2006/07/29

Flowers Fit For A Queen

I want to share a comment that NZM of the blog "M and J Adventures" made today regarding my June 30th post about the Tagimaucia flower, as it captures her personal recollection of a slice of Fiji history. NZM was born in Fiji and lived there until age 15. She is presently living in Dubai. Give her blog a visit (just click on the name above) and say "Bula".

Without further ado, here is NZM's comment:

"Whenever the Queen came to Fiji, she was always gifted with a bouquet of Tagimaucia.

I can remember one occasion when she came into Suva on the Royal Yacht Britannia. In those days, you could drive onto the wharf without any hassle - we always used to go there on our Sunday drives!

On the night that the Queen was due to leave Fiji on the Britannia, we were on the wharf with scores of other people to see her go.

She arrived in her Rolls Royce, and walked up the gangway, turning to wave at all of us who were cheering on the dock. In her arms, she had the most amazing bouquet of Tagimaucia.

Then she went up on deck, her Rolls was lifted on board, the ropes were cast off, and the Britannia sailed out of Suva Harbour with the Queen and Prince Philip not going inside until we could hardly see them anymore."

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This first day cover from Fiji Post commemorates the Royal Visit of 1977. The stamp shows a Fijian girl presenting Queen Elizabeth II with a bouquet of tagimaucia. The Royal Yacht Britannia is featured on the envelope. The Queen has visited Fiji many times starting in the first year of her reign, 1953.

Thanks for sharing that memory with us, NZM!

7 comments:

nzm said...

Great find! Thanks for posting it! We left Fiji for NZ in 1976, so it was definitely one of her earlier visits when we went to the wharf. I think that Princess Anne was also with her parents on that occasion.

BTW - I'm a she not a he! No offence taken, because there was none intended! lol.

Pandabonium said...

Oops! Sorry about that NZM. Don't know why I made that assumption. Duly noted and corrected in the post. :^O

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

What amazing connections are made on the internet by bloggers. NZM visited our babasiga blog also! The first time I ever heard of Fiji was when the Queen visited Australia, New Zealand and Fiji in the 50s. There were coloured pictures in the Women's Weekly that I cut up and pasted in a book. I was obsessed by the Royal Family as a kid. Not so much these days! Ha ha.
Wendy

nzm said...

Well of course, being an offspring of Colonial blood (father born in Fiji, mother in India), I was a fan of royalty too. We always went to see them when they visited Suva - standing for hours in Albert Park and on Queen Elizabeth Drive just to see them drive past and wave!

Same as you Wendy - not so much a fan anymore!

My grandfather was invited to London for the coronation of George VI in the 1930s because he was in the Fiji Post Office. We have a very spiffy photo of him taken in his top hat and tails! It took him 12 weeks to get to London and back by boat!

Pandabonium said...

One of my ancestors fought in the American revolutionary war, and I've never had much use for royalty. But I find different cultures, customs and history always fascinating.

Robin said...

hmmmm nice first day cover.. are you a collector of stamps too?

Pandabonium said...

I used to be Robin, but I gave my collection to my two daughters when I left Hawaii.

I found this picture of a "first day cover" on eBay of all places.