Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has expressed his sincere gratitude to the Fijian community for their service and contributions to the Solomon Islands.

Speaking during the Fiji 50th independence celebrations on Saturday, the Prime Minister uttered deep admiration to the Fijian community that have contributed to the social, economic, cultural and historical development of Solomon Islands.

“Vinaka Vaka Levu to the Fijian community, including those that have gone before us for your tireless contributions and commitment in shaping the history and development of Solomon Islands,” he said.

The Prime Minister also paid tribute to Fijian born Solomon Islanders Panapasa and Matilda Balekana, authors of the lyrics and music of the Solomon Islands national anthem.

“Today, 42 years on, this anthem continues to be our prayer to God asking him to guide our nation Solomon Islands as we navigate the pandemic,” he said.

Prime Minister Sogavare said in the area of sport, Fijians have also contributed tremendously to sport development in the country.

The Prime Minister particularly acknowledged Pastor Nacanieli Seru who had played a big role in the development of Futsal in the Solomon Islands.

“Fiji is a force when it comes to rugby and it is heartening to see many Fijians in Solomon Islands supporting our men and women in this sport,” he said.

Prime Minister Sogavare also acknowledged Fijians in the country for being good corporate and law-abiding citizens.

“Credit must go to the leadership of the Fijian community. Many of you are naturalised Solomon Islanders, who have chosen to call Solomon Islands your home. That is how strong we are connected as Melanesian brothers and sisters,” the Prime Minister said.

A traditional ceremony was also held at the Mendana Hotel to thank the Prime Minister for availing his time to celebrate the event with the Fijian community.

Traditional dances and singing were also on display as Fijians in Honiara proudly marked their country’s golden jubilee celebrations.

Source: OPMC Media Release