ACTING Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare was chief guest of honour during the occasion marking the 50th Anniversary Celebration of the University of the South Pacific in Honiara yesterday afternoon.
An alumni of the university himself, Sogavare addressed a crowd of academics, alumni, scholars and members of the general public.
“The 50th anniversary day celebrates our past, who we were, what we have become or who we are and where we are going. It is a time to reflect on the achievements our University has made in the past 50 years,” he said.
“I am sure you are proud just like I am to have been given the scholarship and opportunity to study and learn at the USP. I am also proud of our past and present students, alumni, staff and our community which is spread over 12 countries and there is scope for other neighbouring countries to join the USP family.”
The acting Prime Minister reiterated that as former USP students, the knowledge and skills gained have enabled for the improvement of lives and to become “the persons that we dreamed of becoming when we were young”.
Sogavare further acknowledged the contribution made to the country by USP graduates through the application of their skills and stated that they have exhibited their commitment to the good of the people and country.
Acknowledging that whilst education does no stop after graduating from an institution the acting Prime Minister Sogavare further reiterated.
“Rather you should continue to learn whenever you can in order to add to the vast knowledge you have already possessed.”
He further added that if learning stops, progress in the work places become stagnant and uninteresting and there would be feeling of anxiety of all sorts and burn-out as well.
Sogavare further acknowledges the theme and stated, “This is a moment for all of us to shine and make a difference in our country; a very appropriate time to talk about this responsibility as the country is moving towards another general elections and we cannot afford to maintain the status quo.”
The acting Prime Minister also made a call to the members of the USP alumni to rise above the challenges to make Solomon Islands a country that is worthy of its calling and to be a significant player in the regional effort to continue to make the Pacific Islands a peaceful corner of the world.
“Our future generations need a Pacific Islands that they can enjoy peace, progress and prosperity, that men should brothers be, make nation see, as our national anthem prayerfully reminds us,” he stated.
“That is a Pacific that is worthy of celebrating. That kind of environment does not fall from the sky; rather it is created by people like you and me who are privileged to be educated. That is where USP plays a strategic role.
“So, arise and shine.” He ended.
The acting Prime Minister was also accompanied by officials from the Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.