THE Markham Valley high school along the Highlands highway in the Morobe province has been given a new name.
It will now be called the Maraba Memorial Secondary School, after a prominent Morobean from the Kaiapit district who took the first step to ask the Government to give his people a high school for their children.
In 1973, the year Papua New Guinea gained self government, 42-year-old Tani Maraba travelled to Port Moresby for an unexpected meeting with the then new Minister for Education Ebia Olewale (the late Sir Ebia).
At that meeting, the minister was told the people of Kaiapit district wanted a high school for their children.
More than a decade later, Markham Valley high school was opened near Mutzing government station.
Mr Maraba’s dream of a high school for his people had been granted.
The change of name came as the people of Kaipait and Morobe province stood together to mourn a colourful political figure, who had been praised for his humility and love for his people.
Morobe Governor Luther Wenge announced the change of name for the school, saying it was a fitting honour to the of a great traditional leader did so much for his people in his quiet ways.
The late Mr Maraba, who would have turned 78 on Sept 12 died two weeks ago.
Mr Maraba was a former councilor, church worker, president of the Markham local government council, member of the interim Morobe Area Authority and interim governor of the Umi community government in his district.
He also served in various capacities for the Lutheran church in Goroka and back in his home district.
At his funeral service in Lae, leaders described him as a visionary, strong christian, community and government leader.
He was a man whose life had become the mirror for young Morobean leaders to follow in their roles as leaders in their respective areas.
Former Morobe woman premier, chief Enny Moaitz said Mr Maraba had always encouraged her to have courage and to stand up for her people.
She said he would tell her to stand up and to have faith that women could lead their people in leadership positions.
The death of the great leader is a loss to the family and the province, she added.