Chief returns home to low-key welcome

National, Normal

The National, Tuesday 15th November 2011

GRAND Chief Sir Michael Somare arrived back home in Wewak, East Sepik, last Sunday to a quiet but emotional welcome.
He had been away for four months in Singapore undergoing heart surgery.
It was the first time Sir Michael was returning to his home province after his hospitalisation.
Not many people were aware of his coming. But those who heard lined the streets and waved or threw flowers at the Grand Chief’s motorcade as he was driven through Wewak, accompanied by police, government and private vehicles.
People living within the town vicinity walked up to Sir Michael’s NBC Street home to hear or catch a glimpse of their regional member of parliament.
Sir Michael had represented East Sepik without a break since 1968 when he entered the House of Assembly for the first time.
In a brief speech to those gathered at his home, Sir Michael said he was confident that things would work out in his favour, much to the delight of his supporters.
Later in the evening, Sir Michael went to the Sepik Golf Club to officiate at the 2011 Toyota Sepik Open Golf presentation where he is the patron.
It is not known how long the former prime minister will be in Wewak.
Reports said a proper home-coming would be planned for the Grand Chief after a ruling on the current court proceedings by the East Sepik provincial government questioning the legality of the O’Neill-Namah regime.