Richard Butler | Exclusive Report by DAILY POST VU | 19th MARCH, 2024

On the occasion of the Commonwealth’s 75th anniversary service at Westminster Abbey in London on Monday 11th of March 2024, the Head of the Commonwealth, HM King Charles III, delivered his message of congratulations to the 56 member nations in a pre-recorded video message.

Broadcast live to millions of global viewers on the BBC the King’s message singled out Vanuatu amongst a small number of other Commonwealth Countries for the creativity, innovative skills, and the hard work displayed by their youth.

Recently battling ill-health, the King has been advised by his medical team to temporarily withdraw from public duties. His place at the service was taken by Her Majesty Queen Camilla who, accompanied by William, Prince of Wales and other members of the Royal Family enjoyed a rich and diverse display of song and dance from around the Commonwealth.

As with every year, the central part of the service was the parading of the Commonwealth flags, including Vanuatu – this year with 19-year old London-based Ni-Vanuatu student Mr. Lemuel Martin (son of Alivier Wartef originally from Santo) having the honour of bearing the national flag.

Representing Vanuatu at the Service and subsequent Reception was James E.Harris, Vanuatu’s resident Honorary Consul in London. Vanuatu’s current UK Chevening Scholar, Ms Amanda Baereleo was also in attendance thanks to the support of the British Friends of Vanuatu (BFoV).

Marking Commonwealth Day, President Nikenike Vurobaravu, issued a short statement as follows:

“On the occasion of the Commonwealth’s 75th Anniversary I would like to convey on behalf of all the people of Vanuatu our congratulations, but also our sincere wishes to His Majesty King Charles III for a rapid and full recovery from his current bout of ill-health. We recall with pleasure his last visit to Vanuatu in 2018 and look forward to welcoming him here again – hopefully, next time accompanied by Her Majesty The Queen.”

With this year’s Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting to be held in October in Samoa, the focus of the organisation is now firmly on the Pacific Islands. It is hoped that the meeting will yield more opportunities for investment into the Pacific – in particular addressing urgent climate change finance needs for which Vanuatu remains a leading global advocate and leader.