Time to give credit to our unsung heroes

Letters, Normal

THE letter “Reward colonial kiaps and cops” (The National, Feb 4) by a retired police officer brought tears to my eyes as I recalled my father, who had a long and illustrious career as a colonial police officer.
My father resigned after serving the Police Department for more than 20 years since 1959 and returned home to Kabwum district, one of the remotest areas of Morobe province.
It was unfortunate that I was born at a time when he was about to retire.
My father’s career with the police saw him working in the Highlands regions, from EHP to Simbu, WHP, Enga and SHP, after which he decided to retire.
Growing up in the village, I used to hear my father telling stories about the challenges and hardships he faced while working as a police officer during the pre- to post-independence days.
He patrolled most of the Highlands region by foot without a vehicle and walked hundreds of kilometers for days without proper sleep and food.
He climbed high and steep mountains and crossed dangerous and fast flowing rivers without proper equipment and during times of warfare, he would put his life on the line to ensure peace.
However, one thing my father told me which I still remember to this day is that, for all his hard work, he was only paid 4 pounds (K2) per fortnight at that time.
Upon his retirement in 1982,  he managed to make his way up to senior level and earned K60-K70 until his resignation.
After serving for more than 20 years, his finish pay was K1,500.
Although his pension was a measly K45, he managed to look after his six children and pay for their school fees.
He struggled until all his children had completed their education and made their way through life.
My point is this: Will there be any form of recognition and remuneration for such individuals, as my father, who were loyal and served the country in name of development and paving way for independence?
Many of these heroes have died and only few still survive to tell their story, such as retired police officer Albert A Mula.
I found it heart-wrenching to not give credit to our unsung heroes.
Can someone from the bench come out and give them their due credit?
This is a true cry from the heroes after the Second World War.


Daughter of retired cop
Via email