauri tree trunk that was recovered from the sea and shaped into an ornate bench, to commemorate the Anniversary of the SS Syria's loss near Fiji. The bench was handed to Manukau Mayor Sir Barry Curtis. It has a permanent place in the foyer of the Manukau Memorial Garden Crematorium.

In 2006 the Association arranged a special function to honour Sir Anand Satyanand and Lady Susan Satyanand. Sir Anand became New Zealand's first Governor General of Fiji Indian descent. A traditional Fijian ceremony and a traditional Indian ceremony were presented including the presentation of a Tabua (Kamunaga) from Fiji.

*Above: The Committee welcomes Sir Anand Satyanand in 2006

The Association has hosted many distinguished Fiji leaders over the years - they include Governor General Ratu Sir Penaia Ganilau, Vice President Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi and the late Fiji President, Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara.

In 2009 the Association, supported by the New Zealand High Commission, Suva, offered an Essay Competition in Fiji secondary schools, to mark the 125th anniversary of the loss of the SS Syria. Adjudicators Lady June Hillary, QSM and Dr Satendra Singh, ONZM, QSM, JP marked essays and awarded thirty five winners cash prizes, trophies and certificates.

In 2010, to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Fiji's independence, an Essay Competition was launched, with support from the New Zealand High Commission. Cash prizes, trophies and certificates will again be presented at a special reception to be held at the New Zealand High Commission in Suva.

The Association offers many social events for members, such as theme dinner nights and arranges children’s events where families can participate. It also distributes materials on various topics and books to local schools and libraries occasionally.

Over the past three decades the Association has helped many Fiji agencies in the aftermath of various cyclones, such as Eric, Hina, Nigel. Its assistance in the aftermath of Eric was nearly $100,000 worth of goods distributed to schools and agencies in the affected areas.

The Association operates on four aims - social, cultural, educational and sporting.

*Please note the images above remain the property of the Fiji Association in Auckland Inc. and cannot be used, reproduced or disseminated without prior written permission from the Fiji Association in Auckland Inc.

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