President Tirsupe, Members of The Malvatumauri Council of Chiefs,
Halo yufala evriwan.
[ Hello everyone. ]
I am deeply touched by the generous welcome shown to me today and by the very great honour you have bestowed on me in granting me the chiefly title of Mal Menaringmanu.
I know that chiefly titles are rarely given, and that to bear one is both a great privilege and a great responsibility. I can only say that, as Chief Mal Menaringmanu, I will do my very best to honour the four dual principles upon which the Law of the Malvatumauri Council of Chiefs is based – namely, love and happiness; respect and honour; goodness and peace; and goodwill and service.
I have nothing but the greatest respect for the role which this Council has played in Vanuatu's history, and for the essential place it occupies in your society today.
President Tirsupe, I understand that you are nearing the end of your term in office. To be the highest arbiter of custom in a country with such a rich customary heritage is a solemn responsibility and one which I know you have discharged with great dignity.
I am profoundly grateful to you all for the unique honour you have shown me today and for your very special hospitality.