Monday, 22 June 2009 12:17 PM

US War Veteran Returns Old Wooden Candle Holder

A hand carved wooden candle holder from the Solomon Islands has been returned to Prime Minister Dr Derek on Saturday, 67 years after it was discovered at a location in the Gela group of Islands (Florida Islands) by a US Navy during World War II.

Eighty Four years old Don Chalmers who fought here during World War II returned the carved candlestick holder to Prime Minister Dr Derek Sikua through a fellow American Dr Eileen S. Natuzzi.

Dr Eileen came to Solomon Islands in 2008 as a worker under the Loloma Foundation program.

She went back to the US and wrote a War Veteran Story which was published in one daily magazine there.

Upon reading the story, Mr Don Chalmer immediately contacted her through email seeking advice on how he could return the artifact to Solomon Islands.

Through their email contacts, Mr Chalmer relayed his story to Dr Eileen about how he got the carved candlestick holder.

"In 1942 August I was assigned on the US boat Coxswain for more than four months. While stationed at Gavutu Islands; I made a tour of part of the Florida Islands and came upon a native chapel that has been ransacked by the Japanese"

"I found two beautifully hand carved candlestick holders, one of which made it home with me."

Mr Chalmer said he had sent a letter to the Honiara City Mayor asking who might be the proper person to contact regarding returning of the object.

At the handover of the candlestick holder last Saturday, Prime Minister Dr Derek Sikua acknowledge Don Chalmer for his time here serving during world war two and having a heartfelt commitment to seek propriety in retuning the candlestick holder.

Prime Minister Sikua also commended Dr Eileen for the correspondent she made with Don Chalmer to enable the candlestick holder returned to Solomon Islands.

He said the candlestick holder will be handed over to the national museum for storage and also for show.

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