Today, Wednesday, 10 June 2020 – Kitiona Tausi
More than 30 guests turned up this morning to witness the celebration of the International Archives Day at the Tulakiiga Falekaupule. Among the quests were island community leaders on the capital and a few others.
The ceremony this morning began with a prayer conducted by Rev Alefaio Honolulu from the Head Office of the Ekalesia Kelisiano Tuvalu, then the remarks from the Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, Dr Tufoua Panapa.
In his remarks, said the archive is an important development where all old files and documents, writings are stored and kept to ensure that they well maintained and to be used by the public.
He said, the archive stores a lot of information which we do not know but are all kept safely by the archive, for example family trees, wills, births and deaths register, marriage register and other old and relevant documents for us today
He also said that the current archive cannot store new files and documents because it is too small and thus a new building is now envisaged.
He said the proposed is estimated to cost about $24 million and if this project is realized, this archive will be the largest archive in the region.
He also said the old men are our archives because they have in them a lot of old files and documents which have not been transferred to written documents.
The Chief Librarian and Archivist, Mr. Noa Petueli also delivered his remarks regarding the theme of the Day which is “Empowering knowledge Societies”. Firstly, he said that this is the first time they are able to publicly celebrate the Day as in the past they used to celebrate it in their office only.
He said that because of the advance in technology, the nature of the work in the archive has changed a lot, and we used technology to sustain the records. He said that the Tuvalu Archive “protect your identity, preserve your memories and salvage your cultural heritage.
Mr. Petueli was very concerned about the status of the building as it is wearing out as being an old building, and is very small to cater for the great need to store and keep many more documents which are yet to be brought in to the archive.
He said the proposed building is quite a big one and has 8 water cistern in it and the building would be fully equipped with the facilities required to have in any archive elsewhere in the region and even in the world.
After the normal formality, there was a big cake to celebrate the Day and Dr Tufoua, Mr. Noa Petueli and Mr. Tito Isala were given the opportunity to cut the cake.
Mr. Isala is the Chairman of the World Heritage Committee in Tuvalu.
After the cutting of the cake, the public were given the opportunity to look into the documents that had been preserved and kept by the archives and especially the people’s wills.
There were many people who flocked in the building to look for what they wanted to.