Monday, 7 July 2008 8:34 AM

Solomon Islands Celebrates 30 Years of Independence

Lawson Tama Stadium in Honiara is packed with thousands of people, many there to witness celebrations marking 30 years of independence.

Thousands of spectators have flocked into Lawson Tama seeking out vantage points, many, in a display of true patriotism, holding little flags.

Garvin, a form three student at Florence Young Secondary School, found a good spot at the Southern end of the stadium hours before the show. "I came here 6am this morning, just to make sure I get the best spot," he told Solomon Times. "This important event only happens once in a year, so I must witness it."

Many boat owners say that business has really picked up in the past week. "In the last week alone I think we have transported at least three thousand people here to Honiara." Being a nation of Islands, more than 200 hundred to be exact, many Solomon Islanders have traveled by boat to Honiara to witness celebrations.

"I am here because of my granddad," said 19 year old Sandra, who had to endure a four hour boat trip to attend the celebrations. "My granddad has been attending all the celebrations since independence...he is now too old so I am doing this for him....and for myself as well...it is all worth it"

Organizers said this year's celebrations will include traditional dancing from all the nine provinces in the Solomon Islands. "We would like to display the diversity of the country to all our visiting dignitaries," said one of the organizers. "Not many countries the World over can boast of such diversity."

Letters to the Editor All Letters
By STEVE BANI Vura Heights, East Honiara
By GEOFFREY MAURIASI USP, Lacuala Campus, Fiji
By CHARLES KOULI Gizo, Western Province