Dear Editor – With the passing of our statesman, the late Sir Peter, we all had our moment of quiet reflection on the life of late Sir Peter and his family.
I would like to convey a few words that I feel I need to express and share to the passing of a gentle and great man that has touched the lives of so many that has become part of our life’s journey.
Although my family especially my mother and late father had the privilege of the friendship of the Sir Peter and Lady Margaret in the early 80’s, it wasn’t until 2001 when I entered parliament that I too had this privilege of experience when serving under his leadership and guidance when he was speaker of parliament throughout his two terms as speaker.
I know I am not the only one to experience this and would like to share the profound impact this man has left me which was a special moment that I will never forget and will always treasure.
We were all in parliament debating a important Bill that was very controversial and which was heatedly debated. (I will not mention which bill as it is not important now). I had finished my debate in expressing how this Bill would affect the country and the people of Solomon Islands which concluded the morning session at lunch break.
The sergeant at arms passed me a note saying the then Speaker requested me at his office. As this was not a common thing, I was a bit worried I had maybe said something out of place or maybe be cautioned for something.
I waited a few moments as not to arouse any undue notice and then quietly made my way to the Speakers office. Upon arriving the secretary asked me to sit down in the speakers meeting room and informed me the speaker would see me in a few minutes.
A hundred things were going through my mind imagining what the problem was.
The door opened and Sir Peter entered in his usual quiet manner and I greeted him accordingly, we shook hands, he thanked me for coming and then he quietly said, “Please sit down my son”. I asked if there was a problem. He looked at me with a smile and a bit of a chuckle and said “Oh not at all”!! He then said, “the reason I have called you here to see me is to encourage you, encourage you to continue to talk the way you do in the debate.
“Most MPs hide a lot of what they are meant to say or don’t say it in a way that is to the point. I want to encourage you to keep up your way of speaking on the floor of parliament. Keep up the good work.”
I sat there nodding my head in shock and thanked him for his advice with a distinct feeling that it was my father talking to me. He slowly moved upwards from his chair and stood up and said, “Well that’s all I wanted to say. By the way how is your mum going?” he said. I said, “Well as can be Sir.”
He nodded his head and said, “Please pass on Margaret’s and my warm regards to her.” I assured him, “I would” and thanked him once again.
I walked out of the office with a sense of self worth and confidence and totally humbled by his words and the manner in which he presented himself. That was a moment I will never forget.
Sir Peter was a gentle man of stature that had exceptional qualities in leadership and wasn’t afraid to share and express to whoever that had the privilege to meet him.
A special son of Are’Are, Malaita, an esteemed son of Solomon Islands, and a father to all that knew him. A son called home by the heavenly father, well done Sir.
Mr. Peter Boyers,