GIVE HONOUR WHERE IT IS DUE
The Great Ben Ryan deserves an honourary Award from Her Royal Highness the Queen of England. He can be knighted as “Sir” Benjamin Ryan. Mr Ryan has done the nations proud for Fiji and the British Crown.
His eloquent sacrifice in coaching our champion Fiji 7s rugby team to win the many International Sevens titles and lately the historical Olympic seven gold medals, given the limitations in terms of resources, financial, technical and personnel, was a genius achievement. Compared to other well-known rugby nations which have huge financial backing, advanced technical equipment and a reasonable number of well-educated players to pick the best from, this British son was able to do exactly what was required of him. Both our Fiji 7s team and the British 7s team created history on the same Olympic field, same turf, same final and same thirty minutes.
It’s just that our Fiji side won the gold and the British won the silver. Fiji has rightly awarded him with the highest honorary award “Companion of the Order of Fiji”. Mr Ryan’s achievement was a prophecy fulfilled. During this historical medal presentations HRH Princess Anne garlanded our sevens gladiators with the gold medals and our Fiji Olympic Committee member garlanded the historical British 7s team with silver medals. This was a historical exchange of respect and honour which symbolises our continued adoration for the British crown and vice versa.
Fiji as a republic is still indebted to the British Crown for the many leadership achievements that has seen our beloved nation elevated from the dark days to the light of civilisation. While we are celebrating our historical gold medal win from the Rio Olympics we at the same time buried and mourning our political differences that has taken the crown to the wire in the recent past. We as a nation have so far been made redundant from our membership of the Commonwealth of Nations under the crown. We may have defaulted and crossed many forbidden lines in our relationship with the crown due to our rise to political maturity, however we still maintained our diplomatic relationship with all the member nations of the Commonwealth.
We are still using the Fiji colonial flag that depicts the crown, we still maintained our national anthem, we still maintained the crown symbol in our security forces hats to name a few. I apologise on our behalf to the British crown for our immature actions for not following the acceptable protocol of change for the better. In the recent past we can witness some members of the British Royal family touring our neighboring Pacific nations, sparing Fiji. While we do not wish to interfere in the busy schedule of the royal family in avoiding Fiji, it just maybe the right time is to come and it is now that they include Fiji in their scheduled royal tours. Mr Ryan as a divinely gifted British son has brought our two sister nations together in both our teams’ historical win in Rio Olympics. He has set a sports leadership legacy that will go down in both Fijian and British history while at the same time possibly forcing his name into the Guinness Book of World Records.
Mr Ryan’s traditional show of respect to the President of Fiji after receiving his honourary award was the culmination of years of unbreakable alliance and solidarity to our former colonist master and the crown. By rewarding Mr Ryan with a knighted “Sir” title from HRH the Queen of England surely will confirm our reciprocal offer of respect, patriotism, unity, tolerance which is a learning curve in our strive for acceptance and recognition under the crown. While we return all the Glory to our Almighty Creator our salute of respect goes to the British crown.