Sir Mekere was an outstanding leader


SIR Mekere Morauta is one of the very few handful of the top public servants that PNG has produced.
It’s not about money, policies nor systems, but you need human quality competency in order for us to develop this beautiful country.
There were one or two such as Sir Mekere, including Sir Charles Lepani, Sir Rabbie Namaliu and late Sir Anthony Siaguru.
God has blessed our country richly with all the natural resources, mineral resources and the biggest resource is the human resources.
Only few are shining through and one of those few is Sir Mekere.
I had been his associate with Sir Rabbie, late Sir Anthony since 1966 when we all met at the University of PNG as pioneer students.
We played rugby together but we went our separate ways in our employment.
I went to the airline industry while they went off to become public servants in government.
I recall meeting Sir Mekere again after a long time when we were both on the Air Niugini board.
I was the chairman of Air Niugini board in 1982 and Sir Mekere was member of the board as secretary for Finance.
We went our separate ways and we met again in politics in 1992 and he joined in term of Parliament later in 1997.
He appointed me as the Minister for Transport and Civil Aviation and later as the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Bougainville Affairs.
He was the prime minister that I cherished most.
A man of vision, well-educated and it was an honour working with him as his deputy in the opposition.
He was a shining light and public servants should follow his example. He knows what is required to redirect the destiny of our country.
That was my experience working under him was when he was a minister.
We don’t have enough of him, we need 100 more Mekere Morautas.
He is the only shining light as one of our best public servant and a role model. He was a great listener.
I was the shadow minister for finance when he was leader of opposition and he allowed me to spearhead the reply to the budgets and we agreed together, we were like- minded in terms of financial challenges.
He was an honest man of integrity, he was my role model.
I could not attend the state funeral of late Sir Mekere on Friday due to health reasons and the current Covid-19 protocols.
I had advised Lady Roslyn that I would not attend.

Bart Philemon
Former Lae MP 1992 to 2012