SOLOMON Islands Ports Authority (SIPA) dubbed as one of the old State Own Enterprise (SOE) in Solomon Islands has celebrated its 65th anniversary in a very humble but meaningful way in Honiara Friday.
The small ceremony was held at the Unity Square, one of the beautiful infrastructures built by SIPA which aimed at beautifying Honiara City and also reminds Solomon Islanders of it uniqueness.
Staff, management, executive and board of directors took part in the event yesterday, where speeches, cutting of anniversary cake and staff testimonies were conducted to mark the organisation’s big day.
Speaking at the opening of the ceremony, SIPA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Eranda Kotelawala said he is very humbled and happy to be part of the team to celebrate this important occasion.
“Sixty five years ago, Solomon Ports made a humble beginning from a copra wharf ended up being an International Port and it is recognised now worldwide.
“Solomon Ports is now known and recognised internationally as a major international port in the region and actually one of the most successful ports and also one of the successful State Own Enterprise not only in Solomon Islands but in the region,” Kotelawala said.
It was understood that Solomon Ports has recently been recognized as a regular member of the ‘International Association of Ports and Habours’.
This comes after 46 years of its establishment; which Solomon Ports was a provisional member two years ago.
IAPH is a prestigious organization attached to the ‘International Maritime Organization’ (IMO) and the ‘United Nations’ (UN).
On this remarkable occasion Kotelawala said today Solomon Ports still stands strong.
“Today we have a very simple and humble ceremony due to some of the effects of the pandemic and also looking at the situation of the country,” he added.
But 65 years of journey is not simple.
Kotelawala said actually a hard earn journey by many of the Solomon Ports staff and fortunately they have some very long serving employer who have been serving the Ports more than 25 to 30 years.
“I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate and thank all staff that has dedicated their life and soul for these 65 years.
“It doesn’t matter at what level you are in whether it’s from executive level to staff level and maybe from cleaner you have all contributed to the development of this place.
“We respect every ones commitments for the development of the Ports irrespective of the level,” he added.
Meanwhile, Kotelawala said this is the only SOE in the Melanesian region as a Port and Solomon Islanders should be proud of these 65th years for every ones commitment.
“There is no other port in the region that is owned and operated by the State. This is a clear example of success, commitment and a long hard earn journey of Solomon Port to remain as a very strong SOE.
“A profitable SOE serving more than 500 staff and nearly 8,000 family members and also it’s one of the greatest economic contributor to Solomon Islands,” he added.
He encouraged the Solomon Ports staff to continue to work together to build Solomon Ports, as the pride of Solomon Islands.
By ANDREW FANASIA