Chevening Reception

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Reception at the Chiefs' Nakamal


Custom Dancers from Futuna welcome members and guests to the Chiefs' Nakamal on behalf of the Chevening Scholars.  Since 1986 the British Friends of Vanuatu have welcomed Chevening Scholars on arrival in the UK and made them welcome during their year-long stay on postgraduate studies in the UK.  This magnificent day in Port Vila, organised by a committee headed by Edward Nalial, was the Chevening Scholars' way of saying thank you.  We don't ever remember students being welcomed at Heathrow Airport in such splendid style!


More pictures of the event below -- Click on the images to enlarge them.

Ex President Ati George and Mrs Sokomanu were the first couple to arrive to welcome BFOV guests to the Nakamal.  Ati George was awarded a UK scholarship in the 1960s and spoke highly of the benefits it gave.

Ani Sibley with David and Rona Lewis, waiting to enter the Chiefs' Nakamal with other BFOV guests.

Waiting, waiting for the event to get underway - Jethro Clunies-Roaa, April Beynon and Pamela Clunies-Ross outside the Chiefs' Nakamal. Waiting, still waiting for the event to get underway.  back in Vanuatu for the first time in many years, Mark Walton and Roger Beynon now know that the custom dancers have not yet arrived.
Chevening Scholar at Oxford Brookes in 1999-2000, George Iapson (now heading the Vanuatu Football Association) smiles for the camera with guests. Bella, Bella Giovanna!  Giovanna Wong, now living in Port Vila but a popular guest at a number of BFOV events in the UK before coming to Vanuatu chats with the Watkins and Mike Longworth while waiting for the Nakamal Welcome to get underway.

Chief Tom Bakeo poses for the camera with guests.  Chief Tom is the father of James Bakeo-Collingwood who lives in London with wife Aleks.

At last inside, the guests enjoy the music of the Fotuna band arranged by the Chevening Scholars.  The band played some excellent music, very melodic, much enjoyed by all.

Mark Walton and Roger Beynon watch the speeches and the presentation of gifts with John & Jill Challis

The splendid band who entertained the guests throughout the ceremony in the Chiefs' Nakamal. 

Fred Samuel, who gained a distinction for his post graduate studies at Coventry University in 2002, smiles for the camera with Gordon Dickinson & Norman Shackley Chief Tom Bakeo caught by the camera just after the gift ceremony.  Everyone of the visitors received gifts from the Chevening Scholars during the ceremony.
Ex Prime Minister, Donald Kalpokas, after his speech to welcome the association to Vanuatu.  Donald, like everyone else, was disappointed that Richard & Anna Dorman were unable to make the visit. Fred Samuel finds Mike Longworth in the low light  of the Nakamal and asks for a souvenir picture for his Chevening album.