29 Oct 2007

New Zealand Day marked on Solomons island of Mono

11:37 am on 29 October 2007

Every year on the 27th October, the tiny community of Mono Island in Solomon Islands marks what they call 'New Zealand Day'.

This is the anniversary of the day in 1943 when the NZ Army and US Forces landed and began the liberation of the island from the occupying Japanese forces.

Forty New Zealanders were killed in the battles that followed as the Japanese were cleared from the island.

This year, a group of New Zealanders, including High Commissioner, Deborah Panckhurst, and the Deputy Special Coordinator for RAMSI, Dr Jonathan Austin, attended the memorial service on the tiny island nearly 300 kilometres south of Bougainville in the Treasury Islands.

The visitors were welcomed by the island's paramount Chief, John Goldie, who thanked the New Zealanders for traveling all the way from Honiara, where they are stationed, to share the day with them.

A short service was held at the memorial to the soldiers killed and wreaths laid and a minutes silence observed to remember the fallen.