PHOTO CAPTION: 0187 – People of Mono Island entertained the visitors with traditional song and dance.
28 October 2011
The crew of HMNZS RESOLUTION joined the people of Mono Island, Western Province, Solomon Islands to commemorate 'New Zealand Day'.
New Zealand’s first amphibious military landings since Gallipoli took place on 27 October 1943 at Falamai Bay, Mono Island. Forty New Zealanders and 12 Americans died in action as the Allied Forces liberated the island from occupying Japanese forces. The people of Mono commemorate the landings every year and it is their biggest celebration of the year.
NZ Deputy High Commissioner to the Solomons, Jonathan Schwass, and Kiwi Deputy Commander of Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI), Major Al Mitchell, joined yesterday's commemorations on the remote island.
The Kiwis were welcomed by Chief Mr Boaz Melani and the Principal Government Representative, the Hon George Vunder. Wreaths were laid at the WW2 memorial and a minute's silence was observed during the service to remember the WWII soldiers who lost their lives.
"We are honoured to commemorate the 68th New Zealand Day here with the people of Mono Island. Forty New Zealanders and 12 Americans lost their lives during the campaign to liberate the island from the Japanese. It is important to remember and reflect on the sacrifice of the servicemen and women who gave their lives in the cause of peace during WWII.
"We have been overwhelmed by the warm welcome and hospitality that we have received. It's been good to spend some time getting to know the people of Mono and also help them to repair their medical clinic," said Lieutenant Commander Matt Wray, Commanding Officer, HMNZS RESOLUTION.
HMNZS RESOLUTION also delivered much needed supplies and the ship’s crew worked with locals to repair the Falamai Village medical clinic.
For further information contact Kirsty Taylor-Doig on 021 806 926.