Islands of the South Pacific


A complete Pacific village and lagoon was re-created for participating nations of the South Pacific for their representation at Expo ’88. Cool waters and swaying palm trees greeted tiresome guests, where they could be entertained by performances of traditional South Pacific islands dancing, music and view traditional cultural activities, such as basket weaving and other craft-work.

Cook Islands
Cook Islands: September 8, 1988
Agreement to Participate : 15 Decmeber 1987
Commissioner – General : Mr Chris Wong

The Cook Islands representation focussed on the power of dance to communicate it’s message – in this case the stories of their forefathers’ travels throughout Polynesia for war, love and adventure.

National Day: September 6, 1988
Agreement to Participate : 28 October 1985
Commissioner – General : Sir Charles Stinson

Fiji’s representation at the Pacific Lagoon featured two additional traditional structures – a ‘bure kalou’ (male meeting house) – where accommodation, culture and tourism information was displayed – and a ‘volau’ (island workshop) – where contemporary Fiji manufacturing and investment opportunities were highlighted.

Western Samoa
National Day : September 3, 1988
Agreement to Participate : 27 March 1987
Commissioner – General : Mr Robert Wall

Western Samoa’s representation featured a display of traditional handcrafts in it’s oval fale (island house) – and tourist information.

Solomon Islands
National Day : August 30, 1988
Agreement to Participate : 9 September 1985
Commissioner General : Hon Augustine Rose

Amongst other displays, at the Solomon Islands representation one could view the carving of an ancient war canoe – some 9 metres long – by a traditional elder.

Kingdom of Tonga
National Day: September 10, 1988
Agreement to Participate : 2 April 1985
Commissioner – General : Mr Richard Tupoa

The Kingdom of Tonga’s representation was also strong in the performing arts – focussing on the power of dance to communicate a story – in this case the stories of their forefathers’ travels throughout Polynesia for war, love and adventure.

Vanuatu National Day : August 9, 1988
Agreement to Participate : 11 December 1986
Deputy Commissioner – General : Mr Ian Beeson

Vanuatu – known as the New Hebrides until 1980 – focussed on it’s centre as a tourist haven to it’s 80 islands.

People’s Republic of China

People’s Republic of China


National Day : July 20, 1988
Agreement to participate : 27 January, 1986
Commissioner General – Mr Yue Zue
Pavilion : 1822 square metres

The PRC Pavilion was located near the main entrance of the Exposition – the Melbourne Street Gate – and was just beyond to the right of the Australian and Queensland Pavilions. The Pavilion was easily found by it’s impressive ‘China Gate’, one of the more prominent installations by an international participant at World Expo ’88.

Inside visitors were regaled to all the wonders of ancient and modern China through a spectacular 360-degree circular cinema, taking one from the majesty of the Forbidden City, to the grandeur of the Great Wall to the mystery of the Terra-cotta Warriors and bustling enigmatic Beijing.

The pavilion also highlighted the fine-tuned skills of China’s artisans, from silk-screen portrayals of gold-fish and pandas, to the mastery of eggshell porcelains and ‘snuff bottles.’

Visitors were also able to view one of the 35 horse-drawn bronze chariots from the terracotta warriors of Xi’an.


The 360-degree film presentation “Four Seasons in China” has become as ubiquitous as the Chinese Pavilion itself – and featured also in China’s 1992 representation to the Universal Exposition of Seville, Spain – as well as to South Korea’s Taejon International Exposition of 1993, in the City of (now anglicized) Daejon.

The impressive China Gate, World Expo ’88

[ABOVE] Image courtesy of Reina Irmer, State Photographer, State Library of Queensland
[TOP] Image courtesy of Greg Keogh

British Columbia

British Columbia, Canada

British Columbia Day : September 9, 1988
Agreement to Participate : 5 January 1988
Commissioner – General : Mr Rick Hansen
Pavilion : 204 square metres

The British Columbia Pavilion was located inside the Canada Pavilion, and featured a 110-seat interactive theatrette with animatron telling visitors of the numerous sporting activities available in BC, (work by Paul Belserene), and was entitled “ABC – Adventures British Columbia”.

Visit Paul Belserene’s web-site at:

Mr Belserene’s work has also featured at Vancouver Expo ’86, as well as Seville ’92 and other international fora.

Visitors could also find out information courtesy of an interactive computer program.




