HE was born and raised at Vonunu, on Vella, Western Province more than 80 years ago and was given a local name.
And because of that, this English man holds the place dearly to his heart and called the place a home.
Meet Kiko Rutter, 83, who was born around the 1940s when the World War II Pacific battle was fought in the Western province.
He is currently in the country with his beautiful wife Mie Rutter who are here to visit his birth place.
He had traveled to the Solomons a number of times. His last visit was in 2019 before the COVID-19 hits.
And its good to be back in the Solomons, he said in an interview this week.
Kiko hails from England and her wife is a Norwegian. They have three children.
But for Kiko who was named by a local chief when he was born in Vonunu has a long last memory of the place and the country.
He was a grandson of a doctor and Medical Missionary born in England and educated in New Zealand known as Allenson Rutter Gordon.
Kiko recalled his father delivered him in Vonunu in August 1940 when the WWII battle moved over to Vella Island.
He said during that time, his father was working with the Methodist New Zealand Society as a doctor and was serving in Vonunu between 1936 to 1948.
‘’I can remember as my father recalled when I was born, the first woman working from Uzamba known as McEachran first saw me as my father and other people in Vonunu waving white sheets telling her that I was born.”
When he visited Vonunu last week, he could still see the foundation of the house where he was born and it brought back memories and recalled his childhood days in the 1940s.
‘’My father was a devoted Methodist man like my mother. Instead of making money in England, he chose to travel to the Pacific especially in Solomon Islands to look after sick people with no money as expected,’’ he said.
Both him and his brother were born in Solomon Islands and were uneducated for more than 10 years.
It was not until they returned to England that they started their education.
He said, returning to the Solomons feels brings back many memory of a place he called home.
‘’I feel at home when I come back to Solomons especially in Vonunu where I had remarkable memories that I can’t erase.”
After the war between Japanese and US Kiko used to sail with his father in a Hygeia II- Methodist Boat.
Kiko said they used to go around the villages in Vella and treated sick patients and people that needed medical attention after the WWII Battle occupation and invasion.
He said he had been to Malaita and Guadalcanal as well following his father visiting the islands on medical mission.
Kiko was given a Christian name Roderick Peter but today he is known and officially called Kiko since the local chief gave his name as a honor and respect to the chief and the people.
The name ‘Kiko’ comes from a Roviana language.
He first visited Solomon Islands in 1993, 2013 and 2019. This is his fourth visit.
He used to work at the Constipation Departments of Surgery and Medicine at St George’s Hospital, London in England.
The couple travelled around the globe for almost 6 years sailing after he retired from his career in 1998.
Despite traveling and visiting many islands, one location sticks close to his heart and feels at home which is in Western Solomons.
Because of his close connection with Vonunu School, he also supported the school back in 2019 and has been working very hard to develop this school into what it is now.
Kiko also entered the Nottingham Christmas Marathon back in England
He took up an individual effort to raise much needed funds to assist Vonunu school four years ago in 2019.
He successfully ran a 26.2 mile event marathon to raise $26,000 pound from his Friends and family members at the age of 78.
From a self-sacrificed and selfless service towards his fundraising, his assistance of providing much needed funds to fund science chemicals, library books, other apparatus and Information technology consist of 9 computers; have tremendous positive impacts for student’s academic research back in Vonunu that is being used today.
During the visit last week Vonunu School Staff and local community also welcomed him and his wife as the visit signifies the ionic bonding with Vonunu Land is very much alive.
Kiko’s father, Doctor Allenson is also the one who sets up the Number 9 now known as National Referral Hospital in Honiara and first set foot at Mbilua Clinic in Vonunu, Vella which is first known as the Helena Goldie Hospital before it moved to Munda.
When asked of his last memory before leaving Solomon Islands in late 1940s, he said, they boarded a vessel at the Point Cruz wharf in Honiara.
He said, he waved goodbye to some of his friends before boarding the Kurimorao Sailing Boat which headed off to Fiji, then on to New Zealand using a flying boat before taking a slow trip back to England in the early 1948.
Kiki said he is so happy to visit Solomon Islands again and people here are always friendly and nice.
‘’I hope my grandchildren will visit Solomon Islands, especially in Vonunu some day.
‘’But age and time is catching up with us and I hope more great things will occur in Vonunu and other areas as well in the Solomons,’’ he said.
The couple will be spending few days in Munda this week before returning to England.
By ULUTAH GINA
Solomon Star, Gizo