Choiseul marks 26th Seconded Appointed Day with cultural celebrations
CHOISEUL Provincial Government for 18 years under the Premiership of Hon Jackson Kiloe has been striving to serve its people by bringing the government and development to the doors of its people. As part of its strategy to make the rural people see, feel and be part of the provincial government, second appointed celebrations are hosted in rural villages in the wards.
Since 2015 celebrations had been held in Pangoe village, Senqa Ward, North East Choiseul Constituency. In 2016 it was held in Kosarae village, Katupika Ward, South Choiseul. This year it was held in Ogho village, and co-hosted by Varisi Suka Ward and Varisi Lavata Ward in North West Constituency. “We do not just come here to celebrate and leave” said Mr Christopher Makoni, the Assembly Clerk and MC for the event. “When we come down to rural areas we bring development to them. See this women’s centre, the stage and sanitation for the Minister’s residence, these are all part of package to host the celebrations here,” he said.
In his speech to mark Choiseul Province’s 26th seconded appointed day, Premier Kiloe paid tribute to the forefathers of Lauru from all walks of life. “Let us thank those who have gone before us. Our forefathers, our politicians, and our elders for without them we would not be celebrating today” he said.
“Twenty six years ago today, they initiated the idea and ensured that we are what we are, and we are who we are today. The churches too must be commended for their role in shaping and maintaining our societies and families.”
Premier Kiloe who is undoubtedly the longest serving Premier gave a powerful and moving speech.
“My good people of Lauru. There is nobody who can give you the best help you need. Not your, MP. Neither your, MPA, nor your Premier. Not even your, Provincial Government, or your national government. The best person to help you is you yourself.
“I appeal to you my good people of Lauru. Rise up and till your land until your sweat turns into sweet milk and honey rather than sitting doing nothing and fighting over land.”
The longest serving premier who came in as a young unmarried MPA then officially announced that he will not be seeking contesting this year’s provincial election. He said it is time for young aspiring leaders to take the helm of premiership in Lauru Province.
Nine cultural groups performed custom dances and mimed short chants and popular custom stories peculiar to the North Western part of Lauru Island. They impressed the invited guests and local crowd who appreciated the day as truly remarkable and enjoyable.
A culturally unique and traditional ceremony known as kelo that has significance in peace building, reconciliation, acknowledgement, compensation and reward was also performed. The kelo is consisted of a huge basket structure of woven loya canes known as kange fastened to a single post that is anchored to the ground and staked by sticks to avoid falling over. The kange is filled with all kinds of baked root crops and pudding.
Apart from the ritualistic escorts and chants, a uniquely sweet bamboo tune is blown throughout. When the kelo is performed and the kange is presented by a chief to another, the receiving chief chops down the kange and takes the content. This indicates that everything is fine. However, if the receiving chief does not accept the kelo he will leave in silence leaving the kange standing intact to rot.
The representatives of the chiefs of Varisi Suka and Lavata performed the kelo and presented the kange to Premier Kiloe in appreciation for the hosting of 2017 Choiseul Province Second Appointed Day celebration in Ogho village.
The celebrations ended with a feast and entertainment by a cultural group known as strings for strings who also performed traditional bamboo music and demonstrated the gongala dancing beats and dancing patterns.
Every Province in Solomon Islands has a Second Appointed Day. It is a provincial holiday within our provincial government system in which a province is said to have gained a somewhat not so full political autonomy status from the National Government. It is a day a province marks celebration of its achievements similar to the manner the National Government marks Solomon Islands Independence Day.