Last night marked the beginning of our week long 35th Anniversary >Celebration of Turtle Island.
The evening began with a traditional Yasawa Island Kava Ceremony performed at Racheli's Escape at sunset overlooking the Blue Lagoon. A long-term member of staff, Atu, thanked Richard Evanson (owner of Turtle Island) for all that he has done and continues to do for the community. Atu also formally welcomed special guests Christopher Atkins (star of the Blue Lagoon movie) and Randal Kleiser (Producer of The Blue Lagoon movie) to the Island for this momentous event.
"I was looking for a location to shoot the Blue Lagoon... we searched all over the Australian Coast, the Pacific and all across Fiji Islands" said Randal, "I was so excited to finally find this island, it was the perfect one to shoot... that was 35 years ago. Richard welcomed us and allowed us to shoot here and the movie has gone on to become a classic that has been seen all over the world and I believe it's seen here every Sunday night too. I'm so happy to be here. When we walked around the island today and we saw the places that we filmed it brought back a lot of nostalgia and it felt like I was in a dream, or like I was in the movie so thank-you all and I'm so happy to be home on the island."
Christopher Atkins spoke about his fond memories of the island... "35 years ago this island changed my life. I remember leaving this island and Brooke (Co-star Brooke Shields) and I were absolutely in tears, the hardest thing we ever had to do was get on that seaplane and say good-bye. When we were here 35 years ago, none of this was here, it was just an empty island... today I walked down to Honeymoon Beach where the old hut was and I just started crying. It was really emotional for me to come back after all those years. This island is one of the most special places in the planet and the Fijian people are the greatest people on earth."
After the Kava Ceremony, guests enjoyed cocktails while a presentation of photos from the Blue Lagoon filming and memories from Richards journey to the Fiji island back in the 70's and 80's were a very special surprise. A magical four course dinner prepared by our Australian Food Advisor, Jacques Reymond, was a highlight for our guests. The dinner table was set amongst sparkling white lights while fire torches fringed the waters of the Blue Lagoon. After dinner, the Turtle Family performed a Fijian Meke, a traditional song and dance and said good night to our guests.