Historic Links with the Commonwealth and the Crown
We have read much in recent weeks about changing alliances and geo-political moves but to me stories attributed to the Commonwealth, of which the Solomon Islands and many of its smaller, regional countries belong, has been a reminder of the value we still have in the relationship with the Commonwealth and the Crown.
Today we were told of the proposed official visit to the Solomon Islands next month by His Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales, Prince Charles.
The heir to the British throne will be focusing on climate change, moves to tackle malaria and paying respect the memory, bravery and courage of the sons of the Solomon Islands that served as scouts and coastwatchers during the occupation of the Solomon Islands by Japanese Imperial forces during the Second World War.
Last week, as further reminder of the historic links with the Crown, His Excellency the Governor-General Sir David Vunagi was received by Her Majesty the Queen and knighted in a private investiture at Buckingham Palace.
Today, there is the story of the Queen having awarded the Queen’s Gallantry Medal to a Fiji soldier serving with the British Army.
Radio New Zealand carried details of the investiture ceremony at Windsor Castle and reported, quote:
“Corporal Saimone Qasenivalu from the Royal Tank Regiment is reported to have jumped into a burning tank to save soldiers trapped inside.
“In April, he was on the UK's Special Honours list after he and another officer rescued comrades after a training accident in Wales in mid-2017.
“FBC News reports the two soldiers battled smoke and flames to pull two people from the vehicle after an explosion killed two other soldiers.
“The Queen's Gallantry Medal is awarded for acts of bravery by civilians and members of the British Armed Forces.”
Over the past few years four young Solomon Islanders were honoured by the Queen by being awarded the Queen’s Young Leader Awards, which Her Majesty presented to them at Buckingham Palace in London
I mentioned in a letter I wrote on Monday that a group of professional musicians in the United Kingdom, known as the Dionysus Ensemble, with close links with Commonwealth Secretariat, has made preliminary plans to book air tickets in order to travel to Honiara relatively soon to undertake coaching and music education lessons with the talented, young musicians that are members of the Piano Association of the Solomon Islands (PASI).