The British High Commission in Solomon Islands and Nauru yesterday celebrated Commonwealth Day by presenting Joe Billy Oge with a Points of Light Award for his outstanding service to young people in Solomon Islands.
Mr Oge, 45, received the 208th Commonwealth Points of Light Awards from Her Majesty the Queen Elizabeth II for his work as Chief Commissioner of the Solomon Islands Scouting Association. The Points of Light Award recognises outstanding individual volunteers – people who are making a change in their community.
The award was presented on behalf of the Queen by His Excellency the Governor General of Solomon Islands. Sir David Vunagi thanked Mr Oge for his work with the Solomon Scouts Association underlining the importance of the movement and in investing in our youth.
British High Commissioner to Solomon Islands and Nauru, Thomas Coward said:
“Commonwealth Day is an annual celebration of the deep ties across the 54 countries of the Commonwealth and our shared values of prosperity, democracy and peace. Given that 2022 is Her Majesty the Queen’s Jubilee Year, there is a special focus on the role service plays in the lives of people and communities cross the Commonwealth. Which makes this a perfect opportunity to thank Billy Joe Oge for his service to the young people of Solomon Islands.”
Commonwealth Day is annually celebrated on 14 March with a message from Her Majesty The Queen and a Commonwealth Service was held at Westminster Abbey. This service was made even more special with former Points of Light winner and current Chevening scholar Gladys Habu acting as Solomon Islands flag bearer for the service.
Gladys said: “I am pleased to say that I have been successfully nominated to be flag bearer for my home country on the Commonwealth Day Service at West Minster Abbey this year on her Majesty’s platinum jubilee. A once in a life time opportunity I will carry our flag with the highest honour and respect.”
Previous Points of Light Awardees in the Solomon Islands include:
- Jacob Sibia, a village chief who has enabled over one hundred children to gain primary education by leading the construction and funding of a school built from scratch.
- Judah Suimae, Coordinator of voluntary clean-ups across Honiara city who also raises awareness of plastic pollution and promoting a safe, green local environment.
- Marilyn Gedi, Champion for community conservation who created ‘Kawaki’, a women’s group dedicated to conservation and rare turtle protection for the Arnavon Islands.
- Gladys Habu, Environmental activist and UNICEF Pacific Supporter who has campaigned for many years on a local and international level to advocate for increased awareness of the impact of climate change.