Mercy flight saves woman

A rescue mission in Pacific waters prior to July 1957. Picture: FILE

Thursday, July 25, 1957 radio messages seeking aid for seriously ill women – one on board a ship at sea and the other on Pitcairn Island – flashed across the South Pacific for a few days.

Radio receivers in Fiji picked up the messages and Royal Navy, merchant ships, RNZAF planes and medical personnel were alerted in dramatic attempts to bring assistance to the two women.

The Fiji Times reported on Thursday, July 25, 1964, both women were in satisfactory condition.

One of the women, Ms Margaret, a 29-year-old Melbourne nurse, arrived in Suva after a 580-mile mercy flight from the 10,000-tonne United States cargo ship, Sonoma, anchored off Funafuti in the Gilbert and Ellis Island.

Ms Margaret had been taken ill on the ship with suspected acute appendicitis.

The other woman, whose name was not known, was recovering on Pitcairn Island after a report had been received that she was dying from a severe haemorrhage.

Earlier, the director of Medical Services in Suva gave simple emergency instructions by radio to the island in an attempt to save the woman’s life.

Pitcairn Island had no doctors but only a few medical personnel.

Forty-eight hours before the urgent call was received from Sonoma, another call was picked up in Fiji.

The need for assistance for the sick woman arose on Sunday night while a Pitcairn Island government radio station was off-air.

A Pitcairn radio amateur, Mr Mc-Coy, succeeded, establishing contact with another amateur in California, USA.

Today in History – Tuesday, July 25, 1967
Thursday, July 25, 1957 Escaping winter T MR and Mrs B. Haugh and A. A. Jones of New Zealand were on a month’s visit to Fiji and said they were glad to have escaped even a portion of New Zealand’s winter.

Mr Haugh and Mr Jones were builders by occupation.

The visitors spent most of their time in Suva, but they also had an enjoyable 10 days on a trip in the ship Yanawai to Vanua Levu and Taveuni.

1963 T hursday, July 25, 1964 Governor visits Walu Bay fire THE Governor, Sir Kenneth Maddocks, and Lady Maddocks visited the scene of the Walu Bay fire at about 10pm on Tuesday (July 23, 1964).

They were on their way back from a dinner party at the house of Suva Mayor, Councillor Charles Stinson, when they decided to visit the fire.

They were met by the Suva Fire Brigade chief officer, W. H. Le Visconte, and the deputy fire chief, Syd Hooper.

They spent about half an hour at the fire site before entering the smoke-filled bulk store. Tuesday, July 25, 1967 Yappy family T “LOOK at my pups, aren’t they beautiful?” police dog, Trudi, seems to have said of her five newborns — three girls and two boys.

The family was the pride of the police dog section’s kennel in Nasese.

An eight-year-old Doberman, Trudi, had already 1970 1967 given birth to three litters of pups since she was brought to Fiji.

Back then, when pups were about one year old, selectors would decide whether or not they’d be fit to be police dogs.

Woman hurt in taxi crash A TAXI was badly damaged when it left the road near Davuilevu Bridge on the King’s Rd on Sunday night.

A woman passenger was admitted to the hospital with slight injuries.

Thursday, July 25, 1957 Fiji beat North Auckland 6-3 THE Fiji touring team narrowly beat North Auçkland by six points to three yesterday in the tourists’ fourth game and third win in the tour.

1957 Disqualification fine A POLICE motorcycle cyclist alleged in Suva Magistrates Courts yesterday that children were crying and other passengers appeared to be frightened after he had stopped a speeding bus. Corporal M. Azam was giving evidence against Dhir Singh of Samabula, two miles away, who was charged with dangerous driving at Edinburgh, Suva on April 18.

Corporal Azam said he followed the accused in his bus from the top of Edinburgh Drive in the Shell depot.

He said the bus was on the wrong side of the road and was travelling between 50 and 55 mph.

The accused was fined 15 pounds and disqualified from driving a public service vehicle for six months.

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