To'abaita Authority for Research & Development (TARD)

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Sunday, April 22, 2007

Solomon students in Suva put-on gallant cultural entertainment to a packed audience during tsunami appeal fundraising

The Solomon Islands Student Association (SISA) at the University of the South Pacific's Laucala Campus, in collaboration with an adhoc tsunami appeal committee chaired by USP Lecturer Stanley Houma, have successfully hosted a dinner and cultural entertainment to a packed audience last night.

Despite a heavy downpour, the SISA tsunami appeal fundraising programme at the university's dining hall could not be hampered as guests and ticket holders braved the rain either in a private car or taxi to be present before the opening remarks were delivered by Solomons deputy prime minister, Toswel Kaua who is currently in Suva.
North Malaita 'mao' warriors in their costume for the cultural entertainment

The programme kicked off with a welcome note from Mr Stanley Houma (chairman of the SISA tsunami appeal fundraising committee), followed by remarks from Hon kaua, a word of prayer, and dinner and cultural entertainment. It was estimated that the total number of ticket holders who supported last night's fundraising program exceeded one hundred. Each adult ticket costs FJD$60 whilst FJD$20 was charged for children under 12 years.
North Malaita "mao" dancers rehearsing before their performance

Supporters and guests at last night's dinner and cultural entertainment included Solomon Islands families who are working in Suva, staff of the diplomatic corps in Fiji, staff of regional organisations in Suva, staff of the University of the South Pacific and Fiji School of Medicine, media representatives, certain individuals and business houses, and students.
North Malaita lady dancers gear up for the crowd favourite 'tageai' dance

However, the core and highlight of last night's event was the extravagant show of diverse cultures being showcased by different cultural groupings that affiliate under SISA. Cultural items and dances were performed by the Mauri students, Avaiki students, Makira/Ulawa students, Maasina panpipers, North Malaita mao and tageai groups, Western and Choiseul students, Central Malaita students, Isabel students and Temotu/Tikopia students.
North Malaita "tageai" dancers pose for a group photo after their performance

It is understood the USP fundraising committee is still finalising its financial records and other donations tonight before a final figure can be released. But reports from other Solomon students at the Pacific Thelogical College (PTC) in Suva reveals that a fundraising held at the PTC campus on Friday raised about FJD$15,000. Money raised by the students is expected to be forwarded to the National Disaster Committee in Honiara to support relief work in tsunami stricken areas in Western and Choiseul provinces.

Meanwhile, the SISA community in Suva have also convened a combine service this afternoon to remember the people who have lost their lives and properties in the April 2 earthquake and tsunami to fall in line with the national mourning day which is declared for tomorrow (Monday 23rd April).

In another unrelated news, the "Wantok Disaster Appeal" being initiated by Fiji acting Police Commissioner and former RAMSI staff in Honiara Romanu Tikotikoca, which was supposed to take place yesterday, has been deferred to another date. Commissioner Tikotikoca said they were looking at holding the appeal to coincide with the ‘Suva On Sale’ week.” The Police chief said he would call another meeting next week to confirm the date. Mr Tikotikoca said the appeal would be in the form of a concert and organizers expect a turn out of about 10,000 people. Chief guests of the day he sad would be the victorious national Digicel sevens team.

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