Biographical entry: Kaua, Toswell (1947 - 2010)

28 August 1947
15 November 2010


Toswell Kaua, public servant and politician, was born on the 28 August 1947 and came from Adagege artificial island in the Lau Lagoon of northeast Malaita. He attended Lilifea Primary School (1958-1961) and continued his secondary education at All Hallows' Senior School at Pawa (q.v.) on Ugi (1962-1968). The next year he attended Solomon Islands Teachers' College to train as a primary schoolteacher and after five years graduated with the Certificate in Primary Teaching. His vision to achieve higher qualification took him to Oxford University in the United Kingdom (1974-1975), where he earned a Postgraduate Certificate in Education. In 1980, he returned to the University of Newcastle upon Tyne in the U.K. and spent two years completing a Postgraduate Diploma in Education.

Kaua began his teaching career at St. Nicholas' Primary School in Honiara (1970-1973), and later became that school's Headmaster. Next he was posted to the Ministry of Education and Training and worked as the Education Officer in the Selection and Guidance unit for eleven years (1976-1987).

Toswell Kaua worked for seventeen years in various government ministries and was one of the Solomons' longest-serving public servants. When he worked in the Ministry of Public of Service (1988-1990) he became Chief Administration Officer and later Under Secretary. For the next fifteen years he was, consecutively, Permanent Secretary in Ministry of Provincial Government (1993), the Ministry of Post and Communication (1994), the Ministry of Home Affairs (1995), the Ministry of Police and National Security (1996-1997), the Ministry of Justice and Legal Affairs (from mid-1998 to November 1998) and the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development (1999). Finally, from 1999 he served as Secretary to Prime Minister and Cabinet, a position he held until 2005, when he left to stand in the 2006 national election. He said he did so from his desire to continue leading and serving the nation and people. Kaua's status and popularity in the government system, church, communities and sporting organizations enabled him to win the seat for the Baegu-Asifola electorate. In the next, 2010 general election, despite ill health, he contested and won the seat again, and held it until his untimely death on 15 November 2010 at the National Referral Hospital, two years after suffering a stroke.

As a result of his outstanding services to the government and people, Toswell Kaua was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (O.B.E.) in 1978, received a Cross of Solomon Islands in 2000, and was made a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (C.M.G) in 2006. He was survived by his wife Alice and three children. (Adapted from the Solomon Islands National Parliament website,, accessed 2 Feb. 2010)

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