Dignitaries, alumni, students, and well-wishers gathered at the Queen Victoria School in Tailevu yesterday to mark the 70th-anniversary of the school.
His Excellency the President Ratu Wiliame Maivalili Katonivere officiated at the event and delivered a powerful speech.
He emphasized the school’s significant history, commendable accomplishments, and the critical role of its legacy.
Addressing the gathering, including Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka and other respected guests, President Katonivere expressed his gratitude to the students for their exceptional performance of the full Fijian traditional ceremony, showcasing their deep knowledge and expertise.
The President recognized the pivotal role that QVS has played in nurturing Fiji’s future leaders for the past 70 years, emphasizing the school’s original vision, which dates back to 1953 when Ratu Sir Lala Sukuna founded QVS to prepare the sons of iTaukei chiefs for traditional leadership roles within the indigenous community.
“The theme for this celebration is ‘Recognizing the Past, Celebrating the Present, and Affirming the Future.’ Queen Victoria School was founded with a noble purpose – to prepare the sons of iTaukei chiefs for their traditional leadership roles within the indigenous community.”
President Katonivere highlighted the pivotal role QVS played during Fiji’s independence in 1970, preparing the iTaukei community for self-determination and self-governance, and praised the institution for becoming a symbol of academic excellence, sporting achievements, and cultural diversity, with its alumni making significant contributions both locally and internationally.
“The success of Queen Victoria School can be attributed to the dedication of its principals, the hard work of its staff and teachers, and the commitment of parents, guardians, and students. The core values instilled in QVS students – discipline, respect, and integrity – have shaped them into responsible citizens and leaders of tomorrow.”
“Today, I urge the students to stay committed to their studies, dream big, and create their own legacies while upholding the motto of this institution – Floreat Viti.”
“As we reflect on the past 70 years, let us acknowledge the challenges Queen Victoria School has faced and overcome, demonstrating resilience and determination. Today, I urge the students to stay committed to their studies, dream big, and create their own legacies while upholding the motto of this institution – Floreat Viti.”
“Let us, as a community, continue to support and invest in the school, ensuring that it evolves with the changing needs of education while preserving its core values,” said His Excellency.
“The 70th anniversary of Queen Victoria School is a momentous occasion that calls for celebration and reflection. Let us honor the legacy of this institution, celebrate its achievements, and reaffirm our commitment to its continued success,” he added.
The history of Queen Victoria School dates back to 1879 when the Bose Levu Vakaturaga authorized the creation of a school for the children of chiefs aged 12 to 16. In 1883, classes officially commenced in Yanawai, with 130 students, making it the colony’s first Government school.
The school was initially located in various places such as Naikorokoro in Veisari and Lodoni before finally settling at Matavatucou in 1952. Its 70th anniversary is celebrated in its current location in Tailevu.