The Solomon Star ran an article last week about how the Australian High Commissioner to Solomon Islands, Dr Lachlan Stratham had praised the highly rich culture displayed by the people of Shortland Islands in the Western Province during the recent groundbreaking ceremony of the new Patrol Base Outpost in Lofung and Nila.
The Shortland Islands lie in the extreme north of Solomon Islands, just south of Bougainville, Papua New Guinea. The largest island is named Shortland (or Alu); others include Ovau, Pirumeri, Magusaiai, Fauro and Ballale. Lieutenant John Shortland named them in 1788.
The groundbreaking of the multi-million project last week has seen a display of vibrant and rich culture by the host island. Locals from within the communities of the Shortland Islands have gathered together to perform and displayed their culture in front of hundreds to a thousand onlookers and guests.
The displaying of the culture featured warriors dressing in local costumes as they welcomed the Australian High Commissioner and Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare, and other delegates.
In his opening remarks, Dr Lachlan said, a vibrant and proud culture is the beating heart of every country. “The vibrant culture on displayed shows a very proud culture that shows a true identity. We are the Pacific family that shares one common good that values respect.
“Therefore, this spectacular art of cultural dancing and chanting displayed at the scene shows that this is your identity and you all should be proud of your highly and vibrant culture,’’ he added.
The groundbreaking ceremony ended with cultural entertainments from the local community and followed by feasting.