BY LYNTON AARON FILIA
NINE coastwatchers and scouts have received medals from the Australian Rep Defence Attaché Jonathan Durden, on Tuesday’s commemoration the 76th anniversary of the World War II by the United States and Solomon Islands.
The awards were in recognition of the men’s services as coastwatchers and scouts during the war in Guadalcanal, and were received by family members on their behalf.
The recipients are;
Nelson Ne’e Riria received medal for his great uncle Jared Riria who first served as a Royal BSIP officer at Tulagi before WWII.
Later Mr Riria recruited as a platoon leader to recruit and trained local Solomon Islanders at Baunani, Malaita. He received few accolades from the US Marines for his brave participation and leadership style.
Elvis Manakako, RSIPF Officer received medal for Macario as Maternal Grandfather, stationed at Tangarare Catholic Church, west Guadalcanal.
He helped the UN Marines as a carrier and porter for ammunition and dead US Marines on various locations on west GP.
Dr Patrick Rex Paia received medal for his father Willie Gillian Paia who served as Chief Scout of Roviana, Kolobangara, and Vonavona during the WWII. His duties lie for dispatching information regarding the position of enemies and other issues.
Pati Hite received medal for Grandfather Julius Hipu as first person to rescue Colonel David C, a Marine Corps pilot after his fighter plane, F4F Wildcat shot down by Japanese soldier in western province.
Mr Hipu provided medical and homecare treatment for David and then paddled him to Munda, and later on Hipu joined the Scouts network.
Fiona Roddie received medal for Mr Pereti Tovavaki as Grandfather who fought alongside other scouts in various parts of the UN Marine stations in the western province.
Donald Mauisae received medal award for father Uzeal Maunu who joined the first US Marines after their first arrival, an ammunition carrier at Red Beach, Lungga and Matanikau.
Ned Diamon Filia received medal award for Dad Ata who fought alongside several scouts and US Marine Corps in Auki and went across to Guadalcanal and fight until war ended.
Nigel Tutuo as a Grandson for late Simon Panakera received medal award for Panakera’s volunteered as a scout under Kennedy.
Like other scouts, they endured fear, hunger but very brave to do what was asked of by their leader especially to carry out spying, renaissance and carrying heavy loads of goods and ammunitions.
Panakera spoke fondly of friendship made during the war of people of all works of life.