By KEITH PUARIA
IT was a fitting farewell for all athletes, officials, supporters and visitors on Saturday night at the Sir John Guise Stadium as the National Capital District and Central province put on a show to close the 4th PNG Games.
In his farewell speech, NCD Governor Powes Parkop commended all the athletes and officials.
“Today, we bid you farewell, you came from different homes to unite in sports. In the course of your dreams, some of you have won medals and some of you have not, but you’ve all come together as one, you have unified our nation,” Parkop said.
Opening with a patriotic march by the teams, through signature songs, Bougainville’s Tsomi alia and ending with Mangi Moresby for the NCD team, the closing ceremony truly signified the unison of the whole of Papua New Guinea in sports, and drew the curtain down on the biggest event since the South Pacific Games in 1991.
The ceremony presented the diversity of the country through performances from the different cultural groups, and a showcase of contemporary and traditional dance, courtesy of Moses Tau and his troupe of young performers from around the Central province and urban villages in the city.
A mini rendition of the Hiri Moale Trade Festival also gave the visitors a glimpse of a part of the host’s history. “What a wonderful, spectacular and fitting way to end your coming together as one”, Event Manageress Mary Karo told all present, in her remarks.
Karo thanked all those who made the event a success, and also offered her apologies to the Central Province, for what was taken to be a lack of acknowledgment on the part of the Host Organising Committee for their contribution.
HOC Chairman Jack Pidik then announced the top three provinces of the games, National Capital District, Morobe and the Eastern Highlands Province, to loud applause and celebrations, and to an instant short fireworks display.
Governor Parkop told the full house that, though there were critics, the games had been a success indeed.
“It has not been all smooth, there have been hiccups, but we did it, and we can do it. Let these games inspire you. The emotions, the tears, the jopys, the endurance and the experience, take it back to your homes, to your provinces, and we will raise our standards.” he said.
Governor of the 2012 PNG Games hosts, East New Britains Leo Dion, congratulated NCD and Central for the successful games, issuing the challenge to his province for the next games.
Also present at the ceremony was Governor General Sir Paulius Matane and Lady Kaludia, PNG Sports Federation and Olympic Committee Secretary General Sir John Dawanincura, representatives of the Sports Council and distinguished guests.