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19 females among 35 newly graduated lawyers

Graduates with parents.

IT was a great day for Solomon Islands when thirty-five new lawyers graduated at the USP Emalus Campus in Port Vila two weeks ago on December 2, 2016.

What made the event more worthy is the fact that 19 or 54 percent of the graduates are females.

A parent, Mr Moses Pelomo, reported that the ceremony was for the first time held at the newly completed International Conference Centre that was recently built for Vanuatu by the Chinese Government. The venue added much value to the occasion.

The Prime Minister of Cook Islands Hon Puna as the USP Vice Chancellor presented the Masters, Degrees, Diplomas and Certificates to all students that had successfully completed their respective studies at the Campus as well as from other USP Centre Campuses around the region.

For the 35 Solomon Islands graduating lawyers, the ceremony was the climax of joy, satisfaction and reward for years of not only of personal sacrifices, hardships and struggles but steadfastness to their studies, determination, maturity and achievement.

It was a moving experience for them all as well as the parents and relatives who managed to attend and share their loved ones’ success.

The important influence that Solomon Islands students have on the Campus especially for all the graduating students was brought again to the fore, when one local graduating student, Luke Sandy was selected to give vote of thanks to the Authorities and audience on behalf of the graduating students.

His speech was well structured, deep in meaning as well as honest which touched the hearts and feelings of every one attending.

He gave the best part of his moving speech when thanking the host country (Vanuatu) Government, people and Port Vila community for adopting the overseas students and making their stay welcoming and friendly.

Vice Chancellor and Academic ready to give out the awards

According to Mr Sandy, it is from such environment to study that helped them graduate on the day.

He aptly illustrated the plight of studying as two cars; one new and the other old making a journey to a common destination.

Both vehicles met many challenges being some rough and some smooth roads.

Despite the new car being new arrived first, this did not stop the old car as it also arrived a bit later as well, meaning both cars arrived at their destination, graduating.

According to Mr Luke’s uncle, it is not surprising that Luke (to all Solo Students) used the two different cars as his meaningful illustration for Mr Sandy had spent many years as a police officer being involved and experienced in the judiciary for years before he took up his law studies.

Later during Saturday night, the graduating students led by their Chairlady, Ms Hellen Riibako treated the visiting parents to a most filling meal and fellowship at the Campus.

Many of the parents were moved by this gesture and shared their feelings of happiness and encouragement to the new graduates.

Mr John Harunari, one of the senior parents attending, encouraged the graduates to work for the government, provinces and different Ministries that need legal advice for at least two or three years before seeking other forms of career path.

Other parents also highlighted special need areas in Solomon Islands society that need qualified and committed lawyers.

They cited, women, children, family, traditional laws as well as other areas of specialisation that will protect the people and country making Solomon Islands united and strong.

Parent’s fellowship with graduates.

The parents present then took the opportunity on behalf of the parents and relatives who were not able to witness the ceremony to give a hearty congratulations and best wishes for the students’ future.

They told them that Solomon Islands needs them and to remember that they have driven their two cars through thick and thin and reached their destination.

They urged them to not leave their cars for they are the drivers while parents, relatives and the nation are the passengers. So drive them safely to their next destination, they said.

The graduated Solomon Islands students from Emalus Campus represented all provinces from the country.