Low budget raises concerns over independence celebrations


THE LAE Independence Day anniversary committee’s account is in the red after paying for the cost of the main activities to host Governor-General Sir Bob Dadae as chief guest at the 42nd anniversary celebrations.
The committee’s financial controller Hilmar Wong said that a reasonable annual budget for such an event was K250,000, but  they had only K178,000 this year.
Having paid for the main items for next week’s celebrations, the committee is now left with no more money for other associated costs.
However, Wong and chairman Robin Calistus are still pursuing support from the Morobe government and Lae’s Chinese business community that had generously supported the committee in the past to stage colourful celebrations in the city.
The provincial government, Lae district, city council and Chinese community had been at the helm of past events despite the lack of support from the National Events Council.
“Celebrations in Lae provide a venue for rural people, public servants, students, teachers, children and the general public from Mamose and Highlands regions to observe the national day.
“It is always a special day where we all come together as a nation.
“This 42nd celebration with the presence of Governor-General Sir Bob Dadae will leave memories for many people as our celebration is always entertaining and memorable to citizens that flock to Sir Ignatius Kilage Stadium for the flag raising at 4am followed by other colorful activities ending with fireworks at 7pm,” Wong said.
“This national day is a proud moment for the citizens to feel that minute of patriotism but we are always left in doubt by the National Events Council,” Calistus said.
Some companies who have so far assisted in kind are Prima Small Goods, Impact Signage, Raumai Trading, Lings Freezer, Seeto Kui, Papindo Trading, Wong Tim & Co, Laga Industries, Morobe Stationery, Lae Biscuit, W&N Szeeto, L&C Enterprise, Brian Bell and Paradise Foods.
The Chinese businesses contribution helps the Lae’s Independence Day committee to offset the costs involved with the participation of schools, discipline forces, scouts and guides, singsing groups and the fireworks.

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