In the Year 1906, two Sonis named Virjeebhai Narshi and Chunilalbhai Gangjee from Porbandar travelled to South Africa to pursue goldsmith opportunities. When they heard there were better opportunities in Fiji, they migrated there. It is noted in various pieces of literature that these were the first Gujaratis to arrive on the land of Fiji. Seeing their success, several other families also migrated to Fiji and thus the Soni community in Fiji began to grow. Our strength as a community, dedicated belief in Hingraj Mataji, upkeep of cultural values, fairness in business soon became a highly respected virtue among the local Fiji population. Because of these qualities, our ancestors started to be bestowed with honourable titles such as Soni Mahajan…Mahajan meaning the great man…
Identifying the need for maintaining our culture, tradition and togetherness, the elders of the community decided to form a Soni Samaj in Fiji. In 1941, the Girnara Soni Samaj was formed in Ba and thereafter other cities of Fiji also had their own Soni Samaj formed. The younger generations of these Sonis now started to migrate to Australia and New Zealand in search of better education and many of them eventually decided to settle in these countries. Other families migrated to the countries of Canada, USA and South Africa in pursuit of better opportunities.
Becuase of its proximity to Fiji and the similarity of climatic conditions, Brisbane was very attractive to the migrant Sonis. Families of the Soni community started to grown in numbers and it was in the late 1980’s that a dedicated group of the Soni elders formed the Queensland Soni Samaj. The community body then beame an incorporated organisation in 1992. With the strength of its membership and a desire to remain united globally, the Qld Soni Samaj hosted the Soni Sammelan in 2001, a world-wide get-together of the extended Soni family.
Some 11 years later, the QSSI hosted the magical Sneh-Milan 2012 providing another opportunity to the global Soni community to come together and meet their loved ones!