Choose wisely: Sir Michael

The National, Friday July 15th, 2016

PAPUA New Guinea has dignified people who have the resources and skills to lead, manage wisely and share the country’s wealth equitably to all.
These were the words from the architect of political independence of Papua New Guinea, Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare.
“My time has come, I am sure I have done what I could do with limited education, not like many today but I enjoyed it and the interesting challenge was being the governor of East Sepik.
“I now leave PNG in capable hands of young PNG intellectuals that may decide wisely in 2017 to ensure equitable distribution of wealth to our people through good mandated leadership,” he said.
Sir Michael was given a fond reception honouring the special relationships with Morobe during the  14th Mamose Governors Congress on July 6-8.
The governors forum was his brainchild 14 years ago.
He was given a Morobe farewell through gifts of carved bowls, topped with singsings,  guard of honour by the PNGDF Engineering Battalion and a final visit to Dregarhafen, Finschhafen where he spent a couple of his school years.
The accolade was in honour for his leadership qualities and immense contribution to the socio-economic changefrom 1968 to 2016.
As a 14-year old, Sir Michael  was taken from his Murik Lake village in East Sepik to be nurtured.
Despite limited education, he persevered in the midst of colonial challenges along with others like Sir Julius Chan, John Momis, Tony Voutas and the late Sir Iambakey Okuk, to name a few. Sir Michael will retire from active politics next year.
Sir Michael holds Finschhafen close to heart. “Finschhafen is a special place memorable in my heart. I have special connection and relationship with this beautiful people some of whom are still alive today and some have passed on.
“It all began in Finschhafen. The forefathers placed the Miti blo Anutu (Good News of the Lord) in their hearts, political governance and business skills on either hand and spread it throughout.
“I was privileged to have benefited from those blessings.”
Sir Michael retraced his first footsteps at karanas land as a young energetic boy eager to learn and understand the transition period from colonial rule to political independence.
Sir Michael and 15 others from East Sepik joined Morobeans like Sir Jerry Nalau, Tauye Porei and Jeriga Nape at Finschhafen.