PRIME Minister Sir Michael Somare had a surprise birthday party thrown for him by the University of Natural Resources and Environment in East New Britain last Friday.
Immediately after the 13th UNRE graduation at which Sir Michael was the keynote speaker, and the unveiling of the library extension and administration building opening – named after the Prime Minister – the UNRE surprised Sir Michael with two cakes (one for his birthday and one for his 42nd year in politics), as well as plenty food and drinks.
It was a special occasion for Sir Michael, who was born on April 9, 1936, in Rabaul, East New Britain province, while his father was serving as a policeman.
Last Friday, he turned 74, with 2010 being his 42nd year in politics.
Sir Michael was lost for words by the surprise and thanked all staff and students of UNRE, especially Vice-Chancellor Prof Philip Siaguru, for making the day a special one for him.
Earlier, during the graduation ceremony, PNG Strategic Plan chairman chairman Prof David Kavanamur presented tabu (traditional Tolai shell money) to Sir Michael as a token of appreciation for making him chairman of Vision 2050.
In a powerful Tolai traditional ceremony, Sir Michael beat a Tolai tubuan with the tabu.
Prof Kavanamur also presented a traditional Tolai headdress to the Prime Minister.
Sir Michael travelled to Tokua Airport in Kokopo on the new Falcon jet and flew out later that same day after the graduation.