BY LORETTA BRIGIDIA MANELE
June 22, 2018, marks a memorable day for past and present officers of the Public Solicitors Office (PSO) and public servants who gathered to bid outgoing Public Solicitor, Mr Douglas Hou farewell at the Star Harbour Restaurant.
Among the few speakers who took to the floor to speak of the work Mr Hou has carried out during his time as PS, was PSO representative and DPS, Mr George Gray.
Representing the office and staff in Honiara, Gizo, Auki and Kira Kira, he spoke about the life of Hou as a long time serving public solicitor, mentor and teacher of the law.
Gray explained that for the last 25 years, Hou contributed enormously to the people and government of Solomon Islands in the area of government legal services.
“Mr Hou has served the government and the people of Solomon Islands since 1993. He began his career as a lawyer in the Ombudsman office in 1995. Out of 25 years of service, Mr Hou has served the Public Solicitor’s Office a total of 23 years”
“Mr Hou first joined the Public Solicitor’s Office on March 1995 and worked up to the end of 1998 when he resigned. From 1999 to 2000, Mr Hou joined the private bar. In 2001, he returned to the PSO where he remains up to the present time. Today, we all gather to farewell Mr Hou whose tenure as the “Public Solicitor” will finally come to an end on the 30th June 2018”, he said.
Gray emphasised that with such a background, it is safe to say that Hou exemplifies the epitome of a true and long dedicated son of the Public Solicitor’s Office.
He added he is probably the longest serving lawyer to serve in the PSO which undeniably reflects someone who has the passion to serve his people and the government of Solomon Islands.
On that note, Gray mentioned that in this day and age, it is difficult to find local lawyers like Hou for many have come but left in search of greener pastures only after a short term at the PSO.
“Thank you Mr Douglas Hou for your long and dedicated service with the PSO,” he said.
Speaking of the work experience he and other PSO officers have had under the leadership of Mr Hou, Mr Gray expressed that they can affirm that Mr Hou is a great leader, a capable administrator, an exceptional mentor and a teacher of the law.
“He loves to listen to our queries and questions on legal issues and is freely open to discussions with us lawyers. Indeed this is an important aspect of legal practice that we will miss with Mr Hou,” he said.
Guests present at the occasion included the likes of Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs, (MJLA) Hon Derrick Manuari, Under Secretary of MJLA, agency heads and reps, PSO advisor, Mr Howard Lawry, PSO staff and officers.
The occasion kicked off with speeches from Hon Manuari, PSO representative and DPS, Mr George Gray, provincial PSO branch representatives from Auki and Kira Kira and PSO advisor, Mr Howard Lawry.
Presentation of gifts was done by Hon Manuari, followed by a farewell speech from Mr Hou who later cut the farewell cake before PSO officers performed the farewell song for Mr Hou.