Dear Editor – As I boarded my small aircraft in June 1974 at Santo Airport in what was then the New Hebrides and now Vanuatu, a large crowd of local people, including the families of the policemen that I had known and helped to care for in the two years I had been the police commander on the island, gathered round the plane and sang, “Now is the time to say goodbye.”
After so long I can still picture the scene and hear the voices that filled me with sad emotion.
Who would have thought at the time I would again return to the South Pacific and command the Royal Solomon Islands Police for two years until July 1999.
Since that time, now almost close to 15 years later, I have kept in touch via the media in the hope, in the main, of supporting the needs of my former colleagues in terms of their resources and training requirements, supported reconciliation, nation building, the youth, the needs of the rural poor, disabled causes and highlighted the plight of women and young girls subjected, still, to incidences of sexual and domestic violence.
I would like to thank the Solomon Star, the Solomon Times on Line, the Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation, Radio New Zealand International, Radio Australia (Pacific Beat) and the Pacific Islands Report for publishing my many articles and for extending me air time.
I have concluded writing my memoirs of my time as the Commissioner of Police and dedicated my book as follows:
For the men and women who fought and died defending the nation during the occupation of the Solomon Islands during World War II.
The sacrifices made by their selfless acts of bravery and heroism should serve as a lasting legacy of the need to serve, protect and preserve the sovereignty of the Solomon Islands now and forever.
It is a fitting time for me to now say farewell and in doing so I am pleased to end on the note that the Prime Minister, accompanied by the former Governor General, Sir Nathaniel Waena last week visited the San Isidro Care Centre and presented a cheque to the centre of five hundred thousand dollars.
It is my wish that other politicians, and those to come, will lead by example and have in mind the need to serve the less fortunate while practicing good leadership and governance in the cause of the nation.
Former police commissioner