The Fiji Times
Falling in love
with small talk.
It was at that moment when Finau began to tell her father of the term princess, whom she had learnt from Churchill and explained how she was a ‘prinsesi’ because she was a daughter of a great chief.
Finau expressed that a princess could ask any man she loved and would like to have as her husband.
“For father dear, I love Ratu Ritu dearly, dearer than anything in life, ever dearer than you and he loves me, his eyes say so, but his tongue does not for he fears to ask you for me,” Finau told the chief.
“So, I must be a prinsesi that I may ask him as I do ask him now before you, my father.
“Ratu Ritu make me your wife, take me to your home that I may make the mats for you to lie on and chew the yaqona for you to drink.”
Churchill (Ratu Ritu) said that immediately after they embraced, he told the chief that it was true and asked for her hand in marriage.
The chief spoke that he was not surprised with this news as he had been carefully observing them from the start and promised his daughter to him, adding that he was be now a Fijian forever.
“It was arranged that in the morning I should call Finau from the house and in the presence of her father and the whole town should clip the taubes from before her ears and lead her across the green to my house,” Churchill wrote.
“The feast to all the townsfolk would follow at noon, but the chief desire to have a ceremony after the white man’s fashion as well and I too desired it for marriage in my mind was too holy an estate to be entered into lightly and with purely savage rites.”
To Churchill’s surprise, the chief was able to get Cikinovu the priest to learn the Christian marriage ritual and publicly marry them.
“That scene I have never forgotten, the village green crowded with wondering people, overheard the blue arch of the morning sky, the waving plumes of the coconuts.
“From the house in answer to my call, Na Saqa Levu led my little maid, garlanded with orange blossoms which hung in ropes about her neck and down her arms.
“My heart and my home were now in Nasau on the bay of the Black Duck (Galoa), there were differences in skin and in speech, but I was at one with the people who had befriended me, and I felt that they were entitled to my best efforts and to lead them to better things, for Finau was mine and I was hers.”
Churchill later participated in a battle with the village men on a neighbouring town, Vadratau, at the request of Na Saqa Levu.
His wife, Finau, had also pushed him to join the fight citing that