By JOYCE INGIPA
WHEN his late dad unsuccessfully tried three times to become a MP, a young Job Pomat made up his mind he would do something about it when he grew up.
“Becoming a politician didn’t happen overnight. It was a childhood dream.”
Today the man from Rossun village on Manus is the Speaker of Parliament. He is also serving his second term as the Manus MP.
“When my dad lost for the third time in 1972, he made a feast for his supporters and informed them that he would no longer be running for election. I was only 12 then. That night, I made up my mind to one day contest the national election.”
His dad, the late Peter Pomat was a chief, a Seventh Day Adventist missionary and a politician. He tried three times to become an MP but failed.
Young Job’s interest in politics was kindled then. He decided to one day “make it right” for his old man.
Job, a father of five, only went as far as high school in his education.
“During those times, there were no grades like today. They called them forms. My education went as far as Form Four. But the dream of becoming a politician was something I could not forget.”
He became a technician and worked for a number of companies before resigning to contest the election in 1993.
He served in the Manus provincial government for two terms as the speaker and deputy governor.
In 2007, he contested the Manus Open seat in the national election under the People’s National Congress Party banner. He was also elected deputy party leader.
“ When my dad lost for the third time in 1972, he made a feast for his supporters and informed them that he would no longer be running for election. I was only 12 then. That night, I made up my mind to one day contest the national election.”
He was appointed Inter-Government Relations Minister in the Sir Michael Somare-led cabinet. Later he served as Fisheries Minister in the O’Neill-led Cabinet. In the 2012 general election, he lost his seat to Ronny Knight.
He regained it in 2017 and was elected Speaker on Aug 2, 2017. He is also chairman of the committee looking after the broadcasting of parliament proceedings, legislation, private business and standing orders.
His contribution and service to the community as a member of parliament and Speaker was recently recognised by Queen Elizabeth II. He was awarded the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George (CMG) medal.
Job is thrilled about being recognised for his service.
“The (CMG) medal is the biggest achievement in my political career. I never thought I would come this far.
“I am very honoured and privileged to serve the people of Manus and PNG. It is a very big achievement for me.”
He also revealed that he might not be around much longer in politics.
“I will be turning 60 shortly and I plan to retire from my political career and enjoy my old age.”
There is a gift sitting in the Royal Art Gallery in London today which his late dad gave Missy Kwin during her visit to PNG in 1974. It is a carved model of a crocodile, a traditional symbol of chiefs. It is something to remember the Pomat family of Manus, and PNG, by forever.
For Job, there are other things in life to enjoy apart from politics. And the energy and determination are still there for him.
“Nothing is impossible if you believe you will achieve something.”