Rennell And Bellona Province Day
Rennell and Bellona Province is one of nine provinces located in the Solomon Islands and is composed of two inhabited atolls. The first Europeans to see the Polynesian-inhabited islands were led by Matthew Boyd, the commander of the merchant ship Bellona, in 1793.
This province currently covers an area of 259 square miles and has a population of approximately 3,000 people. In this province, July 20th is celebrated as a public holiday called Rennell and Bellona Province Day, and it consists of sports, speeches, and processions. The date of this holiday commemorates the establishment of the local provincial government in 1993. It has been celebrated as a holiday ever since and is also known as the Second Appointed Day.
The History of Rennell and Bellona Province Day
Prior to the 18th century, Bellona Island was known as Mungiki by the native islanders, and Rennell Island was known as Mungava. The commander of the merchant ship, Matthew Boyd, renamed the smaller island Bellona, after his ship. The larger island would be renamed Rennell, possibly after oceanographer James Rennell. Prior to 1816, both islands were named Bellona, and the larger island would not be renamed on naval charts as Rennell until after 1816.
In 1993, Rennell and Bellona became a province of the Solomon Islands. This made them the only Polynesian province in a country that is composed mainly of Melanesian inhabitants. This province is represented by a single Parliament Member. The provincial government of Rennell and Bellona is made up of 10 different wards, each represented by elected officials. This holiday has been observed every year since 1993.
Observing Rennell and Bellona Province Day
This holiday is observed with political speeches and cultural events that include dancing, weaving, and other activities. People also take time to spend with friends and family members. This is a holiday in which all residents of this province can take pride in their local government. It is also a public holiday that is a day off for the general population.