SPC’s account of 60 years of service
SPC’s account of 60 years of service in a commemorative book
Tuesday 13 November 2007, 5th Pacific Community Conference, Apia, Samoa – One highlight event of the 5th Pacific Community Conference – also being referred to as the 60th Anniversary Conference – is the launch of a commemorative book marking 60 years of service to Pacific Island peoples by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC).
Meeting House of the Pacific: The Story of SPC 1947–2007 was officially launched by the Samoa Prime Minister, the Honourable Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi, and Dr Jimmie Rodgers, Director-General of SPC.
‘This book is dedicated to our forefathers and leaders whose wisdom and guidance made SPC what it is today, and to all the dedicated staff who have contributed to the development of the Pacific region over the last 60 years,’ announced the Samoan Prime Minister. ‘I am privileged that the launch of this special book is taking place in Samoa on the occasion of the 60th Anniversary Conference of the Pacific Community.’
The title of the book, Meeting House of the Pacific, reflects a statement made by the Right Honourable Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara of Fiji in his 50th Anniversary Conference speech in Canberra in 1997. He praised SPC, saying, ‘There is a place for every country, large or small, and at whatever stage of political development’.
Dr Rodgers said, ‘The story of SPC and its service to the region over the past six decades has unfolded with many highs, a few surprises and some stormy weather, but almost always steady progress. The journey continues as SPC sails into the future, guided by the priorities and aspirations of its people – the reason for its existence.’ He reiterated that ‘SPC is fully committed to its mission – to help Pacific Island people respond effectively to the challenges they face and make informed decisions about the future they wish to leave for the generations that follow’.
The Director-General commissioned a small team within SPC to produce the book. They found historic photographs in the organisation’s archives and studied numerous printed sources to compile the history, supplementing the archival material with vibrant contemporary photographs to produce an iconic publication to celebrate the 60th anniversary. The book is bilingual – English and French – and describes how the organisation has grown, changed and matured with the Pacific region over the 60 years. It includes brief biographies of each leader of the organisation and lists of the key events of each decade.