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VANUATU’S MELE VILLAGE GETS NEW STATE NAKAMAL Villagers name new meeting house ‘Farea Malotuk’

By Glenda Shing PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, Dec. 1, 2010) – The old Vanuatu State House Nakamal which has been in use since the term of the former President, late Mr. Fred Kalomoana Timakata, has been replaced with a brand new one.

While it has been built by the people of Mele village who took up to eight weeks, they were given the honor of providing a name for the Nakamal.

The Former Head of State, Ati George Sokomanu spoke on behalf of the builders to explain the name they chose and why they chose it.

"We want to name the Nakamal, ‘Farea Malotuki’. Near Mele Island, the mainland on the road to Devil’s Point is an area called ‘Teworamasau’ now known as ‘Tara Beach Resort’. Opposite Tara Beach Resort on the seaward side looking towards Mele Island, there is a coral reef called ‘Buru Waraone’, and on the eastern side of this coral reef is where "Malotuki’ stands which can be seen at low tide. When the waves beat upon it, it makes a loud sound and mighty sprays soar up to the sky. At high tide, especially during the night, when one paddles on a canoe or rides in a boat over the area where ‘Malotuki’ stands, myriads of bio-luminary bacterial organisms produce lights that glow in the dark, a little eerie but wonderful to note God’s creation under the sea".

[PIR editor’s note: Ati George Sokomanu is a Ni-Vanuatu politician who served as the first president of Vanuatu from 1980-1984 and was re-elected after his term ended in 1984 and served till 1989. Mele Island also known as Hideaway Island is a Polynesian outlier in Vanuatu. The island is famously known in the world for having the only Post Office underwater.]

The Former Head of State said in the past, whenever the waves beat upon the rock ‘malotuki’ and creates a loud sound, the people on the mainland knew it would bring a message, calling or sending people to the Nakamal for meetings or ceremonial occasions. Today the Nakamal is like a gateway for foreign leaders and diplomats who come to meet the Head of State, and also, perform other State functions.

Referring to the rock as a light-house which signals the mariner to a safe haven, he described the Nakamal as a place where hope, love, and peace should reign.

Mr. Sokomanu described the ‘Farea’ as a House of Authority, because it represents the highest authority. He said it is their prayer that ‘Farea Malotuki will play a mighty role in traditional governance and values, faith in God and Christian Principles.

The Head of State, His Excellency, Iolu Abbil described the Nakamal as a gateway, because it is where foreign ambassadors and high commissioners present their credentials.

He believes the rock ‘Malotuki’ stands in a right location, right at the entrance of international flights, where foreign leaders have to fly over to meet the Head of State.

He acknowledged the people of Mele for proposing the name, considering the fact that it suits best the purpose and function of the State Nakamal.

The Head of State extended his appreciation to the government and all who participated in the funding and building of the State House Nakamal, making it possible to have a standard one that all should be proud of.

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