By MICHELLE AUAMOROMORO
GEORGINA Timu was counting down the days to her graduation when she received a message that the special guest she was going to invite had passed away.
It was her beloved dad Henry Hataya, a former public servant. Needless to say, she was devastated.
“Dad’s biggest dream was to make sure that all his children were given education. He believed that only education could set us free from the pain of his broken marriage. He was the best despite his failures. If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be here today.”
Georgina, 24, is from Tenei village in the Koroba Kopiago district of Hela. She is the fourth eldest in a family of six.
Their parents divorced in 2005 when she was in Grade Three. Her dad raised her and her five siblings alone.
She has completed a Bachelor in Accountancy degree programme at the University of Technology in Lae and is preparing for her graduation on April 3.
She was about to come home to Port Moresby last month when her big brother relayed the devastating news to her in Lae.
She was planning to come and tell her dad to be her special guest at her graduation. She is proud to be the first young woman from her village to complete education at tertiary level.
Dad Henry was the first public servant from the district. He worked with Department of Personnel Management before joining the Conservation and Environment Protection Authority, then known as the Department of
“ He was going to be the proudest person on that day. His absence will be a scar for a lifetime.”
Environment and Conservation. He was serving there when he passed away. He was 66.
“Dad was a hardworking parent, very committed to his dreams and faithful in serving the country. He raised us to be educated and independent, and to carry on the legacy that he left behind as a senior public servant.”
Georgina described her late dad as “a small man with a big brain and a heart of gold”.
“Dad taught me that life is never easy. You have to struggle to survive, strive to get educated, and you have to possess a heart of gold to live longer. Above all he taught me to fear God and to gain God and men’s favor on this earth.”
It was why she badly wanted her dad to be there during her graduation next month, to witness the fruit of his excellent and effective parenting. She wanted to make him proud.
Her graduation outfit arrived from Sydney on the day before her dad’s funeral. Also with the outfit came the flowers for the funeral. It was so painful for her.
Georgina accompanied her dad’s body back home last week to be laid to rest.
She is still looking forward to her big day but will miss him so much.
“I can’t imagine this very important occasion without him by my side holding that bamboo.”
But she knows that when she walks up to get her degree after her name is called is, her dad will be beside her, with tears of joy, satisfied that her little girl has finally made it.
“He was going to be the proudest person on that day. His absence will be a scar for life.”