The Townsville Solomon Islands Association (TSIA) recently had the opportunity to take part in the Townsville cultural festival.
The festival is a yearly event in Townsville which showcased food, music, information and products from all over the world.
Townsville is a very multicultural town in north Queensland, Australia. There is always a great turn out by Pacific Island countries exhibiting their different cultures.
A spokesperson and chairperson of the local association living in Townsville, who has been living in Townsville for more than 20 years said, “This was a fantastic opportunity for Solomon islanders living in Townsville to join together to celebrate our culture.”
The association hosted a Solomon Islands stall in the cultural festival’s Global Village. The president said; “at the stall we had a great time with each other as well as providing information to many interested festival goers about the Solomon’s. Before the festival we got in touch with a lot of our wantoks and relatives back home for them to send over to Australia many coral necklaces, earrings and lavalavas which had for display and sale at our market stall.”
The association also had a lot of fun putting together, a custom dance group.
Mary Abana, from Malaita province and vice chairperson said, “it was so much fun practising with all out wantoks for our custom dances. We decided to call ourselves the Solomon Bilikiki custom dancers and we did two separate performances on the main stage at the festival.
“We were little bit rush on our custom dancing to start with but after many practice we ended up putting on two really gud performances – we are putting it on UTube soon.”
The association’s secretary Garry Scott, with a keen interest in artworks and carvings from Solomon’s said “ it was a great chance to show up some of the beautiful artworks produced by Solomon islanders.
“Some of the artists whose work we were able to display at our stall, included, Rae Douglas, Jimmy Nare, Julie Ann Fakaia, Jimmy Sumitovita and Martin Fakaia. We also put together a display folder of other artist’s painting and also carvings. We got a lot of interest and contact details from festival wanting to follow up and order more works form artists/carvers in Solomon’s.”
The association is intending later this year organising an exhibition of Solomon Artworks and Carvings in Townsville.
After meeting many other Pacific islands stall holders at the festival, TSIA has now joined the Pasifika Festival Association to help working towards the first Pasifika Cultural Festival to be held in Townsville.
This will be held in May 2015 and will be another great opportunity for Solomon Islands and other Pacific countries to exhibit the cultures, music, art and foods. It is planning that the art and carving exhibition show in December 2014 will also be able to display other Pacific countries art and carvings.