Canada Day : July 1, 1988
Agreement to participate : 23 January 1987
Commissioner-General – Mr Rick Hansen
Pavilion : 2800 square metres

Canada, regarded as one of the ‘top five’ international pavilions, had a multi-themed presentation for visitors to the Expo, consisting of both indoor and outdoor entertainment (for those in the queue!), and was most particularly remembered for it’s multi-visual 600-seater 5-screen panorama experience “This is My Home”, where in the aptly titled “Celebration Theater” guests were roused to nationalistic heights over the stirring tunes of “O, Canada – this is My Home!”.

The Theater was the brainchild of Exposition artist extraordinaire ‘Consulting Story Teller’ Paul Belserene – visit his web-site at:

You can listen to the theme song again here (originally composed for the Canada Pavilion at Vancouver’s Expo ’86) courtesy of the composer Bob Buckley of Bob Buckley Productions: (look under ‘Demos’, then ‘Anthems’, then ‘This is My Home’). Highly recommended!

The second audio-visual was planned to pack a few laughs and was entitled “Not Another Government Movie”, projected on a six-part screen.

The “Fitness Arcade” summed up the final part of the Pavilion, consisting of a series of computer-aided machines that measured the strength of your handshake, balance and power output.

The British Columbia Pavilion (view hyperlinked listing) – also another work by Paul Belserene & Co., featured at the exit of the Pavilion.

Canadians at World Expo ’88 were also prominent at the United Nations Pavilion, where Michael Conway Baker, O.B.C. (Order of British Columbia), composed the music for the United Nations Pavilion at Vancouver Expo ’86, Brisbane World Expo ’88, and also the music for the Canada Pavilion at Taejon International Expo ’93 (South Korea).

Read about the composer and listen to the music for the United Nations Pavilion,

Other news?

One of the staff members of the Canada Pavilion has created a “Staff Re-Union” web-page, detailing the antics the three-team pavilion got up to during the Exposition.

Visit the web-site at:

Commissioner-General Rick Hansen also has his own web-site, entitled ‘Rick Hansen: Man in Motion’, for the Rick Hansen Man in Motion Foundation.

Visit the web-site at:

Canada’s Vancouver Expo ’86 was the world exposition immediately prior to Brisbane’s World Expo ’88 and many members of the Brisbane Authority visited Expo ’86 to learn from what they had created there at the Expo site at False Creek.

Visit Expo ’86 again at the following excellent web-site by Stu ‘Scruffy’ Garret:

Finally, visit the Canadian Government Ministry of Heritage page on Canada at World Expositions –

AND, for a greater in depth summary of Canada at World Expo ’88, visit the same Ministry’s ‘Culture’ portal – at CULTURE.CA –

Ethnic minorities featured strongly in the public art for the Canada Pavilion at World Expo ’88


Works of art of Canadian ethnic minorities featured at the entrance to the Canada Pavilion, with this totem pole as an example.

American artist Jon Barlow Hudson’s work ‘Paradigm’ and the City of Brisbane feature in the background.



[TOP] Image courtesy of Damian McGreevy

[BELOW] Image courtesy of Graham John

Brunei Darussalam

Brunei Darussalam


National Day : 4 October 1988
Agreement to Participate : 8 December 1987
Commissioner – General : Dato’ Malai Ali bin Malai Haji Othman
Pavilion : 353 square metres

Colourful pictures, ceremonial costumes and an audio-visual presentation gave you an impression of this country.

Also exhibited were some of the items used in the Sultan’s coronation in 1968.

The Pavilion also featured a gift shop.

Northern Territory

Northern Territory, Australia


Territory Day : October 2, 1988
Agreement to Participate : 24 February 1988
Commissioner : Mr Bob Doyle
Pavilion : Located in the Plaza

The entrance to the Northern Territory Pavilion featured a replica of the famous “Devil’s Marbles” – the un-mistakeable ochre-coloured rock formation in the Territory.

This mainly touristic information-based presentation also featured a replica of the world-famous ‘School of the Air’, where school lessons are delivered to outback country Australian children via ham radio.

Daily fashion parades of Northern Territory and local indigenous design also featured.

Report of the Commissioner-General of Expo 88 on the Australian Government’s Involvement in Expo ’88 (1988), Published by Office of the
Commissioner-General of World Expo ’88
World Expo ’88 – The Official Souvenir Program (1988), Editor Andrew Cowell, Published by Australian Consolidated Press
Expo! an independent Review (1988), Written by Scott Jones, David Bray, Juanita Phillips, Published by Boolarong Publications