South Pacific Santa spreads festive cheer at Outrigger Fiji and Castaway Island

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RELEASE NUMBER 122/15

Clockwise from top left - Santa with patient at Sigatoka District Hospital; The Outrigger Fiji Excom team gather at Sigatoka Hospital; Santa arrives via Bilibili at Outrigger Fiji; Guests gather on the beach at Castaway to greet Santa; Santa arrives at Castaway via Teivovo; Steven Andrews with Santa; Santa distributes gifts to children at Outrigger Fiji; Carols by candlelight at Outrigger Fiji.

Clockwise from top left – Santa with patient at Sigatoka District Hospital; The Outrigger Fiji Excom team gather at Sigatoka Hospital; Santa arrives via Bilibili at Outrigger Fiji; Guests gather on the beach at Castaway to greet Santa; Santa arrives at Castaway via Teivovo; Steven Andrews with Santa; Santa distributes gifts to children at Outrigger Fiji; Carols by candlelight at Outrigger Fiji.

FIJI ISLANDS – The corridors of Sigatoka Hospital in Fiji echoed to the voices of the Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort choir this Christmas led by General Manager Peter “Santa Claus” Hopgood, replete in red suit and beard.

The choir entertained patients and staff with Christmas carols and gave out more than 100 care packs to in-patients.

Mr. Hopgood said he and his team felt blessed that they were able to bring a small degree of joy to the patients, particularly the children, at the hospital.

The choir later performed at Sigatoka central markets and handed out gifts, donated by guests that had stayed at Outrigger, to the township’s children.

Celebrations at Outrigger Fiji began with carols by candlelight Christmas Eve followed by a special church service held Christmas morning.

Santa arrived in spectacular beachfront style via Bilibili (bamboo raft) paddled by Fijian warriors where he proceeded to the Kids Club to distribute gifts to all the children.

The children then took great joy in smashing up the Ginger Bread House especially made by the resort’s kitchen team.

Peter said that “Christmas was a special time at the resort. We have had choirs from the local villages, a church service for our guests, and a visit by Santa.  In the evening our guests enjoyed a sumptuous Christmas feast in all of our restaurants.”

On Castaway Island Fiji, children from the Kids Club and activities staff staged a Twas The Night Before Christmas live Christmas Eve show.

On Christmas morning, guests awoke to the voices of the resort’s choir singing carols in both Fijian and English.

Santa arrived in true Castaway style in the resort’s high speed powerboat, Teivovo, handing out gifts to guests’ children before making his way to the hosts’ quarters where their children gave him an enthusiastic Fijian greeting.

A gala Christmas  buffet lunch was served and later, for those who still had an appetite, a specially designed Christmas dinner menu.

A bonfire with storytelling under the stars, marshmallow toasting, song and good cheer ended a day of celebrations,.

General Manager Steven Andrews said that at this time of year, it is wonderful to see all  of our Castaway families coming together.

“The interaction between children, parents and hosts is truly wonderful. It really is like one big happy family gathering,” he said.

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