Duc in altum – reach higher!

Robert Numbos at the LTI graduation last Friday.
Robert Numbos with his degree during the graduation at Legal Training Institute last Friday.

POLICE prosecutor Sergeant Robert Numbos has never lost sight of his high school motto Duc in altum – to put out into the deep or push for excellence – after leaving East Sepik 32 years.
The Latin, which may also mean to “strive high” rang loud and clear last Friday when he was among 79 lawyers who graduated at the Legal Training Institute (LTI) in Port Moresby.
The motto of his Marist Brothers-run St Xavier’s High School on Kairiru Island has been motivating him and never gave up despite not securing any employment in the printing industry after graduating from Port Moresby Technical College in 1988 with a Pre-Employment Technical Training (PETT) certificate in composing.
That job involves laying up art work before printing documents.
Even during his deployment on Bougainville for four years as a police mobile squad officer, despite facing dangers on a daily basis, he never lost sight of that motto.
That motto also prompted Numbos, 50, from Yuo Island, Wewak District to become a lawyer after experiencing intimidations in courtrooms from professional lawyers when he was prosecuting cases against their clients.
“After completing grade 10 in 1987 at Saint Xavier’s High School on Kairiru Island, I was selected to do a 30-week PETT in composing with school of Printing at Port Moresby Technical College.
“I graduated with a PETT certificate in Composing in September 1988 and was not successful in securing any employment here in Port Moresby and I returned to Vanimo, West Sepik to live with my parents. My late father Christian Numbos at that time was working in Vanimo with Post PNG as the post master.
“Whilst at Vanimo in 1988, I secured a part time job with Garamut Enterprise working as a shop assistant and it was that time that I sighted a classified advertisement calling for police recruits. I then applied to join the police.
“My application was accepted and I was issued with a plane ticket and flew from Vanimo to Port Moresby to be trained at the Bomana Police College. I arrived in October 1989 at Bomana Police College.
“On Sept 13, 1990 I was formally sworn in as a gradate regular member of the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary and was posted to the general duties section at Tari Police Station then a District of Southern Highlands Province.
“I served for a year in Tari and in 1992; I was enlisted into the police Special Services Division (SSD) mobile squad 8 in Mendi SHP. I was deployed to Bougainville as part of the security force contingent from 1992 to 1996 when I was transferred from Mendi to Lae Mobile squad 13. My last tour of duty to Bougainville was in 1996 with Mobile squad 13.
“In 2000, I left the SSD and join the Prosecution section in Lae and attended the basic prosecution course in Bomana Police College and again did the Advance Prosecution Course in 2004 at Bomana Police College. To date I am still attached with the Police Prosecution section. But what motivated me to take up law was from intimidation from professional lawyers.

Robert Numbos at Wakunai during the Bougainville Crisis in 1994 when attached with the Bravo Company of 1st Pacific Island Regiment. He was part of the Mendi-based Mobile Squad then.

Challenging lawyers
“When appearing in district court prosecuting criminal case processed by police, I normally challenged lawyers appearing to defend offenders or their clients. Lawyers are university graduates with law degrees and masters who have better knowledge and law back ground whilst I am only armed with a Prosecution certificate which is no match to them and at times I win cases challenging them. So in my mind I always told myself if I can win my cases and secure conviction on behalf of the State as a simple Police Prosecutor whilst challenging lawyers, I can be a lawyer too, in order to put a good challenge with them to advocate on behalf of the State.
“In 2009, I lodge my UPNG application, applying for the Diploma in Law Prosecution Course (DLP). My application was accepted and I started the course in 2010 and successfully completed the course in 2011 and graduated with the Diploma in Law Prosecution in 2012.
“In 2015, I returned to UPNG to continue law studies and was accepted to do the bachelor programme and I successfully completed the course in 2018 and graduated with a law degree in April 2019. My application to do the legal training here at the LTI was successful and I was enlisted to undergo training for seven months. I successfully completed the training and graduated on the Nov 29, 2019.”
Numbos said that although graduating as a lawyer, he will not leave the force as he owes his degree to them.
“I will return to work with police but this time not as a police prosecutor but as police legal officer. My main interest is still with the police because that is where I first served an oath to work until I will resign in good faith.
“I would like to thank the Police Department to give me this chance to develop myself and to serve this country with the police this time as a lawyer after 30 years of service as regular police personal.
“My advice to the young policemen and women currently serving the country is that strive high as my high school motto says, and be prompt in your duties without fear, favour, ill-will or malice. Also spend quality time to study and research and read a lot of materials to boost your knowledge.”

An early Christmas gift for Gabi

GABI Villagers in Hanuabada, Port Moresby could not have asked more for a Christmas gift but a better bridge in their stilt village.
On Sunday, Dec 1, the Koupa clan of Gabi opened a new 30-metre bridge, thanks to the Rainbow Missionary Homes Koupa clan has 23 households and close to 100 people.
According to clan members like 76-year-old Namo Ware, as well as elder Sodi Morea and youths Vagi Henry and Walter Vagi, there are many incidents of locals falling on the improvised bridges simply by just to and from their homes.
As part of Rainbow Missionary Homes’ community obligations and missionary work, director and community leader Joe Tonde officially cut the ribbon to open the 30-meter bridge connecting many houses in the village.
While provision of government services in rural communities is still an issue, villages like Gabi are not far from Waigani.
But blame game is simply bad; over the years, churches, non-governmental organisations and individual Good Samaritan workers contribute a lot in human development.
They bring vital services to communities and rural areas where government services cannot reach.
“In little ways that we can help, we must assist and expand the work of our Christian faith to continue God’s mission and work on earth,” Tonde said.
“I’m privileged and honoured to open this bridge on behalf of the board of management, family and friends of Rainbow Missionary Homes in helping communities that are in dire need of basic services especially in the Motu-Koita villages in Port Moresby.

Namo Ware (left), thanking Rainbow Missionary Homes director Joe Tonde for the new walkway after its opening at Gabi Village on Sunday.

“The nation’s capital city is built on their land. I provided the materials and it was good to see 15 youths engaged to build the bridge.”
The elders, mothers and youths of Gabi gathered to witness the opening of their walkway which was renovated and built with expensive timber like kwila to last longer than previously used timber.
Ware, who heard noise of the opening, gingerly came out of her house and thanked Rainbow Missionary Homes for the kind gesture.
Speaking in her native Motu language and translated by Walter Vagi, she said: “I have problems with my sight and my grandchildren help me to walk up and down. I say thank you to you, I now walk up and down by myself, everything is now easy for me,” the grandmother said.
“I fear falling through the walk way but now I can walk freely by myself,” she said.
Locals say there were some deaths as a result of people falling off the bridges.
Tonde’s assistance came after he visited a family friend in the village a couple of months back.
“While I was visiting a family friend in Gabi, I was scared to walk the bridge and never entered the friend’s house and that made me to raise the need of the villagers and prompted the management of Rainbow Missionary Homes to assist in the construction and funding of the project at a cost of more than K30,000.
“Wherever I go regardless of territory, boundary or region, when I see people dying or having dire need for help, I help as a missionary worker and it’s not my first time helping communities and people in the service to Gods mission,” he said.
Young man Henry too would not stay back at his house number 7 but want to say thank you.
“I want to say thank you to Mr Tonde. It is a big thing for us. “It takes a person from another place to come and show his commitment, we respect that and are happy.
“Some people have died, people walked and the bridge had collapsed and a person died. When we walk, we always think of our family and women and old people.”
It was indeed a good Christmas gift from Rainbow Missionary Homes.