The National- Monday, February 7, 2011
By KARI TOTONA
IT was a sad occasion for close friends, family and staff at Government House last Friday who shared the last moments with outgoing governor-general Sir Paulias Matane and Lady Kaludia.
Nothing fancy, or big that could drew the crowd as the neatly dressed statesman, in his Zulu and a white floral shirt, gave final words of encouragement to those who came to show their appreciation for the man most Papua New Guineans regard as a patriotic leader and father.
“We need patriotism in this country. Do not work only for your bread and butter but work and serve with passion to serve the people of our great nation,” Sir Paulias said.
These words he uttered with dignity and pride, leaving the small group that gathered with admiration for him and his family who are heading home to East New Britain.
He said he was going to work in the village with the community and continue his teachings on how to live a healthy and happy life.
“I’m old in age, in fact in six months , I’ll be turning 80 and the secret to living a healthy and happy life is to have the right body, state of mind and spirit.
“I believe by having a healthy body with regular exercise and right diet, a mind free from hatred, jealousy and greed, and having the right balance of spiritual strength daily, we can be active long living beings,” he said.
He said Papua New Guineans needed to have a change in behavior.
Sir Paulias said it was important to have three things in life and which were to set goals, plan systematically and have them implemented with honesty and perseverance.
“I was about 17-years- old when I was able to read and write; these were the three most important things I had in life that made me the person I am today, with God’s wisdom,” he said.
He was happy that since he took office in 2004, he was able to establish three things he hoped was worthwhile for the staff to serve their new Governor General-elect Michael Ogio.
The government house now has in place executive meetings every Monday, 25 minutes devotional fellowship every Monday and GG’s monthly health walk.
Meanwhile, an emotional official secretary Tipo Vuata thanked Sir Paulias and his family for the journey under Sir Paulias leadership.
“You have guided us every step of the way with your vast experience and we thank you for passing your knowledge and wisdom during your six years in the office,” he said.
“You leave us with so many good things to remember and your legacy will remain.
“We thank you for all that you have done for the country and we bid you farewell,” he said.
Sir Paulias, a renown author, leaves today for East New Britain to work alongside his people and concentrate on his 47th and double volume book.