By ZACHERY PER
WHEN the 2019 academic year drew to an end for Aiyura National High School in the rich Aiyura Valley a young man from a very remote area in Enga stood out with a lot of promise for a bright future.
Nineteen-year-old Wesley Imbu from Meraimanda Village in Wabag district of Enga won the grade 12 dux of the year award making his parents proud.
He moved a step closer to his childhood dream of one day becoming a top-notch medical doctor when he was announced the award winner. Amidst huge applause East Sepik Governor Allan Bird presented the young man his award during the graduation at Aiyura National High School last December.
Wesley is the first child of three children born to public servant father a self-employed mother. His father works with the Enga government in Wabag.
With vague expectations of his new school he travelled by PMV from Enga to Eastern Highlands with his mum along the rough and pot-holed Highlands Highway past Western Highlands, Chimbu and the capital of Eastern Highlands, Goroka and further down to an area that shared borders with Morobe in Obura Wonenara district.
He arrived at a school in the cold misty Aiyura Valley where the tranquility of the place makes you never want to leave.
Established in 1976 straight after Independence by Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare, the Aiyura National High School rests in the Aiyura Valley of the Tairora-Gadsup community in the Obura-Wonenara District of Eastern Highlands.
The friendly Tairora community regards the school as the pride of the Obura-Wonenara people for producing many outstanding leaders and professionals in the country.
Wesley had just completed grades 9 and 10 at the newly opened Yumbilyam High School in Wabag district.
Now Wesley was accepted into what is known to be a school of excellence serving the entire student population in the Highlands region of PNG.
He was enrolled at the school in 2018, taking up subjects in the science stream which are Advanced Mathematics, Language and Literature, Chemistry, Biology and Physics.
On Friday, Oct 18, 2019 the school witnessed its 43rd graduation which also saw the highest number of graduates (324) since its establishment.
East Sepik Governor Allan Bird, also a former Aiyura student and his wife Joanne Bird were guests at the graduation.
Wesley received the overall dux award in the science stream which was sponsored by local Goroka business man and the managing director of API Rent A Car Steven Goraiye.
A special mention was made during the graduation by Deputy Principal announcing that Wesley Imbu had maintained a consistent straight ‘A’ from grades 11 -12 at the Aiyura National High School from the years 2018 and 2019.
Though neither of his parents was able to make it to his graduation in time he spoke with confidence during a conversation with him.
“I am humbled in my achievement, says Wesley.
“At first I did not want to leave home after the many rumors of Aiyura National High School that left me afraid.
“But my mum who is a devoted Christian and very prayerful woman convinced me to come, telling me that a successful path lay ahead of me after Aiyura.
“It is through my mum’s prayers that I have remained committed to my studies. I acknowledged my father who has also been supportive.
“But I miss my mum and can’t wait to see her.”
Wesley says he wants to be the best doctor in the world one day, a dream that his mum has for him to be the best in everything.
He continues that it was through the prayers of his mum and his personal commitment to Christ and his studies that brought out the successful results.
With the graduation theme ‘Instilling Christian Values for a Better Tomorrow’ the school intake consists of about 60 per cent of students throughout PNG and 40 per cent from within the host province.
Governor Bird told students that the only thing missing in the country was not education but the lack of good attitude and Christian ethics which young Papua New Guineans can achieve through discipline.
Bird said he noted a difference in the school which was the strong practice of Christian principles and values which was not part of the school about 30 years ago in 1989 when he graduated from the school.
He commended the principal Karl Puluma and the school board and community for contributing to the positive changes at the school.
“You have to standout and be different from the crowd,” was his message to students.
“It’s not important how you come in after leaving your homes but its important how you go out, have the mentality to work hard, without the expectation of free handouts.
“Anything is possible, what matters is the step you take now, that will determine where you finish.
“I contested in the elections and failed many times but I did not quit. Now think of it this way, what if I had given up on everything some years ago?
“Success does not come to those who give up but to those who keep trying after failing many times.
“So uphold Christian values and principles and always be the best in what you do. If you want to be a doctor then be the best doctor there ever is and in any career you decide to pursue, be the best in it.”
“Always be humble for there is value in humility. You don’t need a university degree to achieve the simple things in life.”