THE headquarters of the United church – Papuan Islands Region at Salamo, Milne Bay province, was all smiles when Australian High Commissioner Chris Moraitis stopped over for a short visit last Wednesday.
Mr Moraitis was traveling as a tourist, and also a part of his endeavour to listen and talk about people’s concerns, according to the district administrator Thomas Pilai, who headed the team.
Mr Moraitis received a warm welcome from the head of the region, Bishop Rev Bernard Siai, who during his address, stated that although the church had parted from the Methodist Overseas Mission 40 years ago, both churches still shared a strong bond.
He said the Uniting church of Australia was very supportive and further extended his sincere gratitude to the government and the people of Australia for their continuous support.
In his address, he also stressed that the only church-run high school in the province – Wesley High School – was at its transitional stage into an Agro secondary and was fortunate to receive K250,000 from the PNG Sustainable Development for dormitories.
Mr Moraitis, in response to a proposal presented by the bishop on behalf of the school, said the proposals were “not knocking on closed doors” as he was willing to work with the church.
On the same note, Mr Moraitis stressed that the Australian–PNG relationship was here to stay and was based on mutual obligation and respect between the two countries.