HE knew that each time we would arrive at an airport I would drink or look for the nearest waterhole, media man Rodney Kamus says, recollecting his trips with Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare.
“He describes this as my ‘kastom’ (custom) to consume liquor,” Kamus said.
“But he tells me I would have to complete my tasks beforehand,”
Kamus, 48, from East Sepik, chuckles, as he recalled his international trips with Sir Michael.
He started working for the Grand Chief in 1998 as his press officer.
People like Kamus knew him more over the years.
Sir Michael was a people person.
Kamus was Sir Michael’s loyal aid until last month.
He was by his bedside until Sir Michael’s passing on Feb 26.
Saddened and broken was how Kamus felt.
Sir Michael was not only his boss but Papa as well.
Kamus said he had the most special privilege of working with him for almost 23 years.
He observed how the great man thought before making decisions.
One of these, he highlighted yesterday, was during the country’s general elections every five years.
Sir Michael played a pivotal role in the rise of the nation out of colonial rule.
His legacy together with the founding fathers of the Bully Beef Club will long be remembered.
“You see the sort of respect and treatment people have for Sir Michael, he can travel to three places at once,” Kamus said.
“He doesn’t care whether he has bodyguards or not.
“So long as he has his media man (Kamus) with him.”
Nation’s capital bans liquor as respect for Sir Michael
A LIQUOR ban is in effect for Port Moresby to honour, respect and mark the passing of Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare,” Governor Powes Parkop said.
He said the ban started on Wednesday and will end on Saturday (March 6) followed by a review to see if there was a need for an extension.
“As we are the host of the ‘haus krai’, we want to ensure we honour the memory of Sir Michael and this means honouring and respecting this time of grief,” Parkop said.
Peace is of paramount importance during this occasion.”
The following classes of licensed premises will be affected by the ban and includes:
- BOTTLE shops and storekeepers;
- TAVERN and public bars; and,
- HOLDERS of cabaret permits.
“The operations of other classes of licensed premises remain normal, normal business operations for those affected will resume next Monday,” city manager Bernard Kipit said.
“Concerned parties are to take heed as surveillance operations will be carried out jointly by officers of the commission and NCD police.
“Those found defying the notice will be dealt with accordingly.”
NCD and Central police commander Asst Comm of Police (ACP) Anthony Wagambie Jr said he supported the liquor ban.
“With the passing of our country’s founding father, it is customary that we should be in mourning,” ACP Wagambie said.
“As indigenous Papua New Guineans, we should all know our customary obligations. People abusing alcohol and causing disturbances will definitely be a cause for concern during this period as it will cause insult to others, where trouble may flare up.
“The ban will assist police as we are stretched in maintaining peace and order throughout the city when people flock to the haus krai as well as everyday law and order issues.
“We don’t need unnecessary problems caused by alcohol abuse.”