The Port Vila Committee of Penama Day on September 16, has decided to refocus its celebration plans this year saying since it falls on September 16 on Sunday, it will be organised with a theme to reflect on the Spirit of Worship.
This is a totally new focus to bring in spirituality, especially after the recent experiences faced by the people of Penama Province.
Committee Member Humphrey Tamata says the venue of the celebrations is Sarabulu Churches of Christ above Harbour View in Port Vila.
It starts with the church service from 9.30am onward in place of a custom dance festival mood.
Asked what the theme of Penama Penama Day is, the spokesman replies with confidence, “The theme focuses on two issues, cyclone devastation which while its impact was still evident, came the Manaro volcanic eruptions and the devastating impact of ash fall which has affected North Pentecost, South Maewo and Ambae.
“Not only has it affected man Ambae badly who have been evacuated twice already and the second on a semi-permanent basis, but it has also affected North Pentecost and South Maewo with thick ash”.
He says it rained in North Pentecost only last week and washed away the ashes and went on to refill their tanks again after some time without fresh water.
“But more so it has affected the people of Penama Province. Penama people have been some of the main contributors to the overall development of the country but with the impact of the Manaro volcanic devastation, they have been greatly affected both physically and psychologically, he says.
“Their people have been moved to Maewo and Santo to start to live again and this has added to the psychological burden.
“They have lost some of the steam, drive and courage to carry on so the Committee believes that spending time with God to awaken the spirit for revival, to refocus their vision from the detrimental impact of the disaster, and reclaim man Penama’s place — his greatness towards his contributions to the development of the country.
“It is important for the people of Penama to regain their status as a great and respectable people working with pride to contribute towards the greatness of Vanuatu.”
The day will allow some of Penama’s original leaders to speak, to share their experiences to challenge and kindle the flame in the young generation of today to bring out their own greatness from within, to become the next generation of leaders of Penama, to build a professional and political workforce, to lead the Province and the Nation forward.