A FEW DAYS AGO in PNG Attitude we ran an inspiring story about 98-year old Daisy Henry and her commitment to reading. Daisy’s family donated $1,000 on her behalf to help get the Crocodile Prize Anthology 2012 printed.
In the same article we mentioned how the dual failure of the Australian and PNG governments to get behind the Crocodile Prize had left the organisers in the invidious position of being unable to fund a print run for the Anthology that would be anything more than derisory.
That’s when my company kicked in $5,000 as a donation to get more books printed so enabling many first rate PNG writers to have their words read, and allowing PNG readers to access creative writing from their own country.
My gift was quickly followed by a further donation of $5,000 from Ok Tedi Mining and K2,000 from Mineral Resources Star Mountains Limited (the MRSM Group).
These two great companies were backing up – they were already sponsors of the Prize.
And with the word out amongst the resources companies, I have an inkling there may be even more money to come.
Together with what we have in our Westpac bank account in Port Moresby, the Anthology printing fund is now heading north of $20,000.
This will print around 2,000 books, which is getting to be a respectable number.
The respective government, of course, may well believe their intransigence has led to a wonderful self-help project and saved their bureaucrats time, effort and money.
Of course, it tells the rest of us that they have their heads in the sand and are totally ignorant of the benefits that accrue from a nation that is prepared to develop its own literary tradition.