The National, Tuesday July 9th, 2013
By SHIRLYN BELDEN
A SENSE of nationalism and pride echoed from the crowd as the Solomon Islands national anthem was sung to commemorate the Pacific Island’s 35 years of independence from British rule.
The simple but significant event was held at the Port Moresby Nature Park on Sunday by the Solomon Islands community in the city, including their High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea William Haomae and friends from other Pacific Island countries.
It began with speeches from Haomae and PNG’s Health Minister Michael Malabag followed by cutting of the cake and dances by Solomon Islands groups.
Malabag, who is also MP for Moresby North West, was the guest of honour.
It was indeed a day to remember as the Solomon Islanders reminisced about their country’s journey to political independence and nationhood.
The Solomon Islands gained independence on July 7, 1978 from Britain, which had colonised the islands since the mid 19th century.
Haomae told his fellow islanders and guests that Solomon Islands was grateful to PNG for its continued support and friendship.
“We gather here today to celebrate this historical event with compatriots and friends who are also celebrating throughout the Solomon Islands, Pacific region and all throughout the world,” he said.
“I wish to thank the PNG Government and the people of PNG for their assistance given to Solomon Islands in nation building areas of cooperation and development.
“Our nation is growing and experiencing good developments through strong partnerships from countries like PNG.”