Monday, 29 July 2013 8:57 AM

Local Coast Watchers Recognized

The bravery of Solomon Islanders serving under Royal Australian Navy command during the Second World War has finally been recognized by Australia's federal government.

70 years since the Battle of Guadalcanal, a commemorative medal has been issued for the coastwatchers and scouts.

Their service to the Allies was credited with helping turning the war in the Pacific against the Japanese.

A proud moment for the relatives of the Solomon Island veterans of the Second World War, what is known here simply as the "Big Death".

Parliamentary secretary for Defence, Senator David Feeney, said the recognition had been a long-time coming.

“I was asked why Solomon Island coastwatchers and scouts didn't have a medallion for their contribution to the war effort and to be totally honest with you, I didn't have an adequate answer,” he said.

The commemorative medallions are too late for most old soldiers. Only three remain and none could attend.

Robert Lulumani, the son of veteran, said he was disappointed his father couldn’t be there.

“My father died on Friday, last Friday, so that was unfortunate,” he said. “I am here to receive on behalf of my father, and I'm very happy.”

 

Source: http://www.sbs.com.au

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