Tanna community acknowledges Efate hospitality on Shefa Day
Tanna community members at Ohlen Fresh Wind in Port Vila also celebrated the Shefa Day Monday this week.
Other island communities in the Ohlen Fresh wind areas also joined in the festivities.
One of the organizers, Tanna MP and Government Business Chair in Parliament, Willie Lop, said in his remarks during the festivities that islanders living in Port Vila and Efate must show their appreciation to the people of Efate and Shefa for being allowed to come and make their home on Efate and Shefa.
“We come and live here on Efate and in Shefa Province but at the same time must always be mindful of the fact that we live on the land belonging to the people of Efate and Shefa.
“It is through their good generosity that we are allowed to buy land here in Port Vila and Efate to make a home here for many of us from other islands that have lived here for ages,” Tanna MP Lop said.
The member of parliament called on the people from Tanna and other islands to respect the people of Efate and Shefa and their ‘nasaras’. He urged islanders to take some time off to spend with the people of Shefa as appreciation for being allowed to come and live here.
“So much is being taken for granted including moving in to Efate and living here. We must be mindful that we have left our own land and are now living on the land belonging to someone else and it is the people of Efate and Shefa that sacrificed their land to us to make a home here,” said MP Lop.
Father Henry Crowby from the Anglican Church who is from Efate himself opened the Tanna Ohlen Fresh Wind community celebrations with a word of prayer.
“Despite out cultural and linguistic diversity and difference in Vanuatu, we are one people under one God and God’s family.
“As one of the land owners here on Efate, I appreciate your kind thoughts of taking time off today to show your appreciation in joining in the Shefa Day celebrations.
“As children of God under our motto “In God We Stand”, it is my wholehearted prayer that God will continue to bless all island communities who come to live here on Efate and contribute in various developments of the nation,” he said.
Another speaker, Chief Simon Kokare, thanked MP Willie Lop for his foresight in purchasing the land at Ohlen Fresh wind with the nakamals he has built and ample space for Tanna people coming to built houses to live in when they come to Port Vila.
“People need a leader and a good leader that live by example.
“Today we witness this leadership example set by Tanna MP Willie Lop.
“Although his constituency is on Tanna but he has bought this land to provide space for the people from Tanna to come and live together here instead of spreading out into other rural areas.
“In this way they can be controlled by our chiefs and share needs. Without the leadership of MP Willie Lop we would not have this festivity today to show our appreciation to the people of Efate and Shefa,” Chief Kokare said.