The annual event, which falls on October 10, is celebrated by Fijians around the world, as it marks the country’s independence from the United Kingdom on October 10, 1970.
Cook Islands Fiji Association president Lai Gukisuva spoke about how important the day was in the history of Fiji.
“On October 10, 1970, as we raised our new flag, we had hopes for the beginning of a new era, in which we will determine or destiny,” Gukisuva said.
Independence day is anticipated with excitement, and is commemorated with church services followed by a feast, kava, sports and cultural performances.
“As we celebrate 47 years of independence, let us reflect on how we have done things in the past,” said Gukisuva.
“We reflect on what works, and what didn’t work, what was fair and just and what wasn’t, and what united and divided us. We need to reflect on what defined us as Fiji nationals and people.
“More importantly we must define visions that are progressive, inclusive and respectful of human dignity. We should reflect on a simple but fundamental question: What are we celebrating?”
Gukisuva said he held firm to the belief that it was important to progress as individuals or as family, and that even small steps were worth celebrating.
“As we are here in the Cook Islands, for some of us, some weeks, months, years, now we can reflect back and see whether we have progressed in life.
“Are you still the same person as when you came? If you have progressed individually, or as a family, that is worth celebrating.
“And before I take my seat, I would like to remind you, my fellow countrymen, of three things. One - remember who you are. Two - remember why you are here. And three -remember where you are going.”
Gukisuva also mentioned that the raffle in aid of the Tabusoro rugby team had been postponed until October 28 (Saturday).
This is to give the association enough time to sell a few more books and collect all the money.
A minute’s silence was also given to those in the Fiji community who had passed away.