July the 7th marked the 30th Independence day for the Solomon Islands. As Solomon Islands formal ceremonies tend to go – you wind up sitting through a good 3+ hours of it all, so when the option was given to avoid a 7:30 start, my tired self jumped at it. These plans however were foiled when I was worded up. So a small conscript of us – namely my family members and Wendy made the early start without the others.
It was interesting how well set up Lawsentama (The sports ground) was, with a crowd of volunteer school children making up the Solomons flag and the more standard police marching band and cultural dancing. The dignitaries took forever to arrive, but the Primeminister’s speech was well articulated and in Pijin. My Dad and ‘Uncle’ Bob and the rest of the translators got to present a copy of the Pijin Bible to Dr. Sikua (the Primeminister) in honor of the Year of the Bible. There are so few countries where it would ever be the case, but much of the later funding for printing came from the government and the recent support has been really positive.
So the speech, although good, drew out, a dancer fainted in front of us from the heat or perhaps malaria, the Police men and women finally got given water after standing still 2 hours in the sun and the PM began to read out a list of medals.
My clueless dad sat there with Geoff Hall’s (Who was over doing some general filming for Wycliffe) camera chained on him. I have never seen my dad look so surprised and I cannot wait to see the footage of it. So Bob, Jack (Senior Translator) and my dad who recently had his PHD accepted can now add another set of letters to his name.
The Solomon Islands Medal Silver (there is no gold) is roughly equivalent to someone getting the Order of Australia.