The pronoucement of the Queen's Birthday Honours and Awards and the Solomon Islands Independence Awards and Honours is invariably anticipated with some excitement. Without deriding those who have been honoured in recent years, I wonder whether the honour attached to these awards have not been somewhat dimished by the often times perplexing manner in which those awarded have been chosen.

For instance, in his week's Independence awards, a first term provincial politician and Povincial Premeir was Honoured for long and dedicated services to politics! A second term national politician was honoured for long and dedicated services to politics in last years Queen's Birthday Honours and Awards! This begs the questions? How long should one actually be in politics to qualify to be considered "long and dedicated"? And what criteria is used to determine "dedicated"?

There has also been an increasing tendency to honour foreign heads of States and ambassadors for "long and dedicated service" to Solomon Islands. As if that were not enough, these foreigners have often been accorded Solomon Islands highest Awards. Nothing wrong with that, I just wonder though whether there aren't any deserving Solomon Islanders for such Awards!

Might I venture to propose that those who are paid from the public purse (ala tax money) should not be considered as they are already rewarded (paid) for their service unless they perform meritiriously beyond the call of duty. People who come to mind are Police Officers, and perhaps nurses etc.

Honours and awards should be accorded disparingly, to enhance their value; not lavishly thereby diminishing their value. After all, it is only a piece of metal but its value lies in the respect and regard that goes with it. Its scarcity would obviously inflate its value.