After weeks of preparation for this event, the appointed day finally arrived: the occasion was a great success and enjoyed by all. The guest of honour was the current Minister of Health Charles Sigota. He was previously the Director of Nursing at Gizo Hospital and was closely involved with the work to establish the college from the original vision in 2005. The graduation ceremony took place in the large church building at Kokeqolo. The graduands looked splendid in their blue gowns with yellow hoods and the church was beautifully decorated for the occasion. There were several speeches from the invited guests followed by the presentation of certificates & prizes, the singing of the farewell song and the reciting of the nurses’ pledge holding individual candles.
This was followed by a feast for several hundred people back at the college. Invited guests and graduands ate inside the hall and the others were outside in the tomoko (war canoe) that had been built on both sides of the hall for the occasion. Both groups of guests were treated to kustom entertainment during the feast. After the feast, the graduands led by Derek Ivulu challenged the current 3rd year students to make a better tomoko for their graduation in 2014. This is a tradition at such occasions and is followed by the destruction of the front of the war canoe and the theft of food by the students receiving the challenge.
Unfortunately Jenny missed the ceremony as she was busy with patients, but she did manage to attend the feast. Yesterday evening (Friday) there was a farewell feast for the graduands (now probation registered nurses) and an opportunity for them to speak to the combined hospital & college community. They will return to their placements over the next few days.
N.B. Due to an excessive number of nuisance comments, these are no longer being opened.