A NATION can only be built from its own past, not necessarily from outside influences but from within, which is why local history needs to be recorded and made available to all.
Community Development Minister Dame Carol Kidu said this was an important part of a nation’s development.
She said when travelling overseas, there were a lot of physical evidences of a country’s history in the crumbling palaces, stone walls and other national monuments.
But when she comes to PNG, there is nothing to show our history.
Dame Carol was speaking at the presentation of a framed portrait of PNG World War II veteran Ben Moide in honour of his services to Papua New Guinea as a soldier with the PNG Defence Force in the Papuan Infantry Battalion on Wednesday.
Now retired, Sgt Moide was a corporal during World War II along the Kokoda Trail and he is thought to be one of the last living soldiers from that era.
Dame Carol said honouring these soldiers was the greatest thing we could do because they were the ones from whose lifeblood we enjoy our lives today.
“Our history needs to be written. Our children need to know who they are, where they are from and what they are.
“That is why stories need to be told through the eyes of the ones there, not having our story told by others,” she said.
Present on the occasion were PNGDF commander Commodore Peter Ilau, Lt-Col Anthony Oawa, commanding officer of the Forces Support Battalion (formerly Murray Barracks), other soldiers and officers, family and friends of Mr Moide and Terry and Marilyn Ward, who supplied the framed portrait.