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QVS Ceremonies
Welcome  My first ceremony (22 Apr 1970) was for Ratu Penaia Ganilau - a big chief.  Master Netani was in charge of the arrangements.  Each Wednesday afternoon he would train some boys in the traditions.  One boy was the spokesman for the Ratu and he met the car at the drive entrance and then had to run the whole to the school where all the boys were assembled.  The performers were dressed in tradional garb and seated around a tanoa.  The staff were seated on the portico.  I was in the front row as a representative of the USA.  A boy made the welcoming speech and Ratu's boy made the proper reply.  Then we went through a series of offerings, a tanoa (whale's tooth), baskets of yams, casava, dalo, a pig and a large yaqona root.  Each item was accompanied by a speech saying how unworthy the item was, but please accept our humble offering; and each time the spokesman made the same speech thanking the school.
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Yaqona  The boys do a song/chant and to the rhythm of the chant a boy strains the saturated yaqona powder from the tanoa using a bunch of fibres.  At a dramatic break in the chant the fibre is exchanged for a new bunch.  While this is going on another boy pours water into the tanoa from a large stone jar.  This procedure is repeated many times.  All of sudden a boy dressed in ceremonial masi jumps up and produces a bilo, does a little jog and lowers himself on tippie toes to the tanoa.  Yaqona is poured into the bilo, he rises, turns and with arms outstretched walks to the guest of honor.  He pours the yaqona into Ratu's bilo, kneels in front and claps three times while the guest drinks it down in one go.  Everyone says "maca" when he has finished drinking.  Being a guest I also had a bilo to drink.  Once the yaqona was completed Ratu Ganilau made a speech in Fijian and English.  The boys completed the ceremonies with a sit down meke.
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Magiti  This is the traditional feast. At the end of the year each house puts on a magiti which in addition to the food speeches are made reflecting on the high and low points of the year. What makes it special is that it is the boys who do all of cooking, preparation and decorating. If you look carefully you see a bottle of Heinz catchup, which seems a little out of place.
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Prize Giving  Held at the end of the year in the Chapel. Principal gives a report, followed by a guest speaker (1972 - Ombudsman Justice M Tikaram)and the prizes (trophies and books) are awarded.    Prizes for 1972.