Concept: Royal Humane Society Awards


In the 1950s, Solomon Islanders began to be incorporated into various award and honour systems within the British Commonwealth. The first to receive Royal Humane Society Awards were Anthony Limanisara, Robert Aitewa, Joseph Manusia and Matthew Koso.

In 1957, thirteen-year-old Anthony Limanisara of the Melanesian Mission's St. Mary's School (q.v.) at Marovo was awarded the Royal Humane Society's Bronze Medal and Certificate for his attempt to rescue a school friend named Daniel. The pair was fishing when a large shark seized Daniel by his legs and tried to carry him away. Anthony held on to Daniel's arms and tried to free him, which caused the shark to pull them both off the reef but in the process let go of Daniel. Anthony dragged his friend 137 metres to the beach and then ran seven kilometres for help, but Daniel died from his wounds.

A bronze medal and certificate was awarded to Robert Aitewa and a testimonial on vellum to Joseph Manusia in 1961. Both men were labourers at Kirakira for the Public Works Department who rescued Mahe and Tete, neither of whom could swim; Tete was deaf and dumb and could not call for help. The whaleboat they were in capsized while unloading supplies from RCS Coral Queen (q.v.) during bad weather. In 1964, Matthew Koso of Totoa in the Maringhe District received a Silver Medal and Certificate for rescuing Dovia, with whom he had been out diving for fish near Susukana when a 5.4 metre shark attacked the pair. He fought the shark which had hold of Dovia, and then carried Dovia 183 metres to shore while the shark circled. Dovia died from the attack.

In 1967, medals were awarded to Leading Seaman Lazarus Lala, Deckhands Lawrence Manaeli and John Sakiri and VSO (British volunteer) Peter Mullins for helping save people from a canoe swamped during a cyclone in November 1966 in Langalanga Lagoon. In 1968 Lysias Leana, a school Headmaster at Duidui village on Guadalcanal's Weathercoast, rescued children from floodwaters at the Tina River SSEC School at Vatakupicha. (NS June 1957, Oct. 1961, 22 Aug. 1967, 31 Aug. 1964, 14 Feb. 1968)

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Published resources


  • British Solomon Islands Protectorate (ed.), British Solomon Islands Protectorate News Sheet (NS), 1955-1975. Details