New book examines PNG’s colonial history

Normal, Weekender

ANOTHER book on Papua New Guinea’s colonial history has been published and released by the Divine Word University Press (DWU Press).
Senior statesman, Sir Peter Barter launched the book “Crossroads to Justice: Colonial Justice and a Native Papuan” last Friday at the welcome dinner for DWU staff at the Madang campus hosted by the university president, Fr Jan Czuba.
The book is the work of a prominent Papuan colonial-era figure, the late Sir Sinaka Vakai Goava and DWU academic, Br Patrick Howley.
Sir Sinaka passed away on 09 May 2003 without realising his dream of publishing a book. However, his good friend Br Howley worked on the manuscripts and the extended interviews he had with the Papuan stalwart in the subsequent years until DWU published the book in 2009.
The book tells the story of Sinaka Goava’s struggle against the colonial administration to get his father, James Goava Oa out of jail. Mr Oa, from Delena village in Kairuku, Central province, who was a public servant of note of his era, was jailed for life for murdering a sorcerer. He was eventually released in 1963 after serving time for 32 years.
Mr. Oa was jailed in 1931 awaiting trial. He was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1939 after an eight year trial.
Thereafter Sir Sinaka who was his eldest son, with his limited knowledge of legal practices began vigourous efforts to get his father released.
His efforts involved writing countless appeal letters to Sir Donald Cleland who was Administrator of the Territory of Papua and New Guinea from 1953 to 1967.
Under God’s guidance his efforts and perseverance paid off and his father was released in April 1963 after serving 32 years in prison.
Sir Peter who knew Sir Sinaka said the Hanuabada man was a remarkable public servant and leader of his time and his story of the struggles to get his father out jail was worth reading. He said the book is good reading for the younger generations of Papua New Guineans to appreciate life and situations in the formative years of the country.
Br Howley said Sir Sinaka was one of the most honest and hardworking Papua New Guineans he had ever met and worked with and was pleased to help him publish the book.
The book is selling for K40 off the shelf and K45 inclusive for handling and postage. Br Howley can be contacted at [email protected] or phone 71746408.
Money can be sent via Salim Moni Kwik to PF Howley. Port Moresby and Central province residents can contact Ken Egan at the Papuan United Church on the corner of Boroko Drive and Ororo Crescent or call 3234713.
Readers in Australia can buy the book from Br Pat Howley for A$30 inclusive of handling and postage through Paypal.


– Story and top picture by DWU Community Information Centre