digplanet beta 1: Athena
Share digplanet:


Applied sciences






















Ratu Sir Penaia Ganilau
1st President of Fiji
In office
8 December 1987 – 15 December 1993
Preceded by Elizabeth II
as Queen of Fiji
Succeeded by Kamisese Mara
3rd Governor-General of Fiji
In office
12 February 1983 – 15 October 1987
Monarch Elizabeth II
Preceded by George Cakobau
Succeeded by None (office abolished)
Personal details
Born 28 July 1918
Taveuni, Fiji
Died 15 December 1993(1993-12-15) (aged 75)
Washington, D.C., United States
Spouse(s) (1) Laisa Delaisomosomo (1949)
(2) Asilina Davila (1975)
(3) Veniana Bale (????)
Occupation soldier, scholar

Ratu Sir Penaia Kanatabatu Ganilau, GCMG, KCVO, KBE, DSO (28 July 1918 – 15 December 1993) was the first President of Fiji, serving from 8 December 1987 until his death in 1993. He had previously served as Governor-General of Fiji, representing Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Fiji, from 12 February 1983 to 15 October 1987.

Education and early career[edit]

Ganilau was educated at Northern Provincial School, Queen Victoria School and Wadham College, Oxford University, whence he graduated from the Devonshire Course for administration officers in 1946. Returning to Fiji, he joined the Colonial Administration Service the following year, and served as a District Officer from 1948 to 1953. The following three years were spent in the Fiji Military Forces, from which he was discharged in 1956 with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He became the Roko Tui Cakaudrove in 1956, his first administrative position. He subsequently returned to the civil service and became Deputy Secretary for Fijian Affairs in 1961.

Political career[edit]

In 1963, in the first elections in which ethnic Fijians voted directly, Ganilau was elected to the Legislative Council, the precursor to the modern Fijian Parliament. When responsible government was instituted in 1967, he was appointed Minister for Fijian Affairs and Local Government, serving until 1970. He subsequently served as Minister for Home Affairs, Lands and Mineral Resources from 1970 to 1972, when he became Minister for Communications, Works and Tourism. In 1973, he was appointed Deputy Prime Minister, a position he was to hold for the next decade; during this time, he also served as Minister for Home Affairs (1975-1983) and as Minister for Fijian Affairs and Rural Development (1977-1983). In 1983 he became Governor-General.

Last governor-general, first president[edit]

Ganilau was to be Fiji's last governor-general. Two military coups were carried out in 1987 by Lieutenant Colonel Sitiveni Rabuka. After the first coup on May 14, Ganilau defiantly refused to give up the Office of Governor-General. Attempting to uphold the constitution, he tried to return Fiji to parliamentary democracy, but a second coup forced him to resign as governor-general on 15 October 1987, with the ending of Fiji's monarchy.

In his letter of resignation, addressed to Queen Elizabeth II, Ganilau wrote: "With humble duty, I wish to submit to you the following advice, acting in my capacity as your representative in Fiji. Owing to the uncertainty of the political and constitutional situation in Fiji, I have now made up my mind to request Your Majesty to relieve me of my appointment as Governor-General with immediate effect. This I do with utmost regret, but my endeavours to preserve constitutional government in Fiji have proved in vain, and I can see no alternative way forward. With deepest respect, Penaia Ganilau, Governor-General."

On 8 December 1987, Ratu Ganilau was appointed the first ever president of the new republic of Fiji. He saw to the appointment of the interim civilian government that was to lead Fiji for a five-year transitional period of constitutional change. During this time, he presided over the promulgation of the constitution of 1990. The first general elections since the crisis of 1987 were held in 1992. He remained president and head of state until his death in 1993, though ill-health had forced him to hand over most of his day-to-day functions to the Vice-President, Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara, in 1992. He remained the official president until he died.


Ratu Ganilau was awarded many honours throughout his lifetime. These included the DSO (1956), OBE (1960), CMG (1968, CVO (1970), KBE (1974), KCVO (1982), and GCMG (1983). He also received an honorary doctorate in education in 1974.

Personal details[edit]

A scion of the chiefly Ai Sokula clan, Ganilau was installed in 1988 as the fourteenth Tui Cakau, the traditional ruler of Cakaudrove Province. As such, he was recognized as the paramount chief of the Tovata Confederacy, covering much of northern and eastern Fiji, making him one of the three highest-ranking chiefs in the Fijian peerage.

Ganilau was married three times, and had two daughters and six sons, of whom one, Ratu Epeli Ganilau, has followed in his footsteps by pursuing a political career of his own. As a statesman, Ganilau was regarded as a moderate conservative, upholding the traditions of the chiefly system but embracing modern political institutions. He died at the age of 75 on 15 December 1993 in Washington, D.C., where he was receiving medical treatment.

Government offices
Preceded by
Ratu Sir George Cakobau
Governor-General of Fiji
Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by
President of Fiji
Succeeded by
Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Ratu Josefa Ratavo Lalabalavu
Tui Cakau
Succeeded by
Ratu Glanville Lalabalavu

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penaia_Ganilau — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
79 videos foundNext > 

Governor General Ratu Sir Penaia Ganilau

Governor-General Ratu Sir Penaia Ganilau trys to perserve democracy in Fiji.

Governor-General Ratu Sir Penaia Ganilau

Governor-General Ratu Sir Penaia Ganilau . Fiji monarchy.

G-G of Fiji takes royal salute

Governor-General of Fiji Ratu Sir Penaia Ganilau takes royal salute.

marvi ganilau in action-ms303.3gp


Ratu Epelii Ganilau Chief Guest for Fiji for Jesus March.wmv

Ratu Epelii Ganilau address the upci of fiji.

Yalo e veiciriyaki-Vaga Drokadroka ni Saqani

Dedicated to the 3 masters of FNU Samabula campus (Penaia Rogoimuri, Marika Bulivono & Aminiasi ) . . . couldn`t forget the Labasa trip memories, . especiall...

Fijian Statement_4_part _2_xvid.avi

Bainimarama the beast Bainimarama is a puppet of Khayum Military dictatorship in Fiji Oppression in Fiji Military Junta in Fiji Human rights violation in Fij...

The Hibiscus Festival 1963

(c) British Pathé.

tui cakau dancing...usa during 2010 new year..funny clip....

qori na tawase ni yabaki 2009 kina 2010 mai meke toka kina na cauravou...tui cakau...vakariatak toka kina qori nai vukivuki ni meke dabedabe...northen irelan...

Happy Fiji Independence Day!

This video was compiled for the office Independence Day Celebration 2012. I also would like to state that the photos were from the Fiji Museum and National A...

79 videos foundNext > 

1 news items

Fiji Times
Sun, 31 Aug 2014 13:15:00 -0700

Led by Ratu Epeli Ganilau, the father of former Fiji President Ratu Penaia Ganilau, and Ratu Lewe-ni-lovo of the Qaraisoki clan, the butu vanua removed part of the qusi ni loaloa from Radroni's family. Ratu Epeli — with strong blood links to Bau ...

Oops, we seem to be having trouble contacting Twitter

Talk About Penaia Ganilau

You can talk about Penaia Ganilau with people all over the world in our discussions.

Support Wikipedia

A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia. Please add your support for Wikipedia!