GIVE HON­OUR WHERE IT IS DUE

Fiji Sun - - Comments - Yu­dah .A.Wakolo, Suva Mr Wakolo will re­ceive a Parker pen from the Fiji Sun as last week’s win­ning let­ter writer.

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.

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