Thursday, August 30, 2012

Guadalcanal Battle: 70th Anniversary

On August 7, the 70th Anniversary of the Battle of Guadalcanal was commemorated in Honiara.  We were invited to be part of the festivities by Keithie Saunders, the US consular agent.  We arrived at the US Memorial as the sun was coming up.  It was beautiful!

Many branches of the military were represented.  It was a very patriotic day.  We were so honored to be part of this solemn occasion to honor those who fought and died here on Guadalcanal in WWII. 

Our invitation indicated that those who wished, were welcome to lay a wreath during the ceremony.  We decided to use some of Public Affairs budget to purchase a wreath and Cheryle and I layed it in memory of the LDS servicemen who were here during the battle 70 years ago.

The Marine band played during the commemoration. 

One of the few Solomon Island Scouts still alive, who attended the ceremony.

Teddy Taylor, the US Ambassador to Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands.

Many of the military spoke about the battles that occurred all around the memorial site and near our house which is just 1 1/2 miles behind the speaker.

John Innes is the foremost authority on the history of the battles here on Guadalcanal that began on the 7th of August 1942 and lasted until the end of January 1943.

One of the living Solomon Island Scouts being recognized for his service in the War


Laying of the wreaths.

The two LDS servicemen who were here to participate in the commemoration.  Adam Olson of the Coast Guard and Victor Norris the saxophone player in the Marine Band.  These two fine young men came up to us after seeing our missionary tags and independently told us they were members of the Church.  What an honor for us to meet fine young priesthood holders serving our country so faithfully.

Ken shaking hands with the only surviving serviceman from the battle of Guadalcanal that attended the ceremony.  His ship was sunk in one of the naval battles and after hanging on to a board to keep afloat for 5 hours he was rescued.  He was then assigned to roll 45 gallon drums of gasoline from the ocean to the airport for the next 13 days.  (a distance of about a mile)

Solomon Island Scouts

This Scout is 101 years old

Scout who helped rescue Pres. John F. Kennedy
close to Gizo

Prime Minister Gordon Lilo helping Solomon Island Scout to his seat.

A little later in the day we attended another ceremony at the Solomon Island Scout monument on Commonwealth Avenue at Pointe Cruise.  Unveiled was a list of names of the Solomon Island Scouts (native Solomon Islanders) and Coast Watchers who served behind the lines during the battles.

Still later in the morning we attended the dedication of a plaque honoring Douglas Munro.  He was a Coast Gaurdsman who was killed in the battle for Guadalcanal.  Our new friend and LDS Coast Guardsman, Adam Olson, gave the dedicatory speach at the Yacht Club where the plaque is located.

We were honored to have our picture taken with these brave Solomon Island Scouts

What a great day we enjoyed on the 70th year commoration of the Battle of Guadalcanal

Friday, August 24, 2012

Measles Campaign

STARTING JUNE 1ST OF THIS YEAR, the Solomon Islands kicked off their measles and rubella immunization campaign.  The Church is not recognized on this tee shirt, but millions of dollars are donated to provide immunizations for children in undeveloped areas of the world. 

Elder and Sister Tolley, a Senior Missionary Couple from Salem, Utah, had the assignment to come to the Solomons to help with this campaign.  They help with whatever is needed from megaphones to church member volunteers who assist in national campaigns through out the world.

They have been helping with this Church Humanitarian Initiative for five years and have traveled all over the world to help eradicate measles and rubella.

The Tolleys were not scheduled to arrive in Honiara in time for the kick off of the campaign and asked Cheryle and I to do some of the preliminary work.  We attended the kick off.  As we were some of the first to arrive we jumped in and helped blow up balloons.  You know what?  We found out that is one of our talents!! 

The kickoff ceremony was carried live on the national radio station and filmed by the television station.  About five minutes before the meeting started the MC approached Cheryle and I and said the Minister who was scheduled to pray had not arrived and would one of us feel comfortable praying?  I said sure, Cheryle will do that, but I was over ruled and gave the prayer.  It was an honor to invoke the Lords blessings on the important work that was beginning here in the Solomon Islands.  We met many important people that were involved in this effort.

Dr, Juliet Fleischl from the World Health Organization

Dr. Divi Ogaoga director of Pediatric and Neonatal Care for the Solomon Islands

Solomon Islands Director of UNICEF

This little Pikinini will be happy for the rest of his life that he is protected from measles.
Trust me, he will!!

Training meeting for volunteers held in the Honiara Chapel

Members from Honiara who volunteered to assist with the campaign.

Malaita members also donated many hours of help.

Lynn and Myrna Tolley are such great people.  We learned so much from them and their example of  providing such great help in the immunization effort here and though out the world.  Since there were no accommodations available in Honiara, they stayed at our house with us during the campaign.  We became great friends and it was such a joy to have them stay with us.  We consider them as family, in fact we now call our spare room, the "Tolley Bedroom". 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


Newspaper article Solomon Star 5 August 2012

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
opens new building


LDS members gather after services Sunday


Members, friends and missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints of the Burns Creek Branch met in their new building on Sunday.  The new meeting house is located on King George highway adjacent to Ocean Marine.  Members have been meeting at Kola Ridge since October and are excited to be able to meet in their own neighborhood again.  Branch President, Dickson Koke, commented, “this new building provides us with a large chapel and many classrooms.  It is so convenient for those who attend.  Most can now just walk to meetings without riding the bus.”


This new building serves members of the Church who live between Vura road on the west and Tenaru on the east.  Worship services begin each Sunday at 10am.  Visitors are always invited and welcome.


The Burns Creek Branch is part of the Honiara Solomon District of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Other congregations meet in White River, Honiara, Fauabu Malaita, and Gizo.  Membership in the Church is growing in the Solomon Islands as people discover this Christian religion which is based on modern day apostles, prophets and the teachings of Jesus Christ.  Members believe the resurrected Savior Jesus Christ leads and directs his church in these modern times through revelation.