GOVERNOR General Sir David Vunagi has honoured a retired British Soldier, Major David Rankin-Hunt with the Cross of Solomon Islands medal for his services to community development in redesigning the Orders for the Star and Cross of Solomon Islands.
The award was presented to Major David at a private Investiture Ceremony in London Monday this week in the presence of the Solomon Islands High Commissioner to the UK alongside guests of the former British soldier.
The award was announced by the Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare during the 41st Independence Anniversary celebrations in Honiara on 7th July 2019.
Major David Rankin-Hunt was born on 26th August 1956 in Cardiff, Wales, and originally served in the regular army (Scots Guards).
In 1981, he joined the Royal Household, serving as Registrar of the Lord Chamberlain’s office.
He was later transferred to the Royal Collection Department (The Queen’s Art Collection) and became its Administrator.
Concurrent with his mainstream Royal Household appointment, he has also served since 1994 as one of Her Majesty’s Officers of Arms (Norfolk Herald).
In this capacity, he advises on military heraldry, State ceremonial and Honours and Awards.
Since 2000 he has been involved in the design and institution of Orders, Decorations and medals throughout the Commonwealth.
In particular, he has designed and instituted complete Honours systems for Grenada and Tuvalu and designed and instituted individual Orders and medals for Antigua, St Lucia, Barbados, Bahamas and the Kingdom of Tonga.
He has never been paid for any of his work, nor has he sought any form of remuneration.
He is currently designing an Honours system for the Cayman Islands.
Three years ago he was asked by the former Governor-General, Sir Frank Kabui to advice on the local Honours system in Solomon Islands.
He set about the task by redesigning the existing Order’s insignia, finding a suitable company to make the insignia and supervised the actual manufacturing process.
He also re-wrote the statutes of the Order, arranged the photography and supervised the printing of the statutes without receiving any payment for his work.
Major David said it is a great honour and privilege to have had the opportunity to make a small contribution to Solomon Islands.
He looks forward to supporting and assisting in any regard, the people of Solomon Islands for many years to come.
For his services rendered to Solomon Islands, the Solomon Islands Government has recommended and approved his nomination to be awarded a medal in recognition of his services in Solomon Islands.
The Cross of Solomon Islands is under the category of ‘The Order of Solomon Islands’, which is a Civil Order of Distinction, for recognition of service characterized by devotion to duty, including long service marked by exceptional ability, merit and exemplary conduct and it is awarded by the Governor-General on the recommendation of the Prime Minister.
The Cross of Solomon Islands is the Second Class of the Order of Solomon Islands which consisted of those appointed ‘for most conspicuous and outstanding service’, by distinguished members of the Public Service and of the professions including Heads of large commercial and industrial concerns, Heads of Churches and senior long term leaders in the Community and of the Arts, Sciences, Sports, Politics and Voluntary Charitable Organisations.