27 January 2016
Solomon Islands Scout Recognised on Australia Day
The efforts of Solomon Islands Scouts and Coastwatchers have been recognised at an official function to mark Australia Day earlier this week.
Mr James Tungi from East Guadalcanal received a prestigious Solomon Islands Scouts and Coastwatchers medallion on behalf of his late uncle, Tungi Vilia who served as a Solomon Scout during the Second World War.
On presenting the medallion, Australian High Commissioner Andrew Byrne acknowledged the courage and mateship shown by Solomon Islanders such as Mr Vilia who served alongside Allied forces.
“The medallions have been presented to Solomon Islands Scouts and Coastwatchers or their next of kin on behalf of the Australian Government since 2013,” said Mr Byrne.
“Australia Day is a great opportunity to recognise the invaluable assistance Scouts and Coastwatchers provided during the war and to reflect on the enduring friendship between our two countries which was forged all those years ago”.
The medallion recognises that 27 Coastwatchers and 20 Solomon Islanders made the ultimate sacrifice and were killed in action during the Second World War. In addition to this, 18 Coastwatchers and 40 Solomon Islanders were captured during the course of the war. The Coastwatchers were also credited with rescuing 501 Allied military personnel and 450 civilians during the Second World War.
Solomon Islands Scouts and Coastwatchers who served during the Guadalcanal campaign (or a member of their surviving next of kin) are eligible to receive the medallion in recognition of acts done in service of the Allied war effort.
To apply for the medallion contact the Australian High Commission, Honiara or the Solomon Islands Scouts and Coastwatchers Memorial Trust.
Image: (L-R) Lieutenant Colonel Richard Watson, Sir Bruce Saunders and Annie Kwai from the Solomon Scouts and Coastwatchers Memorial Trust, Mr James Tungi, Medallion recipient and Australian High Commissioner Andrew Byrne