Abraham Lincoln. The 16th President by Josh Gregory

By Josh Gregory

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The wishes of the community should be ascertained through the polls at the coming elections when our community has decided to make the question of franchise and nomination the main issue of the campaign. Knowing as we do the mind of our community, we have no doubt that an overwhelming majority of voters favour a system of franchise. Six months or a year more is but a moment in the history of any country. There is no urgency to effect any change in haste. ‘Haste is waste’ may be a common saying but it contains nuggets of wisdom which are not unworthy of being carefully considered.

If the European community came here as a result of a voluntary contract contained in the Deed of Cession, my people also came here under a similar contract and a similar promise and that promise was given by the Imperial Government with the consent of the Fijian people, that those Indians who came here would have rights no whit inferior to those enjoyed by other subjects of His Majesty. Thus three races were thrown together by destiny and by the logic of history. It stands to the credit of all the three races that all of them so far have worked and co-operated and made this paradise of the Pacific that is Fiji.

There was a desire on their part to secure the promotion of Civilization and Christianity, and of increasing trade and industry within these islands. The second desire was that there should be order and good Government established in this Colony. Prompted by these two desires the ancestors of my honourable Fijian colleagues placed the sovereignty of these islands into British hands, and this sovereignty was tendered, as the preamble says, unconditionally. We might go back into the history of over 70 years’ British rule in this Colony and examine whether these desires of the Fijian people have been fulfilled.

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