Address at the Special Investiture Ceremony for Mr. Andrew Sutherland Thomson.
March 21, 2018 Boron House, Suva.
The Chairlady of the Fiji College of Honour, Dr. Akanisi Kedrayate
Members of the College, Mr. Nezbitt Hazelman and Mr. Dixon Seeto
Our special guest, Mr. Andrew Sutherland Thomson
Mrs. Claireabell Henry-Thomson and members of the Thomson family and friends
Ladies and gentlemen
Ni sa bula vinaka and a very good afternoon to you all.
As the President and Chancellor of the Fiji College of Honour, I am very pleased that we are able to eventually award Mr. Andrew Thomson, today.
Congratulations to you, Sir!
Ladies and gentlemen, as many of you know, Mr. Thomson was nominated in 2016, but because of his work commitments that required extensive travel and lengthy periods of stay abroad, I was not able to personally bestow the award during the national investiture ceremony early last year, nor during his very brief return trips to the country.
I am most pleased that we both have found a mutually convenient time.
Mr. Thomson was nominated for an Order of Fiji Award in recognition of his contribution to the development of tourism in Fiji, particularly in and around the vicinity of Denarau Island in Nadi, which I might add, has become a bourgeoning tourism location.
As the then Chief Executive Officer of the Denarau Island project, he oversaw the infrastructure planning and implementation of seven hotels, a golf course, residential subdivisions, and the Denarau Marina.
Mr. Thomson was also involved in sport, which included leadership roles with the Nadroga and Nadi Rugby Unions, as well as with Fiji Rugby in both the 7s and 15s codes.
The Honours and Awards System under the Fiji Honours and Awards Act of 1995 recognises individuals who have and continue to contribute to Fiji’s development as a nation, in any field or endeavour.
Since becoming Fiji’s Head of State, I have been, and will continue to promote a culture of appreciation.
I believe that the culture of appreciation will further inspire a sense of national unity, patriotism, and productive citizenry among our fellow Fijians, who are and have been working towards a common goal of nation building at the local and international levels.
It is an opportunity for acts of selflessness to be recognised.
I wish to particularly encourage the recognition of those that have contributed immeasurably across the whole range of human endeavour including but not limited to government, local administration, industry, diplomacy, health, education, law, the arts, sport, religion, the news media, environment, youth development, charity and, indeed, all other areas in which service to the Nation is identified.
As a Nation, Fiji should also consider those who have demonstrated great acts of courage in the face of adversity.
That being said, I congratulate you once again Mr. Thomson for your contribution to Fiji’s development.
May Almighty God continue to bless you and your family, and our beloved Nation.