Biographical entry: Kinika, Benedict (1937 - )
Born in 1937 at Aramanu village, in east Makira, Benedict Kinika was educated at Wanioni Catholic Junior Primary School on Makira and then at the Marist Brothers St Joseph's Senior Primary School at Tenaru (1941-1952), and finally at a Marist Brothers' College in Mittagong, New South Wales, Australia for eight years. After completing six years of secondary schooling he trained as a brother for two years.
He passed his university entrance exam to become the first Solomon Islander to win an Australian Commonwealth Scholarship to train as a teacher at Sydney Teachers College (1961-1962). He returned as a Marist Brother and taught at his former school at Tenaru and at the Marist Brothers' College at Keita on Bougainville, where he taught both secondary classes and at the Teachers' College. At the time Kinika was the only Melanesian Grade I (meaning the top level) teacher in Bougainville. In 1969, he joined the public service and was a foundation member of staff at Honiara Technical Institute, where he was also Warden of Students.
In 1973, Kinika was elected to the Governing Council (q.v.) as the member for East Makira and was a founding member of the United Solomon Islands Party. In 1974, he ran against Solomon Mamaloni for the Chief Ministership but came in second. In December of the next year he was appointed as Minister for Education and Cultural Affairs under Chief Minister Mamaloni. In July 1976, Kinika became Finance Minister and was also Deputy Chief Minister. He was a member of the Solomon Islands delegation to London in May 1977 to discuss the financial settlement with Britain. That August he went to Port Moresby as Finance Minister to attend a meeting of the South Pacific Bureau for Economic Co-operation. He was Acting Chief Minister during the time Chief Minister Kenilorea was away at the London Constitutional Conference in September 1977. At independence, Kinika became Deputy Prime Minister. He learned some French in Australia. (Saemala 1979, 39; NS 6 July 1973; STT 24 Aug. 1977; SND 9 July 1976)
- Saemala, Francis, Our Independent Solomon Islands, Institute of Pacific Studies, University of the South Pacific and Solomon Islands Centre, Honiara, 1979. Details