Caption: Banaban anniversary in Lautoka. Photo: DEPTFO.
Fijians of Banaban descent celebrated the 69th anniversary of the arrival of the first Banabans to Rabi in 1945 and spent the day reflecting of the progress they have made on foreign soil then but now their home.
The Hon. Minister for Youth and Sports Laisenia Tuitubou was chief guest at the celebrations in Lautoka on Monday, December 15, bringing together Banabans from the whole division to the Sugar City.
The Hon. Minister said the Fijian government acknowledged the immense contribution of the Banaban people to the Fijian community and the economy.
“Your contributions to the Fiji community and economy couldn’t go unnoticed and on behalf of the Fijian Government, I wish to acknowledge your presence in Fiji, you are very much part of Fiji’s multiracial society,” he said.
“We are all Fijians now and that is your right under the Constitution. As you’re aware of in 2005, more than 500 Rabians were granted citizenship nearly after sixty years of their arrival,” Hon Tuitubou added.
“Government in the past eight years have included Rabi Island in most of its development plans. This will continue into the future. As citizens of Fiji, you will continue to enjoy our freedom and the services provided by Government in every form.”