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Gari People Launched their History Book, “The Gari Stori: Footprints in Sand and Time”

Gari people in West Guadalcanal launched their first ever history book at Wanderer Bay, West Guadalcanal last weekend.

The book was written by Father Kerry Prendville and launched by Vicar General from the Holy Cross Cathedral, Father John Galvin.

Titled  “The Gari Stori: Footprints in Sand and Time,” the book recorded the history, lineage, culture and the Gari people’s traditional way of life.

Vicar General, Father John Galvin delivering Father Kerry’s message at the launching

Historical places written in the book are from the Avisi to Masobaga which still exists today.

Conveying Father Prendville’s message during the launching, Father Galvin said the book belongs to the Gari people.

“It has taken me a long long time to get these stories down on paper, corrected, finally printed and published into an attractive book.

It is now their story, it is their book.

It is my gift to the Gari of today from what I received from the elders of yesterday,” Father Prendville said in his statement delivered by Father Galvin.

Father Prendville in his message said he has listened to the stories told by elders that have been said by word of mouth over so many generations.

He said he was told to keep these stories according to how they were told by elders.

He added these are stories on how tribes and clans developed and they are about Taovia (Chief), traditional beliefs and rituals-na sai na vitu ( festival of the seventh month).

Tribal Leaders receiving their copies of the book

Guest of Honour at the launching, Moses Garu said the book will be used in many ways.

“ I believe that this book will help those in authority, provincial and national governments, our schools, our churches, our universities and our scholars,” Garu said.

He called on the Gari people to embrace and take ownership of their history book as it will assist in land recording, dispute resolutions and development.

Meanwhile, Community Representative, Nestor Valevao acknowledged the support from individuals for their efforts in having the book printed and published.

Drama Group performing the Sai na vitu (festival of the seventh month)

The launching ceremony brought together people from Tangarare to Marasa in West Guadalcanal.

The program began on Friday 29 and ended on Saturday 30 October 2021.

By Fredrick Kusu

 

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