mailife - - Happenings - By MELA TUILEVUKA Photos by DE­PART­MENT OF IN­FOR­MA­TION

Fiji may be a tiny dot on the world map, but it caught the world’s at­ten­tion on 12 Au­gust 2016 when the pop­u­la­tion of 909,024 came to a stand­still as their rugby team at the Rio Games won the na­tion’s first ever Olympic gold medal. Skip­per Osea Kolin­isau, Jerry Tuwai, Jasa Vere­malua, Leone Nakarawa, Vatemo Ravou­vou, Jo­sua Tuisova and Vil­iame Mata all scored tries in the win against Eng­land. It has been more than eight months now since that his­toric day where the 7s rug­gers knelt be­fore Her Royal High­ness Princess Anne to re­ceive their medals. On 20 April 2017 the Re­serve Bank of Fiji un­veiled a unique $7 ban­knote – the only such ban­knote cir­cu­lat­ing in the world – along with a 50c com­mem­o­ra­tive coin to hon­our our rugby Olympians. RBF Gov­er­nor White­side said 7s rugby is a sport that is loved by all Fi­jians – “a sport that we ex­cel in and a sport that con­tin­ues to unite us all.” The Royal Cana­dian Mint pro­duced the coins and Oberthur Fidu­ciare, a prom­i­nent ban­knote prin­ter in France, de­signed and printed the notes – with a hor­i­zon­tal pic­ture on one side and ver­ti­cal one on the other. The cur­rency was pro­duced and de­liv­ered within eight months, com­pared to the usual 12-18 months.

For­mer Fiji 7s Rugby Coach Ben Ryan, Prime Min­is­ter Voreqe Bain­i­marama and Fiji 7s Rugby cap­tain Osea Kolin­isau at the launch­ing of the new bank note and coin ear­lier last month.

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