Revive the Police Band

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While going through our social media accounts the other day, we were pleasantly surprised to come across a video of the Fiji Police Band entertaining the crowd. Not only was the music pleasant to hear, the dancing by the band members was truly entertaining. This reminded us of the PNG’s own Police Band that was entertaining and popular in 80’s.

One person in particular from that era was a guy by the name of Vali Tau. Vali was a member of the band and he played the cymbals. He was an outstanding character that entertained the crowd and whilst the whole band was exceptional, Vali was often the focal point of the band.

Unlike many of the band members at that time, Vali was short and he probably was one of, or the eldest of the lot.

The Police Band at the time performed frequently in public places, during special events and they even visited schools too.

For those who knew Vali’s dancing antics, they would wait patiently until he popped out from the band and took center stage. With a cymbal in either hand, he would wave them here and there and with fancy footwork jiggle with them to the rhythm of the music.

There hasn’t been anyone like Vali and most certainly the band today (if it still exists) is nothing like the one from the 80’s but he surely played a critical part in the whole band. The fact that the crowd was left jeering every time he took the front stage is testament to his ability to “connect” with the crowd. Something that is needed under current Police/People relations.

The thing that strikes us about the Police Band during Vali’s time is that the band not only entertained, they provided a sense of pride or patriotism. And the fact that it was the police providing this sense of feeling, the people felt comfortable, at ease and safe while being entertained.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the Police Band was revived?

Not only would this contribute to positive public relations but also members of the force would have an opportunity to be involved in another activity like music aside from their police duties.

It’s hard to argue that the gap between residents and the force has widened and the band could be a possible vehicle to close the gap. Obviously, the force has many other important issues such as housing and wages but the band could certainly contribute positively to the police and the people.

There probably won’t be anyone like Vali Tau but there’s nothing stopping the Constabulary from reviving the band to connect the people and the police just like the way Vali did during his performances.

Fiji Police Band

And while your at it, you might like to see the Fiji Police Band in action – wonderful stuff!

Fijian Police Dance in the Streets from Gary Yost on Vimeo.

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