Get Across the Magic Line: Growing Up in Fiji PDF

By Patricia Page

ISBN-10: 1740760484

ISBN-13: 9781740760485

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Additional info for Across the Magic Line: Growing Up in Fiji

Example text

In spite of his dashing uniform he was a cosy king. He gave out prizes on school speech days. His presence graced sporting events and ceremonies held at Albert Park. He was there the day the Fijians marched away to war. All of Suva — some had been waiting since dawn — lined Victoria Parade to see them go by in full battle-dress, their rifles on their shoulders, their bayonets flashing in the sun. There were cheers, screams, shouts. Confetti and streamers swirled in the air. Some people were crying — bystanders and troops alike.

It seemed Fiji would be next. American soldiers flooded into Suva: partly to be there ready for the invasion and partly to find respite from the fighting elsewhere. In February 1942 a wonderful thing happened: the schools were closed down. A blissful time followed. Outdoor days of endless play. Off came my shoes. Whenever I could, I went barefoot like most of the children, whatever race. Suva became one big playground. In those days its buildings were scattered. There were vacant blocks everywhere.

I’d changed by the time I was the eleven-year-old diary keeper. I’d become a prudent and fearful child. On the reef visit I was scared of the sea slugs that blocked my passage back to shore and shouted until my mother came and led me through them. A grasshopper got in the car and I yelled until it was taken Across the Magic Line 47 out. My father wanted me to help him catch whitebait with pieces of my clothing and I refused. The fearless little friend of rats and hornets was gone for ever. I was by then a squealy preadolescent.

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Across the Magic Line: Growing Up in Fiji by Patricia Page

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