1859: Cakaobau “a great man”; conversion to Methodism gave Fiji peace

The Anglican Archdeacon of Polynesia said “I feel the greatest moment in the history of Fiji was the baptism of King Cakobau, in 1859, with the baptismal name of Ebenezer.
This was probably the finest thing he ever did, and one of the bravest pieces of witness ever to be recorded in Fiji. From various sources, both missionary and secular, and from men who knew him and told me of their contacts with King Cakobau, one gauges his great stature, the personal charm, the strength and sincerity, his sense of fun and humour. I have recently been rereading the account given by Williams in his Journal of the King’s baptism. The Wesleyan minister, Rev. Mr. Waterhouse, who administered baptism, had reported “The King addressed the assembly. It must have cost him many a struggle to stand up before his court, his ambassadors, and the flower of his people–and confess”. He was, without doubt, a great man, and this was the major “breakthrough” that gave Fiji peace.

Pacific Irishman, William Floyd Inaugural Memorial Lecture, given in Holy Trinity Anglican Cathedral Suva, Fiji, on August 28, 1970 by The Venerable C. W. Whonsbon-Aston Archdeacon Emeritus Vicar of Levuka, Fiji, 1931-34, Priest in Charge, Mukawa, New Guinea, 1934-39, Vicar of Viti Levu West, Fiji, 1939-43, Chaplain in Western Samoa, 1943-58 Archdeacon of Fiji and Vicar of Levuka, 1958-64, Archdeacon of Polynesia, 1963-67, Archdeacon Emeritus.

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