31 March 2019
Standards of ethics, integrity, honesty and love of country in the service of the Solomon Islands
How many of today’s young generation know of the life of, arguabably, one of the Solomon Islands greatest sons, Sir Jacob Vouza?
It was on 15 March 1984 that Sir Jacob died and was laid to rest at his home in California Village in Guadalcanal, formerly known as Roroni.
Messages of sympathy were received by Sir Jacob’s family from around the world, including one from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth and the then President of the United States, Ronald Reagan.
The expressions of sympathy and condolence were all prompted by Sir Jacob’s war time service as a scout in the defence of Guadalcanal and his country.
His many exploits during the bloody campaign saw him captured by the occupying Japanese Imperial Forces and his courage and heroism during those years saw his services recognized and honoured with deportations from the United Kingdom and the United States.
He was knighted in 1979 and bestowed with the George Medal, MBE, CPM and the following decorations bestowed on him by the United States:
Silver Star (USA) and the
Legion of Merit (USA)
Sir Jacob also received the Coronation Medal from Britain in 1953.
Those wishing to read more of the Battle of Guadalcanal and the service of Sir Jacob Vouza should try and read the excellent book ‘Where the Sun Stood Still,’ written by Don Richter and published in 1992.
By citing Sir Jacob Souza’s war time story in which his courage, heroism, valour, service, dedication and love for his country shone through, I was mindful of the personal standards and duties expected of those who serve their country and especially mindful of those who are seeking to gain a seat in the national Parliament following the results of the General Election taking place on 3 April 2019.
In the Solomon Islands the Leadership Code Provisions, as set out in Chapter 86 of the Laws of the Solomon Islands lay down requirements for the disclosure of financial affairs, conduct in office and for various enforcement procedures and penalties.
I wonder, however, apart from the provisions of Chapter 86 there is a laid down Codes of Conduct and a Mission Statement for Parliamentarians such as exists in several countries and notably in the United Kingdom, Germany, Canada and Greece, to name those I know have introduced such documents.
I have in mind that as servants of the Crown, Parliamentarians must observe laid down values and codes of conduct, show respect for all those they serve, demonstrate professionalism, honesty, integrity, impartiality, leadership and an attitude of doing what is right for the country.
Parliamentarians by their standards of conduct must promote “right-doing” and seek to inspire exemplary behavior and discourage wrongdoing. Their values must ensure enduring standards and principles that influence for the good, attitudes, actions, choices and decisions.
Codes of Conduct and Mission Statements set out the rules of behavior and provide occupational principles for MPs: selflessness, openness, integrity, care for the good name of the parliament, accountability and the good standing of the country.
Sir Jacob Vouza, GM, MBE, CPM had integrity, selflessness, courage, determination and love of his country in abundance and his example must serve as a “torch bearer” to those who aspire to high office in the service of the Solomon Islands.