Wisbech man writes a book on his journey from village poverty in Fiji to working for the Ministry of Defence in London
PUBLISHED: 14:33 01 September 2017 | UPDATED: 15:03 01 September 2017
A Wisbech man has written a book about his decision to emigrate from Fiji to Britain in the 1960s with just four days notice.
Sam Elliott had £50 in his pocket when he upped sticks and made the journey after growing up on a farm surrounded by poverty cared for by his widowed mother.
Now he has penned his experiences in a book raising money for one of his life’s passions - animal charities.
He said: “My two brothers were already living in London who left Fiji in the early 1960s.
“I came to England in 1967 after I left secondary school and was still looking for a job.
“Suddenly without much notice I received a telegram from one of my brothers in London giving me details about my flight and where to collect the airline ticket from.
“I received the telegram on a Tuesday after I returned home from fishing and my flight was on Saturday.
“I had about four days to get everything ready for my long adventure.”
Sam said he grew up earning money by collecting empty beer bottles and selling them to the local village shop but on coming to England was introduced to everyday luxuries like a bath and televisions.
And as much as he is glad he made the move he still misses the informal lifestyle and culture of Fiji.
“My Journey from Fiji to England offers readers an insight into the landscape, history and culture of Fiji from a local perspective,” he said.
Sam joined the Civil Service and worked for the Ministry of Defence in Hounslow before joining the army in 1973 as a military accountant and pay and finance clerk.
After leaving the regular army in 1985 he worked for the Nature Conservancy Council and English Nature in Peterborough.
He joined the Territorial Army as a pay clerk and served with 254 field ambulance in Cambridge.
Now retired he has also worked locally for Sainsbury’s and as a volunteer driver for the RSPCA.
• My Journey from Fiji to England is published on September 28 and is available from WH Smith and Waterstones or direct from Troubador Publishing.