BY ILYA GRIDNEFF
About 20 opposition MPs had gathered, intent on finding a way to topple the Somare government. It is highly likely that plenty of the award-winning south Pacific lager had been consumed.
The MPs were so frustrated by the Somare government that they each took off a shoe and nailed it to a wooden pole in the hotel bar.
Two years on, they have their wish. This week Peter O'Neill, 46, asserted himself as Prime Minister, toppling Sir Michael, 75, who can rely on a only Supreme Court ruling for legitimacy in the top job.
The shoes at Bluff Inn remain nailed to the pole as the nails in Sir Michael's political coffin increase. But Sam Basil, one of the 75 MPs supporting Mr O'Neill, is ready to prise his shoe back, having accomplished the declaration's goal.
''It is a dream come true,'' he said. ''One Sunday soon, I will drive up, pay the guard 100 kina [$40], show him the other shoe, he will go and identify it and bring it back,'' he said.
Mr Basil was particularly fond of the black loafer as he bought it in Washington when attending the inauguration of Barack Obama as US President in 2009.
''It was really a nice one but I don't regret nailing it,'' he said. ''A few people were upset because they were wearing RM Williams boots and they were trying to hide that night so they didn't nail their expensive shoe. Those wearing thongs or sandals were lucky people.''