‘Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive,’ AD Patel quoted William Wordsworth’s celebration of the French Revolution as he launched the 1966 election campaign at the Century Theatre in Suva, ‘but to be young was very heaven.’ He was unwell, an acute, insulin-dependent diabetic now also suffering from pneumonia. His mother’s recent death in India would have added to his emotional woes. ‘My voice has failed me today,’ he told his anxious audience long concerned about his failing health. But he was undaunted. ‘Mine is the fortune of being alive in this dawn. Mine is the misfortune that I won’t be able to share the very heaven.’ His premonition of impending mortality sadly proved accurate. Three years later, on 1 October 1969, he died of a massive heart attack at his home in Nadi, almost exactly a year before Fiji became independent from the United Kingdom after ninety-six years of colonial rule.
|Title of host publication||A Vision for Change: Speeches and Writings of AD Patel, 1929-1969|
|Editors||Brij V Lal|
|Place of Publication||Canberra Australia|
|Publication status||Published - 2011|