Townsville Solomon Islands Association (TSIA) recently took part in a fundraising night for the Townsville Pasifika Indigenous Cultural Festival (TPICF) to be held next year in May.
Chairperson of TSIA, Eleanor Gledhill said,“it was a fantastic night with custom dancing and performances from all indigenous groups present in Townsville. We had great fun performing our Solomon custom dances. The Bilikiki Solomon Ddancers really enjoyed another opportunity to practice together and show off our culture on the performance night.
“We saw many dances from other indigenous groups such as the Cooks Islands Dance group. The music performed by the Cooks Islands group, CIA Cook Island band was fantastic”
Mary Abana, vice chairperson of TSIA said, “it was great to see all the indigenous cultures getting together to share their cultures. We supplied a motu cooked pork, chicken, cassava pudding, taro and Solomon cabbage.
“The TPICF chairperson, Matulino Iosefo and Joseph, both Tokelauans living in Townsville were happy to help out in providing raw fish dishes with lemon, coconut juice and spices. A beautiful traditional dish from their home country. A lot of other indigenous peoples there had not tried a lot of our foods and they loved it.”
Vice Chairperson of the TPICF Association, Garry Scott, was very happy with the night. He said, “thanks so much for all the bands and performers who travelled a long way and our special guests who we were honoured to have with us tonight. After the success of tonight we look forward to the next Townsville Pasifika Indigenous Festival cultural nite after Xmas.
“We were honoured to have as our special guests James Cook University Professor Aunty Gracelyn Smallwood and Aunty Gail Mabo, daughter of the father of native title in Australia, Eddie Mabo, both present on the night. Aunty Gracelyn provided the customary welcome to her peoples country, the Walgurukaba tribes.
“We unfortunately could not get every indigenous peoples involved in the night only because this was our first fundraising. However everyone was so surprised by how much they enjoyed the event and another one is planned for 14th February 2105.”
Jimmy Nare, Solomon artist and musician, came up with his band, Di au jah, from Melbourne said, “it gave us a real high to be invited and we had a great time collaborating with other indigenous groups. “We are hoping to get a Solomon band to come over in February 2015 perhaps to perform at the fundraiser but also to do a tour with us and other Pacific, Torres Strait and Australian First Nations indigenous acts.
“It was fantastic to see Jai Cummings a well know Aboriginal man from the Wulgurukaba tribe jamming with the Cook island CIA band as well as performing on his own, playing the didgeridoo. We formed some long lasting friends with fellow indigenous musicians and we might just try to do something big together, in time to come. “
Sharon Tylon, secretary of TPICF Association posted on their Face Book said, Thank you one and all for coming tonight and making it a “great success.
“We, the committee of the Townsville Pasifika Indigenous Cultural Festival would like to thank all the acts that volunteered their time to give so graciously to us tonight. It was an absolute success thanks to you all.”