1937: Decline of copra and Levuka port economy of network of individual planters and traders

Planters and traders in isolated islands are models of hospitality and cheeriness. I cannot remember in my many travels among them any unpleasant interlude. To-day they constitute a brave lot, fighting with their backs to the wall against a cruel fate that allows huge European combines to make excessive profits while they, the primary producers, are getting further and further involved–the result of this age of economic incongruities. Down, down, down the copra market has fallen, and with it many beautiful tropic homes are going into dilapidation, and their one-time owners are becoming worried spectres of their old cheery selves, reported Levuka Days of a Parson in Polynesia, by C. W. Whonsbon-Aston London: Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, 1937.

Usually a sober lot: Fiji is a British Crown Colony, and its white inhabitants conform for the most part to decently high standards. The truth that England is becoming more temperate by disposition rather than by legislation of a drastic nature is exemplified here. Although I have been a member of most men’s organisations in Fiji, I have seldom seen any cases of excessive drinking.

“A group of really genuine good fellows”;The Civil Service consists on the whole of a group of really genuine good fellows. It is no easy matter for a young man to arrive in a country so far from his home, into an atmosphere so different from what he has been accustomed to, and settle down to new conditions.

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