‘It’s something small for my country’: Frank Haikiu and his RAMSI monument

Local artist Frank Haikiu at the RAMSI monument

Local artist Frank Haikiu sees it has his little contribution to his country, the Solomon Islands.

“I’m honoured and privileged,” he told SIBC as his RAMSI monument was unveiled yesterday in central Honiara.

“I’m a small man, and it’s a small monument, but at least I can leave something behind when I’m gone for my countrymen.”

As RAMSI leaves today, Mr Haikiu’s monument will be here forever. The monument, which was unveiled in a ceremony yesterday at the area next to the Central Police Station, sees two men either side of a canoe.

Mr Haikiu said it symbolised the two provinces at the source of the Tensions, Malaita and Guadalcanal, and how they had now eased their differences to now come together.

He said he created the sculpture in three-and-a-half weeks after being commissioned to take on the project in April.

“Me and the boys worked really hard, day and night,” he said. “But I’m proud of the result.”

Dignitaries officially unveil the monument on Thursday.

The monument has the flags of all the countries involved in RAMSI, while at the top of the sculpture lies the international symbol for peace – a symbol Mr Haikiu said was important for the country.

“We want peace in the Solomon Islands,” he said. “That’s why I put that up there.”

Speaking at the ceremony yesterday, Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare said it was another permanent reminder of RAMSI’s presence in the country, and symbol of why the country should never go down that road again.

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