Solomon Islands Ports Authority (SIPA) today celebrates 65th Anniversary in a low key ceremony—but with mammoth feat as one of most successful State Owned Enterprises in the country and the region.
SIPA staff took time off this morning to join with some of their directors to celebrate the anniversary in a colorful ceremony at the Unity Square.
Vice Chairman of SIPA Michael Wate says its has been a great journey that is led by great men and women.
He describes SIPA as an important institution to the economy and to the country. At the same time, he pays tribute to those who were part of the history of SIPA.
“Some of these people have their names on the wharves and of course we must not also forget those that worked with them,” he said.
He acknowledges them for their services to the SIPA in the past 65 years.
He also commends the current staff and management for their efforts and contributions to the organisation.
“Today we are now in the present,” he said.
He said Ports in an integral part of the country and the national economy that ensures trade moves smoothly bringing goods and services to the people.
Wate underscores that in turn this grows the economy and the country.
“We can look into the future with courage and optimism as we grow this Port to be one of the best in the region,” the vice chairman states.
CEO of SIPA Eranda Kotelawala says he feels really proud to be part of the team and to celebrate 65 years of journey today.
SIPA was established in 1956 born out of a copra wharf to what it is today.
Reflecting on today, Kotelawala says: “From the humble beginning of copra wharf now being an international port that is recognized world wide and as a major international port in the region. And one of the most successful State Owned Enterprises not only in the Solomon Islands but in the region and we still stand strong.”
The highlight of the day was the longest serving staff sharing their testimonies.
Seven workers, five men and two women shared their experiences and challenged the current staff to continue serving SIPA faithfully as they do.
The longest serving officer is Martin Heti who is with Ports for the past 37 years.
Ports currently employs about 500 officers in its Honiara and Noro facilities.