Posted by : Frank Short Posted on : 01-Apr-2023

April 1, 2023

The Solomon Islands has increasingly been getting the attention of the world's press with a flurry of top ranked visitors from the United States, Japan and several well-known academics, both locally and overseas, notably in Australia, have contributed opinion pieces on the geo-political situation seen from the eyes of security analysts.

Much has also been recorded and published about the forthcoming Pacific Games soon to hosted in Honiara in November,

Rarely, these days do we read about those "little people" who make up the fabric of the nation. In the past the freelance journalists of the Solomon Times Online told us stories of those who generally go unnoticed but when we got to hear about them, we realised how much they contribute to society, to family and to values of service and dedication.

Last week was an exception and the Solomon Star newspaper featured an article about Ileen Marau who was recognized for her 20 years of faithful service with SolTuna in Noro.

I was touched by IIleen's service and decided to share the story with readers.


Faithfulness and patience are important virtues in life which can also lead someone to a successful career and being recognised for the work they did.

And that’s exactly what Ileen Marau had achieved overtime during her twenty years of service with SolTuna Limited in Noro, Western Province.

Ms Marau, 48, is from Ulawa, Makira Province had joined SolTuna in 2002 as a cleaner.

She completed her grade six at her home village and decided to join the company in 2002 when the opportunity came.

Twenty years on SolTuna was able to recognise her contribution to the company.

Through her faithfulness, she had rose up the ranks from being a cleaner to an hygiene inspector.

On Monday 20th March the company hosted a program which featured three events.

The first one was a ‘welcome back lunch’ for all the 2000 employees, second to acknowledge long service staff and those who never miss work in 2022 and the third one was to farewell the outgoing general manager (GM) Jim Alexander.

During occasion, about nine employees who have served the company for over twenty years from 2002 to 2022 were awarded with certificates of recognition, a coat of recognition and cash awards.

Ms Marau was the only female amongst all males.

Speaking to the paper after receiving her award, she was excited and thanked SolTuna for the recognition.

“I’m happy with this award because it shows the company has recognised my contribution.

“I started working for SolTuna as a cleaner for a year at the cannery.”

Then she was promoted to Quality Control Sanitation unit.

And she had been a team leader for eight years.

Now she works as a Hygiene Inspector and leader.

Under this department it ensures there is monitoring of hygiene and quality in the processing of all tuna products.

She said, the Quality Control Department is very important in the company because this department ensures that hygiene is maintained at all times given production of food is involved.

So her job is to check that there is quality in the processing of all tuna products before it is sent out to the customers.

She is married, with two children and with the salary she earns over the past years, she was able to support her family.

She was also able to build two permanent homes. One at her home village in Ulawa and another at Noro where she is married.

Ms Marau was happy with the work conditions offered by the company and also the working environment.

She said, the SolTuna family is a unique and a very big family because most people from around the country are working there.

And she had come to love the place and the company.

She told the paper that she will continue to serve the company as long as her health allows.

“If my health and body allows, I will continue to service this company.

“Right now I’m happy to work for the company,” she said.

She also missed her family and relatives back at Ulawa but at the end of each year when its time for the annual Christmas and New year break, she would travel to her home province for a brief vacation.

She also expressed sadness that her boss is leaving at the end of April.

She said, since Mr Alexander joined SolTuna there were a number of positive achievements and changes that had taken place.

These included the annual welcome back lunch and the initiative to award staff who have served the company over 20 years and those who never missed work during a year.

“When he came, I saw new things that he introduced which helped to motivate the employees.

“And its sad to see leave him the company and the SolTuna family,” she said.

Ms Marau said, with the award, it had motivated her to work hard and she will continue to serve the company in the remaining years allowed under the company’s policy.

She urges others to start small and work faithfully.

“Start small with your plans and you will see it grow, do some generation activity to support your family and lastly continue to work faithfully,” she said.

Her advice to young workers out there is; “young people must mean to work. Aim for work and have a goal in life. Start little, dream big,” she said.

She thanked for the company for the recognition to all the staff who have served the company over the past two decades.

Apart from the long serving staff, the company also awarded employees who had never miss work all throughout 2022.

End of quote.

Solomon Star News.

Yours sincerely

Frank Short

Quick Enquiry