13 July 2008

Book launches are always fun events, celebrating the end of a long process beginning with research and writing and going through to production and distribution.

But they are not always as large as one in which University of Queensland Professor of Pacific and Australia History, Clive Moore, recently participated.

This was the launch of the autobiography of the Speaker of Solomon Islands Parliament, one of the most senior statesmen in the Pacific, Sir Peter Kenilorea, as part of the celebrations for the thirtieth anniversary of Solomon Islands independence on July 7.

A constant visitor to Solomon Islands since 1976, in 2005 Professor Moore was awarded a Cross of Solomon Islands for his services to the nation in recording their history.

"I despaired of finding a publisher until the Ambassador for Taiwan came to the rescue and arranged funding," he said.

The result is a beautifully presented book with a foreword from the President of Taiwan. Two thousand copies were produced free as a gift to the nation to mark the 30th anniversary of independence.

The result was a book launch included in the four-hour Independence ceremony in front of a crowd of 20,000 in Honiara and broadcast via radio to the nation.

Professor Moore, who attended the event, watched as Hon. Wang Jin-Pying, Speaker of the Legislative Yuan of the Republic of China launched the book with Sir Peter.

Professor Moore said that he hoped the book would encourage more Pacific leaders to record their personal histories.

He has already been approached by the Solomon Islands Governor-General Sir Nathaniel Waena to assist with a similar autobiography project.

Professor Moore is president of the Australian Association for the Advancement of Pacific Studies.

Media: Professor Clive Moore, telephone 07 3365 6800.