Paul Barriere trophy visits Ower’s Corner


IT was a solemn moment when the rugby league World Cup, the Paul Barriere trophy, arrived at Ower’s Corner — the start of the Kokoda Track on Friday morning.
It was welcomed by officials from Koiari Rugby League association plus Kairuku-Hiri MP Peter Isoaimo and former Kumul Obed Batia, who is a local from Koiari.
This year marks the 75th anniversary of the battle of Kokoda, the scheduled visit of the Paul Barriere trophy to commemorate the occasion as well as pay tribute to those who fought in that battle during World War II.
Welcoming the trophy MP Isoaimo thanked Oil Search for its initiative to take the trophy around the country, connecting people from all walks of life, especially those in remote villages the trophy had visited, with an international sports event. He also sent the best wishes of the people of Kairuku Hiri to the PNG LNG Kumuls. Oil Search trophy tour manager Ruth Waram thanked Isoaimo for participating in the Central leg of the trophy tour.
Waram said Oil Search as a proud PNG company was pleased to be conducting the 2017 Rugby League World Cup trophy tour in PNG, bringing the spirit of the event to many people, who would otherwise miss out altogether.
She said this followed the success of the Oil Search sponsored 2015 Pacific Games around the country. From Owers Corner, the Paul Barriere Trophy then visited the Sogeri National High School and Iarowari High School as well.
The trophy then travelled the Hiritano Highway for its final leg at Laloki outside Port Moresby to conclude the Central province leg of the tour.
The day before the trophy was completed its visit to the Rigo district with local and former Kumul Tony Kila, pictured, joining the tour around his Goulupu village.
Kila played halfback when the Kumuls defeated the Kiwis 24-22 in 1986. Kila fondly recalled the moment during the visit.
Kila was the first person from the Rigo district to play for the Kumuls.
The trophy started in Morobe on Sept 11 and since been to the Highlands, the New Guinea Islands and is now in the Central province.

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