Over 1400 people walked through the Fiji Museum to be part of its Open Day and to celebrate “International Archives Day”. The three month old programme, an initiative of the Minister of Education has seen a steady increase in the number of visitors since its inception in April of this year.
Chief Guest for the day was His Excellency British High Commissioner Roderick Drummond accompanied by his wife. Also present at the event was His Excellency French Ambassador Michael Djokovic and his wife, Kiribati High Commissioner Reteta Mikuata Rimon and His Excellency New Zealand High Commissioner Mark Ramsden.
Students from various schools from as far as Queen Victoria School in Tailevu were treated to entertainment from groups such as Vou, Suva Multi Cultural Centre, Muanikoso Dance Group and Sigidrigi performances from Veivueti ni Voqa kei Nasau.
An official tour led by Director Archives followed soon after. To commemorate the special occasion, sections such as the Conservation Unit and the Microfilm Unit from the National Archives were there complete with conservation materials and microfilm camera and reader.
Each unit of the Archives provided support for the Open Day by displaying Archival Records, library materials, historical footage and photographs. Thematic displays introduced the items such as Infrastructure, Medical, Education, Armed Forces and Hibiscus. One of the popular areas was the genealogy search that could be conducted by descendants of Indian Immigrants.
Preparations began weeks earlier with staff identifying images, footage and archival materials to go on display. The culmination of the event saw visitor upon visitor being assisted, given advice and thoroughly enjoying the event.
One regular visitor to the previous two Open Days was Mr Robin Yarrow currently the National Trust of Fiji Board Chairman. He commended the organizing committee for day’s event saying it was the best to date.
“There was a broad range of participating organizations plus interesting activities and moreover the weather was very good. Importantly, the attendance was excellent, particularly of young people and possibly exceeded expectations.