Pacific Media Watch

7 September 2016

VANUATU: Rendezvous with the 'no nukes' Aneityum cover girl after 33 years

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David Robie
PORT VILA (Vanuatu Daily Post/Pacific Media Watch): She had the most enchanting smile, even though she had lost her baby teeth. Her toothless grin turned out to be perfect for her role.

The five-year-old girl had her face painted with a black anti-nuclear symbol – different motifs on both her cheeks. Beside her was a neatly sketched poster: “No nukes: Please don’t spoil my beautiful face”.

This was the scene in Port Vila’s Independence Park in 1983 during the region’s second Nuclear-Free and Independent Pacific Movement conference. It was during the heady days of nuclear-free activism with Vanuatu, the world’s newest nation only three years old and founding Prime Minister Walter Hadye Lini

leading the way. I was there that day as an independent journalist taking

many photographs for my series of articles for Pacific and international media. One person who really stood out was the little girl with the beautiful smile.

But I never knew her name back then.

Thirty-three years have passed since then and my wife, Del Abcede, and I have just visited Aneityum Island this week to meet that very girl – June Keitadi and her family.

Read the Vanuatu Daily Post article

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David Robie

Professor, PMC Director

Professor David Robie is an author, journalist and media educator specialising in Asia-Pacific affairs.