IN one of the series on SIBC in the programme “Election for what” on Sunday 14th September, 2014, a question was asked on the National Emblem as to the meaning of the shark and the crocodile that formed the coat of Arm.
Unfortunately, the learned panellists could not answer that simple but important question.
Let’s go back to history.
Solomon Islands was a protectorate under the administration of the British government, UK.
Our National Emblem then, was of the following depictions—Lion at the top representing UK, down below are the Turtle for the Western District (whole of Western Islands), shield and spears representing the Central District (Isabel, Gela, Savo and Guadalcanal), Eagle and War Club (Subi) representing Malaita District (Main Island, Lord Howe we and Sikaiana etc) and the Frigate Birds, for Eastern District (Makira/Ulawa and Eastern Outer Islands)
At our nationhood, we have a new Coat of Arm.
As we know, the Lion was removed and the rest is replaced by a Shark and a Crocodile.
I did not remember whether or not Our Big men then, prior to nationhood chose such a Coat of Arm design.
The little I know was that the designer of the Coat of Arm was the Government Printer of the time, an employee of the UK government, who was an artist.
A friend of mine from one of the Pacific countries, upon his arrival at the Henderson Airport just after the ethnic tension, saw the Coat of Arm and asked why we had such a dangerous Coat of Arm.
He told me, no wonder we fought each other because our Coat of Arm has the most dangerous animal on it.
These animals will never be domesticated or tamed, no matter how much, we try and it is great surprise for a Christian country to have such an Emblem or coat of Arm.
I was taken aback at that observation to be honest, that is from an outsider, a visiting friend and there is some truth in what he told me after all as I live to experience a lot of adverse happening, now and then.
To cut the story short, for the next parliament may I suggest that one of your policies should be to REPLACE OUR COAT OF ARM with something Christian in nature and meaning.
As I said the designer of our Coat of Arm was just a Printer Artist and could be doing the design on an artistic perception only, not otherwise.
This also for our National Motto “To Lead is to serve” should be replaced to read “To serve is to Lead” meaning if you want to lead you must be prepared to serve.
If you want to be a leader you must first be a servant.
That is the role model of leadership of the founder of Christianity, the One whom we as Christians profess to assimilate.
There are two important tasks for our decision makers to think about.
Those who will form the next parliament may I say this that, do not worry so much about the free-handouts from donors in the name of your voters and forget about your duty that you are our servants, not leaders.
By JOHN TINONIBONA