13 Oct 2009

Biographer says Fiji's Sir Kamisese Mara capable but had short fuse

12:06 pm on 13 October 2009

The author of a new biography on Fiji's late President and Prime Minister Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara says he was known as a very capable leader and a man with a short fuse.

The book, written by Deryck Scarr and titled Tuimacilai: A life of Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara, was launched in Suva at the weekend.

Mr Scarr, who spent four years researching and writing the biography, describes some of the key themes that came out of people's knowledge of him.

"Well some people found him very difficult of course, as he had a very short attention, a very short fuse if you like. Indeed he admitted as much. He would be suspicious of people's motives. He admitted that and in a sort of paper he put out in about 1970 I think, one of his views was of life 'I need to explode'. He was also a very, very capable man. He had ten years away with education, between 1940 and 1950."

Deryck Scarr says wrote the biography out of his interest in Ratu Mara who was an internationally prominent figure from the 1960s.