By JINA AMBA
After working at the Bomana police college print shop for 33 years, Manu Ila from Karawa village in Central is retiring, happy that he had done the best he could in something he loved doing.
“I started working at Bomana Print Shop on Sept 29, 1988. We print almost 90 percent of police stationery in here and cater for all police officers throughout the country.”
Manu and his late wife who passed away four years ago have a son and four grandchildren.
Manu began his education journey attending the Hood Lagoon Primary School in Central from Grade One to Grade Six.
He continued his schooling at the Yarowari High School completing Grade Seven to Grade 10.
He was selected to attend the Hedubada Technical College, now called the Port Moresby Technical College.
Manu studied printing and received a trade certificate when he completed the programme. He spent five years at the Hedubada Technical College.
“When I finished from college, I worked with Papua New Guinea Banking Corporation (now Bank South Pacific). I worked at the printing section. I did printing for branches of the bank for their stationery.”
He worked with the bank for 11 years from 1975.
“ Most people would have given up but I (learnt to) survive (on that money). I loved what I did so I budgeted my money well. I managed to survive in the city with the 14 Australia dollars a fortnight.”
In 1980 Manu was sent to Australia to pursue further courses to improve his skills so that he could to become a printing production manager.
He spent two months with the Commonwealth Bank there.
Manu loves his work and profession, especially working in a print shop. He feels at home there.
He hates to see sloppy work, especially ink marks in newspapers and other publications.
He views it as “lazy work” by the printers.
One thing he had maintained throughout his career was his commitment to work.
Manu started working with a very low wage by today’s standard. He received only $A7 a week, around K18 equivalent in today’s exchange rate, or K36.
“Most people would have given up but I (learnt to) survive (on that money). I loved what I did so I budgeted my money well. I managed to survive in the city with the 14 Australia dollars a fortnight.”
His short stint in Australia had helped him improve his printing skill and understand what people in the same profession as him went about doing their job.
Looking back at the past three decades, Manu feels happy and satisfied that he had served all his employers well, performing to the best of his ability what they required him to do.
Now that he is going to retire, he feels contended that he had developed his skills over the years to become competent in the profession.
And what pleases him now is the fact that he had stuck to one job all through his life, despite the comparatively low wages at the start.
Some people change their jobs in their working life but for Manu, he was a printer throughout and never changed course.
“I am happy.”
It’s time now to relax at home with his grandchildren and the family. Manu deserves it.