29 Jul 2010

Celebrations underway for Vanuatu Independence 30th anniversary

11:14 am on 29 July 2010

Celebrations to mark the 30th anniversary of Vanuatu's independence have begun in the capital Port Vila.

Festivities and official ceremonies will run until this Friday, July 30th, the day on which in 1980, the former New Hebrides gained independence from Britain and France.

Johnny Blades reports.

"The government officially opened Independence celebrations as a large parade including paramilitary police, politicians, students, musicians and dancers moved up the main street of Port Vila from the Lini Highway, named after the founding father of Vanuatu's independence, Walter Lini. Ni-Vanuatu say their country has progressed a long way since the days it was a condominium, jointly administered by the French and the British. Among the events to have taken place was the launching of the ten-thousand vatu note by the Reserve Bank. The main ceremony of the celebrations will take place on Friday with formal addresses by the country's President and Prime Minister at Independence Park in the capital."