The Vanuatu delegation to the 40th Independence Anniversary of Solomon Islands were treated like royals when Honiara Lord Mayor Andrew Mua rolled out the red carpet treatment for his visiting dignitaries on Solomon Island’s Independence Day.
“Honiara City is always Port Vila’s big brother, how we are treated by your Lord Mayor and the City council is testament to the fact you hold the people of Port Vila close to your heart and this gesture also fulfills the desires of the two Melanesian cities when the signed sister city arrangements to foster close working relationships and corporation,” Port Vila Lord Mayor Albert Sandy Daniel told Mayor Mua.
A huge feast like never seen before was put out for the Vanuatu team, on Independence Day, July 7.
The Solo government marked Independence on July 6 but Mayor Mua said Honiara City Covuncil had decided to celebrate their Independence Day on July 7, the exact date when the British flag was lowered in the Solomon Islands in 1975.
All the Vanuatu contingent, about 85 of them attending the Melanesian Arts Festival in Honiara were invited to the feast as well as the Melanesian sisters and brothers of New Caledonia, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, and Torres Strait but there was still “heaps of left overs and two huge roasted pig” that guests could not finish.
Port Vila Mayor’s delegation include the Mayor of Luganville, Mr Onen Gaviga, Port Vila Municipal Council councilor Mrs Leipanga Manses and a Luganville councilor.
The Vanuatu delegation will return to Port Vila this week.
Mayor Mua, who is married to a woman from Penama, is invited to the Vanuatu Independence Day by the Chairman of the Independence Celebrations in Port Vila, Mr Daniel.