The National, Wednesday, April 27, 2011
By JEFFREY ELAPA
Lands secretary Pepi Steven Kimas retired last Thursday after serving in the public service for 41 years.
Kimas was awarded the public service medal by Lands Minister Lucas Dekena in a brief handover-takeover ceremony with successor Romilly Kila-Pat at the Holiday Inn.
Kimas, from Manus, started his public service career in 1968 and served different provinces as a lands officer until he was recalled to the headquarters to put in place the department’s restructure.
He was the department secretary for the past nine years.
Kimas said being the chief executive officer of any organisation was not an easy task but the all-round support had made a difference.
He said most of his time, effort and strength had been taken up by building and organising the department.
“I have done what I could for my department and the time was right for me to move because I do not want to hold on as I will be destructive as I grow older,” Kimas said.
He said many people and great leaders of this nation with vision had helped him in his public service career over the past nine years.
Those leaders included Sir Michael Somare, Sir Matiabe Yuwi, Sir Tei Abal, Sir Julius Chan and Sir Puka Temu.
“They have been inspirational. Many of these leaders have more than just the brain to serve the nation,” he said.
Kimas said his family had also been instrumental in his career.
He said he had tried to emulate those leaders by serving the people of this great nation.
He said it was not easy but others like Kila-Pat could do the same.
Kila-Pat started as filing clerk to become acting secretary 18 years later.
Dekena challenged his officers “to do what is right all the time and do not do what is wrong every time and all the time”.
He thanked Kimas on behalf of the government, saying he had contributed a lot in the overall restructure of the department and in dealing with land issues.