DAISY TANIOVA PAWA
ALL normal activities for the Gabensis community came to a standstill last Friday to make way for celebrations of a double classroom for the primary school.
This double classroom was also the first in the Wampar LLG
This building was a reflection of the hard work and dedication of the community.
The community, through the school’s board of management, held a fundraising campaign.
When enough money was raised, construction began at the end of last August.
The school headmaster Isaac Dau was credited for being the “initiator” and “architect” of the
Gabensis Primary School, 38km outside of Lae, has 14 teachers and 389 students.
The school has had no infrastructure development from Independence until last Friday when the surrounding community joined an Australian family to celebrate the opening of its first double classroom.
The classroom was named in honour of Douglas Preston Ker, an Australian soldier who fought in the area against the Japanese during World War Two.
Mr Ker’s granddaughter, Jillian and husband Anthony Whitfield were honoured as guests to officially unveil the plaque and open the classroom.The building was part-funded by the Preston and Whitfield families to dedicate to the memory of Douglas Preston Ker. They visited the school 18 months ago and donated books and school materials for the children. Anthony Whitfield who is also the treasurer and board member for Rotary of Lae gave the key note address.
He said he admired the strong relationship amongst the committee and urged the villagers to build on that.
He also made a commitment to provide strong support toward future activities of the school.
A generator, 30 computers, 10 printers and a four-in-one copier where also donated to the school.
These items were given to the Mporenan clan of Gavanziz, (ples kunai) by Sir Bob Sinclair.
The Mporenan clan later donated them to the school. Mr Dau said the school would now move to have electricity connected and have the teachers acquire computer skills.