Staff of Extension Services USP Suva 1985
I had the privilege of serving as Coordinator of Course Development in what was then Extension Services (it has now become the Centre for Flexible Education) of the University of the South Pacific in Suva, Fiji, 1983-1985. Only days before I left to return to Western Australia (and Murdoch University) I bought a (Nikon FM) camera and raced around the offices and took photos of everyone I could find, because I realised that I really cared about all these wonderful people, and that I would probably never see them again.
In fact, I did get back to USP for a conference in 1999, and met a few of them again briefly. I believe at least four are still with the CFL nearly twenty-five years later.
There are a few people whose photos are not here, simply because they weren't there during the two days I was snapping away: John Sommerhauser had left USP, to return to California. I missed the lovely lady in the audio studio, Naomi Rakuita, and I did not photograph course developers Joan Teaiwa and Ruby Va'a, nor senior administrator Filimone Fifita. I did not have the courage to ask the Director, Marjorie Crocombe OBE, if I could take her photo.
I should also confess that I have forgotten a few names, and cannot find them in the souvenirs I've kept. So I apologise for that, and also for any mistakes I've made below. I hope people will correct them, and also ask me to take photos down if they feel that it's inappropriate for me to have put them up. I know that at least one person pictured is no longer with us, as I was told in 1999 that Jo Daniva, great guy, is deceased.
My two years in Fiji were definitely the two best of my life: no contest. And that is partly down to the fine people I had the pleasure of working with.
Ivan Williams, Head of Distance Education, and my immediate boss: the best person you can imagine working for
Eni Ramere, HDE's secretary, now with the Centre for Flexible Learning
Asenaca Osborne, Secretary to the Director of Extension Services, Marjorie Crocombe OBE.
Som Naidu, Course Developer (now Associate Professor and Director, Teaching & Learning Quality Enhancement and Evaluation Services, Learning and Teaching Services, Charles Sturt University, Bathurst NSW)
Eileen Tuimaleali'ifano, Course Developer (later Coordinator of Course Development, ES) later still with Student Learning Support, CDFL
Kesaia Matanimeke, secretary to the Head of Continuing Education, Emiliana Afeaki
Kesaia at her desk
Sheila Baledrokadroka, secretary to the Coordinator of Course Development
Jessie Leong, TV producer
Ewedd-Kid Kulatea, Technical Officer (Satellite)
Kid and his assistant Prakash working on the satellite antenna aimed at the former American weather satellite Peacesat
Georgina Wilson, Media Assistant, Satellite Studio. Georgina was prolly photographed more than anyone else, as she was usually in control of the Satellite Studio, which was the most interesting area of Extension Services to photograph. When I visited in 1999, she was still running the Studio, tho in the new building.
Georgina showing her good nature
Verbena Miller, the other Media Assistant
Another shot of Verbena, with a young relly of hers
One of the two graphic artists, Gyan. The other was the late Jan Prasad, of whom I have no photo.
Sylvia Rupeni, administrator of materials despatch
Viliame 'Alofi, Admin Assistant
Sailasa Ratumaiyale, Records Officer. I believe Sai is still with USP.
Taina Colawai, typist
Nisha Dean, typist
The late Josefa Daniva, despatch clerk, and a good man, as you can see
Savenaca Ravono, despatch clerk, who was still with CFL in 1999
This good-humoured lady is the late Penerope Faktaurere.
I suppose I should finish with one of the CCD: not taken at my desk, but in our garden with my daughter and the lovely lady who helped us in the house, Mere Kalou (nee Vitokai, I think) from Kadavu. I think I was dressed up for my fortieth birthday in November 1983, so this photo was taken two years before those above.
Mere was born in the same year as me. I haven't heard anything about her since we left in October 1985, with everyone in tears. I hope she's well.
New: 27 November, 2009 | Now: 3 June, 2013 | garrygillard [at] gmail.com