Vila Times

Vaturisu and Eratap pay honor and respect to Paramount Chief Kalpoilep

Vaturisu and Eratap pay honor and respect to Paramount Chief Kalpoilep
Vaturisu and Eratap pay honor and respect to Paramount Chief Kalpoilep
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More than 500 people gathered at Eratap Chief’s Farea on Tuesday to witness the ceremony the sons of Chief Andrew Pakoa Kalpoilep initiated to pay honour and respect to the man who reigned at South Efate’s village for three decades.
The traditional ceremony was for Chief Kalpoilep’s sons to give him what they owed him as a sign of respect and acknowledgement for all forms of help he gave to them and to the whole community of Eratap.
In his speech, the President of Vaturisu Council of Chiefs, Henry Manlaewia, paid homage to the man he replaced seven years ago and described him as the man who has a heart of gold. Chief Manlaewia said Chief Kalpoilep is the man whose generosity helped people from Efate and other islands to be a part of his family.
“With all he owns as assets, he built his reputation and integrity to become the best Paramount Chief on Efate. Many of us have learnt from him,” Chief Manlaewia said.
Vaturisu General Secretary, Jimmy Meameadola cannot forget that time Chief Kalpoilep nominated him to become his home island Mosso’s representative in Efate Council of Chiefs to serve as General Secretary.
“He was President of Vaturisu and I worked at Vanuatu Tourism Office at that time. He nominated me to go inside this Chiefs’ group and it was through him I am who I am today,” Jimmy Meameadola said while he paid tribute to the man who led Vaturisu from many years.
Chief Andrew Pakoa Kalpoilep was one of many people who were instrumental in the setting up of Vaturisu Council of Chiefs after independence.
He once become President of Vaturisu until 2012 when Henry Manlaewia was elected to succeed him.
Through his leadership as Paramount Chief of Eratap, the peace come back to his community after many years of land disputes.
As landowner in his village, many people from islands obtained from him plots of land at Teouma Dark Bush. Today people who are living there have formed the biggest mixed community on Efate.
Members of this mixed community were among people who gathered at Chief’s Farea on Tuesday.
The ceremony also marked the end of Chief’s Kalpoilep reins as he is retiring at the age of 76 years and because of the long illness that affects him. Eratap Village awaits the nomination of a new chief to replace him.
Tuesday’s ceremony was the time of exchange of traditional gifts between Chief Kalpoilep, his sons and chiefs of Efate and representatives of Teouma Dark Bush. The other part of the ceremony was the payment of bride price performed by his two sons Peter and Silas.