By ZACHERY PER
WHEN nurse Mua Maima received the Logohu Medal from Governor-General Grand Chief Sir Michael Dadae last week at Government House, his mind flicked back to the 47 years he had served the nation.
“I started providing health and community services as a young man after graduating from the Highlands Regional School of Nursing in 1976.”
Mua, 66, is from the Nonera tribe at Omkolai village in Gumine, Chimbu. He has been living and working in Goroka for most of his life.
He lives at Gosana Street, also known as the Works Compound, in West Goroka with his two wives and grandchildren. He has 12 children and two adopted ones.
Mua did grades one to five from 1966 to 1970. Because there were no primary schools near his village, the Lutheran Church flew him to Karamui on a Mission Aviation Fellowship aircraft to do grade six there.
“Students attending Lutheran schools were sent to Karamui for grade six because the Karepa Lutheran Primary School in Karamui was the only one that had Grade Six at that time.”
Due to disciplinary reasons which he would rather not discuss, he was not allowed to attend the Asaroka Lutheran High School.
“ I started providing health and community services as a young man after graduating from the Highlands Regional School of Nursing in 1976.”
Mua then enrolled at the Rintebe Lutheran Bible School in Bena, Eastern Highlands, before returning to his Omkolai village where he served as a Bible School teacher in 1972 and 1973.
He saw an opening to be trained as nurse at the Highlands Regional School of Nursing and applied.
“I went to Goroka and did an entry test to enter the School of Nursing. I was accepted and studied general nursing.”
He graduated as a nurse on July 30, 1976, and joined the mental health clinic at the Goroka Provincial Hospital as a nurse in 1978. He has been working there since. On Wednesday next week, he will be celebrating his 44th year in the profession.
The man from Gumine in Chimbu plans to commit more time to providing voluntary services to the people in Goroka.
Outside the hospital, Mua spends his time as a rugby league referee. On several occasion, he officiated in Digicel Cup (Inter-City) rugby league matches.
He served as president of the Goroka rugby league referees association for many years. He is still serving as a touch judge, always entertaining the crowd with his Gumine antics on the sideline.
Some of his rugby league colleagues in Goroka were Peter Starky, David Dege, John Kerema, Robert Kapilo, Plastik Kokorome and Willie Tovebae.
Mua also provides alternate dispute resolutions for minor offences such as assault, marriage conflicts, family conflicts and petty crimes in settlements.
Goroka Provincial Hospital manager Dr Michael Dokup described Mua as a good and highly committed officer.
“Despite his age, he is very active at the hospital. Apart from serving in the health sector, he also engages in sports and the law and order sector.”
Mua thanks the management of the Goroka hospital for the recommendation to have his service to the health sector recognised nationally through the Logohu Medal.
It is a fitting reward for almost half a century of public service.