vanuatu-womenIt has taken Amy Selwyn Binihi almost 20 years to disclose her secret, that she and her late husband, Selwyn Binihi had to breach custom protocol by hiding then Father Walter Lini under their marriage bed from the French Army Search Team that was determined to snatch him during the heat of the country’s political uprising.

Surely it was this brave deed along with her long string of contributions towards the development of Vanuatu that the latest Head of State, President Obed Moses Tallis honoured her with her well-deserved Independence Medal during the 37th Presidential Cocktails last Sunday.

Amy was born at Abwatuntora Clinic (now hospital) on North Pentecost on July 7, 1954.

She attended Abwatuntora Primary School and was forced to drop out in year 6 in 1969 due to school fee issues.

She arrived in Port Vila the same year and was interviewed for a job in November.

She was hired by the British National Service in February of 1970 in the present day Ministry of Home Affairs at Independence Park. Amy was 16 years old.

She recalls that with the start of the Independence Struggle in 1971, she and her husband Selwyn Binihi started the first kava bar to sell kava juice in Port Vila in 1978.

“That was how our Father of Independence ended up hiding under our marriage bed one night from the French Army (police),” she confirms.

Not only that but they also hid the former Attorney General, Ham Bulu, during the Police and VMF internal uprising.

Amy remained faithful to her job in the BNS to the end of 1979. She was one of the former British National Service public servants including Job Dalesa, (now Pastor) Roy Yosef and Kanam Wilson, who were transferred into the first Vanuatu Government ever, to form the embryo of the first Department of Public Service. READ MORE